Each Thursday, I publish a post entitled “Ministry Inside.” These posts are especially directed toward ministers and church leaders.
1. Last week I heard Kenda Creasy Dean speak at Baylor University regarding her research at Princeton University that led to the book Almost Christian. While the research focused on youth in churches, the ramifications impact the entire church. You can view it (the video) here.
2. I regularly have conversation with ministers who receive little encouragement from people in their churches. It’s not that these people attack these ministers. Some ministers rarely deal with the rudeness of others. Many ministers, however, do find that their best efforts are met with silence and seemingly indifference. Sometimes, silence can be incredibly discouraging in a ministry.
3. This summer I am co-teaching a D.Min. class with Dr. Allen Black at Harding Graduate School of Religion (Memphis). The class is focused on preaching from the Gospel of Luke. In preparation for this class, I have enjoyed reading several important works on preaching. One book that has been particularly interesting is Wesley Allen’s, The Renewed Homiletic. Allen combines manuscripts submitted by Craddock, Lowry, Rice, Mitchell, and Buttrick in which these authors reflect on their earlier contributions to the literature on preaching (most popular in the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s). They also talk about the state of preaching today.
4. I continue to be impressed with Evernote. Evernote is an outstanding tool for organizing and keeping track of a variety of resources in one place. This week I have skimmed through a number of past posts looking for stories I’ve told that relate to my family or my experiences in ministry. In seconds I placed a copy of a story in an Evernote file. Nice. (See this great post by Michael Hyatt regarding its usefulness.)
5. So would you rather serve as a shepherd or as a cat herder? (Maybe I should ask, “Do the people in your church see themselves as sheep to be led or cats to be herded?) I love this video.