Pastoring & Personal Finances

The following article is in response to a series of questions that I've received from young pastors and/or men training for pastoral ministry. This article is part of series of blogs wherein I attempt to provide an overview of the advice that I've given to younger pastors and seminarians. Pastoring & Personal Finances   It is... Continue Reading →

Why (and How) I Started Preaching Shorter Sermons

What would I tell the young man who surrendered to the preaching ministry almost twenty years ago? I would insist, in addition to studying the Scriptures (i.e. theology, scriptural interpretation), that he become a student of (1) how people learn and (2) how to communicate effectively to them. Sadly, many pastors have ignored non-theological disciplines,... Continue Reading →

Poimenology: The Study of Pastoral Ministry

What is Poimenology? On the one hand, it is a word that I made up by adding the Koine Greek word for pastor (ποιμήν or ποιμένα, lit. shepherd) to the scientific phrase "ology," which means "the study of" a field or discipline. Conversely, I believe that as a field of study pastoral ministry has been erroneously... Continue Reading →

Who has INFLUENCED you?

Is it possible to be influenced by people that you've never met? Of course, it is; however, you must recognize the limits of this influence. First, you've not been influenced by the person as much as you have been by his or her story and ideas. Don't get me wrong here, I realize that the... Continue Reading →

The Bible is NOT the Warm-up Act

How many sermons open with a speed reading of the Bible? The pastor stands before the congregation not fully prepared, still trying to collect his thoughts and hoping to create a last-minute opening, and begins painfully reading the sacred text. His dry and monotone voice coupled with both his (obvious) disinterest in the text and... Continue Reading →

Why I’m A Baptist

My beliefs are Baptist, but my identity is in Christ. Please don't confuse these two distinctions. My identity is not, nor will it ever be, found in a denomination. People and organizations eventually alter their beliefs and practices, but Christ never changes (cf. Heb. 13:8). I'm not a Baptist by birth, which is, in and... Continue Reading →

Sermon Preparation: Outlining a Book

I'll spare you a trip through the pseudo-mystical phase wherein the preacher "gets alone" with God and through "divine revelation" receives his next sermon! It is frustrating to hear pastors say, "God gave me this message," or "God laid this message on my heart." Typically, that means (loosely translated), "I am just winging it" and/or... Continue Reading →

Don’t Forget About the De-Churched

Somewhere between the “churched” and “unchurched” classifications is a neglected and overlooked group.[1] In some communities, the largest group of people that the church will engage with the gospel is made up of persons who, in the past, attended, joined, or were active in churches. Yet, for some reason, they are no longer connected to... Continue Reading →

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