Spiritual Leadership — The Prayer Life

On a retreat this past week, the Lord walked me through several New Testament letters, but he had me plant myself in 2 Timothy the most. There are some great thoughts on spiritual leadership I will build on. To be honest, it was also a brutal walk through a letter for me. It was personal and the Spirit really had to deal with me severely on some personal issues.  Read more

Church bashing

We may not think much of the Church in our American angst. We complain. We argue. We are always quick to point out what is “wrong” with the Church. Every particular season I will come across dozens of articles about what NOT to preach on a particular Sunday. (“Make sure you avoid these THREE mistakes on Mother’s Day”, etc.) Read more

The ministry of Jesus

As I meditate on Luke 6, I am drawn once again to the simplicity of Jesus’ ministry:

  1. Pray
  2. Raise up powerful disciples
  3. Teach
  4. Demonstrate the power of the Kingdom

All of it flowed out of prayer. I love Luke’s emphasis on prayer. It causes me to cry out, “Lord! I need to learn to pray!”

 

Politics and the Pulpit

May 4 being the National Day of Prayer, President Trump signed an Executive Order loosening control of what has been called the “Johnson Amendment.” Under the Johnson Amendment, it was to disallow direct political endorsements from the pulpit of particular candidates. If violated, the IRS could look into pulling the tax exemption status from a religious organization.  Read more

The necessity of the Church

“There are Christians, of course, who never put their names down on a membership list; there are Christians who refuse to respond to the call to worship each Sunday; there are Christians who say, ‘I love God but I hate the church.’ (Or, in our day, ‘I’m spiritual, not religious.’) But they are members all the same, whether they like it or not, whether they acknowledge it or not. For God never makes private, secret salvation deals with people. His relationships with us are personal, true; intimate, yes; but private, no. We are a family in Christ. When we become Christians, we are among brothers and sisters in faith. No Christian is an only child.” — Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

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The bravest church I know

There are churches, thousands of them all over the world, full of incredibly brave people. They aren’t always celebrated. Sometimes they are “large” in number, but don’t have very good tech people who give them a web presence and “platform.” That would be because they exist in countries outside the U.S., where it’s not as big a deal to think about “platform.” They just do the work of the Kingdom. Read more

The problem of ministry

I am working my way through In God’s Hands: The Spiritual Diaries of Pope Saint John Paul II. These are excerpts from his personal journals written during and after spiritual retreats through his life. One passage I’ve come across early on deals with ministry and issues he faced as a bishop in the Catholic Church at that time. They ring true for ministers in general it seems. Read more

Pastoring

Over my years of ministry we have longed ceased in my circles to call it “pastoring.” We have called it “leadership.” Pastors do indeed lead, but the way we have come to train ministers isn’t in the style of pastoring that has a leadership component. Read more