Category Archives: Pastoral

Preaching the dangers of tradition

Next Sunday, the next passage in our church’s current sermon series is Mark 7. In this passage, Jesus condemns the religious leaders of his day for allowing their traditions to trump the actual law of God.

One quick thought: as pastors, when we preach on allowing the traditions of men to violate the authority of God, we need to apply these passages to the actual kinds of traditions that our people are struggling with. As Protestants, our knee-jerk impulse is to find reason in this passage (and those like it) to condemn yet again the liturgical traditions of popery. This is not inappropriate.

And yet I wonder, in many of our congregations, if such traditions have any pull with our folks.

Here’s a test: if you preach against the traditions of men in your church and elicit nothing but hearty amens, you have certainly missed your target.


Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Conservatism, Pastoral


Ministry and family balance

I was recently asked my thoughts on balancing the demands of ministry and of family. Part of my answer was the following, about which I am seeking feedback from my loyal reader(s):

I believe that often (not always) pastors experience significant tension between ministry and family for two reasons: 1) a refusal to restrict the work of the church to only those things that the church is authorized to do in Scripture, and 2) a desire to expand their own personal ministry reach beyond their local church.

Thoughts? Comments? Snide remarks?


Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Pastoral


Five books about the mess we’re in

For anyone who cares to understand how we’ve gotten ourselves in our present ecclesiastical mess, I’d suggest that he read the following five works:

America’s God, Mark Noll
Revival and Revivalism, Iain Murray
The Democritization of American Christianity, Nathan Hatch
Christianity’s Dangerous Idea, Alister McGrath
Promise Unfulfilled, Rolland McCune


Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Fundamentalism, Pastoral, Society


Introducing change

Pastor Steve Thomas, of Huron Baptist Church, with some pithy advice for pastors when they need to introduce change in the church:

If you use your own car to push someone else’s car, it is not a good idea to get a head start.

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Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Pastoral