Early Christian Worship & Persecution

How did the first Christians gather and worship? We don’t need to guess, or piece a picture together from the sparse comments in the New Testament. We have descriptions from historical sources outside the Bible such as Pliny the Younger, Justin Martyr, Tacitus and Seutonius. Before we read their firsthand accounts, John Gooch gives some…

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…

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…

Seven Years of Light

Its been about 7 years since I stood on the stage of the Little Theater at my old high school, sweating bullets as I tried to rally folks around a vision of a new kind of church. The church’s name, if it ever got off the ground, would be “MainStreet” because of our desire to…

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…

When the Waters Stir

I love the story in the Gospel of John (chapter 5) where tired and sick people used to sit at the pool in the Temple, waiting for an angel to come down and “stir the waters” to bring healing qualities to the water. Sadly, in the story, a man who had been invalid for 38…

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,…