Thank You for Following

200 followsI’ve been blogging since 2008. Back then everything was about blog rolls. If other bloggers listed you that was a good sign. I worked to build a useful blogroll so that readers could interact with my blog friends and vice versa. Today blogs have integrated with social media. There are over 150 followers of the Master’s Table Facebook page and sharing any blog post with Facebook or Twitter is as easy as one click.

For those of you who follow – via email, RSS feed reader, social media or what-have-you – thank you. That’s all. From one Christ follower to another, peace and God bless.

Small Churches, Bi-Vocational Pastors, and Their Role in the SBC

Screenshot 2014-09-18 at 9.55.55 AMLet me first mention the new look of the Baptist Press website. The new site design rolled out yesterday (Sept 17) and includes a few new features as well.

If you looking at the new BP site anyway, go ahead and read this article about the first meeting of the Bivocational and Small Church Advisory Council of the SBC. Continue reading

Read & Share File: When the Pastor is Terminated

Screenshot 2014-09-04 at 6.32.35 PMResearch indicates that as many as four in ten pastors will be forced to leave a ministry at least once during their career. Hershael York and Jeff Iorg outline how to prevent terminations that are often unnecessary and offer advice on how to deal with conflicts when they do arise in this article via Baptist Press.

On the list of top 15 reasons pastors are fired/ forced to resign, only two are related to sin on the part of the pastor. Ethical conduct comes in at #8 and sexual misconduct #10. Many times issues relate to personal communication skills or a few disgruntled members that spiral out of control. Sometimes it is simply time for one’s ministry to come to an end in one place and move on to something else. But the old saying is that figures don’t lie; nearly half of all church pastors will deal with these issues sooner or later. The advice in the BP article is sound and it wouldn’t be a bad idea for church members not in the pastorate to give it some consideration.


 

-Hershael York is a preaching professor at Southern Seminary as well as a currently active church pastor. Jeff Iorg is president of Golden Gate Theological Seminary. The image above and original text of the article are copyright 2014 Baptist Press. 

In Real Life

I have made blog friends over the years in some far and distant places. The information age makes the world a smaller place. Every now and then I meet a person in real life who blogs.

The same freelance writer who created this piece recently started a local writers group. Check out The Golden Rule of Writing at Amber Nagle’s self-named blog and then consider reading other offerings as well. At our most recent meeting we discussed strategies for platform building so here’s a head nod at a fellow writer and new friend IRL. (I presented on the topic of building one’s online platform, imagine that.)

 

 

 

Book Review: Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me by Renee Fisher

Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is the power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.” -Corrie ten Boom

Renee Fisher began journaling in 1997 as part of her healing process. Prayers and scriptures filled her journal; God answered in a big was and the writing never stopped. Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me: Finding Freedom in the Journey from Pain to Purpose is her third book. Continue reading

New and Improved Bible Gateway

Screenshot 2014-06-27 at 8.45.06 AMThe preview of the new Bible Gateway has been available for several weeks in beta, but you may have noticed the new site design going live this week. Not everyone saw the change at the same time, but the roll out of the new format has been gradually taking place since Monday. Here are some of the key new features:

  • Bible annotation and personalization built around user accounts
  • Seamless cross-platform syncing of user-created content
  • Responsive design that adapts to any screen size or viewing device
  • Clean, clutter-free presentation of Bible, devotional, and reference content

Anything new takes a little getting used to. Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) about the new design and functionality. Below is a short video tutorial.

The Master’s Table is a proud partner of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid. 

2 New Reviews of God is Near

Screenshot 2014-06-26 at 4.01.13 PMPaul Wilkinson is no stranger to The Master’s Table. In addition to blogging at Thinking Out Loud and Christianity 201, his Wednesday Link List appears weekly at the Parse Leadership Journal of Christianity Today. He is on our blog roll and has been our guest blogger a time or two. Read his review that ran Monday on Thinking Out Loud.

Denise Spencer is the “first lady” of Internet Monk. Her late husband Michael Spencer was my friend and mentor in real life and the original Internet Monk, creating, writing, posting and managing the blog from 2001 until 2010. Mike Mercer and others continue the online work Michael started. Denise continues to work on the mission field in south-eastern Kentucky where the Bunches and Spencers once served together. Read her review, posted Thursday at Internet Monk.

  • Links to other reviews and ordering information are on the God is Near page of this blog. Please share this link, order a copy of the book if you have not yet done so, and join us for a series of discussions that will begin soon!