All posts tagged: ministry

Lost in the Discipleship Details

Originally posted on The Millennial Pastor:
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20 “Do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Read the whole passage) Sermon Jesus is talking the dreaded “D” word again this week. Discipleship. Last week Jesus had to come to terms with the quality of disciples he had to work with. Disciples who didn’t get it, who wanted to destroy those whom they were trying to reach as much as help them. Disciples who were not committed, who only had one toe in the water. And so today, Jesus uses those disciples anyways, sending 70 of them out into the world to proclaim the good news, the kingdom of God has come near. Now, this story of discipleship is one that many here will know well. It is one that during the past year, council and other groups read to one another each time we gathered for a meeting. And over that year, we unpacked this story as much as we could, we…

Being Threatened by Jesus

Originally posted on The Millennial Pastor:
Luke 13:31-35 King Herod was not a well liked King. He was a puppet King for the Romans… who probably didn’t really care about who was King over the backwater province of the empire, Judea. The people of Israel didn’t care for Herod, knowing that he was all about power. But like most people in power, Herod made the right allegiances. With Rome and with the religious authorities. So when the Pharisees come to Jesus with a Message, he knows they too are puppet authorities, doing the puppet King’s dirty work in order to hold on to their own power and privilege. Today, on the second Sunday of Lent we continue with Jesus who can’t help but be confronted by people who think they have power. Last week it was the Devil tempting Jesus to misuse the power of incarnation, the power that comes along with being God, and being God in flesh. The Devil’s temptations set the stage for the recurring theme that Luke’s gospel holds up for…

Why Advent Sucks this Year – Why We Need Advent

Originally posted on The Millennial Pastor:
Advent is normally my favourite season of the church year. I don’t think that is uncommon for pastors. Christmas and Easter are of course the big celebrations, but Advent and Lent have a certain depth and richness, that allow Christmas and Easter to be what they are. Advent and Lent add the flavour to the meal. For me, the richness of Advent is found in the images – the way of Lord, valleys filled up, mountains made low, crooked made straight, broods of vipers, winnowing forks and chaff, angels and virgins, and promises and hints of Messiah. Advent’s beauty is in the blending of hints and promises of Messiah together with real life. With the messiness of people looking for something better. The people in the desert going to John the Baptist, looking for something different than what they knew. The hypocrisy of religious and political leaders, which is a true as death and taxes. A  teen girl dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and the reality of impossible life…

Creflo Dollar, Last Rites and the Rich Young Ruler

Originally posted on The Millennial Pastor:
Mark 10:17-31 As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” … Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” … But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” (Read the whole passage) Sermon Thanksgiving has become an odd holiday for us. And it isn’t just that Thanksgiving isn’t really a Christian holiday… since it isn’t about Christ specifically, because we do practice thankfulness as Christians each time we gather for the Eucharist or Lord’s supper.…

5 Reasons Why Underpaying Pastors is Poor Stewardship for Congregations

Originally posted on The Millennial Pastor:
The topic of clergy pay is a touchy one at best. Churches, pastors, denominational bodies all have vested interests in how clergy are paid… but sometimes those interests aren’t always aligned. Determining what is appropriate pay requires that a number of questions be answered: How is professional ministry measured when it comes to compensation? How do you compensate someone who is fulfilling a calling? How do congregations balance shrinking membership and budgets with the need to keep clergy pay increasing, if even with just the cost of living? How do denominational bodies recommend guidelines that congregations can meet and that adequately provide for clergy? Lately, I have heard a number of troubling comments and stories from colleagues about clergy salaries. Money troubles, like in marriages, can often be the straw that breaks the camel’s back between a congregation and pastor, and result in separation. Unfortunately, clergy often end being underpaid for a variety of reasons, which ultimately ends up hurting the congregation just as much as it hurts the…