Evangelical bashing is the thing to do. Books, blogs, and vlogs podcast their way to a world of whateverism. This leads to the fork in the road called deconstructionism. One goes to extreme order of Catholicism or anglicanism, and the other option one goes to … Continue reading Evangelicals are nuts and the plight of building an audience Part 1
Why the rapture minded and Baptists are wrong, and other tips on writing a successful post Part 2
Throwing Baptists under the bus is one of the easiest things to do. Baptists do not fit in any neat category. History of the movement is quite messy, like many other things. The movie Footloose was a reaction to some flavors of Baptists. Then there … Continue reading Why the rapture minded and Baptists are wrong, and other tips on writing a successful post Part 2
Why the rapture minded and baptists are wrong, and other tips on writing a successful post Part 1
To write a successful well liked article, one merely needs to throw rapture views or baptist views under the bus. Bonus points are awarded if you grew up baptist and throw a side of spiritual abuse on the table. Accolades added if we get back … Continue reading Why the rapture minded and baptists are wrong, and other tips on writing a successful post Part 1
Abusing Jesus and His bride
“Be careful criticizing the bride that Jesus died for,” said my mentor in response to a student’s criticism of a particular large church. In the not new but currently trendy challenge of deconstructionism, my mentor’s wisdom is even more profound. The intended nebulousness of defining … Continue reading Abusing Jesus and His bride
You’re using what Bible!?
“Why on Earth are you using the New Living Translation!?” said many a friend of late. This question is asked for good reason. Being an ardent believer in expository preaching, a functional equivalent translation does not seem to fit that belief. Personally, I even questioned … Continue reading You’re using what Bible!?
Living by faith and let’s go Brandon
My last article dealing with the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” had interesting responses. There are some who loathed the article because of what the phrase specifically refers too. Others said they felt heard by a pastor for the first time. We should not discount pushback … Continue reading Living by faith and let’s go Brandon
Engage: Solutions to getting involved
Should I take a stand on public matters that are political when I am a church? This is a question, in various forms, asked of me in the last month. In my prior article on this topic, found here, I address areas where repentance is … Continue reading Engage: Solutions to getting involved
Lost, stuck, and the way out
We are forgetting that the Gospel is the solution. We too often treat the Gospel as a side issue, even though the current buzz states the Gospel is central. The questions we are asking right now is how do we live justly? The cycle of … Continue reading Lost, stuck, and the way out
Small Groups: the amazing opportunity of now
With the slow re-opening of the country back up, and the likelihood of church gatherings being restricted for awhile, leveraging small groups is critical. Many churches want to be a church a church of small groups. This crisis is a great test of how well … Continue reading Small Groups: the amazing opportunity of now
Sabbatical: On the flip side
It is weird to be on the other side of the sabbatical. Loads of planning and coordination to pull the venture off, the actual sabbatical, and now back to grind and figuring out what a new normal will be. Here are some random thoughts, and again another push why pastors should take a sabbatical.
You’re more tired than you think
In interviewing people who went on a sabbatical, this was a common phrase stated. So, I wasn’t too surprised when I realized I was more tired and fried than I thought I was. We need rest, and sometimes we need TONS of rest. Be tired is often a good sign that we hopefully worked hard.
You’re more broken than you hoped
Sabbatical is that wonderful time in the mirror when all your brokenness jumps out at out. This can happen in many forms. But the cessation of activity allows you to evaluate deeply where you’re struggling and need to change. Often this isn’t because of some volitional sin. We wear out and can slowly get off track.
You’re better than you realized
This may sound like a contradiction, but there are moments when you look back and realize that you handled things better than you thought you did. You accept the outcome, and you realized you did all you could do. This allows you to see strengths, and it gives you confidence to move forward.
You’re not as essential as you think, and more important than you realized
Life truly can go on without you. At the same time, people realize the void that you fill. This builds appreciation on all sides. It’s healthy to see a church work hard on mission without you. It’s also important to help people see what you do. It’s better together, but a brief season apart helps all.
You’re a big deal to God
This is truly the bottom line. All this combined leaves you with an incredible appreciation for the grace God grants you to pastor, despite the errors and exhaustion. But that’s not the point. You get to spend more time just being with the one you work hard for. It allows you to see that “God has this, you’ll be ok.” This isn’t because you’re superman. It is because God chose to be your friend, and despite who you are and because of who you are, God loves and uses you. Time with God is THE reward of sabbatical.
The bottom line:
Pastors, going on a sabbatical is essential for your ministry. Not because you’re tired, broke, need to see strengths, or help appreciate your role. You need to go on sabbatical because you need to trust God and be with him. To draw deeply from his grace. A layman, who was initially a skeptic or critic of sabbaticals, said this: “Then I realized, do we really want a climate of pastoral ministry where we don’t help pastors meet with God.” No conference or course can take the place of our ultimate source. Pastor, you need God.