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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
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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
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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
1818 views
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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
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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The Next Big Thing?

With the rise of the Millennial generation and the coming of what looks like a long economic downturn, thinkers in the field of church planning are beginning to write about the future of the local church and what it will soon look like. There’s not agreement on all predictions, but one thing has common agreement: the day of the mega-church model...

Pastors
Blog
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Exegete This!

Have you “exegeted” your church? “Hunh? Don’t we exegete the Bible?!” you may say. Yes, that’s what we do; we exegete the Bible. But I’ve learned over my lifetime, that we all have our own theologies on several levels. We say we “believe” certain things--that’s one level of theology. We live out certain beliefs--that’s another level of theology. And we are surrounded...

Pastors
Blog
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Mentoring and Coffee

There is a need to mentor those who are up and coming in leadership. Those who are still in the church and wanting to know their place in the world and in God’s world. We want to know why young adults and post-high are leaving the church. Why aren’t we mentoring them? Why aren’t we taking time to teach them what it means to be men and women of God?...

Pastors
Blog
359 views
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The Cost of Leadership

I just read When God Shows Up: A Pastor’s Journey. The bulk of the book is about the author's ministry, and in particular, a church conflict during the turbulent 70s and 80s, when the charismatic movement affected many established churches. It's a story of excited believers and disappointed ones, of emotional agony and painful misunderstanding, of people...

Pastors
Blog
210 views
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Working with Our Natural Rhythms Instead of Against Them

Life has seasons and rhythms. In a garden, there are times of planting, growth, harvest … and also time for the ground to lie fallow. Trying to fight these rhythms is foolish. It is like trying to surf between waves, instead of waiting to ride the waves. By the end of the day you’ve worn yourself out, and you wouldn’t have ridden the board much either...

Pastors
Blog
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Deep Skimming: What Would You Recommend?

Last month I asked for your help in co-teaching the Leadership in Ministry course at Calvin Seminary. Thank you for the great insights and questions that were provided. As we continue the conversation, what book would you recommend that our students dive into as part of their surveying the literature and gaining their bearings for their journey as servant leaders?

Pastors

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