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...
Youth is not always a time of innocence. Sins of our youth can be real. They can cling to us through subsequent years...
What guidelines have you used when you paid for expenses for moving a minister? Here are some suggestions regarding move estimates, packing, and travel expenses for starting that conversation.
We are researching payroll software for our church. We are looking for something affordable (preferably under $100) to handle payroll for up to 5 employees and our minister...
We have had a non-CRC pastor (fully ordained with masters of divinity, cleared by classis, and submitting to our classically appointed councilor) helping us out. A member suggested that it is improper for this pastor to raise his hands during blessings or benedictions...
If you read Psalm 13 you'll find 2/3 of the poem is focused on the struggle. Giving voice to the pain. Expressing the frustration and worry. Only 1/3 – at the end – is about hope. Which is the way so much of life can be.
Some recent conversations got me thinking about some things that God does in and through the Village that are really, really good. I reflected on this because it is easy for me to see darkness rather than light...