Category Archives: leadership

Inspirational Leadership

Sir Ernest Shackleton was an explorer who wanted to be the first man to reach the South Pole and completely transverse Antarctica. Even today, with the NASA inspired insulated clothing we can purchase at REI, traversing Antarctica is a dangerous adventure; Shackleton’s adventure took place 100 years ago. He could not, of course, complete this undertaking alone, so he placed the following ad in a London newspaper. “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful.”* That is not a help-wanted ad that many of us would quickly respond to, even if we badly needed a job. Shackleton received thousands of responses! They were inspired an adventure, and a leader they believed in. Continue reading Inspirational Leadership

Messy Pastoring: To Perform or Not Perform a Wedding

Last Saturday I was planning on attending a wedding, as a guest, but less than two hours before the ceremony was to begin I received a phone call from the maid of honor, informing me that the person who was supposed to officiate the ceremony was in the emergency room, and requesting if I would conduct the ceremony. I chose to fill in, but now that I have more than one minute to reflect, I can ask myself if I ethically made the correct decision. Continue reading Messy Pastoring: To Perform or Not Perform a Wedding

SoulShift #6: Sheep to Shepherd

As I read this chapter, I recalled a cartoon I watched as a child. A wolf sits in a cave reading the newspaper. He reads the front page headline with delight. The U.S. Army has drafted the sheep dog for the war (WWII) effort. The wolf races from his den, down the hill to have a sheep lunch, but he is quickly and brutally rebuffed. The battered wolf returns to the cave to read the continuation of the news article below the fold line. The second headline reads: Continue reading SoulShift #6: Sheep to Shepherd

The Best and Worst of Youth Pastoring

Looking back on my youth ministry, I brought some of the best and worst ministry to the parents of my students (That was the best I had at the time). Like many youth pastors, I was a single Bible college student. Relationally, what I brought to the families was myself as an eldest sibling. With me, the parents had someone with whom they could trust their teens, to fortify the teachings they were giving their children, and perhaps a role model for the next steps of their teens’ lives. Continue reading The Best and Worst of Youth Pastoring

Best Sermon & Best Preacher Poll

I conducted a very unscientific poll to help guide some of my research for my preaching class next semester, and sent the following questions to some pastors I know:

  1. Excluding sermons contained in the Bible, what would you rate as the best, or among the best, Christian sermon ever preached? You can define “best” however you wish (led to many conversions, most often quoted, etc). If you can’t limit yourself to one, please give me a few from different eras.
  2. Excluding teachers contained in the Bible, who would you rate as the best, or among the best, Christian preachers? This person may be different from the preacher of question 1, as you consider the preacher’s total body of work, and again, if you can’t limit yourself to one, please give me a few from different eras. Continue reading Best Sermon & Best Preacher Poll

Missing the Cultural Shifts

As I have been considering topics and methodology for teaching Generation Y, I have come to the conclusion that the church, in general, and I specifically, have often been a step behind culturally.

I remember as a child of the 1970s hearing the conflict between older teachers of the church with the youth over rock music, as Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) was invented through groups such as Petra, Love Song and 2nd Chapter of Acts. The problem, as I see it, was that the musical shift had already taken place, otherwise those groups would not have existed. The church was fighting a battle that was already lost. In the 1980s, when I became a teenager, CCM was what our Christian parents preferred we listen to. Continue reading Missing the Cultural Shifts