Count me among the millions of readers who have been blessed over the decades by the writing and ministry of J. I. Packer. His some 300-plus essays, articles, and books, such as Knowing God, have made an impact on innumerable lives, mine included. So, when it was recently revealed that the nearly ninety-year-old Packer had lost his vision and would … Read More
As a young man, I thought leadership was primarily about what I could accomplish. As I have added some gray hair (and a few inches), I have come to recognize that I can accomplish far more as a leader by motivating and mobilizing a team rather than focusing on my own activities. In an article by John Maxwell, he observes: … Read More
Some bemoan the lack of in-depth reading and engagement in longer, nuanced, sustained narratives. We don’t read anymore (or most of us anyway). Our attention spans are too short. We want the shortcut. The 140 character tweet rather than the well-composed essay. The short blog or article rather than the real deal. We read for fewer minutes and what we … Read More
The Rev. Gardner C. Taylor prays during his sermon at a historic meeting of four black Baptist denominations at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., in 2005. Religion News Service file photo by Michael Clancy. It could not have happened on a more appropriate day. Gardner C. Taylor, a giant of the American pulpit who had spent most of his … Read More
“Ninety Percent.” As a young aspiring minister-in-training, I remember hearing this number frequently—and annoyingly—as I packed my belongings and life and headed to seminary. According to well-meaning mentors, this oft-quoted number represented the percentage of seminarians no longer in full-time ministry after 10 years. They were the “drop-outs,” I was told; don’t be like them. For me, the number functioned … Read More
Change is a reality. We can recognize and deal with it, or we can let it run over us. Kodak is a prime example. A success for many years, changing technology finally caught up with them. They thought they were in the film and camera business, when they should have recognized they were in the picture business. First came digitization, … Read More
Originally posted on theyouthministryblog.com. Header image provided through creative commons by Robert Couse-Baker. While deployed as an Army Chaplain on Operation Enduring Freedom in Europe, God taught me some lessons about time management. While my unit was not in a combat area, the deployment made me think about the brevity of my life and how I had spent my time up until … Read More
The reasons why an outline can kill a sermon.
We have the responsibility of looking beyond our stereotypes, editing them for accuracy, and even dismissing them altogether. Overall, stereotypes are problematic for sound thinking, and a wider perspective on the person in front of you.