A Place to Preach or a People to Pastor?

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I had extended conversations this week with five young pastors. The longest serving just reached five years of ministry. The rest hover around three years. Each pastorate has been challenging. Some serve older congregations stuck in a 1950s time warp. Other congregations bow up at even the hint of change. Still others have shown animosity…



Paying the Preacher

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“Okay, it’s time to pay the preacher.” Those words made me cringe every time I heard them in my early years of pastoral ministry. Just the mention of the Sunday offering seemed to immediately spawn quips about paying the preacher. I was not sure how to take it—whether they gladly gave to “pay the preacher”…



The Majestic Christ

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Persecution, suffering, and trials take their toll upon believers. Christians under the harsh, brutal treatment of Islamic terrorists feel a weight that few of us can imagine. The loneliness of a prison cell in Iran or North Korea battles to rob the disciple of the sweet sensible presence of Christ. Believers walking through constant pain…

 

Corporate Confession

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Many years ago, while serving in a traditional church in the Deep South, a lady just a few years older than me approached me after the morning worship with concern written on her face. She had always been supportive of my ministry. Her husband served on the pastor search committee that presented me to that…



The Church: A Holy People

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As a college student in the 70’s, I remember hearing retired Southern Baptist missionary to China, Miss Bertha Smith, speak in a number of settings. Miss Bertha, who was in her nineties at the time, took no prisoners when she spoke! Having gone through both the Shantung Revival and the invasion of the Japanese at…



Healthy Churches

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The conversations tend to go like this: “I like my church. My pastor preaches the Word. There are some wonderful people in the church. But something is wrong. There’s no life together. People don’t seem to really care for each other. Conversations are superficial. I’m not sure that people even know one another in our…