It’s good for pastors to come before God utterly helpless and completely dependent on him as we prepare to imperfectly preach his perfect word to our imperfect people. But I think a pattern of discouragement can easily consume us if we don’t guard our preaching from becoming a preoccupation with self-improvement.
With all the Madness happening this weekend in March, we've got you covered with a fantastic clip from a post-loss press conference and 7 wise reflections on how to maximize this NCAA basketball craziness for the gospel. We've also got reflections on 30 years of ministry from Kathy Keller, what sugar does to your brain, 28 signs of a healthy church, and more.
We are hosting a dinner at Impellizzeri's Pizza (Downtown) on Thursday, April 12 in Louisville, KY during the T4G dinner break (within walking distance of the YUM center!) and we would love to feed you (and get to know you)!
In the last several years we have seen some interesting shifts, and a few tragic endings, to prominent multisite churches that had been leading examples within the phenomenon. This has logically lead many to question the future of the multisite movement. As pastors within a multisite church at the time, this question was of particular importance to Dr. Allison and myself. MultiChurch was written to answer those questions for us internally and grew into a project that we wanted to share with others who were wrestling with the same challenges and hopes within a similar multisite context.
Resources this week include: • the truth about church planting • surprising secrets to living a 109-year old life • what happens to the lives of those who "level-up" • Jim Elliot was no fool • how to move a couch without destroying your back
What seems to get talked about much less than the skills of a leader is the character of a leader. We want men and women who can teach, who can counsel, who can organize, who can develop, who can manage, who can strategize, etc., etc. All good things, but think about the stories you’ve heard about people being picked for their leadership “skills,” only to find out later that they lacked the kind of character that made them worth following?I’m going to key in on the one quality that I believe all other character qualities need to stem from—and that’s humility.
Resources this week include: • reflections on an incredible man, ministry, and marriage • all you need to know about the Oscars • who watches porn? • an inconvenient truth about convenience • what if men and women skied against each other in the Olympics?
In the first two posts of this series (part 1, part 2), I shared how God rescued me from my sins, used my seminary experience to expose my racism, and then expanded my vision for reconciliation. But my journey is far from complete. While I think I’ve grown a bit, I’m still aware that I have a long way to go. In this post, I want to share some reflections on the path forward.
In the first post, I shared how I arrived at my conversion packed with ignorance and hostility toward black people. But becoming a Christian launched an adventure in unexpected transformation. God slowly began to excavate my soul and hack away at the roots of racism. And I learned that the hostility that once burned within my heart was part of a bigger story that went all the way back to the beginning.
Resources this week include: a story of rediscovering faith through listening to Scripture and a new project to help you hear God's word, the faith and life of Billy Graham (an exceptional obituary), a sermon nobody wanted to end, an inside look into a new VBS curriculum, and the Rise of the Amphibians.
The theological linchpin of the church is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is utterly indispensable. It simply cannot be replaced. It is the front page on the newspaper of the Christian life. It isn’t mere advice, it is the most unique and valuable news in all the cosmos. It is all we have to offer a world in dire need of redemption. So to be “gospel-centered” in our doctrine is of immeasurable importance because our faith hinges on this specific message; distorting it can cause serious damage. So how can we know if our doctrine is gospel-centered? What is the shape of it?
Over a series of three posts, I plan to trace the theme of racial reconciliation through the scriptures. My prayer is that together we will find a theological frame that will help us both to speak (Acts 15:7-11) and, by God’s grace, also to live (Gal. 3:11-16) as ambassadors of reconciliation (Eph.2: 13-19). In the final post, I want to share some observations that raise, I believe, some compelling questions. The primary audience in these posts will be other white pastors, beginning with the ones I serve in Sojourn Network.
Resources this week include: an exciting new prospect for listening to Scripture, a visual liturgical mediation on Lent, pastors and their need for friends (too), how to plan child dedication services for your church, Nancy Pearcey and Jonathan Merritt go toe-to-toe, and a free (read Google) way to amaze your kids like a only a true wizard could.
Today, we're kicking off a new (!!!) category we're calling "Multi-". Read on to find out more about the work we look forward to sharing with you in the future and how we hope this new addition to the blog will help pastors plant, grow, and multiply healthy churches that last.
We're excited to introduce you to Lead Pastor Brian Sauvé and our newest church plant to join the SN family: Refuge Church in Ogden, Utah. This is the very first Sojourn Network church in the great state of Utah! Read their story, celebrate their wins, and please join us in praying for this church in 2018!
Ash Wednesday ushers us into a season of fasting and seeking the Lord (Lent) in light of our impending date with death. It initiates a six week journey of pursuing God that culminates in Holy Week, where we fix our attention on the passion of Jesus.It is here we finally celebrate (Easter), because through Jesus’ suffering we gain deliverance. By his death and through his resurrection, our sin has been paid for and our enemy, Death, has been defeated.
We love the next big thing. The next innovative thing. The next money making thing. The next fashionable thing. The next technological thing. The next entertaining thing. The next fitness thing. The next dietary thing. The next funny thing. These resources aren't merely here to entertain us, but to evoke in us a beautiful awe that leads us to worship, to love, and to serve. Enjoy!
We're excited to introduce you to Lead Pastor Nick Nye and our newest church plant to join the SN family: Apostles Union Square in New York City, NY. Read their story, celebrate their wins, and please join us in praying for this church in 2018!
One of the typical weaknesses of the local church that I have observed over the years is the ability to assess and evaluate people for a variety of leadership positions. That runs the spectrum from new hires to elder/deacon selections to church planters. How can I make such a rash and generalized statement? In my 42 years of supervising, managing, and leading people, I have made almost 1,850 hiring decisions…and fired 55 staff (to the best of my recollection) for a variety of reasons.
The Kingdom of God, developing healthy Bible reading habits, Gen Z and a greater love than likes, church planting residencies, Super Bowl parties, and caring for the elderly. Whoa. This Roundup is crammed with goodies from all across the spectrum. Enjoy!
February 2nd is designated on the church calendar as a day for remembering Jesus’s presentation at the Temple. One Sunday at our local church, we taught this story to the kids from Luke 2:22-52. What resulted was, in the words of one of our children's ministry teachers, “simultaneously the most stressful and most meaningful experience I've had serving in children’s ministry.” Here's what happened.
I have found myself overthinking friendships at times. Who will understand the hardships of ministry? Who is less likely to leave the church, thus leaving me high and dry? Who won’t probe me for “insider information”? While asking these questions can be wise, there’s a point where I can put too much pressure on friendships. God created us for relationships. We can relax in that knowledge! But how should a ministry wife think about friendships when she is prone to overthink relationships or not see a need for them? Here are six thoughts about relaxing and pursuing friends.
Preacher, have you ever felt like you were preaching from the trenches? Those times when you seem to have no visibility, a distinct lack of focus, and high levels of fatigue, while being keenly aware that there’s an enemy lurking nearby who is on the attack. Why is this? Why is preaching one of, if not the hardest tasks for the pastor? Here are some reasons why I think preachers preach in the trenches, and why it’s supposed to be that way.
How do we choose resources that will transform us into the image of Christ? How do we read for transformation instead of just information? One way I think we can do that is to value using multiple senses—reading, hearing, singing, praying, listening. The resources in today's Roundup will take you on a journey — from lifehacks, to practical lists, to worship music, to prayers, and more. I hope you enjoy every bit of it.
Why is it important for the leaders of our church to experience care? It’s because the spiritual vitality and the relational health of our churches will only be as strong as the spiritual vitality and relational health of the leadership team. When Christ saved us, he committed to caring for us, and for our churches to last, we must share that care with each other.With that in mind, I want to share seven commitments for the leader who cares for leaders.
I’m so thankful that Sojourn Network invests in ministry wives. During this year’s Leaders’ Summit, I was asked to speak to the wives on the topic of balancing ministry, motherhood, and marriage (you can listen or read the transcript here). I had to be honest that I don’t always balance the three most pressing and stressful roles in my life well. If balanced well, they often become the most life-giving and fulfilling roles in our lives.
This week we explore Reformed Continuationism with Dave Harvey [free download], the loneliness of church planting from John Starke, reading through the bible in a year with your kids, church planters and PPD, and 10 challenges every pastor faces.