Pastor Note #105: Ministry in a Time of Pandemic

            All over the country, churches are wrestling with decisions about how to do ministry in the midst of a pandemic.  This is an on-going challenge, because the circumstances of the pandemic are constantly shifting and changing.  Yesterday’s decisions are called into doubt by today’s news.             Over the years, I have always found that, … Continue reading Pastor Note #105: Ministry in a Time of Pandemic

Quote of Note #102: Living by Faith and Not by Sight

"This kind of living ["living by faith rather than by sight"] invites opposition.  It will come first in the form of those who insist on living within the budget, thereby restricting the ability of God to reach the community.  The easiest answer to a leap of faith is 'No!'  The church that I now pastor … Continue reading Quote of Note #102: Living by Faith and Not by Sight

Pastor Note #97: A Christian Rationale for Social Distancing in a Time of Pandemic

Medical experts widely agree that the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 is spread by minute droplets of saliva and mucus that come out of the mouth and nose of someone who is infected by the virus.  Those droplets contain the virus.  The viruses in those droplets find their way into the eyes, nose, or mouth of … Continue reading Pastor Note #97: A Christian Rationale for Social Distancing in a Time of Pandemic

Pastor Note #96: Why I Wear a Mask, My Badge of Love

For me it is quite simple.  I wear a mask because I don’t want to make anyone else sick.  I wear a mask to protect the people around me. The Covid-19 virus, like most other respiratory viruses, is spread mostly by tiny droplets of saliva and mucus that come out of our mouths and noses … Continue reading Pastor Note #96: Why I Wear a Mask, My Badge of Love

Quote of Note #94: Churches and Pastors

"The biblical fact is that there are no successful churches.  There are, instead, communities of sinners, gathered before God week after week in towns and villages all over the world.  The Holy Spirit gathers them and does his work in them.  In these communities of sinners, one of the sinners is called pastor and given … Continue reading Quote of Note #94: Churches and Pastors

Pastor Note #92: Living Out Love

There are many factors that help a church to be healthy and effective—biblical and theological faithfulness, creativity and boldness in outreach, members who are diligent and committed to growing in their faith.  But few things can wreck a church faster than bad relational ethics.  Relational ethics in a church are one of the most important … Continue reading Pastor Note #92: Living Out Love

Pastor Note #90: The Fearless Church

Fear can be a distressingly common feature of church life across America.  The Bible is quite clear on this point.  The only proper source of fear for Christians should be God.  Nothing else in all creation should cause us fear.  Of course, I know what it is to feel fear and anxiety.  As do, I … Continue reading Pastor Note #90: The Fearless Church

Pastor Note #86: Consumers or Disciples?

In the past few years, I’ve had some interesting conversations with folks who are involved with volunteer fire departments in various communities around where I live.  All of those local departments are struggling.  Funding is a challenge, to be sure.  But the really difficult problem is getting enough volunteers to fill their ranks. People are … Continue reading Pastor Note #86: Consumers or Disciples?

Quote of Note #76: A Contrast Community

"If we hope to experience transformation, we need to develop a culture in the congregation that encourages people to live in the world for the sake of the world, without being of the world.  Gerhard Lohfink, in Jesus and Community, makes a strong case that it has always been God's intention to work through a … Continue reading Quote of Note #76: A Contrast Community

Quote of Note #58–Vibrancy of Spiritual Life in the Church

"Look at the New Testament Christian, look at the New Testament church, and you see it vibrant with a spiritual life, and, of course, it is always life that tends to lead to excesses.  There is no problem of discipline in a graveyard; there is no problem very much in a formal church." Martyn Lloyd-Jones, … Continue reading Quote of Note #58–Vibrancy of Spiritual Life in the Church