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Showing posts from 2008

What Makes a Pastor Successful?

If only there was an easy answer to that question. I've found that each "success" in minstry brings with it the realization that there is much more work to be done. For each baptism, knowing there are millions more unreached people in the city. For each life-changing sermon for one person, 10 others who were sleeping the whole time. For each conflict resolved, 1,000 more on the way. Success and the idea of a job well done and completed seems like an impossible dream. With this in mind, I've found myself relying on one thing to make myself feel successful. In talking with other pastors and seeing them twittering and updating their facebook statuses they seem to have the same definition of success as well. What makes a pastor successful? BUSYNESS. That's all we can end up relying on in the end. We see all the things that can and should be done. Our church members constantly come to us reminding us of all that is wrong with the church. So, we just take satisfacti

A Question for Christians

“What does it mean to represent the Kingdom of God in a culture devoted to the Kingdom of Self?” -- Eugene Peterson Doesn't that question lay at the heart of what it means to be a Christian today? The question challenges us to examine how much of our spirituality and religiosity is rooted in self-interest as opposed to following the self-sacrificial way of Jesus and his Kingdom. This quote doesn't call for the church to go on a rampage against a godless nation and fight culture wars in an attempt to demonize and garner self-righteous approval. Instead, it calls individual Christians and churches to examine ourselves and see how we have fallen into the ideology of the kingdom of self and seek to replace it with true, kingdom of God values and practices. This self-sacrificial love is what can help redeem the larger culture and help the kingdom of God advance and make a dent in the pervasive kingdom of self.

Come and See

In John 1:29-34, John the Baptist exclaims that Jesus is the "lamb of God." The next day he was with a couple of his disciples when he sees Jesus pass by and tells them to look at the lamb of God. They start following Jesus who eventually turns around asks them what they want. They ask, "Rabbi, where are you staying?" Jesus could have responded with, "At the corner of Wilson Lane and Jefferson St," and be done with it. Instead, he says, "Come, and you will see." The disciples end up spending the entire day with Jesus and when they leave, Andrew goes immediately to tell his brother Simon (who Jesus would re-name Peter) about Jesus and bring him to spend time with him as well. The rest is history. This story is indicative of the way Jesus started his revolution of faith: through inviting people to follow him and experience first-hand what the kingdom was all about. Jesus could have had a discussion with the disciples in which he told them where h