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Showing posts from April, 2021

Ministry on the Homefront

I was studying for my message this week, as I prepared to talk about  “Jesus preaching in his Hometown”  from Mark 6: 1 – 6 and some thoughts came to mind surrounding our ministry to the people closest to us. Over the years the hardest people for me to minister to is my personal family, including my wife’s family.  They know me, they have watched me, they know my family, and they know my history, good and bad.  This is not a new experience, and even Jesus shared in this struggle:   3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James,  Joseph, Judas  and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.     Wow! I can’t help but hear a little sarcasm, resentment, and hate when I read these words. No matter what Jesus did, the people closest to him still refused to see him as anything other than the boy from down the street, as the lowly carpenter.      The truth is, we may not be able to change how the people closest to us choose to look at us

Eight Reminders That Will Revolutionize YOU in Your Ministry to Men

     Many of you have accepted the challenge of ministering to men, whether as a pastor, a men’s small group leader, or another position within the local church. However, before we can be an effective leader of men, we must have our own house in order. We must strengthen and develop our own personal relationship with Christ, and then minister to men where they are in their growth as a Christian. Please understand I don’t write this out of some sense “having arrived” in ministry. I only write out of personal experience and watching other great men of God as they lead their men’s ministry. I have found these reminders to be the very foundational in how we revolutionize ourselves as we minister to men.        Before we get into reminders, we must first understand why our ministry to men is so critical in the local church. When I started in ministry in the 1970’s, the normal thought was to build a successful bus ministry and the families will flock to your church, or develop a ministry to

A Reflection on 42 Years of Ministry

As I reflect on the upcoming weekend, it is hard to believe that it has been 42 years since I took my first staff position at the Flint Baptist Temple, where I grew up. I joined staff as the Assistant to the College and Career Director (yes it was unpaid). It was five years later on April 17, 1984 when I would be ordained by the Flint Baptist Temple. On Tuesday April 17, 1984 Brother Robert Warren and I met with a group of eight pastors for what would be three hours of questions concerning our theological beliefs and explaining our call to ministry. Honestly, it was one of the most intense times of questioning I have ever encountered. However, I was blessed that my Senior Pastor, Dr. Don Lougheed was the moderator and helped keep it focused and fun. Then on Wednesday Night April 18, this group of men laid hands on us and prayed that God would use us mightily in ministry.   Many of the men that sat on the ordination counsel have gone on to be with the Lord, while others I still have som

Prayers For St. Vincent

This past weekend I received an email from a pastor and college administrator that is currently using our material from Grace Church of the Valley School of Ministry. He asked for prayers for his family, friends, and his   home country, St. Vincent (he is currently leading a Christian school on the Island of Grenade, but his family and friends still live on St. Vincent). The La Soufriere volcano has erupted and has forced many to flee the island. This small island is only 18 miles long, 11 miles wide and covers an area of about 133 square miles.   With a current population of about 130,000, 70% of the population claim Christianity as their faith. There are some great churches and Bible schools on the island that are impacting not just St. Vincent, but the entire Caribbean Region. There are reports of Ash from the volcano reaching islands over 100 miles away. How can we pray? Pray that the God would calm the storm (the Volcano that is erupting). If Christ was able to calm the Sea o

China and Taiwan: A Tale of Two Countries

I saw Taiwan and China in the news again and had to say something. Most people reading this are already asking the question, why this blogpost? Why have a conversation about these two countries?  It is because these two countries have a history that may very well bring us (America) to the brink of war. My interest in the country of Taiwan goes back to 1969. I lived in Taiwan while my father was stationed there with the United State Air Force. He was stationed at what was then called Shu Lin Kou Air Station, a small U.S. Air Force base located high in the mountains on the northern end and western side of the island of Taiwan, about twenty miles west-southwest of Taipei. My family lived in a small community just outside of Taipei called Beitou; it was an amazing place to spend your childhood.  While in the country, we had a great time playing with the Taiwanese boys that lived across the street, sightseeing with my parents all over the beautiful island, going camping with the Boy Scouts,

Approaching Good Friday and Easter!

As I have prepared my notes to share the amazing message of Good Friday and Easter, I’m always amazed by the men throughout the Gospel and how they remind me of so many men I encounter in the local church. In my eyes, there are four types of men: Non-Believer Many roman soldiers mentioned in scripture would certainly fall into this category. In the crucifixion story, soldiers are very prominent, whether they were beating Jesus, nailing him to the cross, or accepting the bribe to lie about where his body went. They had no need for another God, many where Pagans, and others rejected the very existence of God. Each of them, like most men today, needed personal encounter with Christ and an understanding of who he is! Religious but Lost The Pharisee were a very strange group of individuals. They spent hours searching the scripture, teaching about how to live religious lives, but failing to understand what they read. Sadly, we have men throughout within our churches today that are religious