The Anxiety Behind the Humor

Sam TotmanSam Totman

Stress

How do you handle stress? We recently shot a quick Instagram post asking the question, “How do you handle stress?” For many people, stress is relatively manageable in several ways. For instance, Dr. Kris Barnett, my counterpart in the Instagram post, releases stress through exercise and taking it out on a punching bag at home. Exercise is one of the … Read More

Digital Wisdom and Teens

Sam TotmanLeadership, Ministry Tools, Sam Totman

I recently lead a small gathering of 50 or so youth ministers on the topic of technology and its influence on teen behavior. The number one question on everyone’s mind was “How can we help teenagers when it seems like they seem to know more than we do on this topic?” It’s a valid question but it need not be … Read More

Meetings that Engage People

Sam TotmanSam Totman, Uncategorized

Meetings Guy Standing Over Table

We’ve all worked for that person who used meetings as social gatherings, pulpits, and pep rallies rather than for more productive reasons. We leave thinking the leader could have summed up these hour-long life drains in a well-worded email. Maybe you have led some of those meetings, but what if there was a better way? John who wrote, “Though I have … Read More

When Leaders are Disillusioned

Sam TotmanChurch, LeadershipLeave a Comment

(This week’s blog postings are adapted from the theme address, “Preaching Under Pressure,” presented at the EK Bailey International Conference on Expository Preaching in July.) The church is struggling because the numbers are declining, the people are demanding, and the leaders are disillusioned. Pastors and church leaders are frustrated by the pressure of declining numbers compounded by the increased demands … Read More

Dealing with Demands

Sam TotmanChurch, LeadershipLeave a Comment

(This week’s blog postings are adapted from the theme address, “Preaching Under Pressure,” presented at the EK Bailey International Conference on Expository Preaching in July.) demands   Declining numbers are only one factor in the church’s struggle. The church is also struggling because the people are demanding. We live in a consumer-driven culture, where we want what we want when … Read More

When the church is struggling

Sam TotmanChurch1 Comment

(This week’s blog postings are adapted from the theme address, “Preaching Under Pressure,” presented at the EK Bailey International Conference on Expository Preaching in July.) struggling  Despite the myths we may hear, there has never been a “golden age” for churches in America. There have been times when the church has been stronger and other times when it was under … Read More

Rob Bell pushed to the wall

Sam TotmanChurch, News, TheologyLeave a Comment

There’s been lots of discussion in the evangelical blogosphere relating to Rob Bell’s new book, Love Wins. Early promotion for the book gave the impression that Bell is a universalist, but his defenders insisted we should wait until the book comes out before passing judgement. Well, the book is now out, and it looks like the early critics were pretty … Read More

Pastor – Love Your Family!

Sam TotmanLeadership, Ministry ToolsLeave a Comment

My friend Jerry Drace recently wrote this for Baptist Press. It is an important reminder to all of us who serve in church leadership: A young lady approached me with a solemn, somber expression in her brown eyes, trying to hold back the tears, as I left the church auditorium’s platform after extending the invitation. “I have a personal request,” … Read More