moral train wreck

What does a sinner need to hear after a moral train wreck?

Quick Navigation Introduction: Why the brackets?The question: What does a sinner need to hear in the aftermath of a moral train wreck?1. A WOMAN2. THE ACCUSERS 3. A CHALLENGE4. THE VERDICTNotice the order of the verdict. A 3-Part TestimonyFive WordsAm I willing to give another sinner the gift of those five words?  The text for […]

Continue reading

Pastor, You (Too) are Complete in Christ

I served a church back in the 1990s where many folks in the congregation were members of the Country Club. As a pastor in my twenties, there was no way that I could afford to pay the membership fee, which I suspected was in the six-figure range. Nevertheless, I was invited to the club as […]

Continue reading

10 Ways to be a Great Lead Pastor for an Assistant Pastor

In a recent post, I proposed 4 ways to be a great Assistant Pastor. It is only appropriate to follow that up (and I probably should have led) with a post about being a great lead pastor for an AP.Here are some thoughts on ten ways to be a great lead pastor for an AP, derived […]

Continue reading

What Will It Take to Make Me a Missionary?

The Alarmy app for the iPhone has changed my life.The genius of this alarm is that, in order for the wake tone to be disarmed, I have to grab my phone, get out of bed, walk into the bathroom, and take a photo of my sink faucet. Taking that photo turns off the alarm.Since the […]

Continue reading
how to be a great assistant pastor

4 Ways to Be a Great Assistant Pastor

While I have been a lead pastor for almost fifteen years (a church planter for the past ten), my first ten years out of seminary were spent serving as an assistant pastor in churches ranging from under 200 to over 2,000 members. While I loved my seminary experience and learned a great deal about the Bible, […]

Continue reading

Pastor, Are You Taking Enough Vacation Time?

Quick Navigation Vacation as HolidayThe Sabbath PricipleExtended Time for RecoveryMental Energy and Physical LaborThree Rings of Rest and RenewalRing #1: A Weekly 24-Hour SabbathRing #2: An Annual 2-4 Week SabbathRing #3: A True SabbaticalConclusion Vacation as HolidayEuropeans call their vacations being on “holiday.” I love that. Holiday is a compressed version of holy day. Like Halloween […]

Continue reading

Why do sinners not flock to the church the way they ran to Jesus?

In his book, The Jesus I Never Knew, Author Philip Yancey shares a heartbreaking story about a woman living on the streets of Chicago who was “renting” her two-year-old daughter to sexually perverted men in order to support her drug addiction.The story was related by a friend of Yancey’s who worked with the down and […]

Continue reading

How to Overcome Being a Pastoral Poser

Contents and Quick Navigation Introduction: The Pastoral Pose1. The Pressure We Face2. The Danger of Success3. The Two Options4. The Source of Spiritual PassionConclusion: A Resume of Failures Introduction: The PoseIn 2001, Georgia Tech head coach, George O’Leary, left the Yellow Jackets to take over as head coach for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. […]

Continue reading

How to Have Your Sunday Sermon Ready by Wednesday

Quick Navigation The QuestionBenefitsTime StewardshipHere is How to Do ItNext Steps The QuestionIs it really possible to have your Sunday sermon ready by Wednesday? Yes. But why would I want to have my sermon ready by Wednesday? Well, there are some huge pastoral benefits.Benefits1. The message has more time to “simmer” during the second half of the […]

Continue reading

What is the Fundamental Entrance Requirement for Membership in the Kingdom of God?

Anyone who applies for admission to a university knows that there are entrance requirements. Typically, you have to have an accredited high school diploma. There is often a standardized test minimum score requirement. Sometimes, essays are required as well as participation in extracurricular activities and community service.In this post, we are going to talk about […]

Continue reading

What is the Essence of Faithful Pastoral Ministry?

Contents Avoiding Unbiblical ExpectationsBaseline IndicatorsAn Effective ModelPutting It Together Avoiding Unbiblical ExpectationsIn a previous post we discovered that pastors do not have to fit into a predesigned pastoral mold. In other words, we do not have to wear Saul’s armor.Every pastor brings a unique “gift mix” to his ministry, including a distinctive personality wiring that […]

Continue reading

Pastors, You Don’t Have to Wear Saul’s Armor

Contents One Size Fits All?Asking Honest QuestionsMy Divine DesignThe RubThe Voice of GraceAccepting My Limitations One Size Fits All?​The promotion that “one size fits all” is rarely true. It doesn’t work with gloves, shoes, shirts or pants. Even caps, wristwatches, belts, and other accessories usually need some kind of adjustment for a proper fit. The same is […]

Continue reading

A 5-Word Pastoral Manifesto

Contents A Cursed RobePastor as Vicar? ImplicationsA Five-Word Pastoral Manifesto From Now On A Cursed RobeIn April 1995, upon my ordination into gospel ministry as a pastor, I received a “Geneva gown” that was endued with a curse.Now, there was anything inherently sinful with the robe. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to wear clerical […]

Continue reading

Turn Your Stress List into a Prayer List with This 5-Step Process

Being grateful is not a natural inclination of my heart. In a recent post, I confessed that I complain far too easily and often.Sadly, I allow my mind to focus on my troubles and trials rather than on God’s sovereignty, Fatherly kindness, generosity, and sanctifying purposes. I heard a guy be asked how he was doing. […]

Continue reading

3 Reasons Why Preachers Shouldn’t Complain

Every rose has thorns. So does every vocation.While thorns (i.e., hardship, brokenness, sin, etc.) are a result of the fall, work itself isn’t.And like a rose, the presence of thorns doesn’t mean that work can’t be beautiful, even if it is frustrating and at times, painfully so.Since work is a reflection of God’s image in […]

Continue reading

7 Truths to Speak to Yourself Every Day

Although some would say that people who talk to themselves are manifesting signs of insanity or dementia, we speak to ourselves all the time. Every day.Often the things we speak to ourselves are lies.These lies take on a variety of shapes. For example, some of the lies concern our identity and what we must do in order to be […]

Continue reading

If I could just overcome this one problem

Okay, so I have more than one problem. But there is one that influences most all the others. If I could overcome it, I’d see so much progress in my life. So much change. So much good.I wonder if you have this problem, too. What is the problem?Thinking that there is someone out there who is a […]

Continue reading
why stay in a hard ministry

Should You Leave that Hard Ministry… or Stay?

When you find yourself in a tough spot, the natural reaction is to find a way out.For pastors, that often means looking for a “new call.” Sadly, many new calls are not to something better but merely from something hard.It is a way to escape. For some, a way to run for their lives. I totally get […]

Continue reading
how Christians grow

If “rooted in love” is the description of a holy man…

As you probably already know, Horatius Bonar was a pastor who ministered in Scotland in the 19th century (1808-1889). In an article entitled, “The Root and Soil of Holiness,” he deals with what produces the fruit of new life in true Christians. I have found this short blurb to be fuel for the soul that […]

Continue reading

Are You Ungodly Enough for Grace?

Table of Contents A Favorite BookWhy Am I Not Staggered by Grace?Confess and Cling A Favorite BookOne of my favorite books is Transforming Grace, by Jerry Bridges.It is a simple, but profound and deeply helpful exploration into what it means to live by faith in the justifying, adopting and sanctifying grace of God.One statement that […]

Continue reading
>