How to Start at Your New Church and How to Leave Your Old Church
Over ten years in pastoral ministry I’ve seen many new people come to church and I’ve seen a few long-time members leave our church. Some make these moves better than others … I want to reflect on what new people can do right in coming to a church and what is helpful from those who decide they must leave the church.
I often think that guilt is a particular hazard for people involved in ministry and church leadership. I don’t mean the kind of ‘godly sorrow’ that the Spirit brings to lead us to repentance and full life. I mean the kind of chronic cloud of inadequacy and general ‘loserliness’ that chokes motivation and saps energy. So here are a few chronic guilt-inducers that you might want to consider unloading.
In North America, we have an unhealthy fascination with celebrity preachers. Building a church (or a movement) around a celebrity pastor/preacher has inherent dangers and gives rise to certain problems. Let me list a few…
What is an “expositional” sermon?
An expositional sermon is a sermon that takes the main point of a passage of Scripture, makes it the main point of the sermon, and applies it to life today.
In other words, an expositional sermon exposes the meaning of a passage of Scripture and shows its relevance to the lives of one’s hearers. That’s it.
The Three Aspects of Sermon Preparation
To neglect the personal aspect of sermon preparation dooms a sermon to technical acceptability, with maybe some cutesy rhetorical flourishes. To submit to the personal aspect, to walk with God in total openness to him, putting him first and then preaching by faith, will make the sermon better because the man is better.
That kind of preaching is rare, because that kind of preacher is rare.
How Membership Meetings Can Help Your Preaching
The meetings also opened our eyes to better know the strengths and weaknesses of the collective members. As people talk you hear theology, practice, habits, and worldview. As a preaching pastor this is gold for me. It helps me to see blindspots that we may have as a church and to consider how to address them.
Some pastors arrange their teaching programmes for a whole year or even longer; others work 4-6 months ahead. Our church tends to arrange its rotas three months at a time which means I am beginning to think about July to September at the moment.
Here are seven questions I ask myself during this process…
How to Sabotage an Introverted Pastor
Your patient is an introvert, yes? Feed him more and more information about how utterly draining people are, how ungifted he is to care for them, and how it is actually Enemy-glorifying for him to operate according to his personality type, others be damned.
4 Ways to Fight Clean Over Doctrine
I have seen over the years how Christians get so consumed with secondary issues that the gospel is obscured, the mission is sidetracked, and the body of Christ is injured.
There must be a better way to fight about the things we can’t seem to agree on. Consider these four ways to fight clean over doctrine.
5 Ways to Keep Church Discipline from Seeming Weird
How do we work at keeping church discipline from seeming weird? Here are 5 ways…
7 Thoughts on Church Discipline
I do believe there is a place for church discipline. How can I not? The Bible addresses it. It’s just that most of the time when I’ve seen it spoken of it seems more like retribution than something Biblical. I’m against that! I think punishment was nailed to a cross.
Should we being doing more church discipline? Yes
Should we do it better? Yes
10 things writing my 4th book taught me
I’m in the middle of writing a new book right now.
And there are 10 things I’ve learned that have helped make the experience a lot more awesome…