The Curse Of Knowledge

Several years ago, I heard a teaching about the curse of knowledge.It goes like this:Once you know something,you forget what it's likenot to know that thing.That's so true. And especially applicable to the world of faith and church.Once you know the bible stories, you...

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Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Pitfalls Of Pastoral Ministry

After almost 20 years of full-time pastoral ministry, I believe I have a reasonably good understanding of how it works. Or how it doesn't.So what are those things that a pastor needs to avoid if he or she will have both an effective ministry and a vibrant spiritual...

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Wrestling In Prayer

Colossians 4:12 says this:Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.What an interesting phrase: wrestling in prayer.We...

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People & Change

Pastoral leaders are supposed to help people navigate change. It's part of the territory.Sometimes I do it well. Other times I don't.But someone said something a few months ago that has stuck with me: People don't fear change. They fear what they'll lose in change.How...

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The “World”

I John 2:15 puts it this way: "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."The "world" in that setting refers to the values and attitudes that shape culture. In our day, it applies equally to the...

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A Question I’m Pondering

Yesterday, as I was sitting in a seminar for 25 pastors from the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, the following question popped into my head:is a church gathering for therapy or for doxology?In other words, is the purpose of preaching...

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Expression & Permission

It was an unusually heavy weekend: presiding at a funeral on Friday, First Step membership class on Friday night and Saturday morning, three high energy services on Sunday, helping with but not leading a funeral on Sunday afternoon, and then my enjoyable stint in The...

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The One Point Sermon

This past week, I received an email from someone who attended Good Shepherd for a season and then had to move to another part of the country. Anyway, part of his email said that he and his family still remember and use the phrase "forgiveness is learned, so teach it...

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Polarizing Effectiveness

A couple of years ago, Guy Kawasaki, former Apple executive and current venture capitalist, told some of the leaders of Good Shepherd: "It's good to polarize people."Those are scary words to hear.Pastors and church leaders naturally want to comfort people, not...

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Large And Deep

At Good Shepherd, we strive to be not only a large church but a deep church as well.Which means that in addition to reaching out to welcome new people to worship, we also want to grow the people who are already here into more mature, more faithful followers of...

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