July 20, 2019

Another Look: Live into the “What” not the “Why”

Note from CM: I wrote this a year ago. I need it this week. Maybe it will help you too. • • • When someone is drowning, the only thing worse than failing to throw them a life preserver is handing them a reason. • Kate Bowler • • • Live into the “What” not […]

A Funeral Homily: The Soup of Life

A Funeral Homily: The Soup of Life It’s very nearly winter, and the days are growing darker and colder. I know you are feeling today like your lives have grown darker and colder as well, because you have lost your loved one. It is right for you to feel this way, because she was a […]

Eugene Peterson and Me

The biblical fact is that there are no successful churches. There are, instead, communities of sinners, gathered before God week after week in towns and villages all over the world. The Holy Spirit gathers them and does his work in them. In these communities of sinners, one of the sinners is called pastor and given […]

Matt B. Redmond on Lessons Learned from Eugene Peterson

Note from CM: Eugene Peterson died yesterday. He was the pastor’s pastor, and a delightful, important subversive voice in today’s church culture. Peterson was my pastoral hero and (book-)mentor. One of my greatest regrets is knowing that he pastored in the town where I lived while a teenager and I never attended his church. I […]

The Pastoral Ministry of Absence

The Pastoral Ministry of Absence There is a fine and thought-provoking article at CT by Stephen L. Woodworth called, “The Ministry of Absence.” In it, Pastor Woodworth uses personal anecdotes from his ministry along with insights from Henri Nouwen to encourage pastors to remember that, in the final analysis, people need God and not the […]

Wednesday with Michael Spencer: On Preaching Principles

Note from CM: Michael cared deeply about worship and preaching. Many of his posts over the years were about how the evangelical world he knew and observed had traded good preaching in for methods that compromised proclaiming the gospel of grace in favor of “relevant” messages about “Christian living” and “sin management.” Today’s post is […]

The Use of the Bible in Pastoral Care (4)

The Use of the Bible in Pastoral Care Part Four: Why do we have the Bible in the first place? What is the Bible? And what is it for? Yesterday’s post highlighted the fact that I have come a long way from some of the common evangelical understandings about how to answer those questions. The […]

The Use of the Bible in Pastoral Care (3)

The Use of the Bible in Pastoral Care Part Three: Drawn to the Religionless These first few posts in this series are autobiographical, tracing my journey as a minister within the world of evangelicalism. I’m doing this with the goal of putting some “flesh” on the subject. In posts to come, we’ll look at some […]

The Use of the Bible in Pastoral Care (2)

The Use of the Bible in Pastoral Care Part Two: A World Between Sundays In part one, I said that my first congregational ministry experience changed something inside me and made me more open to the work of pastoral care. However, I must also admit that a battle about this raged inside me when I […]

The Use of the Bible in Pastoral Care (1)

The Use of the Bible in Pastoral Care Part One: The Birth of a Pastor I have been serving as a hospice chaplain for almost thirteen years now, so my daily work involves visiting those who are in the final season of life, along with their families, friends, and caregivers. Before that, I was in […]