Funding the Jericho Inn: A MainStreet Update

Jesus’ mission prioritized the marginalized and neglected people of his day. He didn’t send out his apostles—i.e., “church planters”—saying, “Go ye therefore to the sprawling suburbs and invite the upwardly mobile dual income families with children.” He said, “Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame” (Luke 14:21). Would you try growing a church with such folks?

David Johnson: 38 Years of Divine Electricity

The bleachers squeaked like crazy. It smelled like a locker room. It got hot and stuffy on Saturday nights in the summer. We were packed in like sardines as upbeat guitars and the 90s choruses of “Trading My Sorrows” and “Shout to the Lord” echoed throughout the Robbinsdale High School gymnasium. As the last song…

Prayers & Tears at the Poll

I went to the polls on Election Day to cast votes, and ended up casting non-partisan prayers for all the candidates. As I stood over that ballot with pen in hand, looking at all the names and offices, tears dropped down indiscriminately on the ovals below. I turned that little space into a prayer closet…

The FULL Serenity Prayer

My pastoral counselor prescribed for me the daily practice of praying the famous Serenity Prayer for the next couple weeks. I’m not struggling with addiction or substance abuse, and I haven’t joined an AA group, but this prayer has much broader application for many other personal afflictions. I discovered two new things as I accepted…

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…

Driftwood

The fog is heavy and blinding. The accusing voice is loud and convincing. The waves crash against my ramshackle frame. The wind tosses my beleaguered self to and fro. I’m driftwood, water logged yet still afloat. I need the Sun to burn away the fog. I long to hear the Good Shepherd’s Voice. I listen for…

The Weeping Pastor

“You’re name is NOT Jeremy!” the large, black man shouted into my ear with his thick Caribbean accent. His hands were heavy on my shoulders as he stood over me as I sat helplessly in a chair in a dim-lit room. “Your true name is Jeremiah! You are the weeping prophet!” he continued in his…

Dear Class of ’98 (on our 20th)

Dear MWHS Class of ’98, Our 20th high school class reunion has arrived! In a few hours the class of ’98 will be strapping on our Birkenstock sandals, donning our baggy button down shirts over cargo Khaki’s from Gap, and driving to Lord Fletcher’s with Green Day’s “Good Riddance/Time of Your Life’ or “Freshmen” by…