CHURCH AS THERMOMETER OR THERMOSTAT:

WORDS FROM BIRMINGHAM JAIL To an acculturated and accommodated church, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote these words. He wrote them to us in Birmingham, from our jail, fifty years ago but the words ring true in the church today, perhaps in the church of any age, so let us reflect upon them again inContinue reading “CHURCH AS THERMOMETER OR THERMOSTAT:”

Thoughts on "The Jesus Enterprise"

I’m concerned about a book about the church that uses the word enterprise in the title, a word borrowed from business. But I sure want to reach the unchurched. Thus I read The Jesus Enterprise: Engaging Culture to Reach the Unchurched (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2004), by Kent R. Hunter. Here are some quotes from theContinue reading “Thoughts on "The Jesus Enterprise"”

LESSONS WE CAN LEARN FROM JACK WELCH

The Cabinet and I have been pondering our role as personnel officers of the church. It is our job to recruit, evaluate, and to place clergy. We believe that there is much that we can learn about personnel matters from those in business or other organizations. Hal Nobel, Superintendent of the Northwest District, has recentlyContinue reading “LESSONS WE CAN LEARN FROM JACK WELCH”

KIERKEGAARD ON PASTORS WHO ARE SERVANTS OF THE TRUTH

One of our talented young candidates in ministry, Christopher Barnett, is at Oxford University writing a dissertation on Soren Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard, the “Solitary Dane,” had some tough things to say about pastors of his day. He firmly believed that pastors are not called to run errands for members of the congregation or to be theContinue reading “KIERKEGAARD ON PASTORS WHO ARE SERVANTS OF THE TRUTH”

The Last to Believe in Easter

Preparing to preach on Easter I note some curious truths. The first to experience Easter, and the first to preach Easter were women (take that, those who think that women preaching isn’t “biblical”!). And to whom do the women preach the resurrection? The disciples of Jesus. Preachers and lay leaders of the church please note.Continue reading “The Last to Believe in Easter”

The Point of Pastoral Ministry: Lay Ministry

Bill Easum, our consultant in ministry in North Alabama, has a provocative word about the need to empower the laity to do ministry: “You know, one of the issues here is that everyone relies too much on the pastor to do all the ministry.” Before I could finish the man blurted out, “I’m aware ourContinue reading “The Point of Pastoral Ministry: Lay Ministry”