Principled and Pragmatic (Part II/II)
Jul24

Principled and Pragmatic (Part II/II)

This essay is the second part of a two-part essay which first posted last Monday on the Forum. Part one can be viewed here. Principled and Pragmatic? There are certainly limitations in envisioning these two errors as extremes on a spectrum. It can give the impression that there is a solution for all ministry questions that balances perfectly on the spectrum between biblical principles and practical concerns. I don’t think this is the...

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Principled and Pragmatic (Part I/II)
Jul17

Principled and Pragmatic (Part I/II)

“Did you know that conversion rates for companies using custom visual content are 7 times higher than companies that do not?” I could hardly believe my eyes when I first read these words. They were in the subject line of a message sent to our church email account. I was relieved when, upon closer inspection, I saw that it was not from a parachurch ministry, and the “conversion” to which it referred was not of the spiritual sort....

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Preaching and Teaching Mark: Challenges and Opportunities
May15

Preaching and Teaching Mark: Challenges and Opportunities

We made it: Nineteen months and fifty-three sermons later, our congregation completed a Sunday morning series on the Gospel of Mark. As I said in an earlier post, we regularly study through entire books of the Bible as part of the pulpit ministry. We don’t always do this, but we often do. And seldom do we proceed through an extended study without several planned breaks (usually due to holidays, guest speakers, or other series). This...

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Laura Belle Barnard: A Light to the Nations
Mar20

Laura Belle Barnard: A Light to the Nations

One could make the case that the two things you don’t want to be in the Lord’s work is single or the first of something, such as the pioneer in a new field of work, study, or ministry. As I’ve written elsewhere, unmarried people face a unique set of challenges in ministry employment and even in meaningful church membership in many churches. Those reasons need not be recited here. However, being both single and the first is no small...

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The Shack: A Pastoral Reflection
Mar16

The Shack: A Pastoral Reflection

I have a confession to make: I saw The Shack. I had not planned to, but I did. I write with some trepidation for I know the potential reaction from some believers. Reaction ranging from unease to outright hostility can be glimpsed among many conservative Christians toward William Paul Young’s 2007 bestselling novel. Such sentiments have resurfaced in light of the film’s release on March 3. I’ve also observed a significant (and...

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