Faithful Pastors in Pandemics

I think faithful pastors are heroes right now. I have nothing to take away from the hard work and suffering of those we consider to be first responders during the COVID pandemic. Nurses, doctors, police and fire, grocery workers, delivery drivers, a lot of teachers, and so many more, have all extended themselves in 2020... Continue Reading →

Pastor on Prow and at the Wheel

Pastors face pressure all the time from people both within and from without their congregation. Christians have varying sets of expectations of pastors, and people with no particular religious affiliation also believe they know what pastors should be doing. In a twist of very-like-a-human irony, people who hate the idea of God also think they... Continue Reading →

Abdicating Leadership Roles

As we approach the time of the year when schools normally reopen, some teachers and teachers’ unions are making their views abundantly clear. Some are staging body bags in front of their district buildings while others are signing their wills and leaving them on the steps of city hall. Not only is this melodramatic, rivaling... Continue Reading →

Prophets or Mirrors

“The wind shall shepherd your shepherds…” Jeremiah 22:22 Jeremiah’s calling was not easy. Babylon was knocking on the door and God’s people were astray. God sent Jeremiah to speak his word to his people, pleading with them to return. God promises several times that if they return to him, worship him alone, and do justice... Continue Reading →

Ephesians 4, Quarantine, and the Church

I started preaching through Ephesians a few weeks before the Coronavirus pandemic. In study, I was struck by the Ephesians 4 model of church leadership and spiritual gifting in a new way. Before the phrase “social distancing” entered our lexicon, I held my annual reviews with staff and began to lay the groundwork for how... Continue Reading →

Splitting over Same Sex Marriage

If you are not looking for it, you will miss the news that one of the West’s oldest Protestant denominations is on the verge of a schism. A council of Bishops in the United Methodist Church proposed a resolution that will be voted on later in 2020 aimed at separation. If the vote passes, which... Continue Reading →

The Pulpit is Clarifying for Me

The pulpit is a clarifying moment for me. The week is full of schedules, conflicts, personalities, requests, expectations, successes, failures, budgets, attendance records, politics…you get the idea. Preparing for standing behind the pulpit is a regular exercise of focusing everything through the lens of God’s Word and truth. But don’t get me wrong – I... Continue Reading →

Pastors, Reading, and John Welsey

I worry sometimes about the lack of intellectual and moral leadership from behind the pulpit. I’m not necessarily pining for days of former glory when sermons were published in the local newspaper; I worry for the present and our near future. The people in our pews live in a high-speed hyper-information age where ideas come... Continue Reading →

Local Churches and a Bad Rap

If you spend a fair amount of time reading books and articles on the state of the local, evangelical church, you might come away with some pretty negative perceptions. Pastors who read a lot of this kind of stuff can also come away with the sense that if they are not trying to accomplish a... Continue Reading →

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