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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Pets: A Christian Perspective
Jan23

Pets: A Christian Perspective

In 2015, my wife and I acquired our first pets. We debated different animals—a dog, a cat, or maybe something exotic like a chinchilla. Following months of discussion, we found ourselves at the local farm supply store one rainy evening. After staring at cages for an hour, and negotiating yet more, we left with two six-week-old Dutch bunnies. Brownie and Lucky have been quite an adventure. Though we’ve heard stories from many people...

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Developing Young Leaders: Reflections on the 2016 FWB Leadership Conference
Dec15

Developing Young Leaders: Reflections on the 2016 FWB Leadership Conference

Since Marc Neppl’s (VA) sermon at the 2016 National Association, I have been increasingly hearing a wider dialogue about the rising generation of pastors and denominational leaders. Specifically, there is a desire to have an open dialogue about the role of younger leaders in our movement, and leadership transition in the local church and at the denominational level. Matthew Bracey added his voice to this larger dialogue earlier this...

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