Mostly Ministry


6 Links For Day 6 (February 13/16)



Atlanta Preacher Dresses Up As Prostitute by Jeannie Law

Grammy-Award-winner-turned pastor Le’Andria Johnson admitted that she uses some unconventional methods to get people into the church.  “20 cigarettes, 20 people smoking them… they all came to church,” Johnson told The Grio. “They’re still coming to church. So it works. The method works.”

28 Tips, Tricks and Apps for Senior Pastors by Brian Jones

3 Sentence Email Rule – Except in rare circumstances, I never respond in email with more than 3 sentences. If something warrants a longer response I’ll say, “See me Sunday” or “Bring this up at staff meeting.”

5 Myths About Rosa Park by Justin Taylor

“Shortly after 5 p.m., on a cool Alabama evening 60 years ago Tuesday, a 42-year-old woman clocked out from her job as a seamstress at the Montgomery Fair Department Store. Rosa Parks walked westward along Montgomery Street to Court Square to board the Cleveland Avenue bus to make the five-mile, 15-minute trek back to her apartment at Cleveland Courts to cook supper for her husband, Raymond.”

3 Simple Ways Silence Will Make You Hear God Clearly by Marve Handah

“We all want to be right in any argument.  We all want to prove that we are more knowledgeable in various matters.  We want people to do things our way because we’re all convinced our way is the best way.  But the truth is when you insist on being correct in any argument your arrogance will harm your relationships. Sometimes, the best way to resolve an argument is to shut up and just listen.”

Why Is There So Much Violence In The Bible?


Why Do Some People Get So Mad At You?

Social activist Elliott Larson* said, “Anger always comes from frustrated expectations.” When I read that I couldn’t help but think of the church, or more specifically, congregational expectations towards their pastor. So often the reason why people are mad at their pastor can be traced back to frustrated expectations.

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Disclaimer – These posts do not necessarily represent what I believe but are presented to stimulate our thinking.

Related Posts:

6 Links For Day 6 (January 30/16)

6 Links For Day 6 (January 23/16)

6 Links for Day 6 (February 6/16)

Originally posted 2016-02-12 11:13:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


4 Helps For Christmas Planning

4 Helps For Christmas Planning

There are some who finished up their Christmas planning  just after Labour Day.  And then there are the rest of us who know Christmas is coming but it still sneaks up on us every year:)

This post is for those who fall in to category   #2.


Here are 4 helps I hope will be of assistance to you as you plan for this Christmas.

1) Can you relate to this statement?

It’s December. Shoppers and worshipers alike greet each other: “Merry Christmas!” “Happy holidays!” Maybe even (on Sunday): “Peace and joy!”

Me? I find myself pulling out my hair and shouting, “What? I have to preach the Christmas story again?!” Not to others, of course. Certainly not to my parishioners. But inside I do. How can I pull off another Christmas sermon? Come Christmas, I don’t feel like preaching Matthew 1 or Luke 2. I feel like preaching Ecclesiastes 1:9: “There is nothing new under the sun”!

David Vroege from Halifax, gives some fresh approaches  for the coming Christmas season.

2) Looking for Christmas sermon inspiration?  Click here for messages by Stedman, Piper, Spurgeon and more.

3) I like free and by signing up to Ministry Pass they will send you a 7-page pdf of Christmas Illustrations

4) After you have put everything together ask yourself these 20 Questions from Brandon at ProPreacher before you step into the pulpit.

“May you be filled with the wonder of Mary, the obedience of Joseph, the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds, the determination of the magi, and the peace of the Christ child. Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless you now and forever.” (Ray Pritchard)

Here’s to a blessed Christmas.

Related Post:

The Reformed Holiday Gift Guide

Photo Credit: Photo credit: arbyreed / / CC BY-NC-SA



Originally posted 2015-11-18 06:34:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


2 Sentences A Pastor Never Wants to Hear

2 Sentences A Pastor Never Wants To Hear

I wanted to yell TMI! TMI! but it was already too late because I was the one who asked:)


Being a shepherd means being with and taking care of your sheep.  It means being involved in the triumphs and the messiness, the joys and the sorrows of individuals and their families.

Whether a brief conservation in the hallway or a more formal counselling session.  I have learned that there are two sentences, that once started will usually end up with images being burned in my mind’s eye that I have to pray that God will erase:)

#1 – I can tell you this because you’re a pastor…

#2 – I can tell you this because you’re married…

Can I get an “Amen!!!”

Do you have another to add to the list?  Please let us know so we can protect ourselves:)


Originally posted 2014-06-09 08:18:20. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


Here’s How To Use Your Suffering

Here’s How To Use Your Suffering

On Twitter one Pastor wrote: “Two Sunday’s ago I preached on sickness.  Since then half my church has fallen ill.  Sunday I preach about sadness.  Consider yourself warned.”

I replied: “I preached on suffering and my car broke down and my wife was in emerg twice. I’m gonna preach on money.”


Suffering is a part of life, a part of life that I do not enjoy.  I like the nice weather of life and I am not too interested in the storms that continue to blow my way.  However, the reality is that our world is broken and hard times come whether we want them to or not.

One thing I like about the Bible is that it’s a book written by real people, serving a real God and they have real problems.  I think every one of us can relate to these words from Psalm 22:1

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?”

“Here I am living my life for Jesus trying to love Him with all my heart, soul and mind yet all this stuff keeps happening to me.  What’s up with that?  This is not fair at all!!!”

Scripture gives us many reasons for suffering let’s consider  3 of them.


1) Here’s How To Use Your Suffering  – Use It To Grow

I have searched from Genesis to Revelation and what I see sometimes I don’t like:)  I see people’s faith in God really growing as they went through tough times.  I wish the examples were different but they are not.  In the consideration of trials that come our way Peter said:

“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” (1 Peter 1:7)

We grow in strength by working and testing our bodies.

We grow in school by working and testing our brains.

We grow in God when our faith is worked and tested.

I don’t know about you but I often forget that the faith I have inside is actually worth more than gold?  Our faith is valuable and it becomes more valuable as it gets tested. Don’t Waste Your Suffering – Use It



2) Here’s How To Use Your Suffering – Use It To Comfort Others

A friend of mine recently went through a divorce and was having great difficulty working things through with his ex.  I did my best to help but when he finally met a guy who just a couple of years ago went through the same thing it made a huge different.  “Finally someone who understands me!!”

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (1 Corinthians 1:4)

We can receive the comfort of God in many ways:

  • The Word
  • Prayer
  • A unique work of the Holy Spirit
  • A Scripture or encouragement from another person.

When God comforts us it’s not meant to be the end it’s just the beginning.  God expects us to be looking for opportunities to give  comfort to others. Don’t Waste Your Suffering – Use It

“God’s comfort is not given it’s loaned and we are expected to pass it on to others.”


3) Here’s How To Use Your Suffering – Let Your Light Shine

There is nothing scarier for a sports fan than it see the team’s Star Player on the sideline.

  • How long will they be gone?
  • Can the team hold it together”
  • Whose going to step up?
  • How will the coach change things up?

In the second half of the Book of Acts, the Apostle Paul was the Franchise Player.  He cast a huge shadow, in his 3 Missionary Journeys he traveled nearly 8,000 miles telling people about Jesus and now he is in jail.

  • How long will he be there?
  • Will the church survive without his input?
  • Who is going to step up?
  • What is God going to do now with Paul sidelined?

In writing to the Philippians, Paul gives us another look at our suffering.

“And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ.  And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.” (Philippians 4:12-14)

Suffering can be an opportunity for advancing the Kingdom, for sharing the Good News about Jesus.  If people know you are a Jesus follower they watch you closely.  But what they really want to know is if Jesus works when times get tough.  When the summer weather is over and you are in the midst of a cold, dark winter.

Is Jesus worth in when the walls fall in?

Paul used his imprisonment to witness for Jesus and there were two results.

  1. The news about Jesus spread throughout the whole Palace Guard
  2. Believers who watched Paul were strengthened to speak about God without fear.

It’s very easy for all of us to get wrapped up in our own despair and miss the opportunity that God has given us.  We will all go through the valley and if you have to make the journey why not use it as an opportunity to grow, comfort and shine?  Don’t Waste Your Suffering – Use It

Related Posts:

What Not To Say When…

His Lovely Wife In The Psych Ward


Photo credit: CapCat Ragu / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: Nick . Brooks / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: elycefeliz / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: Geoff LMV / Foter / CC BY-NC

Originally posted 2015-04-22 06:45:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


Pastors Here Are 23 Quotes About The Craft of Preaching




Recently, I re-read Preaching with Bold Assurance which was one of my seminary texts.  The second time around it was even better.  Here are 23 quotes that stood out to me, I hope you will find them inspiring.



Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:2)

“Preaching is a huge commitment…speaking as God’s representative, an agent of change and salvation, is the greatest and highest privilege in the world.”

“Oral communication is the most personal and powerful way to connect with others.”

“The history of preaching leaves and undeniable body of evidence that God uses men who are committed to the Word, to holiness, and to he power of preaching.”

“A spoken message is made up on only three components; the verbal, the vocal and the visual.”

2  “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

“If you  want to truly understand the text and find the way to preach it  with an applicational emphasis, then you must look for the and discern three things about every passage you study: the context, content and the concern of the text.”

“Ripping verses out of their context and assigning them a meaning that the author did not intend is doing violence to the Scripture and is an affront to the Word of God.”

“Our goal, therefore, is to preach so that our listeners hear and perceive the same message that God originally gave.  To the degree that we faithfully preach the text, we speak God’s words.”

“Whatever study may demand, whatever sacrifice it may require, whatever effort it may entail is eclipsed  and forgotten in the sight of lives touched b God and changed by the gospel.”

“The needs of people have not changed since the Bible was completed.  They are still born into a sinful world, separate from God, in need of salvation.”

“Although we cannot take credit for the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, we can usually take the blame for His absence.”

“A doctor prescribes a medicine because of her belief in its efficacy,  Her intent is to help the patient get well…In the same way, the expositor preaches the Word because he believes it can help her listeners.”

“The preacher will experience the greatest anointing of the Holy Spirit and the greatest effectiveness possible when he places himself squarely within the confines of the biblical authors’ intent.”

“Each transitional sentence acts like a hitch between the boxcars of a train.  It not only connects one main point to another, but i helps the listener follow the development of the sermon.”

3But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” (James 1:22)

 “Application is what makes the Bible come alive and makes sermons practical.”

“The way you handle the Word in the pulpit is the way your people will handle the Word in their lives.”

“Just as you rise to the pulpit and open your Bible, in the rustling pages and shuffling of coats, they are all saying the same thing: ‘Why do I need to know this? What good is this going to do me?'”

“If you must make a choice between using a great illustration in the boy of the sermon or in the conclusion, use it as the end. This is the place where you need to get their hearts open to reach their minds.”

“Jesus was a master communicator because he not only spoke from his heart, but he also directed his speech to the hearts of others.”

“If you must make a choice between using a great illustration in the body of the sermon or in the conclusion, use it as the end. This is the place where you need to get their hearts open to reach their minds.”

“Make no mistake about it; trust is the most critical element in communication.  You’re got to be believed to be heard.”

Here’s to learning together.

Related Posts:

Jesus Told Stories When He Preached And You Should Too

4 Helps For Your Preaching Calendar

Originally posted 2015-06-17 03:47:18. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


Top 5 Tips For Visiting Seniors

I love older people because they have wisdom of which I am always in need of and they tell stories which I love to hear.  So please take this tongue and cheek post in the spirit in which it’s presented.

Tip #1

As you ring the door bell or get off the elevator erase all former conversations from past visits, this will help because you will  hear the same stories again.

Tip #2

Establish common ground by learning to love puzzles and the more pieces the better.

Tip #3

In order to achieve the proper speaking volume start soft and when they stop leaning in, cupping their ears, giving nonsensical answers you have hit the proper level.

Tip #4

Do not eat a big lunch before going out for a visit.  Senior’s like it hot and the combination of the heat and less blood in your brain because of digestion is not a good situation.

Tip #5

Watch out for this subtle Senior’s trick.  From the very beginning they will time your visit. If your visit is not long enough for their liking they will begin to offer you a snack 5-7 minutes before your regular leaving time which will actually add an extra 20-25 minutes to you stay.

D you have a tip for us?  Please leave a comment and share it.


Originally posted 2014-05-26 06:34:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


Here’s To More Effective Sermon Introductions

Here’s To More Effective Sermon Introductions




 Establish A Rapport

“The manner is which we relate to our audience in the first moments of a sermon will either close the shutters in our listener’s minds , or it will throw them wide open and make them receptive to all that follows”

I have a friend who is a traveling preacher and she understands the importance of establishing rapport.  They don’t know her and she doesn’t know them and here we are together:)

However, don’t underestimate the importance of rapport with an audience you speak to every week.  In any given week you will have people who are brand new to your church or those who have only been attending for a short time.

Introduce The Subject

“The main purpose of a good introduction, of course, is to set up the subject and to let the audience know a little where you are taking them.”

Nothing worse than listening to a speaker and not having any idea what, he or she is talking about and having no idea where this talk is going to take you.

Create Interest

“Involuntary listening is what takes place when a member of the audience who is not necessarily disposed to pay attention cannot help himself and finds himself engrossed in what the speaker is saying.”

This is the “secret sauce” of an introduction.  Companies do this relentlessly and a speaker needs to work very hard and giving the audience a reason to want to listen.

Set Up And Read The Text

“We cannot expect our people to treasure a book whose words we hardly read.  You always reproduce whatever you honor, and if you honor the reading of the Word, then you will reproduce an attention to reading it in the lives of your people.”

I enjoy this part of an introduction.  Recently, I was speaking from Acts 17 and Paul speaking in Athens.  I began by asking our people if they had ever been kicked out of anything and proceeded to talk about Paul being kicked out of Thessalonica  and Berea, then taking the 500 miles trip by boat to Athens.  Then I read the passage.

State the Proposition

“The proposition is the demand that the text makes on us if we understand it properly and wish to be more like Christ as a result.”

Proposition, central theme, bottom line, big idea, whatever you want to call it, it needs to be part of your introduction.  Your people need to have some idea of where you are going.

Transition Into The Body Of The Sermon

I think I underestimate this part of the introduction.  If we don’t make a good transition from the intro to the body of the message is can seem disjointed and we will lose steam in the message.

How about you?  How much time do you put into your introductions or they just an afterthought?

Where you are strong in your introductions and where do you need more work?

Why not make your own fill in the blank outline with these points.  It will help you round out your outline and keep you on track with your presentation.

This outline was taken from “Preaching With Bold Assurance” by Hershael York and Bert Decker.

Related Posts:

23 Quote About The Craft of Preaching

More Than A Years Worth Of Sermon Ideas For You

Photo credit: amseaman / Foter / CC BY-ND

Originally posted 2015-07-22 05:18:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


My Personal Development Plan




“If you are not growing as a leader, you are limiting the potential of your church.” (Nelson Searcy)

Last week I was listening to a online seminar by Michael Lukaszewski of Church Fuel,  3 Growth Catalysts.  In part of the material Michael presented he spoke about developing a personal growth plan.  Up until 2 years ago my personal growth plan was taking on my next Seminary Class:)

Now that I have graduated, the formal education piece of my life has slowed and the seminar came just at the right time to get me going again.

As I began to reflect on my personal development since Seminary, I came up blank but as I dug a bit deeper I realized that it wasn’t as sparse as I thought.  I have taken many online seminars from preaching to church growth.   For the past 8 months I have been working through some Lifeway material with a couple of pastor friends.  We have worked through, “Transformational Church” and “Simple Church”.  We are now just beginning “Transformational Discipleship” with “Transformational Groups” on the horizon.

     “Just as iron sharpens iron,  friends sharpen the minds
    of each other.” (Proverbs 27;17 – CEV)


Along with the cohort I’m planning to throw a couple of other things into my “plan”.  Will you be upset if I tell you I live 2 miles from my office?  While I don’t have a commute time I still spend enough time driving and walking to redeem the time by listening to podcasts.  I’ve decided to try out the New Small Church Podcast with @karlvaters

Long term Covenant Seminary offers 45 free online courses so that should do me until Jesus comes back:)  I’m interested in Apologetics and Outreach and Christ Centered Preaching.  Check out their site and see what interests you.



So where do you start?  Here’s a suggestion from John Maxwell to jump start your Personal Development Plan.


As an example, this is the weekly schedule – 5 days a week, 1 hour a day – that I recommend for personal growth as a leader:

Monday: Spend one hour with a devotional to develop your spiritual life.

Tuesday: Spend one hour listening to a leadership recording.

Wednesday: Spend one hour filing* quotes and reflecting on the contents of Tuesday’s material.

Thursday: Spend one hour reading a book on leadership.

Friday: Spend half of the hour reading the book and the other half filing and reflecting.

(John Maxwell)

Now you may be looking at this saying to yourself; “Where am I suppose to get an hour a day?”

Seems quite ambitious doesn’t it?

How about 15 minutes a day?  Can that work for you?

Better to start small and build than take on too much and fail from the beginning.

“We are what we are today because we were what we were yesterday and our thoughts today determine our actions tomorrow.” (George Knox)

What’s your next move?

Related Articles:

Nelson Searcy – Planning For Personal Growth

imPerfect Pastor’s Blog – A Suggested Plan For Personal Growth


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Photo credit: jakeandlindsay / Foter / CC BY


Originally posted 2015-01-28 06:37:46. Republished by Blog Post Promoter