Each Thursday, throughout the next two months, I am posting “Ministry Inside” especially for ministers who read this blog. Perhaps some of this will be helpful.
1. Have you seen Instapaper ? I am finding this to be very helpful. This tool enables you to quickly browse through numerous online newspapers, magazines, etc. and save in one place articles that you would like to read later. At your own Instapaper, you can even create folders to put certain articles for a particular use. For example, right now I have three folders:
- For my blog
- Pass on to my family
- Stories for messages
So I read the articles that I have placed on Insta-newspaper and then filed them in a folder for use later. You might take a look at this.
2. Stay tuned for L. L. Barkat’s new book: God in the Yard: Spiritual Practice for the Rest of Us. I read the first two chapters of this book and know that I will be recommending it widely. Barkat reminds me of Eugene Peterson when I read her books. She has the eye of a poet.
3. If you are looking for a commentary series that could benefit people in your church, consider the . . . for Everyone series. Tom (N.T.) Wright is writing this series covering every book in the New Testament. Included is his own translation of the text with a very readable discussion. Also included are background information, explanations, suggestions, etc. I have found these books to be very helpful.
4. I am very thankful for David and Diana Garland’s book, Flawed Families of the Bible. This book formed seed thoughts for me in at least one series that I have taught regarding family. Because we are human and sinful, each one of us either came from an imperfect family or helped create an imperfect family or both. Anyway, this is a very good book.
5. Today, I had lunch with Barry Camp, Pastor of Highland Baptist Church. Barry is a good friend who has served this area for many years. Yesterday, I was at a lunch of the Urban Church Coalition. This is a monthly lunch at which ministers/pastors/church leaders/para-church directors come together to remember the needs of the poor, forgotten and neglected in our community. The group consists of people representing a variety of denominations and organizations.
For many years, I did not take the time to invest in these kinds of friendships. I just did not make the effort to get to know other ministers who may have only been a half mile from me. Today, my life is far richer because of these relationships. What about you? In the last month, two friends, ministers in two different states, have told me that when they moved to their respective cities, no minister ever called to welcome them or ask them out for coffee or lunch. Hmmm.
6. Dr. Mark Hamilton (Associate Dean, ACU Graduate School of Theology) has written a very good article entitled, “The Demographic Crisis in Church and How to Fix It.” Good thoughts and very practical as well.
If this series, posted each Thursday, is helpful to you please let me know either through comment or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org)