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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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
Blog
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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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