Sandy Cove Blog

The Irreducible Minimums of Discipleship



Throughout the Gospels, discipleship emerges as the primary catalyst for spiritual formation in the lives of those who follow Jesus. It’s no different today. We can’t grow spiritually if we’re not keeping company with Jesus, if we’re not connected to the Vine (John 15:5). Neither can we grow spiritually if we’re not connected to other people who are keeping company with Jesus (Hebrews 10:24-25). The rugged individualism that’s so pervasive in our culture falls away when you become a follower of Christ. Discipleship happens in the context of relationship — not in isolation, but in community.

Topics: Purpose and Mission

9 Giving Reminders for 2017



It’s no secret that Americans are generous. Last year alone, charitable gifts in the United States exceeded $390 billion, and 80% of that total came from individuals or their estates! Clearly, we like to give to the causes we care about, and the last three months of the year are when we like to give the most. Here are 9 things to keep in mind as we approach the year-end giving season:

Topics: Giving

A Reader’s Guide to the Gospels

Einstein was right when he said, “No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word.” Jesus has a certain kind of magnetism, an appeal that goes beyond human charisma, and whenever I interact with the Gospels I’m reminded of this.

How to Handle Criticism

I seem to respond so much better to praise than I do to criticism. I suspect most of us do. I can still remember receiving a beautiful card from a couple who had been following Jesus for longer than I’d been alive. Written inside were these words, among others: “We thank you for bringing Jesus so deep into our hearts...Your leadership never ceases to amaze us.” The simple fact that they connected me, their pastor at the time, to their own growing awareness of just how extraordinary Jesus is remains one of the most humbling, life-giving, and affirming tributes I’ve ever received. It was more praise than I deserved, that’s for sure. But I’ll never forget it, because it reminded me of why I became a leader in the first place.

Topics: Purpose and Mission

It Matters What You Build On

Nearly a decade ago I was in a situation I had never been in before. A church in another state was talking to me about becoming their next pastor. Part of that process included providing a detailed history of my pastoral leadership experiences. I can still remember looking at the questionnaire they sent me and wondering where to begin, mainly because my pastoral leadership experiences began long before I was ordained.

Topics: Purpose and Mission

Failing Forward

I’m talking about failing, not falling. Now in recent years, various business books and blogs, plus a number of TED talks (click here for TED talks) have attempted to reframe failure. They inform us that all good innovators and entrepreneurs have failures in their track record. They tell us that fear of failure will limit our willingness to take a risk, and leave us mired in mediocrity.

Topics: Events