This week’s podcast episode was a fun one to record. I got to talk a bit about a pastor assessment process I am going through and Evan got to talk about an episode of the rebooted Twilight Zone he watched. You can check out the episode below:
In between those two discussions was a brief chat about a book that I had just finished up. The book is called Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive. It’s written by Stephanie Land and I only got to speak about it briefly in the podcast, so I wanted to give a few thoughts on the book now that I have a little more time to articulate myself.
On Monday, I wrote about a passage in Ephesians that I often find misused. I don’t find it ruin-your-church-worthy, but I do think it is used in such a way that is inconsistent with what I understand it to be saying and with what I understand about church life. Today, I wanted to expand on a leadership saying that those in the church often import without discernment.
(As a disclaimer: I like leadership books and I like leadership talks and I think that they can help church leaders make better decisions. I think it is all part of God’s general revelation into how the world works and how people works, but they aren’t canon and they never should be. )
If you know me, then you know I generally have a suspicious take on hip and trendy pastor phrases. It’s just one of my quirky things. I remembering one of those motivational posters from school when I was a kid that said, “What is right is now always what is popular. What is popular is not always what is right.” I’m not saying that hip and trendy phrases are wrong, I’m just saying that *I* tend to meet them with suspicion. It’s about me, not the phrase.
One of those passages/statements is from what I think is a true idea, but perhaps a goofy application of said idea. What I’ll do is show the idea, show what I like, show where I’m a little critical, and then leave with a thought or two moving forward.
I’m not sure if most think like I do—probably not. Ask Courtney and you’ll know that I’m a bit neurotic. In a few weeks we will hit the 10-year mark since graduating from seminary the first time. Ten years. That’s shocking to me. I’m just a few months from ten full years in pastoral ministry. Honestly, that isn’t much time. I have many more years to potentially flame out, but I pray that I don’t (and would ask you to do the same).
So, in celebration of (almost) ten years, I decided to blog on the dumb things that cross my mind while working at a church. Consider it one part humor and one part personal confession. I doubt most people think like I do, but here are a few things that still cross my mind ten years late.
So, if you’re new (or old) to the blog, then you’ve noticed that I have been writing more. Writing with a great frequency is something that I’ve wanted to do for a while but simply haven’t set up the time for. I’ve started to budget the time and have done a decent job at keeping it. So, for those who do read this blog with any regularity: I have a question for you.
What are some of the best things that I can write about? What are the posts that you find most beneficial? Why types of things do you want to hear? (Ok, those were questions, but they all orbit around the same idea.)
I wrote on Monday on some of my observations about going through a reading plan, memory plan, and preaching plan as a church. I forgot to mention another area where we aligned: our small group discussion. Our groups that meet throughout the week do not have to do a discussion guide that is synced up with the sermon text, but it is provided for them should they want to.
But that isn’t why I’m writing today. Today I wanted to write about a follow-up thought that shows another angle of this aligned approach. This whole plan has been a great discipline for me in how I think about preaching, and I believe it has been good for our church, but there is another side to pursuing corporate disciplines like this and then how to apply it pastorally: