I've got an article running today at Southern Equip about the necessity of college ministry. Check it out: "Can a small church really have an impact on a college campus? Even if it has a tiny staff, lacks modern facilities, and has no coffee bar? The answer is unequivocally yes. Almost five years ago, my … Continue reading Article at Southern Equip on College Ministry
The other day, a box of cheddar bunnies tried to convince me that by eating them I was saving the planet. No, seriously. I was reading the side panel of a purple box of Annie's crackers where it was telling me all about how my putting these cheese crackers in my mouth was somehow ending … Continue reading We’re All Taking Too Many Hits from the Juice Box
I have no stats to back this up, but I think people actually lie to pastors more than anyone else. It's probably because we really do want to believe people have good intentions. It's also probably because we live sheltered little lives and never really come into contact with sin--like really filthy, sticky sin. Because … Continue reading Five Lies Every Pastor Believes
I want you to take a moment and think. Think back and answer this question: When was the last time your whole family made it to church all four Sundays in a month? It seems like an easy question to answer, at first. But then you remember that your son had a basketball tournament two … Continue reading Can You Handle The Four Week Challenge?
I'm not going to go into all the details, but the past six months have been a stretching experience at the small church where I pastor. Many other small-town pastors can attest, finances are precarious at best at churches our size. Some time in the late summer 2016 as things were getting tighter and tighter, I … Continue reading Praying for Cattle Instead of Sheep
Have you ever noticed that you have a tendency to share with others about problems, trials, and tragedies, but you are less inclined to share the joys in your life? Why is that? I explore one purpose behind your personal joy in "Your Joy Soothes Another's Grief" at Desiring God this week: "...What pastors experience acutely … Continue reading New Post at Desiring God
The college semester is back in session, and our church is seeking to minister to the flood of students who descended upon the liberal arts college a couple of blocks down the road. At 30, I am already beginning to feel that drift, as the gulf of experience between me and these young men and … Continue reading I Was a Lost Pinky Toe in College
This morning, I write from the comfortable environs of the Maine coast. For the past ten years running, I've escaped the August heat to the hospitable cool breeze of South Bristol where my in-laws welcome our rowdy family for two weeks of slow-paced family time. I often tell people that it feels like we skid to … Continue reading Pastoral Exhaustion Is a Good Thing
I was on vacation on the coast of Maine having a very pleasant conversation with a friend of my in-laws after dinner. She asks me, "So, Chad, how is the ministry going? I always wonder, is it a lot of pressure to always have to come up with a message for the people every week?" … Continue reading Expository Preaching Is Therapeutic
I've never seen Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Someone is probably on their way as I write to come revoke my ordination certificate, but nevertheless it's true. The movie came out when I was in high school. I remember seeing the trailer for it and thinking of all the blood and gore that was … Continue reading Jesus Doesn’t Need Your Pity
One of the most exciting things about moving from apartment living into a home in SC was the opportunity to begin gardening. As a high schooler, I spent summers with my friends as landscape artists (*ahem*, read "mulch throwers and weed-eaters." Our preferred term for ourselves was "grass maggots"). I had some experience planting flowers … Continue reading Lessons from Four Years of Gardening and Gospel Ministry
It's Columbus Day, the day we all learned, "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." Americans celebrate this day in history because we see it as a vital part of our nation's history, but God did have other projects going on elsewhere. Have you ever considered that there were some pretty famous Christians alive in … Continue reading Who Else Lived in the Days of Columbus?
How do you avoid quick pastoral turnover? None of us go into our first pastorate hoping to be forced to leave after a year or two. What can you do to give yourself the best shot at success in your first pastorate? It’s only by God’s grace that we are able to persevere in any … Continue reading Six Quick Ways To Ruin Your First Pastorate
How do you know for sure that you are supposed to be a church planter? I'm pretty sure most of us have never woken from deep sleep to find "Thou Shalt Planteth Mine Church" scrawled by the finger of God in the ceiling above. Generally, I would guess the Holy Spirit has stirred a desire … Continue reading Are You Sure You’re Called to Church Planting?
There is more pressure on the local pastor than ever. We have pressure to live up to the giftedness of the renowned preachers that fill the earbuds of our congregants during the week. We fight the sense of inferiority that comes when we see pictures of other churches on Facebook that are overflowing with young … Continue reading What Your Pastors Really Need (Hint: It’s Not Your Advice)