Authority in the Local Church

Ah, now that word authority is likely to get some to have a few things to say. Many of us might sympathize with Joseph Hellerman, Embracing Shared Ministry, when he says this: One Sunday I informed my congregation that I would not make a very good Democrat because I do not trust big government. Then I remarked [Read More...]

The Beards of Ministry

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Competition among Churches

There are at least two signs of competition among churches, or should I say among pastors. The first is the act of wondering how big or how many are attending another church and the second is the inner disturbance of wanting to win (in the game of numbers). The single-most important sign of non-competition between churches or [Read More...]

Top Problems for Pastors

From Thom Rainer: Each is discussed at the site. In many ways, there are no surprises. Indeed, I doubt most of you will be surprised at my findings. If nothing else, it is a good reminder of how we can help our pastors, and how we can pray for them. Of course, you will quickly [Read More...]

The Need for a Sabbatical for Your Pastor(s)

Thom Rainer: I have the opportunity to work with lay leaders and pastors. I have a pretty good view of both perspectives. And I am convinced that more lay leaders need to insist their pastors take regular breaks even beyond vacations. Allow me to provide five reasons for my rationale. A pastor has emotional highs [Read More...]

When Leaders Demand Honor

As we described in a previous post (Putting People in their Place), the Roman world was a world shaped by the “honors race,” or the quest for honor and status. What happens when the gospel invades the honors race? What happens, more particularly, when the apostle Paul encounters the Roman honors race with a gospel [Read More...]

Putting People in their Places

Humans look at others and assign the others a social location. Not all humans do this because there are some who like to think they don’t assign others. We may strive not to assign others but those who are successful are few indeed. The Romans did not even try; in fact, status and honor and [Read More...]

Two Challenges for Pastors

By my friend Allan Bevere When I was in seminary, I remember my teacher Stanley Hauerwas saying that the two most important challenges pastors face are loneliness and self-hate– loneliness because pastors and their families do not feel comfortable, nor do they find themselves able, at times, to develop the kinds of friendships with others [Read More...]

7 Years of Pastoring: Reflections by Mark Stevens

Living Faithfully as the People of God, by our friend in Adelaide Australia, Mark Stevens. Seven years ago last week I started my journey as pastor and shepherd of the Happy Valley Church of Christ. I’ve found that we don’t often use these words any more to describe what it is we do. We call [Read More...]

One of the Church’s Biggest Challenges Today

From Jonathan Storment: One of the reasons Scot asked me to write this column was to help share what I am wrestling with at a local church level. And so for the next few weeks I would like to talk about the biggest crisis the church I preach at is facing. I want to talk [Read More...]