I recently came across a powerful quote from an 18th century English pastor named Job Orton. Ironically, he wrote to the ministers of his day about doctrinal compromise. The struggles of churches nearly 300 years ago are the struggles of churches today.read more
I will never forget the question. I had been the pastor of our church for all of two weeks when a leader in our church approached me after a service and asked, “So Pastor, where is our church heading?” It felt strange and awkward, then heavy and humbling. Real people with real lives were now looking to me to set a course for the future of their church.read more
There is one common pressure that every pastor feels regardless of the size of his congregation, the structure of his schedule, or the season of his ministry. This tension is felt in the reality that Sunday is always coming. Don’t get me wrong—I love Sundays, and I love what God allows me to do as a shepherd of His flock.read more
In just the first daylight hours of this week, I have sent out several texts that perfectly capture in a microcosm the wide range of emotional connections required in pastoral ministry. The recipients included a younger couple who just bought their first home together, a dear wife aiding her husband’s battle for his life against cancer, a group of faithful deacons willing to launch out by faith, and a couple celebrating yet another anniversary grieving a still-born child.read more
Jonathan Morrow in Foundations of Spiritual Formation said, “Spiritual formation is divinely enabled by God through three essential resources: God’s Word, God’s Spirit, and God’s people (the church).” Of these 3 essential resources, which do you think is the most neglected resource, and why is it the most neglected?
I would argue that the church is, perhaps, the most neglected spiritual formation tool. This is based on both the positive emphasis the Bible puts on the need for fellowship in community, and the negative impact we see on those who isolate themselves.
In a world where big tech companies push a yearly update of their flagship devices, outdoing themselves with bigger, better, and faster than last year’s model, there is a permeating philosophy of customizing everything for the customer current needs. All of the sudden, past market trends are obsoletes or become merely historical data, and new market research or focus groups tests are performed all over again. While this consumeristic mentality is damaging in so many levels, it does not even compare to the danger that it presents when it infiltrates church, particularly in the area of preaching.read more