Shepherding At Home

In this video, which was filmed at a nearby conference, I was asked about some of the concerns related to pastors and their families. I tried to briefly to remind church leaders of the temptations that draw us away from this primary calling. Transcript Pastors always need to remember that you’re qualified to ministry through your family, not apart from your family. So being a pastor doesn’t make you a good dad, being a good dad may help you become a pastor. …

A Pastoral Prayer from December

Last week I shared a sample pastoral prayer–one I prayed during one of our worship services at Grace Fellowship Church. In the coming weeks and months I will be sharing some more of these, some prayed by me and some by others. I am doing this primarily as a resource that may help inspire or kick-start others as they prepare to lead God’s people in prayer. Father, you are kind and good, while we are sinful and bad. Father, you …

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A Pastoral Prayer

One of the missing elements of modern worship is prayer, and especially prayers that are more than perfunctory. Especially lacking is the traditional pastoral prayer in which a pastor represents the congregation in praying for their needs and concerns. At Grace Fellowship Church we maintain this element and attempt to give it good effort. I’ve often gone looking for examples of pastoral prayers for purposes of inspiration and have found surprisingly few. I thought I might occasionally share one from …

Should We Make a Priority of Diversity in Church Leadership?

Over the past few weeks I’ve encountered a number of articles about diversity in church leadership. Specifically, I’ve seen discussions about whether churches should make diversity in their pastoral leadership a matter of priority or even consideration. Not surprisingly, given the medium of the internet and the current cultural context, many of these discussions have not gone very well. Living and ministering as I do in the most diverse city in the world, this is something I have had to …

How Can You Balance Life and Ministry and Your Passions and Hobbies?

At a recent event in India I was asked two interesting questions on a common theme: “How should a pastor balance his life outside of the church with his calling to ministry?” and “How should a pastor think about passions and hobbies outside of ministry?” These are issues I’ve thought about a lot and attempted to provide a helpful answer.   Transcript How should a pastor balance his life outside of the church with his calling to ministry? Yes, really, …

Death to the One-Year Rule!

There is no sin that cannot be overcome, no transgression that cannot be put to death, no consequence so grave it cannot be undone in 365 days. At least, that’s what you might think as you read about pastors and other Christian leaders who rise, fall, and rise again. It’s the unwritten but often-followed “one-year rule.” Every month, or every few months, at least, we hear of another pastor or ministry leader who has been exposed as a fraud, an …

Are You in the Dangerous Time In Between?

It is a thought that troubles me. It leads me to observe again the seduction of sin, to grapple once more with the weakness of the human heart, to consider anew the sheer darkness of depravity. It makes me wonder, could we, could I, be in the time in-between? Could I be oblivious to the reality that I am living in the time between the first blush of God’s gracious blessing and the crushing blow of his just discipline? I …

You, Yes You, Are a Minister!

Sometimes God’s truth goes into your life like a quiet whisper. Sometimes it goes in like a hand grenade. Have you had one of those times? One day you hear a sermon, or you have a conversation with a fellow church member, or maybe a friend confronts you with a sin they’ve seen in your life, and in a moment it’s like something inside has exploded. You suddenly see a sin you’ve never identified before, or you see an area …

Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture

There’s no doubt that life is difficult. We are finite creatures who encounter an infinite number of opportunities. This forces us to make constant decisions between better and best, between the millions of things we could do and the few we actually should do. We are also weak creatures who have limited strength, foolish creatures who have limited wisdom, and idolatrous creatures who cannot even trust our own hearts and minds. It’s no wonder, then, that we often find ourselves …

6 Marks of a Faithful Ministry

God is good to give us pastors. The very fact that God calls certain men to “care for the church of God” (Acts 20:28) proves that the church is in need of care. God gives us pastors because we need pastoring. But what is this ministry? How does a pastor minister to his people in a way that expresses due care and concern for them? Last week I spent some time studying Paul’s charge to the elders/pastors in Ephesus (see …