All posts from “Calling”

Driscoll Drops Acts 29 & Gospel Coalition

March 30, 2012 2:02 PM

On Wednesday Mark Driscoll announced his resignation from the presidency of the Acts 29 church planting network. The same day leaders from The Gospel Coalition said they received a letter from Driscoll announcing his resignation from the group's leadership council....

Hello, Rob Bell

February 8, 2012 12:00 AM

Last year Rob Bell made waves with his book Love Wins which he describes as "a book about heaven, hell, and the fate of every person who has ever lived." The waves became a tsunami when John Piper tweeted "Farewell,...

Back to (a Theology of) Work We Go...

January 31, 2012 12:00 AM

Newsflash…Young adults are leaving the church. Ok, it’s not really news to anyone familiar with church attendance trends. For generations we have seen young people raised within the church depart during their later teens and twenties. But most returned once...

Ur Video: Rick McKinley on Activists

January 25, 2012 12:00 AM

This video was produced by This Is Our City, a project of Christianity Today exploring how Christians are working for the flourishing of their cities. Here McKinley talks about the activism of Portland's culture and how the church can't just...

Ur Video: MLK & Seeing a God-With-Us World

January 16, 2012 12:00 AM

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Skye Jethani: Recipe for Church-365 (Part 3)

October 4, 2011 12:00 AM

Read parts one and two of "Recipe for Church365". Ingredient Three: Vocational Discipleship Last month I met with David Kinnaman, president of The Barna Group, to discuss our new books. He wanted to talk about how the themes in my...

Skye Jethani: Recipe for Church-365 (Part 2)

September 26, 2011 12:00 AM

Read part 1 of "Recipe for Church365. Ingredient Two: Cultural Flourishing As I discussed in my first book, The Divine Commodity, when church institutionalism grows out of control, we come to believe that programs rather than people are the vessels...

Authority or Influence

July 15, 2011 12:00 AM

As a pastor, I have authority in my community. But authority is not really what I want. What I really want is influence. Authority is the ability to get people to do what I think they should do. Influence, however,...

Pastoral Authority: Earned, Taken, or Granted?

July 11, 2011 12:00 AM

Pastor. In the eight years since this label first applied to me, it has been fascinating to notice who uses it and who doesn’t. The church that first entrusted the title to me was suburban, predominately white, and largely middle-aged....

Blessed Redundancy

June 29, 2011 12:00 AM

I like airplanes, and given the amount I travel that is a good thing. Seeing these incredible machines--aluminum and composite monuments of human ingenuity--makes the atrocities of most American airports almost bearable. (My genetically tanned, ambiguously ethnic appearance must scream...

Ur Video: The Succession Dilemma

June 27, 2011 12:00 AM

Tim Keller and John Piper both lead very large churches. But what happens when they eventually leave their posts? It's a question that is facing many megachurches given that most were started by Baby Boomer leaders who are now entering...

The Pastor's Speech

May 5, 2011 12:00 AM

By now you are aware that The King's Speech has won the Academy Award for best picture. The film chronicles the King of England's stuttering problem and how he overcomes it. The movie hit home for Dan Wallis, assistant pastor...

Are We Afraid of Single Pastors? (Part 2)

February 15, 2011 12:00 AM

Read part 1 of "Are We Afraid of Single Pastors?" Prejudice is like a cockroach: it is able to get into the smallest of places, and it never seems to die. What’s worse is that everyone carries the cockroach of...

Are We Afraid of Single Pastors?

January 31, 2011 12:00 AM

Is being a Protestant single pastor like being a married Catholic priest? Is it an oxymoron? I never would have thought so until the economic crisis hit, and I had to find a new pastoral position. For the first time...

The Ambition Engine

October 28, 2010 12:00 AM

When I entered seminary 12 years ago, I was humbled by many of my classmates. While we all suffered through "suicide Greek" (an intense six-week summer course that only a gifted linguist with a penchant for self-flagellation would enjoy), I...

John Piper Breaks His Silence

October 4, 2010 12:00 AM

Our colleague over at Christianity Today, Sarah Pulliam Bailey, has snagged an interview with John Piper that Ur-banites will want to read. Piper has been on an 8-month leave from ministry to focus on "soul check, marriage and family check,...

Ur Video: Why Did Francis Chan Leave?

September 17, 2010 12:00 AM

Earlier this year we ran an interview with Francis Chan in Leadership journal about the significant shifts he's led at his church in Simi Valley, California. Just as that issue of LJ when to print word leaked that Chan had...

Brothers and Sisters, We Kinda Sorta Are Professionals

July 13, 2010 12:00 AM

If there’s one issue that all pastors must wrestle with, beyond how the Gospel applies to their own lives and ministry, it’s the issue of rest and Sabbath. Wait—scratch that. Those are actually the same issue. There was a time...

Is Ministry a Job or Vocation?

July 6, 2010 12:00 AM

Eugene Peterson laments in For the Beauty of the Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts (Baker Books, 2010) that he has been “trying for fifty years now to be a pastor in a culture that doesn’t know the difference...

The Pastor as Docent

April 21, 2010 12:00 AM

A friend told me that Eugene Peterson’s Under the Unpredictable Plant should be required reading for every pastor who has served for at least five years. That was how long it had been since my ordination. I picked up a...

John Piper's "Poisonous Cup"

April 7, 2010 12:00 AM

As nearly everyone has now heard, John Piper is taking an 8-month leave of absence from public ministry starting in May. The announcement was made to his congregation during his sermon on March 28. He plans to examine his life...

Ur Video: Ed Young Jr. says "U.B.U."

February 19, 2010 12:00 AM

Ed Young Jr., the eccentric pastor from Fellowship Church in Dallas (remember the "7 Day Sex Challenge" sermon he preached from a bed rather than a pulpit?), is reaching out to other pastors with a message on the dangers of...

What Clergy Do Not Need

November 11, 2009 12:00 AM

I do not think clergy need more lectures about self-care. It seems that at every ordination or installation service I attend there is a charge given about clergy self care. One minister stands up and tells another minister that they...

Dave Ramsey's Momentum Theorum

October 9, 2009 9:18 AM

The irrepressible financial guru Dave Ramsey burst on the Catalyst stage talking about “momentum.” “When you have it, you look better than you are. When you don’t have it, you’re better than you look.” He talked about times his ministry...

Priscilla Shirer on Leading like Joshua

October 9, 2009 8:39 AM

As a leader, you face a lot of great projects to take on, a lot of good directions to go. But in Friday’s first session, Priscilla Shirer reminded the Catalyst crowd to proceed only down those paths on which...

Catalyst Day 1: A Lab on Your Heart Condition

October 7, 2009 10:47 AM

Mark Batterson led off the Catalyst lab sessions with a few words from his upcoming book Primal, which led into a reflection on the foundation of ministry. (Kevin Miller was across the room blogging this session as well, and...

Ur Video: Donald Miller on Life and Story

July 13, 2009 12:00 AM

Hear more from Donald Miller at the STORY conference October 28-29 in Chicago. Learn more about the event at storychicago.com....

Urban Exile: Gran Torino

June 15, 2009 8:48 AM

Clint Eastwood taught me something the other day. The veteran actor and director's latest film sheds light on the tendency by many of us to seek the cultural values of homogeneity, stability, and comfort rather than finding God in the...

Q&A with Frank Viola

May 13, 2009 12:00 AM

Unlike his previous volumes (Pagan Christianity and Reimagining Church), Frank Viola's new book From Eternity to Here is not about church practices and forms. Instead, it tells the story of God's eternal purposes in redemption from Genesis to Revelation. "I...

Tony Jones: We Ordain Everyone

May 11, 2009 12:00 AM

Do you believe in ordination? Or, more accurately stated, do you believe in denominational structures that regulate who is ordained for ministry based on prerequisites, credentials, and education? Tony Jones, author and a leading voice of the emergent church, has...

Rick Warren's Graduated Gospel: Live at Catalyst West

April 24, 2009 3:49 PM

My son is a gymnast, so I've had to learn about "difficulty factor." That means a judge gives a gymnast better scores for harder routines. For instance, if your dismount from the high bar involves a double back flip...

Andy Stanley: Live (and Uncertain) at Catalyst West

April 24, 2009 8:49 AM

Ever faced a leadership decision, and didn't feel you had all the information you needed to decide? For instance, to hire or not to hire? To discipline or extend more grace? Andy Stanley opened the Catalyst West conference with...

Audio Ur: David Swanson on Urban Ministry

October 22, 2008 8:51 AM

A couple of weeks ago, Leadership assistant editor Brandon O'Brien spent a day talking with Out of Ur friends and contributors in Chicago. The result of his efforts is a series of podcasts we'll be releasing on Ur over...

Cartoon: An Unusual Spiritual Gift

September 15, 2008 12:00 AM

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Stiff Necks and Bruised Reeds

September 12, 2008 12:00 AM

Sometime last year, a short passage of Scripture lodged in my brain. It's been rubbing and needling there ever since and challenging the way I think about ministry. The passage is from Isaiah 42. Describing Jesus, the Suffering Servant, the...

Urban Exile: Following Jesus in the Face of Fear

September 9, 2008 12:00 AM

Pulling up to a busy intersection recently, my wife and I were startled to see a car with its rear windshield shattered. Out of the damaged car leaped a man with a baseball bat, yelling and chasing the two apparent...

Cartoon: Am I Called to Preach?

September 2, 2008 12:00 AM

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Great is Thy Effectiveness?

August 12, 2008 12:00 AM

Something's wrong. We pastors are the stewards, the spokespeople, the advocates of a message of hope, life, and peace. And yet so few of us seem to be experiencing these qualities in our own lives. Something's wrong. In a world...

"God, Rock The Summit"

August 8, 2008 2:47 PM

This year's roster at Willow Creek's Leadership Summit conference includes an impressive lineup of leaders from both the ministry and secular business realms. Pastors John Burke and Efrem Smith, and Bill George (current Harvard Business prof and former CEO...

They Love the Church but Not the Institution (Part 2)

March 12, 2008 12:00 AM

In the first part of this post, I discussed my suspicion that we have confused the church (the community of God's people) with the church institution (the 501c3 tax-exempt organization). This leads to a myopic understanding of Christian mission and...

They Love the Church but Not the Institution

March 10, 2008 12:00 AM

Dan Kimball, a regular contributor to Leadership and Out of Ur, has written a book titled, They Like Jesus but Not the Church: Insights from emerging generations. The book chronicles the attitudes of younger seekers - they feel a strong...

Out of Context: John M. Buchanan

March 6, 2008 12:00 AM

"Preachers need to be very careful before claiming they are God's mouthpiece. I think the preacher needs to be suggestive and not declarative. There are times in history when people (like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King) were called with...

The Glory and the Grief

February 28, 2008 2:42 PM

In his second report from the National Pastors Convention, David Swanson describes how two Anglican bishops helped him recognize Christ's presence among all the convention glitz and kitsch. May I confess something? I've experienced a bit of cynicism at...

Are Pastors Competitive Enough?

November 6, 2007 12:00 AM

The line between ministry and the business world has blurred. It is increasingly difficult to tell the difference between secular leadership and sacred leadership, and there are some influential voices arguing that any differentiation is artificial. As a result, many...

Happy Shiny Pastors

May 23, 2007 12:00 AM

Last month the Chicago Tribune reported that pastors are the happiest people on earth - really. Research done by the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center found that clergy ranked highest in job satisfaction and "general happiness." They even...

Name Calling

April 13, 2007 12:00 AM

What is a Christian response to the flap over radio personality Don Imus's description of the Rutgers women's basketball team? Is his firing a concession to pressure groups or an appropriate judgment? In this debate, is there something deeper to...

The False Gospel of Impact

March 2, 2007 12:00 AM

How can a church leader keep their soul rooted in Christ and still keep pace with their ministry? The next issue of Leadership, due in mailboxes in April, will focus on that question. Phil Vischer may seem like an unlikely...

Does Ministry Fuel Addictive Behavior?

November 16, 2006 12:00 AM

In a recent issue of Leadership, Sally Morgenthaler shared the story of her husband’s sexual addiction that resulted in a felony conviction and years in prison. Through that painful experience, Morgenthaler came to see how pastoral ministry can actually contribute...

Catalytic Conversations 2: Rednecks, sovereignty, natural selection, and injustice.

October 5, 2006 9:30 PM

Leadership editor Marshall Shelley is in Atlanta this week for the Catalyst Conference, where almost 10,000 mostly younger leaders of churches are meeting to discuss ministry in today's culture. Here's his second report. Today was the conference's first full day,...

National Pastors Convention 3: David Anderson Reminds Us “Shift Happens”

February 25, 2006 12:00 AM

Developing a multicultural congregation is something many people have talked about but few have done. David Anderson is one of the few. As founder and pastor of Bridgeway Community Church, a multicultural church in Columbia, Maryland, Anderson knows the challenges...

National Pastors Convention 2: Tony Campolo says “Risk More!”

February 23, 2006 6:43 PM

I've heard Tony Campolo speak enough to know you're in trouble when he takes off his glasses and squints his eyes so tight they disappear into his skull. At that moment his brain is loading a spiritual bombshell into his...

8,000 Whoopee! cushions

October 6, 2005 10:40 AM

Hello from the Catalyst conference in Atlanta. I just heard a new Guiness World Record set: more than 8,000 people sitting on Whoopee cushions simultaneously. It was explosive! I am hopeful that the rest of the Catalyst conference will be...

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