Ministry and the Gifts of Christmas

Ministry and the Gifts of Christmas

Among the myriad gifts of Christmas are: Assurance that God is with us—“Emmanuel.” God is not aloof from us or disinterested in us—not, as Bette Midler once sang, merely “watching us from a distance.” God is among us and for us. Clarity about the character of God. God...
Leading like the Good Shepherd

Leading like the Good Shepherd

What’s your guiding image for ministry leadership? In addition to the traditional roles of “pastor,” “priest,” and “prophet,” there are many others. Some of these images provide theological wisdom; some offer pragmatic guidance, and a few manage to do both. Among the...
Treasures New and Old

Treasures New and Old

Jesus once said: “Every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old” (Matthew 13:52).  A householder managed a large estate on behalf of its wealthy owners: they...
Ministry in the Meantime and Mean Time

Ministry in the Meantime and Mean Time

Ministry happens in the meantime and in the mean time. The meantime is a season of sometimes bewildering change and troubling transitions. It’s an interval between a past we know well and a future which isn’t yet clear and between a familiar way of doing things and an...
Prophetic Priests, Priestly Prophets

Prophetic Priests, Priestly Prophets

In my work as a pastor, I often felt an inescapable tension between the “priestly” and “prophetic” dimensions of my calling.  To simplify a bit: Priests help us with our relationship with God, while prophets call us to reflect our relationship with God in our...