How do we, as pastors, balance being a challenging, forward-focused leader with being a warm and gentle pastor who comforts?
My expectations are often merely another form of the Law. They are my expectations of how I think the world should be. They are my beliefs about my importance, my plans, my destiny, my life. The problem is that they also often do not match what God plans for me. All these expectations do is condemn me. They make me miserable. They place the law of sin ...
There is no idea more central to the NT than the importance of the gospel. It is the "good news" of Jesus. It is the message of Jesus and the message of the Church. I sure wish it was that easy! Wouldn't it be great if everyone knew and understood what the gospel is, what it means, and how to proclaim it? I am saddened that even within my peer group (pastors) there is...
"If you seek God's hand, you will miss His face. If you seek His face, you will get His hand also." I have to say this quotation hits the nail on the head as to why so many folks are not effective in their prayer life. They seek God's blessing on their work and life without seeking God's searching, purifying, and transforming grace. I know I have lived this way all too often. I have prayed...
Yesterday I picked up an old book by a "futurist." As I re-read and pondered Leonard Sweet's book Soul Tsunami, I was impressed with his vision for the future. Writing in 1999 at the turn of the millennium, I think he nailed some important concepts for ministry that have marked the last 10 years.
In Classis this past week, a fellow pastor stood up and shared his experiences in the CRC and our outreach efforts. He shared that since the mid-1980s, we have twice the amount of the churches we once did with the result of less on our membership roles. He shared that we have raced after different outreach models- the Crystal Cathedral, Willow Creek, Saddleback- and still nothing changed.
“Peter Berger captures the style of witness that is dead to most people today: ‘A peculiar mixture of arrogance (‘I know the truth’) and benevolence (‘I want to save you’) has always been the chief psychological hallmark of missionary activity.’ People can smell this combination of arrogance and benevolence a mile away...
All too often pastors, especially young pastors, try to act like they have all the answers; like they are the experts. Well technically they are. Unfortunately, what they are missing is the grace of God that comes through life.
Last month at youth group, I asked, "What is faith." I got some shallow answers and then one of my youth leaders commented, "You know, I just do not know for sure sometimes." That got me thinking. What difference does faith make in the small things in life?
Jack Hayford writes about leadership from the biblical perspective of a shepherd and sheep. He affirms that pastors must lead like a shepherd. What does this mean? A shepherd feeds, protects, and cares for his sheep. If he does not do these basic tasks, he is a bad shepherd, a mere hired hand...
I thank you all for the comments. I think each comments looks at the question from different angles, and each perspective is important.
Since I wrote this post, I have continued to think...posted on: Pastor and Visionary Leader?
Amen Ryan! I do not know you, but it is so good to know someone else is tracking along the same path! The gospel is central to all. It leads us to authentic humility because we recognize our...posted on: The Gospel Affects Everything
I should have read more before responding to your first post!
To be completely unfair, Your issue is that you are a convinced openness of God proponent who denies total...
Where to start? First, I encourage you to read other articles I have written so as to know that I would not, nor do I think we ever should ignore the fact, the reality, and the...
A great question. Sorry for the delay in responding. I did not check the Network for comments until today.
I think all of them are missing at different times and by different groups. If...
As with others, I appreciate being asked this question. After some thought, I believe I needed to know:
1.) How pastoral ministry functions within different sized churches. Leadership and...
Again, I thank you for the clarification and comments. I have taken two days to respond to this post because I wished to think about how to respond or even if I should. As I stated...posted on: Today's Compelling Story of Grace
Dear Henry- I thank you for your comment. You focus on Christ is very refreshing. As I understand you, you wish to emphasize Christ in your witnessing. You are deeply concerned and troubled...posted on: Today's Compelling Story of Grace
I am not a CRC native. I am one of those under 50 folks who grew up basically unchurched in a Protestant liberal tradition, became a believer in Jesus, and then grew to understand and appreciate...posted on: Our Confessional Crisis
Really? The concept of adoption including the full rights of sons for male and female is offensive? For Paul, the awesome news of the gospel was that all of us, male and female, could...posted on: What is "Sonship"?