All posts from “pastoral care”

Ed Dobson on Finding Purpose Outside the Church

February 23, 2012 12:00 AM

For the last two weeks we've been talking about the temptations and maladies created by our the celebrity culture within the church. Pastors are measured by the magnitude of their platform rather than the maturity of their faith. Ed Dobson...

Unexpected Grace

February 6, 2012 12:00 AM

Some of the most important moments of faith do not come from the places we expect. They may not come from behind a pulpit or an altar, in corporate worship, or during a retreat. Those of us leading congregations are...

Listening to Tullian Tchividjian at the Jacksonville Pastor's Conference

January 26, 2012 9:40 PM

I'm blogging semi-live live from the Jacksonville Pastor's Conference and it's the first time I've heard Tullian Tchividjian speak. Here's one thing for certain about Tullian: he's passionate and clear about one thing—the gospel. And for Tullian the good news...

Farewell Rob Bell

December 28, 2011 12:00 AM

This week marks the end of Rob Bell's leadership of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Bell is moving on to new callings in California including creating a television show. A few weeks ago he said his goodbyes...

Does the Church Need More 'Chaplains' or 'Leaders'?

December 5, 2011 12:00 AM

Our colleague at Christianity Today, Mark Galli, has written an article that has challenged prevailing assumptions about the role of pastors. He responds to the popular belief that healthy and effective pastors should be innovative leaders with dynamic personalities. In...

Would You Attend a Same-Sex Marriage Ceremony? (Revisited)

October 19, 2011 12:00 AM

Last week I wrote a brief report about Al Mohler's dissatisfaction with Joel Osteen's answers during his CNN interview with Piers Morgan. Osteen said that while he would not officiate a same-sex marriage ceremony, he was open to attending one...

Would You Attend a Same-Sex Marriage Ceremony?

October 13, 2011 12:00 AM

Al Mohler is mopping the floor with Joel Osteen's perfectly quaffed hair. Last week Osteen and his wife were interviewed by CNN's Piers Morgan to promote his new book Every Day A Friday, How To Be Happier 7 Days a...

Catalyst 2011 Justice and Mercy Part 1

October 7, 2011 11:49 AM

One of the things I appreciate about this conference is the beautiful blend of worship and compassion, evangelism and justice, love for the church and love for a broken world. The Catalyst culture promotes so much talk and action around...

Catalyst 2011 Andy Stanley: Be Present

October 6, 2011 11:47 AM

BE PRESENT. That’s the theme for Catalyst 2011. I love the theme. I’ve spent most of my life learning how to show up—I mean really show up—and be present to God, my own heart, and of course people—church people, lost...

Should Pastors Marry Cohabitating Couples?

September 28, 2011 12:00 AM

A new poll conducted by LifeWay Research reports that 58 percent of Protestant pastors would perform a marriage ceremony for a cohabitating couple; 31 percent would not, and 10 percent were undecided. There was some variation between mainline and evangelical...

Out of Context: Eugene Peterson

September 8, 2011 12:00 AM

"If people don't know their pastor, it's easy to put the pastor on a pedestal and depersonalize him or her. It's also easy for pastors, who don't know their congregations, simply to classify congregants as saved or unsaved, involved or...

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....

The Heart of Authority: Relationships

June 17, 2011 12:00 AM

Anthony, the junior high youth pastor who serves alongside me at River Valley Church, is an ace car mechanic. He’s my authority on all things pertaining to my 2001 Honda Civic. He can diagnose and fix my problem. He’s good,...

All Ministry Is Local

May 18, 2011 12:00 AM

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at a gathering for small church pastors and lay leaders in rural eastern Michigan (locals call it “the thumb”). Eleven or so churches were represented; about 45 folks showed up, all members of...

Ur Video: Exorcisms on the Rise?

March 8, 2011 12:00 AM

The new film The Rite is based on the experience of real life exorcist Father Gary Thomas, a Roman Catholic Priest. In this CNN report, a journalist sits down with Thomas to talk about the facts and fiction of exorcism....

Catalyst: The Tension Is Good

October 6, 2010 10:14 PM

Tomorrow is the first day of Catalyst, and today Nate Johnson and I from Leadership went to Atlanta for the pre-day of “labs,” Catalyst’s term for their workshops. This year’s theme: “The Tension Is Good.” Several of the labs I...

Ur Video: Skye Jethani from "The Nines"

September 10, 2010 12:00 AM

Yesterday Leadership Network hosted their very popular online conference "The Nines." 6 minute videos ran all day featuring church leaders discussing "game changing" insights. Skye Jethani, senior editor of Leadership Journal and Out of Ur, used his 6 minutes to...

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...

Who Are the De-Churched? (Part 2)

April 8, 2010 12:00 AM

I ended Part 1 of this post with a question—what is the church to do about the growing ranks of the de-churched? I believe the answer depends on which de-churched group one is talking about. In Part 1 I identified...

Ur Video: Why Church?

March 26, 2010 12:00 AM

Last week Skye Jethani wrote a post about the "de-churched." It included information about a contest being hosted by 12 Cities | 12 Conversations inviting people to submit videos about why they're committed to Christ but questioning their commitment to...

Who Are the De-Churched? (Part 1)

March 16, 2010 12:00 AM

In days gone by, missional efforts were focused on presenting and demonstrating the love of Christ to non-Christians. But in the 1980s a new term was coined to describe the growing number of North Americans without any significant church background....

Chris Seay: Don't Begin with Morality

March 1, 2010 12:00 AM

In the current issue of our digizine, Catalyst Leadership, there is a video of Chris Seay talking about his ministry among transvestite prostitutes in Houston. "If Jesus were in Houston, Texas, today this is where he would be," says Seay,...

Avatar and Becoming Mature in Christ

February 17, 2010 12:00 AM

I have been thinking a lot lately about Colossians 1, where Paul writes: "We proclaim Christ, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this reason I labor, struggling with...

The Hansen Report: Valuing Visitation

January 11, 2010 12:00 AM

In the hierarchy of church problems, most pastors wouldn’t mind figuring out how to handle a congregation that has grown so rapidly that they can no longer get to know everyone personally. The multisite church boom has met this...

Ur Video: Stanley Hauerwas on Leadership

January 6, 2010 12:00 AM

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Ur Video: Francis Chan on Being a Prophet

September 17, 2009 12:00 AM

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The Pastor's Front Row Seat

August 12, 2009 12:00 AM

"Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them … Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep." Romans 12 There was a point in my life when I hated weddings. I'd do anything I...

Bill Hybels on "Leading in the New Reality"

August 7, 2009 7:57 AM

Opening illustration: Ship captains will sail if waves are 3 feet, 6 feet, or even 9 feet high; but what they fear are rogue waves--the unexpected high wave. All of us in organizational leadership this past 8 months have been...

Beyond "Us versus Them"

July 15, 2009 12:00 AM

When Andrew Marin's three best friends "came out" to him in three consecutive months, the self-proclaimed "Bible-banging homophobe" wanted desperately to understand his friends' experience. So he moved to Boystown, a Chicago neighborhood populated primarily by GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual,...

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...

Live from Catalyst West and...

April 22, 2009 11:37 PM

Today Marshall Shelley and I were at Mariner's Church in Irvine, California, for the pregame show of the first ever Catalyst West Coast conference. Led by Erwin McManus and the rest of the Mosaic team, the Origins Labs (as...

Craig Gross: Church in the Chicken Ranch

April 14, 2009 9:18 AM

The Spring '09 issue of Leadership journal should be arriving in mailboxes this week. The issue is called "UNHOOKED: Finding Release from Vices and Addictions." We editors searched for ministers who were tackling addiction head on, whether in their churches...

The Dangers of Easter

March 31, 2009 10:29 AM

As we journey through Lent toward Easter, I want to be mindful of the dangers that surround this season and threaten the soul of a community and the soul of a pastor. What danger? The temptation to bait and switch....

The Poetry of Pastoring

March 24, 2009 12:00 AM

"What the congregation needs is not a strategist to help them form another plan for achieving a desired image of life, but a poet who looks beneath even the desperation to recover the mystery of what it means to be...

The Body Broken for Who?

February 18, 2009 12:00 AM

Late in 2008, theologian J. I. Packer sat down with a few CTI editors to talk theology. Here's what Dr. Packer had to say when the conversation ranged to Communion. Do you believe that access to the Lord's Table should...

Ur Wisdom: Megachurch

February 17, 2009 12:00 AM

For those of you concerned that Url Scaramanga is anti-megachurch, stay tuned. You'll find that Url is an equal opportunity offender....

Ur Wisdom: Ministry

February 6, 2009 12:00 AM

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The Hansen Report: Rural Exodus

February 3, 2009 8:20 AM

Time traveled to the frozen Midwest to report the obvious: Rural communities struggle to recruit trained pastors. The dateline could have read 1979 and the story would not have looked altogether different. The situation has certainly worsened in the last...

Three Dramas that Drive Us

January 30, 2009 12:00 AM

by Skye Jethani At any given moment we are each engaged in three dramas, but only one of them ultimately matters. First, there is the drama of the practical. These are the events and measurable conditions that surround us every...

Ur Video: Sin City

January 22, 2009 2:40 PM

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Miracle on the Hudson

January 16, 2009 1:00 PM

by Gordon MacDonald This morning I took a few minutes to watch video of the remarkable rescue effort in the Hudson River yesterday. For a long, long time, this will remain in the minds of people as a highpoint in...

Ministering to the Imagination

January 13, 2009 12:00 AM

by David Swanson The imagination calls up new words, new images, new analogies, new metaphors, new illustrations, new connections to say old, glorious truth. Imagination is the faculty of the mind that God has given us to make the communication...

Porn Again

January 5, 2009 12:00 AM

The winter issue of Leadership is still a few weeks away from your mailbox, but the editors have already started working on the spring issue. They're still refining the topic, but it will be something about ministry in a culture...

God’s Voice in the Global Market Meltdown

November 18, 2008 12:00 AM

by Dave Gibbons I imagine you may be paying more attention to the market news. Our 401Ks have turned into a 201Ks! The markets are in transition. Most likely this recession will not be quickly fixed with bailouts and the...

Amway Evangelism

November 3, 2008 12:00 AM

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Cartoon: Out of His Depth

September 22, 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...

Out of Context: Gregory Boyd

September 11, 2008 12:00 AM

"It's not an issue of whether or not we should engage moral evil and politics, but is it our primary job? It's not the main job of the church to be running the government or to influence legislation. The...

The Hansen Report: Where Are You From?

September 4, 2008 12:02 PM

Where are you from? No, where are you from from? If you live in a suburban or urban area, you have probably asked and answered these questions countless times. The follow-up question is meant to uncover something about your conversation...

Cartoon: Addressing Real Needs

August 11, 2008 12:00 AM

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Felt-Needs and Messianic Marketing

July 11, 2008 12:00 AM

Conventional ministry wisdom goes something like this: When launching a new church, first analyze the felt-needs within the target area or population. Then construct ministries to address those felt-needs. Felt-needs based ministries will draw people to your church, and simultaneously...

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...

So Many Christian Infants

October 1, 2007 12:00 AM

Gordon MacDonald's column for October is my own lament: Why are there so many spiritual babies? And why don't the mature believers do something about it? We're really good at bringing people into the kingdom, Gordon says, but lousy at...

Thus Saith the Radio

August 23, 2007 12:00 AM

Sola gratia, sola fide, sola scriptura,?sola radio? The following conversation is based on true events. Church member: "Pastor, I'm very disturbed by something you said in your sermon yesterday." Pastor: "I'm glad you came to talk with me about it....

5 Guides for Today

August 20, 2007 12:00 AM

Leadership's longtime friend and sage Fred Smith, Sr., died on Friday, August 17, 2007 at age 91. Smith was an accomplished businessman, church leader, and mentor at the time Leadership journal was launched in 1980. He was featured in...

Death in the Morning

April 18, 2007 12:00 AM

Pastor and professor Scott Wenig understands the profound responsibility church leaders face in the aftermath of a tragedy. Nine years ago his community was devastated when two teenage gunmen entered Columbine High School. Wenig shares the wisdom he gained after...

Out of Context: Ruth Haley Barton

October 18, 2006 12:00 AM

"Most Christian leaders sense that there should be something different about our leadership than what is offered in the secular marketplace, but we're not always sure what that is." -Ruth Haley Barton is a spiritual director, teacher and retreat leader....

Family Faith Feud: Why are young adults not finding their places in their parents’ church?

August 16, 2006 12:00 AM

Many churches struggle to reach the ever-elusive young adult demographic. Are 20-somethings simply disinterested in church? Not according to Brian McLaren. He believes we are failing to listen to the questions young adults are asking. This post is a preview...

Radioactive Church Attendance: predicting your congregation’s half-life

June 23, 2006 12:00 AM

Some churches are more unstable than others. This may not be the result of impulsive leadership or poor planning, but rather the life stage of the congregation. Dave Terpstra pastors The Next Level Church in Denver, a community comprised primarily...

The Paradox of Emerging Leadership

March 7, 2006 12:00 AM

How do we organize a church without becoming "organized religion"? Dan Kimball, author of The Emerging Church and pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California, wrestles with this paradox in the upcoming Spring issue of Leadership. Here is...

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...

Brian McLaren on the Homosexual Question 4: McLaren's Response

January 30, 2006 12:00 AM

I read with interest - and some pain - the first few days' worth of responses to my article. I thought that some readers would be interested in a few of my responses to their responses. Before beginning though, I...

Brian McLaren on the Homosexual Question 3: A Prologue and Rant by Mark Driscoll

January 27, 2006 12:00 AM

Hundreds of readers have posted comments about Brian McLaren's article on forming a pastoral response to the "homosexual question." One such reader was Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. As "one of the 50 most influential pastors...

Brian McLaren on the Homosexual Question 2: A Blogger's Response

January 26, 2006 12:00 AM

Since posting Brian McLaren's commentary about homosexuality we've had difficulty keeping pace with the responses being written. Reading through the comments reveals why homosexuality is known as a "wedge issue" in our culture. Our readers appear divided between heralding McLaren...

Brian McLaren on the Homosexual Question: Finding a Pastoral Response

January 23, 2006 12:00 AM

In his prominent role as author, theologian, speaker, and leader of the emergent conversation some forget that Brian McLaren is also a pastor. In the latest issue of Leadership Journal, which focuses on ministry in a sexually charged culture, Brian...

Expletive Undeleted: Dropping the F-bomb in Church

November 8, 2005 12:00 AM

Leadership associate editor Skye Jethani tells the story Mike Sares shared with him at a conference earlier this year. Tell us what you would do if you were Mike. A few days before Christmas, pastor Mike Sares got a call...

Campolo and McLaren 2: Radio Orthodoxy

October 11, 2005 10:18 AM

Tony Campolo and Brian McLaren are influential among church leaders, although their influence is often from a negative position. Some would say their value is in how many people they make mad. Both men have taken contrarian stances on many...

Campolo and McLaren: Prophets or Agitators?

October 4, 2005 4:36 PM

Tony Campolo and Brian McLaren have much in common. They have been hailed and hammered, venerated and vilified. Lately they are said to have an orthodoxy that has become too generous. The pair was interviewed by Keith Matthews, former lead...

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