The Emotionally Real Pastor

Here’s a portion of my latest doctoral essay exploring the power of “Embodied Wisdom.” This section looks at the role of emotional vulnerability in a pastor’s leadership and example. A popular phrase I’m hearing these days is “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” I’m a guy who…

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…

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…

Who are Your Twelve?

Billy Graham preached to over 215 million people in more than 185 countries in his lifetime.  His impact for Kingdom work is significant. Late in his life, he was asked how he would go about making disciples if he was the pastor of a church. His response is recorded in Robert Coleman’s book, The Master Plan…

Right vs. Left Brain Pastor

I’m an artisan. It’s taken me about 38 years to admit it. My right brain has been trying to get my attention for years. I’ve been too busy doing important left brain stuff to notice. Or, perhaps I’ve been doing a lot of right brain stuff and giving the left brain all the credit.

Justifying My Existence

I was alone at the church this Wednesday, preparing a large table for our second “Agape” gathering — a new monthly celebration of the Eucharist. I found my soul anxious and my spirit restless. I was physically tired, but mostly suffering from fear of disappointing others and myself. Whenever I put my hands to some…

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…