Month: June 2015

I’m not good enough for church.

“I want nothing to do with that church.” And she hangs up.

What have I done? Did the law break her? Did I offend someone in her family? Is she angry at some imagined slight?

She is angry that her daughter and grandson are good enough for this church. She is angry at grace. (more…)

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The Mirror at the Bottom of the Bottle

The computer informs me it’s 1:28 AM. Sometimes ministry runs late.

Thank God my Bride is gone this week visiting her family with the kids. I munched leftover Chinese while watching Doctor Who. A banging sounded from my office door. A man’s there. A prospect. He reeks of alcohol. Nothing new for him. About a month back his dad died; since then I’ve had a hard time finding him. Tonight he found me.

He admits he needs help. He needs someplace to dry out; someplace to get him through withdrawal.

“How many have you had today?” I ask.

“Two,” he answers.

Yeah right.

Well, whatever. He’s admitting he needs help; I’m going to get him the help I can. It takes traveling to another nearby city to find a hospital that’ll take him in. No problem. My Bride’s gone, so I don’t have to worry about keeping her up if it goes late. I have no idea how long this process takes. (more…)

At the end of the day…

Bless the person who invented the pillow…

It’s a good kind of gnaw-off-your-arm exhausted. Really.

I know many pastors who hold two services on Sunday mornings. Many congregations, due to simple architecture constraints, require two services a week. You may not realize this, but preaching and presiding over one worship service exhausts a man. Two? I’m glad I’m in a smaller congregation.

Oh. That doesn’t help. Not anymore.

Enter: The genius pastor. I’m now conducting two worship services a week.

In the morning, we hold our traditional worship. The old faithful enter the sanctuary, and we open with a song of worship, invoke our triune God, confess our sins, hear the proclamation of forgiveness, and move on to a song of praise. My sermons hover around twenty minutes. The sermon consists of a long speech explaining Scripture and proclaiming its truths, particularly law and gospel. Following the conclusion of worship, we gather for “fellowship” (in this case, a fancy word for coffee and yakking) and Bible study. By noon, the church building usually stands abandoned. I go home and collapse.

I love my people. I love proclaiming the Word. It takes a lot out of me, though. I know I’m not the only pastor that enjoys afternoon naps.

But then, my brilliant idea: A worship service designed for more discussion, more give-and-take, available for more shaping as we explore and discover God’s Word together. In short, I’m starting a new congregation aimed at a new audience. We meet Sunday evenings. (more…)