Pastor Notes #62 — The Lordship of Jesus Christ and Your Church’s Reason for Being

The Lordship of Jesus Christ and Your Church’s Purpose for Being What is your church’s purpose at this period of our history? What is its reason for being at this particular moment in its life as a congregation? These are important questions that churches can easily get out of the habit of asking. In fact, … Continue reading Pastor Notes #62 — The Lordship of Jesus Christ and Your Church’s Reason for Being

Sermon #54 — Famine in the Land, Part 1

God made us to live purposefully in communion with him, and so when human creatures are out of communion with God, they live with an anxious, aimless urgency which is destructive to them. This is a fundamental truth of human existence and a reality of human experience that I know well personally.  It seems that … Continue reading Sermon #54 — Famine in the Land, Part 1

Pastor Note #60 — One Church, One Pastor, and a Festival of Evangelism

I had lunch with Franklin Graham a few weeks ago. . . . All right, there were about 500 other people at the lunch. . . . Okay, yes, Franklin was sitting at a table on the other side of the room from me. . . .No, it’s true I couldn’t actually see him, so … Continue reading Pastor Note #60 — One Church, One Pastor, and a Festival of Evangelism

Pastor Note #59–Honestly, It’s Really Kind of Scary!

As some of your know by now, I will be traveling to the city of Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in May.  I’ll be going as part of a team sent out by Presbyterian Reformed Ministries International to conduct a week-long training event for pastors and church leaders there.  I’m excited … Continue reading Pastor Note #59–Honestly, It’s Really Kind of Scary!

Prayer Note #48 — A Preachers Prayer to Be Used Rightly by the Word of God

[Yes, that's what I meant to say: "to be used rightly by the word of God."] Your word, Lord, is alive and powerful in the ears of faith. Grant me believing ears, so that I will hear your word clearly and welcome your word warmly into my mind, my heart, and my life. My calling … Continue reading Prayer Note #48 — A Preachers Prayer to Be Used Rightly by the Word of God

Prayer Note #46 — A Channel of Blessing: a Pastor’s Prayer

[Although I have called this a "Pastor's Prayer," with a slight adjustment of the language, this prayer might well work as a prayer for any Christian who wants to be a channel of blessing to the people in their lives.  And what Christian wouldn't want to be a channel of God's blessing in the lives … Continue reading Prayer Note #46 — A Channel of Blessing: a Pastor’s Prayer

Pastor Note #55 — The Joy and Humility of Pastoral Ministry

  Last Fall, I passed my thirtieth anniversary in pastoral ministry.  At one of its meetings around that time, our presbytery recognized those of us who were marking anniversaries in multiples of five –tenth, fifteenth, twentieth, etc.  They started with the smaller anniversaries and worked up.  It took them a little while to get to … Continue reading Pastor Note #55 — The Joy and Humility of Pastoral Ministry

Pastor Note #52 — Ministry Q. & A. — 3/18/2013

As with most organizations, the church tends to follow the 80/20 rule.  How should a pastor encourage others to get involved in church activities?  Accept leadership positions?  Participate in Sunday Worship?  Is this even a pastor’s responsibility? Bluntly put, there is nothing that a pastor, as a human being, can do to accomplish what is … Continue reading Pastor Note #52 — Ministry Q. & A. — 3/18/2013

Sermon #41 — Our God of Power: Still to This Very Day — John 14:8-14 & Acts 1:6-11

“We may do the same works that Jesus did (John 14:12) in the same way that he did them – as a human being filled with the Holy Spirit, listening to the Father and acting in obedience.” Long, Stokes, & Strickler, Growing the Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit, p. 113. As we … Continue reading Sermon #41 — Our God of Power: Still to This Very Day — John 14:8-14 & Acts 1:6-11

Prayer Note #39 — On Not Being All That I Could Be

Let me have ears to hear you clearly and a heart and mind to understand you deeply and a strong inclination to go as you lead me and to use what you have given me, and so to glorify your name. You have given me many gifts, many resources, many tools.  But mostly I squander … Continue reading Prayer Note #39 — On Not Being All That I Could Be