A (Usually) Unique Difference in Pastoral Change

Last week I wrote my initial thoughts on change in ministry. In that post I mentioned that I’m much more like any congregant when it comes to ministry change. We are all ministers of the gospel and need to regularly ask ourselves (and the Lord) how we can best serve the local church and be a part of seeing the gospel go to the nations. When it comes to that, I am just like anyone else.

However, when it comes to serving as a pastor in the way that I (or others) do, there is (usually) a unique difference. This difference doesn’t apply to all areas of service the same way (I think Oaks site pastor was my third distinct role at The Chapel), but does come about with certain roles.  Continue reading “A (Usually) Unique Difference in Pastoral Change”

Three Thoughts on Changing Gears in Ministry

My assumption is that if you are reading this, then you likely know that this past Sunday I announced my transition off of staff at The Chapel. I’m not leaving immediately, but will be leaving in the coming months. I’ve been a part of talking about staff transitions at The Chapel, but I’ve never been the subject.

It is different to be on the other side of the announcement. The past few months for me have had moments of grieving, joy, and encouragement. As I’ve talked through decisions with numerous friends and family, I am confident in God’s faithfulness and sad to be leaving people I love.

As I’ve processed the past few days (and weeks, and months, and years), I have a few thoughts. These thoughts are simply preliminary as I try to work out how I’m actually feeling—or at least put words to it.

Continue reading “Three Thoughts on Changing Gears in Ministry”

Worship Songs and Bad Theology: The Podcast

Christians and their worship music. A topic upon which people find little agreement.

For today’s post, I wanted to update a years-old conversation on worship songs and (oftentimes bad) theology. This post (from three-and-a-half years ago) still gets more views during a month than most of my other posts. People definitely care about their songs. Many conversations about worship music focus on style (while an easier conversation to have, that conversation can often produce shallow results because it focuses largely on preference). However, worship songs are conduits of truth. (And the preacher in me knows that people remember songs much more than they remember sermons. Maybe I should sing my sermons.)

In this week’s podcast, Dale and I are joined by two other family members—Evan Godbold and Kevin Bowles (both worship pastors)—to discuss worship songs and theology. You also get to see the new podcast artwork (which is much better than the old podcast artwork, no offense to Dale):

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How these two worship pastors evaluate the songs that make it into their worship services
  • What types of songs these two pastors don’t use because they have confusing and/or bad theology
  • Some of the confusing lines in certain worship songs and how they’re evaluated
  • Some of their go-to songs because of the rich theology they carry (spoiler alert: this song, this song, and this song make the cut)
  • Numerous jokes that only we think are funny

You can listen below and subscribe on iTunes if you never want to miss the party:

Below is a special exchange for blog readers who make it this far: Continue reading “Worship Songs and Bad Theology: The Podcast”

One of My Most Productive Hours

Phrases like “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17) or pray “on all occasions” (Eph 6:18) intimidate the best of us. How are we supposed to do that? When are we supposed to do that? I’m not sure of every way—there are many in my church who diligently pray. I lean on those people. Still, I always want to grow in how I pray and help others to pray and be prayed for.

I have found, many times, that one of my most productive hours in ministry is not Sunday morning. Those moments on Sundays are definitely where I see the most people and, by God’s grace, see the Scriptures transform people. I love Sundays. However, a small group of folks I gather with regularly on Monday mornings to pray has become one of the essential elements to my ministry rhythms. Continue reading “One of My Most Productive Hours”

Tensions in Grace and Growth

This Sunday we will be continuing in our Resolved series. Every Sunday we are pulling back the curtain on our motivations and, by God’s grace, praying for the Scriptures to take root and produce new convictions and habits. Personally, I have found this series both challenging and encouraging. It has been challenging because I am finding so many areas where I leave my life unchecked. It has been encouraging because grace always stands to receive me when I realize that.

This Sunday we delve into just that idea—how do we think about the grace we have in Jesus and, at the same time, our own personal growth as believers? These topics bring tension—both for the preacher and for the listener. Continue reading “Tensions in Grace and Growth”

The Benefits of Synced up Family Bible Reading

If you’ve read the blog before then you know that I write about my attempts at family worship. We sing, we read Bible stories, we act out Bible stories, we make up catechism songs, and probably other things. As the kids grow (and Courtney and I age) we change our tactics, so I thought about an update.

In 2018 we are trying something new (to us). With a little help from Replicate Ministries, the family and I have attacked a modified Bible reading plan that puts me, Courtney, and the older two boys reading the same passages and memorizing the same verses. This is a first for us, but it has (one month in to 2018) been incredibly beneficial. Allow me to explain the structure and the benefits: Continue reading “The Benefits of Synced up Family Bible Reading”