Five Cultural Narratives

“Do not be conformed to the culture around you…” –Romans 12:2 In a recent sermon, we explored the way Paul’s poem in Colossians 1:15-20 served, in part at least, to subvert and reshape the imaginations of the believers in Colossae who were immersed in the cultural narrative(s) and values of the Roman Empire, i.e., the Pax Romana. …

QUOTABLES: View From The Pulpit

Eugene Peterson captures the thought of preachers as they look out on the congregation each Sunday: “Every Sunday I look across this congregation and wonder, prayerfully, what is going on. I know most of you pretty well. But there is a lot I don’t know. I am here every week with the conviction that this…

Lessons from the “Rule” of Benedict

by Pete Scazzero Benedict (480-547 AD) lived during a time when the Roman Empire was disintegrating and eventually founded twelve monasteries near Rome. To guide these monks to live a simple, orderly life around Christ, he wrote “a little rule for beginners” now famously known as the “Rule of Benedict” (RB). This “Rule” became one of the most…

10 Challenges of Being a Pastor

By Hershael York  By its very nature, the field of pastoral leadership is fraught with such incredible difficulties that we must say with the Apostle Paul, “Who is sufficient for these things?” Leading God’s people is unlike any other task in the world — which is why it requires a calling of the Spirit, and not…

Jonah & Pastoral Vocation (Eugene Peterson)

At least 2 or 3 times in the past several years of pastoring, the following 4 lectures by Eugene Peterson have helped save me from drowning in the sea of vocational ministry. I, like countless other pastors, consider Eugene Peterson to be the Dean of Pastors and a voice of sanity in a culture of…

QUOTABLES: Subversive Pastor

“Most of the individuals in this amalgam [i.e., congregation] suppose that the goals they have for themselves and the goals God has for them are the same. It is the oldest religious mistake: refusing to countenance any real difference between God and us, imagining God to be a vague extrapolation of our own desires, and…

A Tapestry of Love

“So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up” (Gal 6:9). Always a highlight in ministry is celebrating new beginnings and renewed commitments. One prayer and desire I have for the precious folks who came to the waters this past…

The Secret to Feeding 5,000

Ever feel overwhelmed by the number and size of the needs around you? Ever wonder how one person can make an impact in this broken world? One side-effect of the digital age of social media is that we’re constantly made aware of all the tragedies and suffering around the globe: abducted children, famine, sex trafficking,…