The Bottom Line of Christian Ministry

Posted by on Apr 3, 2013 in Ministry, Pastoral Ministry, Pastoral Work, Preaching | 4 comments

In the business world, the bottom line is the last line of a financial statement that shows profit and loss. It is about whether the company is earning or losing money. And, as they say, the bottom line is the bottom line. Every field of life and labor has a bottom line. In business, it is making money, earning profits, and increasing revenue. In education, it is passing tests, making grades, or earning a degree. In sports, it is winning games,...

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Well-Intentioned Dragons

Posted by on Apr 21, 2009 in Pastoral Work, Quotations | 14 comments

Dragons, of course, are fictional beasts – monstrous reptiles with lion’s claws, a serpent’s tail, bat wings, and scaly skin. They exist only in the imagination. But there are dragons of a different sort, decidedly real. In most cases, thought not always, they do not intend to be sinister; in fact, they’re usually quite friendly. But their charm belies their power to destroy. Within the church, they are often sincere,...

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Leading the Way Jesus Led

Posted by on Dec 2, 2008 in discipleship, Pastoral Work, spiritual leadership | 3 comments

Many spiritual leaders find themselves trapped in a church dominated by the surrounding culture of success. Nothing fails like success and that is so true of spiritual leaders who have mimicked models of leadership other than that of Jesus. The leader gets trapped in the “church world’s” version of success with its rewards and punishments. The great temptation is to climb the ecclesiastical ladder, but then you find yourself...

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A Minister’s Evils

Posted by on Oct 4, 2008 in Pastoral Work, Prayer, The Valley of Vision | 5 comments

Blessed Spirit of God, Four evils attend my ministry – The devil treads me down by discouragement and shame    arising from coldness in private meditation. Carelessness possesses me from natural dullness and dimness of spirit;     because in the past I have met with success        and have been highly regarded,     so that it does not matter if I have now...

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Pastoral Vision vs. Vain Self-Image

Posted by on Jul 23, 2008 in Books, Calvin Miller, Pastoral Work, Quotations | 4 comments

It struck me one day in a Christian bookstore that most of the “church growth” books I picked up in that store were not books on vision but on image. They hadn’t been published to help me see the world in a particular way but to help the world see me – were I a megachurch pastor – in a particular way. They were books that enticed the pastor of limited self-image to be like somebody else the world admired. What a...

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The Pastor’s Public Ministry

Posted by on Feb 8, 2008 in Book Review, Pastoral Work | 0 comments

I have just finished one of the most helpful and challenging little books on pastoral ministry that I have ever read (For the record, it always seems that whatever I just finished reading is the most important book I’ve ever read.): The Pastor’s Public Ministry by Terry L. Johnson (published by Reformed Academic Press). Terry Johnson pastors the Independent Presbyterian Church of Savannah, Georgia. I first heard of Johnson when I was...

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