That time I ignored Lynn Anderson’s advice

Somewhere at home there are pictures of Lynn and me, photos from the days before Social media or cell photos, they are lost in some box.  I’ve listened to Lynn all across the country, from St. Louis after his release of They Smell like Sheep to Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration, but my fondest memories of Lynn are from the […]

Seeking more Sensory services: abandoning the auditorium for the Sanctuary

I really find most of the Lenten posts on social media from people in our tribe to be trite.  Really quite sophomoric.  Acting like they’ve discovered something new, using unused words in our circles like “Liturgy” or they are somehow now supremely profound because they want to give up coffee, chocolate, or Facebook for Lent…, […]

The Lure of Legalism

Wineskins might not seem like the place to reflect on legalism, but it is.  How so?  Grace-minded people can’t afford to ignore legalism, no matter how foolish it seems to be.  This topic is vital to the health of the church-universal because legalism does more harm to the name of Jesus, it turns people away […]

“Tackling the taboo topic that’s killing some of us slowly”

man silhouette on tall brick wall

Currently I’m taking a medicine I can neither pronunce nor spell, it’s for depression.  I didn’t sulk under my own broom tree until my late-30’s, the idea of taking my own life hadn’t ever occurred to me before then — life gets hard when some of the people you minister to work against you. It […]

Cleaning Out the Clutter

I hadn’t ever thought about until recently, but, is it possible that living an uncluttered life is a spiritual discipline?  My maternal grandfather, “Father Bear,” was a hoarder. And when I say hoarder, yes he was just like the unimaginable type they film for cable TV — his house was beyond disgusting. Coming up through […]

After the Dust Settles

By Craig Cottongim The direction this article is taking: Address why church planting is more relevant now than ever in recent history, why many plants fail, clarify what a church plant is, and discuss the nitty-gritty of church plants. Why planting matters now With the Covid-19 crisis, many churches will run low on funds, fold […]

Who ministers to the ministers?

Chances are, your minster won’t tell you what I’m about to.  In no particular order, eventually, I want to share some insights with you into the inner world of being in ministry.   Before I get started, let me say, I’ve been preaching for over 25 years and I love the church and I enjoy […]

Love: You never really know until…

I really thought we belonged to a loving church, the kind that accepts broken and wounded people.  Lately I’ve learned it’s easy to pay lip service to being a loving and welcoming church, the type that doesn’t judge people. It’s easy to claim this when it’s in the abstract. It’s another story when you have […]

When you have a Love-Hate relationship with “The” church

It’s been nearly seven years since I’ve preached in a church of Christ.  And on certain nights I lose sleep, suffering through the nightmares that occasionally haunt me as scenes play out from old elder’s meetings, and the negativity cranky members spewed out.  So, I’m really not sure why I still engage in conversations surrounding […]

“The term “Pastor” isn’t just for October…”

Shortly after the discovery of fire and just before the end of the last ice age, I was a student at Harding. In one of our ministry classes, we were supposed to write a book review on a certain preaching textbook. I remember in my paper, critiquing the fact that the author used the term […]

Bivocatonal ministers, are they some sort of step-brother preacher?

Bivocational, it’s a term that not everyone is familiar with. It means to work two jobs simultaneously or to serve in two vocations at once. When applied to pastoral work, it is to serve in a church and to support oneself financially with some supplemental income from a secular occupation. Does this lifestyle have pros […]

When “Don’t judge me” seems like a cliché

In the really gripping stories, the bad guys have some secret weapon that seems to be overwhelmingly superior in strength to anything the good guys can muster, and with a bit of cunning, the enemy will surely thwart the good guys with their diabolical weapon.  In these enthralling stories, the bad guys always have some […]

Healing from Our Achilles Tendency

What I’ve loved about Wineskins for over two decades now, is its safe environment to exchange our new ideas, or to even stretch our comfort zone.  I would like to utilize this format now to raise an issue none of us really want to face head-on, yet this common struggle is decimating us. Take a […]