25 Years of Ministry

I saw a blog post for the 25th anniversary of Bible Gateway yesterday and gave them a shout out. I’m celebrating an anniversary of sorts myself this month. In January 1993 I announced a call to preach. I’m not sure of the exact date and taking a look at a January ’93 calendar didn’t help. That doesn’t really matter though. 25 years ago I told our church family that God was calling me into ministry and I was ready to answer that call. So here’s a brief recap of what God has done in my life since then. Continue reading

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All of My Friends Are Pastors

screenshot-2016-10-06-at-10-24-58-amI was thinking about posting to Facebook the pastor appreciation lunch coming up at our church. My wife and I have been there for two years so not only is October pastor appreciation month but it also corresponds to our service anniversary. It’s an exaggeration to say that “all my friends are church pastors” but many of them are. It makes sense to form working relationships that often turn into friendship with people in the same line of work. No matter what vocation one is in, other guys doing the same job will automatically have a lot in common. And the friends I have that are not pastors are church people; they teach Sunday School, serve as deacons, work in the sound and projection booth, etc. 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. 

What Makes a Good Pastor?

What are the marks of a good church pastor?  I think most people would talk about a foundation of knowledge in the scripture, and hopefully a commitment to the Gospel.  These are great answers, and those qualities will make themselves apparent from the pulpit in each and every sermon.  A pastor is often called to minister, however, at other times than 11 a.m. on Sunday morning.  That’s when the rubber meets the road and we really need more than a good public speaker.

In 2003, my mother suffered a major heart attack.  She had been smoking for over 40 years, and one Saturday morning Dad drove her to the hospital displaying all the classic symptoms.  In the ER she went into full cardiac arrest.  Once they got her heart started again (after 4 shocks from the defibrillator) we learned that she would need a total of 4 bypasses.  Before even driving to the hospital, I called my church pastor to start the prayer chain.  Each person on the list calls the next person and so on, so that with only one call everyone can join in prayer during a crisis.  I talked to him briefly, then called again when Mom went into surgery to give him an update.  I expected him to pray, make a few calls, and that I would see him again Sunday morning.

I was surprised when my pastor, Mike Jones, came into the waiting room. Continue reading

The Read and Share File

Tim Challies shares truths supported by scripture on the topic of evangelism.

The title of the post – Is There a Holy Spirit? – may give the wrong impression.  Bobby Jamieson at 9Marks Blog is describing two ways to fill a church, and how you answer that question has a lot to do with how you proceed.

What is the best thing you can do for your pastor?  According to The Blazing Center it’s pray for him.

I actually took this picture myself, then added Luke 1:78.  That’s a genuine eastern Kentucky sunrise.

Boston.com, the online presence of the Boston Globe, shares 22 pictures of the Jewish festival of Purim.

On a whim, I searched for “sunrise service” on Google.  Enjoyed this short entry on Wikipedia.    Here’s an excerpt:

The first Easter Sunrise Service recorded took place in 1732 in the Moravian congregation at Herrnhut in the Upper Lusatian hills of Saxony. After an all-night prayer vigil, the Single Brethren, the unmarried men, of the community, went to the town graveyard, God’s Acre, on the Hill above the town, to sing hymns of praise to the Risen Saviour. The following year, the whole Congregation joined in the service. Thereafter the “Easter Morning” or “Sunrise Service” spread around the world with the Moravian missionaries. The procession to the graveyard is accompanied by the antiphonal playing of chorales by brass choirs.

And then I stumbled onto this:

Read more here: http://www.capitalchurch.net/ministries/easter-service/  There were 120 at the first service in 1979; on April 8 they expect 6,000!

Yes, I Have a Pastor

Every now and then I make a reference to something my pastor said or did, and each time I expect someone to ask about that.  Yes I have a church pastor, no that’s not really him in the picture.

In 2003 I was working a full time job, and doing ministry on the side.  I was a church deacon, directed Vacation Bible School, taught youth on Wednesday nights, was one of several leaders on mission trips, volunteered at our local Baptist Center, and preached from time to time. Continue reading