The Church is Not Closed

Churches all over the world are not holding public gatherings, and are moving their ministries to online or one-on-one ministry. They do this as an act of love, not out of fear. But we are not closed; we are more active than ever. Fear is understandable, and we should take this virus seriously. But we are not suspending public worship [...]

By |2020-04-01T09:14:28-05:00April 1st, 2020|Categories: Pastoral Ministry|Tags: |1 Comment

Readings for Pastors on Race in America

Serving in Christian ministry in America requires a knowledge of the racial history and current reality of our context. We need to understand how people are affected by our racial history and present struggles, especially through the African American experience. I’ve found the following books to be helpful to me for understanding perspectives on race and society. There are many [...]

By |2020-02-03T21:44:21-06:00January 30th, 2020|Categories: For Pastors, Miscellaneous, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: , |4 Comments

Ministry at Work: Meet Greg McBrayer, the Anglican Priest at the Heart of American Airlines

Perhaps our vision for "bi-vocational ministry" is far too small. That's what Fr. Greg McBrayer has me thinking. An Anglican priest and Chief Flight Dispatcher, he shows up to work at the world's largest airline in a clerical collar. Our own David Roseberry took the opportunity to interview Greg McBrayer on-site at the American Airlines Integrated Operations Center (IOC). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGGIE8VnIMs [...]

By |2019-12-02T19:55:44-06:00December 1st, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: , |0 Comments

What Are We Missing? Ministry and Moral Failure

I know of a very talented ordained priest and colleague of mine who left his ministry; he was removed from the ordained ministry altogether. His bishop removed him. There was something he did to which he confessed, and he is no longer a priest. I do not know the details. I don't need to know. My heart breaks for him, [...]

By |2020-01-14T09:39:58-06:00November 7th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Opinion, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: |3 Comments

Not “Just” a Deacon

Handshakes and metal plates I grew up around deacons. In my Southern Baptist upbringing, deacons were most commonly observed at the doors of the church offering handshakes and smiles. Otherwise, they were found in their other natural habitat: at the end of a pew passing or taking a metal plate. Often, this was an offertory plate, but on special occasions, [...]

By |2020-01-14T09:40:00-06:00October 3rd, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, For Pastors, Opinion, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: |8 Comments

A Tale of Two Weddings: How Far Should We Stretch the Liturgy?

Ah, Spain. A beautiful country where, every now and then, non-Catholics who are Christians get married. Or a Roman Catholic gets married to a non-Catholic, which often means no Catholic wedding. And sometimes these folks come to us Anglicans. Just how much can the Anglican liturgy be modified? In this article, I want to share my own experience as an [...]

By |2020-01-14T09:40:02-06:00September 16th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Opinion, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: , |1 Comment

Talking Honestly about Anglicans and Alcohol

One of the earliest guides for pastors, the Book of Titus, tells a church leader to address drinking problems in the church, to instruct people "not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine" (Titus 2:3). The need hasn't changed much. The National Institutes of Health estimate that 17.6 million people—about one in every 12 adults—abuse alcohol or are alcohol [...]

By |2020-01-14T10:21:50-06:00May 13th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Opinion, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: |1 Comment

Ten Thoughts for the Mother’s Day Sermon

Motherhood is one of the most fundamental human roles, given by God and knit into our DNA. Hallmark’s calendar doesn’t dictate our preaching, but this particular holiday seems worth some attention. Some Mother's Day Sermon tips are listed below and can be developed into whole sermons; others are just words of advice. Use this list to re-imagine how you could approach [...]

Should You Seek Life in the Ministry?

Actually, let me make my purpose clear: you should consider life in the ministry. Being an Anglican, my assumption is that you will be thoroughly vetted: various discernment committees, a whole string of approvals and mentoring from your Bishop and your Rector, seminary, psychological exams and ordination exams. The fact is, one does not ordain oneself. The burden of sensing [...]

By |2019-04-25T20:11:49-05:00April 25th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: |7 Comments

2 Reasons Why You Should Use Social Media if You’re in Student Ministry

I work with college students and so, like it or not, I have to deal with social media. Over the years, I have resisted being saturated in the world of the ghost, the gram, the book, and the bird, but my tech-savvy students keep dragging me back into virtual spaces I find nearly impossible to keep up with. I wish [...]

By |2020-01-14T10:21:56-06:00March 14th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Opinion, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: , |2 Comments

Have We Been Here Before? Gnosticism, Nationalism, and Neo-Paganism

“We’ve never been here before.” This is a sentiment I encounter frequently in other priests in the Anglican Church in North America. As churches throughout America shut their doors, culture perpetually changes, politics fray, tensions rise, and faith declines, I share the feeling. This current moment in the religious landscape of the secular West is taking us to a new [...]

By |2020-01-14T10:21:58-06:00February 25th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Opinion, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: |1 Comment

3 Ways to Make Singleness a Win for the Gospel

The Church needs to see more Christians faithfully walking out lifetime singleness for the sake of the kingdom (AKA "celibacy"). That witness helps the Church grasp the hope of the gospel and begin living into the reality of the kingdom today. No witness to this hope is more moving than that of Christ himself. Jesus and Paul teach that singleness [...]

By |2020-01-14T10:21:58-06:00February 18th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Miscellaneous, Opinion, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: , |2 Comments

Why Collaborative Ministry? An Australian’s Story

In the early 2000’s, about four years into my ministry as an Anglican Priest, I started to seriously doubt my leadership capacities and probably came close to slipping into depression. I had been working in a series of financially struggling parishes with small congregations. Although I’d been given pretty good formation as a “minister of word and sacrament,” I hadn’t [...]

By |2020-01-14T10:21:59-06:00February 11th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Leadership, Opinion, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: |1 Comment

Want to Learn More about Women’s Ordination Debates within Anglicanism? Start With These Resources

Maybe you, like me, are coming to Anglicanism from a different tradition. If that’s the case, then one thing you should know is that Anglican debates about women’s ordination can often be quite different from debates about the same topic in other church contexts. This is due to Anglicans having different views on, among other things: ecclesiology (the doctrine of [...]

By |2020-01-27T10:56:08-06:00January 30th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: |16 Comments

Real-World Anglican: Training Leaders to Answer the Questions They’ll Actually Hear!

Although it’s still a very rough draft, I’m sharing the following idea (from Kevin Miller, Rector of Church of the Savior in Wheaton, IL) because we’d like your input as we develop this approach to pastoral education/formation! We’ve got a problem At least here in the States, we have many people who enter Anglicanism from another tradition, usually evangelical/non-denominational. Many [...]

By |2019-01-18T18:43:40-06:00January 18th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Leadership, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: , |1 Comment

A Story of Faithfulness from the Bayou: A Presbyterian/Anglican Church Merger

Here’s the incredible end of the story: A Presbyterian church merges with an Anglican church. When I came to Lafayette, Louisiana to talk to the leadership of Trinity Anglican Church about strategy and mission, I only knew a few details of the remarkable work that God had been doing in and for these people. I left blown away by the [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:50:22-06:00November 16th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: |2 Comments

10 Ways to Preach the Easter Sunday Sermon

Talk about pressure—the Resurrection is the biggest event in the history of the world. Individuals and families who rarely darken the doors of a church will find their way into your sanctuary on Easter. While our culture has morphed the moment into lilies, butterflies, eggs, and bunnies, people still desire to hear this story. And why not? It is the greatest possible [...]

By |2019-04-12T16:47:30-05:00March 27th, 2018|Categories: Liturgy & Worship, Pastoral Ministry, Preaching|Tags: , , , |5 Comments

Five Awkward Questions Your Church Needs to Answer (Part Five)

In the last few weeks we have been covering some awkward questions that often stymie leaders in congregations. Either no one thinks to ask the question or no one wants to bring it up. Here's what we've covered so far: Who Should Have Access to the Giving Records? How Much Should We Pay the Pastor? Should the Pastor Have a [...]

Five Awkward Questions Your Church Needs to Answer (Part Four)

So far, we’ve talked about awkward questions that boil down to money. And surely, money can be an uncomfortable topic to tackle. Who should have access to the giving records? How much should we pay the pastor? Does the pastor need a retirement fund? Toss those questions out in your next board or Vestry meeting and you’ll be met with [...]

By |2019-10-24T08:02:42-05:00March 12th, 2018|Categories: Leadership, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Five Awkward Questions Your Church Needs to Answer (Part Three)

The awkward questions are easy to ignore, but leaders can’t shy away from topics that have the potential to cripple ministry if left unaddressed. What goes unspoken can create divisions and spread distrust. Read Part Two If you haven’t caught up, here’s what we’ve discussed: In the first post, I asked the question about who should have access [...]

Pastoral Leadership and the Economy

The decline of the American church is often overblown. However, we have felt a seismic shift in cultural values in the 21st century. Even in the ‘Bible Belt’, it can’t simply be presumed that most people’s moral frameworks are founded on even a hazy understanding of the Bible. In looking for guidance in the behaviors of daily life, people simply [...]

By |2019-01-08T17:29:59-06:00February 27th, 2018|Categories: Leadership, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

The Gift of Lent

Lent begins with a necessary reminder: you are dust and to dust you shall return. In Ash Wednesday, we speak these difficult words so that we might resist the influential fictions that our daily lives impress upon us. The fiction that we are in control. That we can fix ourselves. That we were designed first and foremost to love and care [...]

Another Surprise Baptism Brings Sudden Appearance

I am leading a tour group of pastors through the Holy Land. Our group is about a dozen clergy, spouses, some dedicated lay people from their churches, and a father with his teenage son. A few days into the trip, the father and son asked if the young man could be baptized here in Israel. Wow. Easy answer. Yes! Of course. “But where?” [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:52:04-06:00January 16th, 2018|Categories: Pastoral Ministry, Sacraments|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

Interview: Matt Canlis of Godspeed

Matt Canlis wasn’t too different from most young ministers at the tail end of seminary. He was full of big ideas for big churches. But unlike most young ministers, he benefited from a mentoring word from Eugene Peterson, who counseled him to put off being swallowed up by the “American Church Machine” and discover a different, older form of pastoral [...]

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