Few, if any, students arrive at Calvin Seminary thinking they already know theology very well. But some do arrive at seminary convinced they already know how to preach...
The 'dating dance' that congregations do can appear rather erratic. An experienced interim can certainly be most effective in helping a church determine the right person and direction...
The “rubbing off” of the Christian partner’s faith to the non-Christian one must be the noble aim of a marriage between a couple that is unequally yoked.
Have you ever talked about immigration from the pulpit? The Office of Social Justice invites you to participate in the Immigration Preaching Challenge as a way to respond to God's call to be truth tellers.
After an unexpected encounter with the Holy Spirit, I regularly ask this question, "How can I, along with the church I serve, be enabled to discern and obediently cooperate with the guidance of the Holy Spirit?"
Two unrelated conversations with two different church leaders: our church began its decline when, at a particular moment in the history of our congregation, the leadership tried to control the Holy Spirit...
The perennial lure of idolatry--not just measured by some kind of human-fabricated actual statue made of solid materials of wood, or stone, or kryptonite,--is that they are creations of the human imagination.
Note: this is a fuller explanation of a bullet point in another blog post, which you can read here.
Grating or Cross-wired Expectations summary explanation
In the ash-heap, there is very very often evidence indicating a problem with expectations. Most often, unstated expectations...
Fire alarms in homes detect indicators of a pending problem and sound a warning. Could we develop something equivalent for churches? What would such a detector sniff for?
For many people, the last three places they would want to be is a funeral, a hospital or a hospice care center. I think these are the best places you could go if you want to grow in faith.
“The extremely long pastorates of our day place a great strain on many a congregation and especially upon its minister.”That comment may sound familiar, but it is not new.
My church is embarking on a journey of pastoral transition. Transitions are hard. My greatest dream for this process is that we take every opportunity to model grace and patience.
"Hard" or "conflicted" partings of ways between pastors and congregations are steeply on the rise. So my question is, are there measurable pre-indicators of a potential "fire" in a congregation?
Clergy and their families are in highly visible positions and are often expected to meet numerous, and sometimes unrealistic, expectations from congregations. What could be done to prevent this?
“...the use of themes and sermon series is the new wave in 21st century congregational worship." But then I wondered. Are all series or themes equal? What makes for a good series?
As a pastor, one of the greatest joys I’ve had in the pulpit has been precisely in uncovering the real stories of Scripture, especially the ones that got sanitized in Sunday School or Christian dayschools.
As a result of being a church pastor in the same church for sixteen years, I have come to the conclusion that the DNA of church planting is in alignment with the DNA of church renewal...
Of all the work we do in this world, how much of it causes Jesus Christ to rejoice?
Jesus did tell us to love our enemies, pray for them, turn the other cheek, and a few other radical things that start to look a whole lot more radical if in fact you end up having actual enemies...
Even through times of deep depression, his ministry remained directed toward helping people in their struggles, encouraging them not to lose faith in God.
Throughout the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth, American Protestants identified four primary functions for their pastors. What do we expect of our pastors today?
In Scripture, we see YHWH triumphing over pagan gods. Are there any books or articles that compare/contrast the various Greco-Roman gods with the ministry of Jesus?
“All my pastoral work consisted to spelling out the gospel orally to anyone who would listen. And since an awful lot of talking went on among us, the gospel spread rapidly.”
There’s a lot about New Year’s to love. I value the opportunity to both recollect the past year, doing an inventory of sorts, and to anticipate the new year.
Someone said to me, “I don’t do nursing homes.” Perhaps you feel the same way. If you have – may I gently tap you on the shoulder? ‘Cause I’m wondering if turning away is really an appropriate option...