I expected CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) to be really difficult, and it is—but not for the reasons I expected. I anticipated emotional distress from being around critically ill people, but instead I found...
A few years ago I met a person who was preparing for ministry as a second career. I didn’t ask the question that crossed my mind, which was “Have you looked at the job market lately?”
There are many different scenarios in which the name or title is important. We might base decisions on which books to read or movies to see based upon a name. But what about sermons, how important is the name?
At the CRC Synod, as usual, a raft of new candidates for the ministry was approved. This year there were 44 names on the list. I do pray they will all get a call someday soon...
The Church and Minister Profile Forms have been streamlined and are attached for quick download.
My father was ordained as an evangelist. Though he served under a different title, the work he did is not that much different from what I do as a minister of the Word.
I often ask people what they were planning for the next event that could not be accomplished without God’s intervention.
The pastor, by virtue of his or her position, will influence, to one degree or another, the life and ministry of a congregation.
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...