December 11, 2019

Another Look: A Favorite Gospel Word

Note from CM: This is one of the first posts I wrote for Internet Monk, back when Michael asked me to help during his illness nine years ago. I think it a good preparation for the turn of the Christian Year, which happens this Sunday on Advent I. • • • Blessed be the Lord […]

Let’s Discuss: A Job Description for a “Senior Pastor”

Note from CM: Thanks to RDavid, who commented yesterday and brought our attention to Scot McKnight’s post about the job description set forth at Willow Creek Community Church for their new Senior Pastor. Here’s the link: Willow Creek, What’s a Pastor? As most of you know, I consider Scot a mentor and friend, and I […]

Another Funeral Rant

Another Funeral Rant I’ll never get it as long as I live. Maybe it’s as simple as a difference in personalities, but I still can’t quite fathom it. Why is it so hard for some pastors to express sympathy and break out of their ministerial routines when they officiate funeral services? I attended a service […]

Another Look: I Am a Pastor

I wrote this many years ago, while on a mission trip in India. I used it to teach children about what a pastor is and does. Over the years, I’ve come back to it many times. Its simple words remind me of and refresh me in God’s calling. Perhaps, today, it can be of encouragement […]

Another Look: Fear Not, Little Flock

Another Look: Fear Not, Little Flock From 2011 • • • Last Sunday, my wife and I entered the side door of the old church building. The small entryway had a few steps that led up to two vintage oak doors. The one on the left led to the back corner of the sanctuary. Next […]

Monday with Michael Spencer: They Bought Me, And I’m Glad

Monday with Michael Spencer They Bought Me, And I’m Glad (excerpt, 2008) • • • There is one aspect of ordination I appreciate on a very personal level. When a congregation ordains you, they are setting you aside to serve them, yes. But they are also saying, “He belongs to us. We bought him, and […]

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 […]