I’ve never really been a fan of religious verbiage. I especially hate it when people call me Pastor Steve. God doesn’t call me that. But the problem with the word pastor, in the English language, is that it means just about everything. Thus it sometimes doesn’t really mean anything. Anything specific that is. The problem with me is that I tried to do and to be everything associated with the word and it just about killed me. But maybe, in truth, the real problem belongs to all of us who call on the name of Christ. (more…)
This past summer I was talking with one of my older friends from my hometown. In our conversation I discovered that she knew my 9th grade English teacher, Dan Johnson. My friend, Emadene, had taught school with Mr. Johnson’s wife and had nothing but good to say about the man. Likewise, when I think back to the year that I was in his class I have plenty of encouraging memories of my teacher. That year was truly an illustration of God moving in ways we don’t understand? Mr. Johnson was indeed a providential piece of the total equation for the man I am today. (more…)
We’re just a few days away from Superbowl XLVII and I’ll probably watch the match even though neither my favorite team nor quarter back is in the game. If nothing else, I’m sure there’ll be at least one good million dollar commercial in the mix. But in thinking about these and other great teams, I’m reminded of another great leadership pointer we can learn from this spectacular sport. The lesson being that it’s really not all about the quarterback. Both Flacco and Kaepernick are great players, but the thing about them and other leaders on the gridiron is that the QB rarely makes the touchdown. Rather, they hand off or pass the ball to someone else. It’s that person who takes the ball across the line and puts the points up on the board. The truth about authentic Christianity and the true CHURCH is that we are all involved in a team effort. In the CHURCH, leaders are not to “do the work of ministry” but to equip the Saints for “doing the work of ministry.” The immediate context of Ephesians 4 refers to apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, but the principal is the same in every leadership situation. So whatever your leadership responsibility is, make sure your hand offs and passes are right. Get the ball into the hands of others so that the team can advance the ball. Let them carry the ball across the line and put the points up. Let them celebrate the victories and simply be excited that they and the team won the day.
So, who are you pulling for in this game? More importantly, who are you equipping in your life to carry the ball across the line?
It’s been fun to watch the evolution of Kingdomology. This pilgrimage also includes the recent partnership with the ministry of Healthy Pastors. Having a call on my life for full-time Christian service, I understand the joys and challenges of such work. I believe in this ministry cause. But in order to narrow the audience of both sites for better service, I’ve created a new blog just for Healthy Pastors. So if you are in some form of Christian service, then check out the new site as it unfolds. Feel free to dive into Healthy Pastors anytime you want to encourage others or be encouraged yourself. Kingdomology will of course still be here. In fact, I’m hoping to make the site even better. We’ll continue to explore what it means to live out the Kingdom of God in the here and now while spreading the love of Christ as far and wide as we can. Feel free to send me any questions or suggestions as I continue to make this site better and expand the ministry. I’d love to hear from you on other issues you believe could be discussed here. Your thoughts and ideas are an encouragement to me and everyone else in the Kingdomology family. The weekend is coming. So make sure to dive into a worship service and pray for the preachers.
Well I was planning on getting to this issue sometime this year, but the Germans beat me to it. Last week in Berlin, the Lutheran Church of Germany announced that it had elected Margot Kaessmann as its first woman to lead the church where she received 132 out 145 votes in their general assembly. Some of the folks there described her as a “cross between Mother Teresa and Demi Moore”. I like Mother Teresa, but I’m not sure how being like Demi Moore qualifies someone for church leadership. Ok, honestly I really don’t know anything about Kaessmann and don’t have a lot of time to do homework on her. But of course it all does bring up that tumultuous question of how women fit into church leadership. Like just about everything else with theology and practical ministry, there are extremes. But where’s the balance? Where are the Kingdom principles? I don’t have all the answers, but what we’ll do for now is look at three Biblical observations and then follow that up with six practical points. So grab a cup of java and let’s go. (more…)