Trusting The God In Others

I had lunch with someone from the church this past week who encouraged me to "trust the God in others."As it turned out, the timing -- and the advice -- could not have been better.Because yesterday at Good Shepherd was a first of its kind: an invitation to "salvation...

read more

My Relationship With Altar Calls

I admit that I have an uneasy relationship with the uniquely Southern, Protestant tradition of the "altar call": the invitation for people to come forward at the end of the service to surrender their lives to Christ. The source of my ambivalence? Well, on the one...

read more

How “Bridge Over Troubled Water” Is Like Ministry

In reading David Browne's Fire And Rain, a musical & cultural exploration of the pivotal-but-overlooked year of 1970, I learned some interesting factoids about Simon & Garfunkel's iconic Bridge Over Troubled Water. For example, did you know that Simon originally...

read more

The Seeds You Sow

At last Saturday's Rivergate concert, I briefly stood next to a man who struck up a conversation with me."You came to my house a couple of years ago to invite us to church," he said. "And I just want you to know that we've been coming ever since."Now: that visit was...

read more

Serving As Your Family’s Pastor

Throughout the years, I've had several occasions to serve in pastoral roles on both sides of my family -- with my extended family and with Julie's.It's usually pretty nerve-wracking.Why? Because the shift in roles is so dramatic. These are people who changed my...

read more

A Courageous Decision

Yesterday, my friend & colleague Dennis Sult and I visited with a woman who after battling cancer for several years has decided to stop chemotherapy and begin Hospice care. Surrounded by family, she acknowledged that she was "sick and tired of being sick and...

read more

De-Clutter And De-Weird

In last Thursday's post, I mentioned a return trip from a conference in South Carolina with some of my Methodist preacher friends.The group with which I travelled is a collection of twenty-five pastors from Western North Carolina Methodism who are part of what is...

read more

Venues For Pastoral Care

I've been thinking this week about the where of pastoral care.Here's where some of it has happened for the pastoral care givers at our church just in the past few months:In hospital rooms;By a lakeshore;In the church lobby;At the county jail;In the Worship Center;At...

read more