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Worshiping the Triune God: The Prelude

As much as I enjoy a few quiet moments before the worship service to prepare my heart for what is coming, I’m actually more concerned about the preparation that occurs throughout the week.

Worship
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Summer Break Reminders

This is the last week of our summer break. Accordingly, I want to reflect a bit on our experience. As I take a moment to think about it, I’ve been reminded of at least three things over the last month.

Pastors
Blog
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The Daunting Task of Preaching

One of my pastoral priorities for this quarter is preaching. Accordingly, I’m reading Cornelius Plantinga Jr.’s, Reading for Preaching (Eerdmans, 2013). I appreciate the guidance that Rev. Plantinga gives in his book. 

Pastors
Blog
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Alpha Still Works!

We recently conducted an Alpha course as part of the Alberta 2013 Alpha movement. I’d heard many positive testimonies about Alpha but wondered since it had been around so long — would it still work?

Pastors
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Flourishing in the 40s

“How will you flourish in your forties?” My mentor asked me this question last year, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.  And with my fortieth birthday only days away, it’s on my mind a lot.  I’ve thought of this question in terms of my personal life, but also in terms of my pastoral life. I know the two are intricately related, but...

Pastors
Blog
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Learning About Leadership from the Green and White

I don’t wear a carved out watermelon on my head on game day, but yes, I’m a Saskatchewan Roughriders fan. It just so happens that at the time of writing, this team is 8 and 1. An impressive record especially in a league where the regular season is only 18 games long. So, how have the Riders done it?  What can we learn about leadership from the Green and White?...

Pastors
Blog
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Can I Really Do This?

We just returned from vacation. But now, on my second day back on duty, I’m asking myself: “Can I really do this?” For the most part, I enjoy being a pastor.  But today I’m not so sure I want to do this.  Happily, August is generally a quieter month. But I know September is coming and I’m not sure I want to face the demands that lie ahead.  What’s a pastor to do?...

Pastors
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Listening to God Through Reading

I recently attended a conference on spiritual leadership. The conference teacher encouraged us all to read many books on leadership. But he also encouraged us to spend considerable time reading books spiritually. So what does this mean? Spiritual reading is about quality, not quantity. It is to read a book with this question in mind...

Pastors
Q&A
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Have you ever had a person ask you to re-baptize her, and how did you respond?

I just finished leading a discipleship class with some senior high students. I thank the Lord for the way he blessed this class! On the last meeting, I invited students to publicly profess their faith and/or be baptized. Happily, one young lady expressed her desire to follow Jesus and be re-baptized . She was baptized as an infant, and sincerely wants to become a devoted student of Christ. But she feels that in order to do that, she must be re-baptized. I encouraged her to talk to her parents about this matter (her dad is an elder in our church), and then we would chat further about it. Have...
Pastors
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Three Bits of Advice for New Pastors

When I met soon-to-be-retired Pastor Neil in the first community that I served as pastor, I saw a golden opportunity. “Pastor Neil, would you be willing to give me an hour of your time before you retire and give me some advice?” Perhaps he saw a golden opportunity, too, for he gladly agreed. The following headings highlight the three bits of advice that I received from Pastor Neil that day...

Pastors
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The Joy of Generosity

It was recently observed that although our weekly worship service attendance had increased steadily over the last few years—thanks be to God!—our weekly giving had not. Why? My mentor reminded me this isn’t necessarily a bad sign, as our church does bring in people with little if any church background. For some of those folks, giving to the church is a new thing, and must be taught. So that’s what I set out to do...

DeaconsPastors
Q&A
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Does anyone have a council spiritual retreat program that we could borrow?

I'm delighted that our church council will go on a spiritual retreat this spring--thanks be to God! I think this is a significant step for us as a leadership team as we week to play and pray together and dream God's dreams for our church. However, we've never done this before, so I'm wondering if anyone has a program our outline that we could borrow as we design our own retreat plan.
Pastors
Q&A
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How do we train Sunday School teachers for the long-term health of our Sunday School programs?

I'm very thankful for all of our Sunday School teachers. They are all gifted people and they sacrifice their time to disciple our children. However, I'm concerned about the long-term health of our Sunday School program. We are often short of teachers and our overall program is not unified. I think it's time to conduct an annual training and visioning session for Sunday School teachers. Does anyone have a program or outline that I could borrow?
Children's Ministry
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5 Lessons, 5 Years of Ordained Ministry

I recently celebrated five years of ordained pastoral ministry. Not a big deal, I know, but significant for me. So what have I learned in my first five years? Obviously many things, but a few particular lessons come to mind...

Pastors
Blog
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Establishing 'Beachheads'

I just finished reading Kent Carlson and Mike Lueken’s book, Renovation of the Church (IVP Books, 2011). What an interesting and thoughtful read! I saw myself and my church in their story many times. The last chapter was especially intriguing, where they sought to cast a vision for the future. Borrowing a metaphor from Dallas Willard, they encourage the church to establish “beachheads.” 

Pastors

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