Controlling the narrative when it comes to church perception

 
For those of you who still need motivation to keep your church’s lawn nicely mowed, the facilities painted and not in need of repair, and encouraging words on your church sign, read on. “People perceive things about your church—one way or the other,” says Sam Rainer, pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Church in Bradenton. Later, he added: “As a pastor as you’re out in the community you should ask people: Hey, ...

New Grace in rural Florida is learning how to love its neighbors

 
New Grace Baptist Church in Florahome loves Jesus and seeks to serve Him by loving its community. Unfortunately, it appears to be largely an unrequited love—at least for now. New Grace Associate Pastor Jay Baker said people who settle back in this rural area, located about 30 miles east of Gainesville, typically have picked the location for a specific reason—to stay off the grid. “Most have purposely moved here to get away in their retirement, and ...

When rec league softball could be more important than Twitter

 
Should a pastor run for City Council or play on a City League softball team? Sam Rainer, pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Church in Bradenton, answers his own question with a qualified “yes.” I spent time with Pastor Sam recently as part of our ongoing interview series we call “Behind the Pulpit.” During our time together, I asked him to elaborate on a podcast of his where he talked about pastors building a personal platform. Here's ...