Category Archives: General

Repost- Ten things church members want in a pastor

Many of my articles come from the perspective of pastors. That will not change in the future. I am an advocate of pastors and I desire God’s best for them. I have no plans to change my advocacy role.

As a change of pace, however, I recently asked a few hundred laypersons to write down what they desired of a pastor. Their responses were open-ended, and there was no limitation on the number of items they could list. Though my approach was not scientific, these laypersons did represent over sixty churches.

Here are their top ten responses in order of frequency. Since many of them gave one or more sentences as a response, I can provide a representative comment by each of the responses.

The list of ten items is found here.

I’d love to hear if this resonates or if there are other thoughts.

Marble’s Monday Menagerie 12.31.12

It is easy to fall into “Christian-ese” using language only found within subcultures.  It can happen to writers too.  A new blog find.

Ten stupid things ministers should never do.  Hopefully I won’t fall into any of them.

When looking back on my life as a pastor, again like the above link, I hope that I never have any of these regrets.

A top ten list of theological stories from Trevin Wax.  He is one to bookmark for daily reading.

I guess you don’t mess with Chick-fil-A on moral issues.  They end breaking records.

For you photo lovers, a nature collection from 2012 from “The Big Picture.”

For all you soccer officianados, a collection of every goal Messi scored in 2012.  A world record too.

Marble’s Monday Menagerie 12.24.2012

A great article debunking some of the contemporary ideas about what makes a church grow.

Some folks find the Lord of the Rings movies hard to follow.  Here is some advice on how to watch and appreciate “The Hobbit.”

CRBC has a higher than average worship leader in Adam Pacheco.  Most churches are not as fortunate.

Before you get too excited about buying a lottery ticket to fix all your financial problems, consider this winner.  Or maybe he was a loser??

Some great historical information on jolly ol’ St. Nick.

For the theologians in the crowd who like to ruminate on the Trinity, here is a good one.

“God made flesh; dwelling among us.”

“The tremendous revelation of Christianity is not the Fatherhood of God, but the Babyhood of God – God became the weakest thing in His own creation, and in flesh and blood He levered it back to where it was intended to be. No one helped Him; it was done absolutely by God manifest in human flesh. God has undertaken not only to repair the damage, but in Jesus Christ the human race is put in a better condition than when it was originally designed.”

“Beware of posing as a profound person; God became a Baby.”

- Oswald Chambers

Does it really?

Again today, I heard a saying that just doesn’t make sense to me.

“Everything happens for a reason.”

Does it?  And is this an absolutely true statement? From where did it originate?  Is it a misinterpreted truth?

It is most often used when something goes wrong.  It is most often shared when someone wants to bring hope into a difficult circumstance to someone else.  But does it really bring hope or comfort to someone?

If there is no God, then the meaning is that all matter, all causes, and all affects are arbitrary and somehow there is some kind of pixie dust floating around in our atmosphere that magically manipulates ideas, circumstances, inanimate objects, and even people to follow some kind of cosmic epistomological plan.

Since this is not true, since there is a God, then the resulting hypothesis would be that all things including evil are not the result of human action but God’s plan, not originating in the mind of a person, but in the mind of God.

This is not the God we serve and the God of the universe.  Since when does the killing of anyone lead to a greater good?  What kind of God would kill someones kid in order to make inroads with their parents?  Do the ends really justify the means in every case?

If you break it down a bit and think through what this statement is saying, I’d bet folks would stop saying it.

The origination of this statement might truly come from a poorly translated verse in the King James Version of the Bible. In that version, Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  So the “all things” seem to have some kind of ability to know when something has gone wrong and know how to “work together for good.”   I can see how this verse has turned into “Everything happens for a reason.”

The NIV folks got it right when they translate the verse as  ”And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  The grammar requires a logical decision to not make the neuter “things” the subject of the sentence, but the object of God.

The key to God working out the things is that we love Him and walk in the purposes He set out for us.  Let’s do that.  In this 2012 Advent season, let’s purpose to live for Jesus, fondly and humbly remember His first coming, and greatly anticipate His second coming.