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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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On Funerals, Comfort and the Gospel

Funerals, like weddings, are family matters. So says, the church order. But it is never so simple. Families are part of communities. We come together, usually in church, to remember a person and comfort each other in the light of the good news of Christ... 

PastorsWorship
Blog
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“Outreach” Must Have Two E's!

We hear a great deal about our Biblical mandate to get the gospel out to the lost. What we see from the earliest days of the New Testament phase of the church is that their outreach was twofold: (1) evangelism and witness, (2) encouragement and comfort.

Pastors
Blog
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Mom and Pop vs. Big Box Church

Many church members see the church as a service organization — one that should be “serving” them. But is that really what the church is to be? I would say no.

Pastors
Blog
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Sermon-Centricity on Sunday

Little attention has been given to the role of the sermon. Yet, according to a recent survey, the sermon is the focal point of the Sunday service. Here’s the backstory to that research.

PastorsWorship
Blog
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Picking Up a Calendar

I spent a couple of days in Phoenix visiting Mom. This past year we agreed that she shouldn’t drive anymore. She had been getting lost and confused and had difficulty seeing. It was traumatic for her, but she handed us the keys...

Pastors
Blog
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God's Own Fool

I’ve seen pastors happy and sad, fresh and broken. I remember one pastor telling me how he made sure his son didn’t go into the ministry. He didn’t want him making THAT mistake. I was glad I wasn’t his son.

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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Christmas = “Bedlam”

When I long for a nice quiet Christmas like so many of those seen only on Christmas cards, I take a deep breath and remember that Christmas has never been nice and quiet--never! The gloria sung in the highest that first Christmas was sung over the din of the uproar coming from an over-crowded Bethlehem...

Pastors
Blog
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An Evangelizing Joy

I have been making my way through Pope Francis’ exhortation: Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel. This document is a call for Christians everywhere to re-engage the biblical call of evangelization. 

Pastors
Blog
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Of Rob Ford and Pastors

For two decades ever more frequent scandals involving clergy have surfaced in many communions. Many of those crimes were covered up by bishops or other denominational judicatories. Small wonder that surveys that measure trust in people in public positions of authority have ranked clergy as low or lower than politicians...

Pastors
Blog
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Advice or Imperative: How Can We Know?

As I was preparing for a sermon series in the New Year regarding reconciliation, I got to thinking about Greek imperatives. Maybe some of you experts out there can help me. Can you tell us anything about the relative strength of an imperative in Greek?

Pastors
Blog
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Fallow Month

December is ‘Fallow Month’ — or at least it is at the Village Church in Tucson — because we sensed that the stresses of the season had worn our people to a frazzle and that, instead of being a time of joy and grace, it had become something to get through and survive.

Pastors
Blog
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Gospel-Driven Productivity

Laziness doesn’t necessarily mean (although it can be) sitting around and doing nothing. Laziness is often doing many things without prayerfully examining if these are the best ways to use our time. In ministry, it’s easy for us to be busy doing the wrong things.

Pastors
Blog
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What to Preach at Christmas

Preaching fresh, inspiring messages at Christmas can be a real challenge. As I thought about this, I determined that one of the main problems we face is what I call the Christmas mythology. 

Pastors
Blog
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Going Deep in the Pastorate

In small-town and rural America, you not only serve your congregation, you serve the whole county you're in and sometimes beyond. Because rural people are so tied together and families are scattered here and there, every pastor ends up pastoring everybody...

PastorsRural
Blog
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Ministry and Mental Health

I'm a pastor who has ADHD, and I know the effects it has on day-to-day life. So how do we minister to those who deal with mental and/or behavioral health issues?

Pastors
Blog
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Imagining a Church Without...

I wonder what it would look like to be a church without a budget, or a pastor, or even a building. What insights do you have about discovering what it means to be a church when you don’t have one or more of these resources to rely on? 

Pastors
Blog
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Thoughts about Preaching

This last Sunday I preached at Stephenville CRC because their pastor is on vacation. This church did not know me at all to begin with, but because I am an ordained Minister of the Word in the CRC, this church in Stephenville trusted me to come and declare God's Word to them and how it should convict them of sin, change their lives, and give them hope. Wow!...

Pastors
Blog
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Flippant Greeting Disorder

I said, “Hi!”  She smiled and said, “Fine, thank you.”  I had a millisecond of mental short circuiting but then realized that she answered a question I did not ask.  To my chagrin, I realized that I had just encountered one more perpetrator of “flippant greeting disorder.”  It’s not an official diagnosis but I believe our culture needs to be healed of it...

Pastors

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