All in Pastroal

We Want a Celebrity, Not a Savior

In October of 2014 the most influential pastor of his generation was compelled to write his letter of resignation amidst mounting claims of purchasing bestseller status and domineering leadership. In August of 2018 the most influential pastor of his generation was also forced to resign prematurely amidst mounting allegation of sexual misconduct and abuse of power. In February of this year a pastor was fired for a barrage of sinful leadership patterns including financial impropriety and domineering leadership.

How Lonely Sits the City

Jerusalem is devastated. Having recently been destroyed by her national and religious enemy, Babylon, God’s people found themselves identifying as a grieving widow and former royalty. The city used to be great. History repetitiously told of their conquests and triumphs over other peoples and powers. But now she sits isolated in weakness as a result of her idolatry. Once full of people, she is now filled with agony and left to merely lament the heaviness of guilt and shame.

Seven Ways to Avoid Forgiveness

Forgiveness is hard. Just ask my kids. As my wife and I are daily teaching them to reconcile with mom and dad and each other—for hitting, biting, lying, failing to obey, not showing love, etc—we have learned some words are harder to say than others. We’ve realized, “Please forgive me for ___________ (fill in sin here)” … are the most difficult. Saying I’m sorry or he started it seem to come more naturally. They’ll use a thousand different words before they’ll use forgiveness language. I think like all of us my children realize there’s something weighty about forgiveness. Something is taking place when we request forgiveness which we can be avoided when we seek other means of responding to sin and conflict.

Three Musts for Every Sermon

The Apostle Paul once wrote, we preach Christ and him crucified. When it comes to the sermon content is king because Christ the King is always the sermon’s supreme content. However the shape of a sermon puts this preeminent content on fullest display. So, let’s consider the sermon.

When a follower of Jesus walks away from a Sunday message believing they have heard a “good sermon” I think it’s because three things have taken place within the sermon’s structure. First, the sermon exposed the truth and beauty. Second, the preacher exalted Christ. Third, the message equipped the Church.

Weak

Many years ago I was preaching on a Sunday morning. As I prepared earlier that week I sensed an acute impulse to personally apply the sermon's main point. I remember feeling remorseful. I remember being anxious. God was inviting me into confession. And he was clear, this was not just for my personal formation during study time, he led me to write this confession of sin in my manuscript. And so on Sunday morning I confessed sin publicly before my church.