Teaching & Interpersonal Relationships

Matt Friedeman’s book The Master Plan of Teaching (1990) examines Jesus’ teaching style and suggests the following formula emphasizing that content alone is not enough, but the teacher-student relationship is a central ingredient: COMMUNICATION = CONTENT + RELATIONSHIP He then offers some steps toward effective interpersonal relationships in the graph below. Pastors and teachers who want to…

A Faith that Relieves & Releases

A member of our church paid me a great compliment this week. She said, “I’m discovering a trend among MainStreeters I am getting to know. I keep hearing people say, ‘Well, Jeremy challenged us to do such and such and here’s what resulted.” She quickly qualified her statement with, “Don’t worry, its the good kind of challenge…

Acts 2:42-47 Rewritten for Today

I’ve been reflecting again on the community life of the first Christians described in Acts 2:42-47. We now stand 2,000 years removed from this first glimpse into the radical social experiment called ‘church’, and we marvel at the quality of their koinonia, or life together. I wonder what Christians 2,000 years in the future (if…

Going Green 6: Nomadic Gardening?

Have you ever met a traveling salesperson who refuses to leave the office? Have you ever met a daycare provider who can’t stand kids? How about an illiterate librarian? These are oxymorons and contradictions. I worked on the grounds crew at a golf course in high school. I spent most of my summer cutting grass. I loved…

10 Turning Point Lessons for Church Leaders (by Pete Scazzero)

From Pete Scazzero: Character is more important than gifting. Being is more important than doing. When we have overlooked issues of character because of anointing, effectiveness, or natural abilities, we have always paid a price. Do not rush. When decisions were made quickly, without pausing to pray, think and process implications, we always experienced regrets. Seeing the Promised Land without carefully…

Pastor as Spiritual Midwife

A few years back I had to write a paper exploring an image or metaphor that describes my personal vision for pastoral ministry. Here’s what I wrote. (Note: Keri was pregnant with Abby at the time). “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you…” Gal. 4:19…

The Perils of Preaching Today

“We come to the Bible, raising questions about its relevance to our present daily lives, only to find that the Bible questions us about our relevance to the way of Christ.” -Will Willimon We’re modern people. We value efficiency and practicality.  We like quick how-to tutorials that immediately get to the point. We’re self-driven, ambitious…

Leadership Axioms for Healthy Congregations

Here are some foundational leadership principles passed on to me related to ongoing congregational health and mission. How have these manifested themselves in your personal ministry? In your lay leaders? In your congregation? Leadership definition:  “Leadership is the process by which a man or a woman, guided by the Holy Spirit, influences a group of…