Archives For Faithful Discussions

I read an article by Jen Hatmaker in the Washington Post titled, “How a Consumer Culture Threatens to Destroy Pastors.” While I agree that our culture is a threat to pastors, I wondered whether we place too much emphasis on culture and not enough on our need to create boundaries and realistic expectations. (This spoken from a minister.)  What if we looked at ourselves and asked, “How do I make ministry harder than it needs to be?”  Below are five ways:

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1. It Feels Good to Be Needed

Ministers love to be loved. And one of the best ways to be loved is to feel needed. Yes, I’ll teach Bible study; yes, I’ll preach 45+ Sundays a year; yes, I’ll visit everyone in the church every month. Congregants love these ideas and pastors (myself included) love to be needed.

2. We Think Ministry Only Happens When We Are Present

It is a hard pill to swallow when a minister sees a successful ministry that s/he isn’t leading/creating/nurturing. This speaks to our need to be needed and how we often assume (we all know what that word means) we need to be the leaders/facilitators/guides for every ministry. Continue Reading…

An excerpt from BE HOLY

First Peter states, “be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”[1] What do you think it means to be holy? We find it again in Ephesians when we read that God “chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy.”[2] And in the last chapter of the last book of the Bible we read, “Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”[3]

The command to “be holy” echoes throughout scripture and should be understood as a challenge to live our lives differently. Over and over we read passages in which God calls us to repent or turn from what we know and reorient our lives in a new direction. God calls us to be holy—to orient our lives in a new direction—to be set apart for, with, and from.

Continue Reading…

BCCI am just about to complete another 2.5 weeks in Chicago as a student of the ACTS DMin in Preaching Program (an excellent doctoral program for those of you who might be interested!!)

As a student of this program, I have been blessed with the opportunity to sit down with some of the great minds in the homiletic world to discuss theories and practices like the theology behind proclamation, the structures and models for sermons, why leadership from the pulpit matters, how to better embody the sermon, and what it means to preach the good news. Great stuff!!

One of the courses I took this last round was “Preaching as Celebration” led by Dr Frank Thomas. He teaches that all preaching should culminate with the celebration of the good news discovered in each text or the larger narrative of scripture – and that people will always better remember that which they celebrate. Continue Reading…