Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ministry in Mark, part 2

I visited, several years after having left, the first congregation I served. They asked me to preach, and so I did, a sermon from the gospel of Mark. The congregation was generous in their praise afterward. The young preacher had … Continue reading

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The heavens were torn asunder: ministry in Mark, part one

In my estimation, there is no more beautifully crafted, enigmatic treatment of the life of Jesus than the gospel of Mark. From the packed introduction, to the passion predictions occupying the middle of the gospel, to the abrupt ending that … Continue reading

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The gospels, the practice of theology, and the tasks of ministry

If you will allow me an overly general observation, there are fundamentally two kinds of theology with two corresponding ways of thinking about ministry. One is a theology from above which moves from revelation to experience, context being secondary and … Continue reading

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Music, and then theology

I’ve had the opportunity over the last few years to make several presentations on the intersection of popular music and theology. I’ve decided to write an introduction that explains the “what” and “why” of what I do and to collect … Continue reading

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Ministry in the shape of a story

“We tell stories to live.” So begins the great book, Mighty Stories, Dangerous Rituals (Anderson and Foley). I feel like I don’t even need to explain this statement because it’s so self-evident to us. We are a story telling, story … Continue reading

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The Gospels and Ministry

I took Theology of Ministry from my father while working on my MDiv at Pepperdine University. He taught the course completely from the gospels. While Paul and other NT writers undoubtedly have some very important things to say about ministry, … Continue reading

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Discovering Luke’s Story of the Ascension

Yesterday, one of the lectionary readings was from Acts 1:6-11. My worshipping community typically practices Dwelling in the Word instead of having a sermon, and so Acts 1 was the text we all shared around. It’s Luke’s longer account (he … Continue reading

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Weeping and Rejoicing Together as the Body of Christ

I had a conversation with a pastor friend the other day about intercessory prayer. Don’t get excited, I don’t know what it’s all about or how it “works” either. To quote another friend of mine, my batting average is pretty … Continue reading

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Pandemics, Death and Resurrection, and Wailing Walls

I’ve been thinking a lot about the tasks of congregational leadership in a pandemic. My impression is that my friends who are in full-time ministry are busier now with fewer tasks. I think there’s something to learn from all of … Continue reading

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Ending one Project, Beginning Another: A Spirituality of Preaching

Many of you know, I’ve been working for awhile on a manuscript on the book of Acts, It Seemed Good to the Holy Spirit and to Us. That is now in the hands of readers. It’s been a rewarding process … Continue reading

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