Concerning the Times and the Seasons: Summer 2019

"But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you."  (I Thessalonians 5:1) Paul's words come embedded with a warning to the church--sort of a, "It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway" message regarding a certain watchfulness and an inspired willingness to live in the present… Continue reading Concerning the Times and the Seasons: Summer 2019

When Your “Perfect” Plan Has Crashed and Burned

Lean into your calling as you lean into the God who has called you.

It all started as a strategy for outreach. We sat around a table and began to dream out loud, trusting that the fire of shared passion and the wisdom of group process would yield creative ideas for communicating the love of Christ to our community. I don’t mind confessing that I loved my dream. We… Continue reading When Your “Perfect” Plan Has Crashed and Burned

The Quiet Miracle of Roots and Leaves

The garden is running late this year. Cold nights (making for cold soil) have resulted in pea plants that sprouted on schedule, grew to a fixed point, and then sputtered and stalled out, stunted. The prophet Isaiah had things to say about who is in charge of growth, both in the garden and in the… Continue reading The Quiet Miracle of Roots and Leaves

Is There a “Right Way” to Do Church Ministry?

A Review of Mapping Church Missions by Sharon R. Hoover

Conversations about missionaries and missions strategy are commonplace in our home. We talk about the latest newsletter updates, who's "home," and who's "back on the field." We wonder about the members of our missionary family when we don't hear from them, and we puzzle over big picture concerns in an era in which more missionaries… Continue reading Is There a “Right Way” to Do Church Ministry?

Pastoral Ministry: The Courageous Calling to a Faithful Love

Pastoral Ministry: The Courageous Calling to a Faithful Love

Ministry professionals rarely lead with their weaknesses. We want church leaders with plenty of personality, charisma, and confidence. Missionary letters and reports may dip into Brené Brown vulnerability territory for a paragraph or two, but the overall theme is generally a litany of accomplishments and success stories. The 21st century church largely agrees that blessing and… Continue reading Pastoral Ministry: The Courageous Calling to a Faithful Love

A Bundle of Letters on the Church’s Doorstep

When a pastoral search goes well, everyone wins. Last year when a soft-spoken lobsterman rose to his feet and challenged us at Spruce Head Community to seek a shepherd who would lead us and love us, we began praying and seeking to that end. The seeking and the finding has united us, and we are… Continue reading A Bundle of Letters on the Church’s Doorstep

Vocational Equilibrium – A Tribute for Women’s History Month

“I should have worn sturdier shoes.” “What was I thinking?” Well, for one thing, I was thinking that an invitation to go for “a walk” issued by a seventy-five-year-old woman with a snowy crown of fly-away hair would be a rather sedate affair.  I was thinking that we would chat, and that Helen would tell… Continue reading Vocational Equilibrium – A Tribute for Women’s History Month

Created to Make a Difference

"God spends the day elsewhere, but He sleeps in Rwanda." This may be a popular saying in that East African country, but my view of Rwanda has been shaped by 1990's era news reports of violence, genocide, and war.  Jonathan David Golden has spent a few nights in Rwanda himself, and the result of that… Continue reading Created to Make a Difference

To the End of the Earth

Out loud and together. That's how my patient husband and I are reading through the Bible this year, and, believe it or not, we're just about on schedule!  Right now we are taking in the book of Acts in great gulps, two or three chapters at a time interspersed with the corresponding epistles.  That breathless pace… Continue reading To the End of the Earth