Play Where the Coach Puts You!

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Pastoral Ministry | 6 comments

It was only the first night of a weeklong revival. But this young preacher was wiped out. It was the first night of the meeting for the congregation. But it was my third week of preaching in a row. And I was tired. I had traveled all day without eating. I had to get a bite before I turned in. We ended up at a restaurant with a group of other pastors. To my surprise, one of my preaching heroes was there. And I had the opportunity to chat him up...

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A Neglected Key to Effective Ministry

Posted by on Mar 27, 2014 in Pastoral Ministry, Preaching | 7 comments

I studied what scripture teaches about spiritual leadership. And my eyes were opened about how the Lord governs his church. But I hit a sticking point. I had not seen what I was learning done in any church that I knew. I needed some advice. So I made an appointed with a pastor I respected. I told him what I learned and asked how he viewed the issue. He agreed with me, clarified my thoughts on some points, and affirmed that I was headed in the...

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A Strategic Part of Your Ministerial Call

Posted by on Mar 21, 2014 in Pastoral Ministry | 5 comments

One of my associates preached our early service some years ago. He preached the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). His introduction focused on the fact that it was a story about a father who was there for his two sons and took care of their needs. As a sinner listening to the message, I was moved. As a preacher listening to the message, I couldn’t help but think that I would have never thought of getting into the text that way. It was...

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In Praise of Long Pastorates

Posted by on Mar 6, 2014 in Pastoral Ministry | 8 comments

My orientation to pastoral ministry is bent toward long pastorates. My father served the church I grew up in for more than forty years. My adopted dad has also served his congregation for forty years. My own pastor has served his congregation for thirty-five years. And most of the men who have shaped my faith, theology, and ministry philosophy have had long pastorates. Of course, not every man is cut out for long pastorates. The calling of the...

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Prominence and Significance Are Not the Same Thing

Posted by on Jan 16, 2014 in Pastoral Ministry | 3 comments

For many years, I served a church in the shadows of many so-called “megachurches” in my city. This was not a thing for me. I believed my congregation was, pound-for-pound, just as strong and healthy and fruitful as these larger congregations. But there were times when I felt the pressure to measure up to other congregations. This pressure was self-inflicted. At points, I foolishly accepted the deception that numbers, prominence, and...

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“What’s Really Going On?”

Posted by on Dec 20, 2013 in Pastoral Ministry | 6 comments

I am a  pack rat. My church staff is trying to go paperless. I just bought a new file cabinet to make room for all the various files I keep. Some are decades old. Not long ago, I found a filed article entitled, “What’s Really Going On?” I won’t mention the name of the author. And you wouldn’t know her if I did. But this article helped save my ministry. It was the early 1990s. And I was getting beat up pretty bad in a church fight. Actually, it...

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