Living Without Fear in an Age of Terror

Ressurection of Jairus' daughter

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I am preaching this Sunday at Resurrection West. I am looking forward to the opportunity to share good news with the congregation. I am particularly looking forward to it as I did not have the opportunity to preach while serving as Pastor of Resurrection Online.

We are in the middle of a series in which we are reflecting on the events of September 11, 2011 through the lens of the Christian faith. I am preaching on Living Without Fear in an Age of Terror and will be using verses from Psalm 27 and Mark 5. If you are interested, you can follow my progress in the days ahead at the Google Doc – http://j.mp/pTdEht It is pretty rough right now and won’t be in a finished form until some time Saturday night. If you take a look at it, will you please share your thoughts feelings or opinions? I would love to hear from you.

Mission and Vision: Local Church (1 of 3)

A local church with a mission (Why do we exist?) and a vision (Where are we going?) is more likely to be a vital congregation. The clarity of purpose and direction helps shape the life of the congregation in both subtle and significant ways. With the lack of a clear statement that people can remember and understand the leadership may go from one “next best thing” to another in ministry and never realize their full potential as a congregation.

The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection where I am currently serving has as a mission (or purpose) statement: Building a Christian community where non-religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians.

Should I Change Churches?

Sturko church building

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I recently read How to Choose a Church by Bruce Reyes-Chow and wanted to take time to share with you some of the things that I share with people considering either leaving Resurrection for another church or beginning to attend Resurrection from another church.

It really matter to me whether you attend Resurrection or not. What I care about is that you are part of a faith community where you are both comfortable and challenged. I don’t want you to dread coming to worship every Sunday, nor should participation in the community be a chore for you. However, I hoep that you would be involved in a church where you are challenged to continue to grow and develop in your faith. Each one of us is on a journey of growing in our faith and the church in which you participate plays a big role in that journey. If that place is at Resurrection, that’s great. If not, that’s okay too. I care most about you growing in your faith and living as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

How do you feel about this response? What conversations have you had with people leaving a church to attend another? What could be done better? What is good about this approach?

Can a Pastor Build a Friendship with a Congregant?

I hope to build deep social connections with others. I know that deep friendships have a great deal of positive benefit in my life. Friends are people with whom I can share encouragement, accountability, fun, conversation, support and a wide variety of interactions.

As a pastor, there are times when I feel the distinction when connecting with those that are part of the congregation that I serve. For example, when I go to young adult activities, I don’t just go as a young adult seeking connection with others, I go as one of the pastors of the church. At the same time, I have built friendships on

As a United Methodist pastor, I believe that some of the most enduring connections that I will have outside of my family are with fellow clergy in the annual conference. I am seeking to build those connections. However, the people of my congregation and community are those that I have the opportunity to spend time with on a more regular basis.

Can you be friends with your pastor?  As a pastor, can I be friends with someone in the congregation? If so, how? If not, why not? What are the limits and opportunities?

I believe that a pastor is able to build meaningful friendships with a small number of the congregation, while the broader less connected social circle will be found outside of the congregation. Will you please share your thoughts, feelings or opinions about the connection between clergy and congregant?

The Preacher Your Preacher Could Preach Like

I first heard about this fantastic video from this update:

Here it is – The Preacher Your Preacher Could Preach Like:

Likely, inspired by:

Thank you to everyone involved!

Scripture Monday – Luke 10:17

Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, ...

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“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. … The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name” (Luke 10:1, 17).

The seventy-two returned to Jesus with joy. Their task was one that led to joy. I appreciate this perspective, as there are times that the work of ministry does not feel like joy. Maybe it is a change in perspective, change in task or change in remembering who is responsible and in charge. Whatever the shift may be, these followers of Jesus encourage me to approach God‘s work with joy.

Fruitfulness: Every Day Living (3 of 4)

Examples of bowls from boards

How do we help people live fruitfully in their day to day life?

Ultimately, the church is not about keeping a variety of interesting programs running and giving people something that to do that is segmented from the rest of their lives. We are about equipping people to live fruitfully in their every day life – at work, with their family, when grocery shopping or even when they show up to worship.

What are some practices that you have found that equip people for living daily the fruit of the spirit?