For pastors, Christmas never really goes away. It sits there in our diaries, all year round, making a slight dent.
One of the great gifts that teaching at seminary gave me, was that I was forced to say out loud, in a copyable manner, the route I take from text to sermon. In fine detail. It forced me to become conscious of what I knew and did.
If this bible hasn’t been opened, I haven’t exposed my heart to God for myself that day, however much I’ve opened the bible for and before others.
The committee was stuck in the mud, revving its wheels like a stranded Land Rover.
Why shouldn’t we be in dread of the Last Trumpet? Won’t we leap to our feet, heart in mouth, when we hear it? Shouldn’t we tremble in death’s presence, and thrill at its defeat? Shouldn’t we preachers use all our skill too, to help people see God’s awesome glory?
If I write in my diary, ‘Sermon prep,’ and block in 2 hrs, I make progress, but it feels vague. I don’t really know how I’m doing, as I move towards Sunday.
It’s not hard for our folk to be fed by superb bible teaching from around the planet. Then they come to church on Sunday, and it’s plain old us.
It’s the old adage: if they’re not actually learning, then I’m not teaching – whatever else I think I’m doing.
This is an honest book, written by a sensitive Christian for a Christian readership, to help us to understand, embrace, sit with and pray for our sisters and brothers who face depression as a daily reality.
What if God doesn’t send us the talented and the gifted? What if he sends us work?
So here’s an idea. A group of pastors get together, to discuss a book that will be relevant for their ministry. Once a quarter.
Thermometers can tell you what’s happening, but they can’t change anything. Enter the thermostat.
When I became a Christian, all I needed to know was in a little booklet called Journey into Life, by Norman Warren. It clearly and simply explained the gospel and how to respond to it. And I did. Many thousands of people became Christians through that booklet. Then there was his follow-up booklet, called The
You’re probably facing a series of leadership questions in your church, but it’s important to see that your role might not be the same in each circumstance.
The translation, which my friend so enjoyed, and which has its funny side, was distracting him. A passage which should humble him before God’s throne, was making him giggle because it felt quaint.
I was recently talking through an idea with a friend, and he shrewdly asked, ‘What’s the problem this is trying to solve?’ And the mist cleared in my mind.
‘Ghosts’ are the habits, practices, customs of the past that don’t have any present value, but the organisation (church, group, whatever) still carries on with them.
When you’re a leader, it’s all too easy to be the hero. You’re the one with the answers, the vision, the ideas. You’re the pack leader, the team captain, the one who’s first over the top. And you know as well as I do, all the things that are wrong with that ‘big hero’ style.
It’s not that this kind of leader want to be the only person in the room – Diotrephes needed that church he could control – but he needed to be the leader in the room. And he’d break fellowship with an apostle to win.
Deadpan, cynical, dry – whatever the words you use, they describe a way of being humorous which undercuts encouragement.