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
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
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
This third soul shift is to move from merely trusting in what we see to trusting in what we cannot see. Often this is called having eyes of faith, and has a great example in Elisha and his servant who were surrounded by both the seen army of Aram and the unseen protection of the host of the Lord (2 Kings 6). Continue reading SoulShift #3: Seen to Unseen
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
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:
- 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.
- 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
This post is not to criticize any of my youth pastor friends. We are writing job descriptions at my church, and I was wondering, if I ever became a youth pastor again, what would my philosophy be? Continue reading What does a youth pastor do?
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