Burnout for Pastors

I recently got the suggestion to make available information about a pastor’s retreat center from Jim Watters. The report Jim sent me indicates why this is worth a conversation on this blog. [Read more…]

Missional Youth Ministry? A Letter (added “and Response”)

Here’s another letter used with permission. I’ll reply later, but what would you say — how do we make our ministries, including those with our youth, more missional? [Read more…]

When Student Becomes Friend

One of my former students, Kent Palmer, was once asked, “What is your relationship with Scot?” “It’s rather complicated, actually.” So, let me explain: [Read more…]

Teaching Freedom in Seminary

My post last week on thinking about going to seminary unleashed a bag full of suggestions and, in particular, the questions about “to go or not to go” to seminary (its necessity) and “what do you really get out of it” (its affects and effects). I don’t want to address those questions today, but leave [Read More…]

Thinking of Seminary?

I had lunch with one of my former students, one who graduated one month ago, because he wanted to talk about going to seminary. I don’t know why — maybe because I’m accessible through e-mail and this blog or maybe because I’m getting older — but I get asked this question often. So, here’s two [Read More…]

Educating Youth Pastors

Here’s yet another letter that, with permission, I’ll post here. I have some ideas on this one, but I’d rather hear yours. What kind of education would you like to see for a youth pastor for your children? [Read more…]

Pastoring vs. Professoring

Another letter, now opened for us all, and something worthy of conversation: [Read more…]

The Big “You” and the Bible 2

Pastors, this one’s for you — non-pastors, this one’s also for you. Mark Powell’s book, What Do They Hear?, assumes a significant distinction between clergy and laity and, if you are in a reasonably traditional church, the assumption is a good one. Most importantly, Mark asks this question: How do clergy read a text when [Read More…]

The Big “You” and the Bible 1

We Protestants teach everyone this: You must read the Bible for yourself. Of course, we don’t want those “you”s to get too clever and start saying things that aren’t there, but there is a lot in this teaching we hold so dear. And that is why everyone who reads and teaches the Bible needs to [Read More…]

Doubting Pastors

It is not uncommon for me to get a letter from a leader or a pastor, and some of them are anonymous and some give me bogus names and some tell me their name honestly, in which the pastor explains to me that he or she is full of doubts about God, about Jesus Christ, [Read More…]