I’ve written about 50 articles for Preaching Today, Leadership Journal, and CT Pastors. Below are a few of my favorites. If you’d like to browse all my articles at their website, click the button below.
“Every morning I try to cut the heads off my highness—like Medusa.” Irma said that to me one morning. … Lowness, once you crawl there, is a safe place, a Sabbath for our souls where strivings cease. There is relief and blessing in being small.
After I’d prayed and worked hard on a sermon I’d wonder, did Jesus like it? When I listened well and responded wisely in a counseling session, did he think, “Nice job”? When I managed my frustrations in a meeting and was kind instead of abrupt, did he smile with satisfaction?
Pastors can be lAgents of Christ’s Presence. We must be determined enough, quiet enough, attentive enough to wait till we know that Jesus is right here with us in the room.
When Jesus appeared incognito to Cleopas and his fellow disciple on the Emmaus road they couldn’t make sense of Jesus’ death or the angels’ proclamation of his resurrection. Your people may be further down the road with Jesus than those two, but God put you among them, Bible in hand, to serve in Jesus’ stead.
Did anyone prepare you in seminary for the routine rigor of dying? Even when we occasionally heard that pastoring would be hard I don’t think we got the message that it was lethal. And repetitive! Jesus said that all his followers must take up their cross. All Christians must engage in dying when we walk with Jesus. But I think ministry leaders, if their souls are sensitive, are subject to more dying, deeper dying, than many others.
A record number of pastors have thought about quitting over the last year. No wonder. It’s been a killer season. I surely don’t need to reiterate the reasons. Recently I read and reread the litany of Paul’s soul-crushing trials in 2 Corinthians 6:3-10. Good grief, did that man suffer! But he just couldn’t quit. He wrote, “Since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” How was that possible?