Ministry Inside.50

1. Be sure to listen to the talk by Chuck DeGroot on “Spiritual Life of a Church Planter.” I was very impressed with this talk. Very good and helpful to ministers and other church leaders.

2. I recently read “The Cape Town Commitment: A Confession of Faith and a Call to Action” which was produced by the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization. This is an outstanding document which does a good job of articulating biblical truths about our faith and mission. You can download this at

3. Heard Rodney Plunkett preach on June 26 at White Station Church of Christ. Outstanding message! While in Memphis, I enjoyed visiting with Evertt Huffard, Carlus Gupton, Mark Powell, Rodney Plunkett, and Chris Altrock. Great people. I especially enjoyed visiting and co-teaching with my friend Allen Black, who has taught New Testament for many years at Harding School of Theology (formerly Harding Graduate School of Religion).

4. Pay attention to the people. Ministers quite often underestimate the importance of simply paying attention to the people in their churches. Not long ago, I was talking to a couple who had been visiting a congregation in their area. They said that when the preacher is before the church on Sunday morning, he is talkative, engaging, etc. Yet, when they pass by him in the hallway, he will not speak. They went on to say that on one occasion, he looked at them as he passed by and then turned his head without saying anything. Yet, a simple “hello” and a smile can go a long way with people.

I am not talking about anything that is contrived or phony. However, sometimes we may forget the importance of a single individual.

5. I was saddened to hear the news of John Stott’s death. I have admired and respected him for many years. I will never forget the first time I read his book, Between Two Worlds. I learned so much about preaching and ministry through this one book alone.

If you have never read Stott, you might even consider making him one of your mentors. Begin reading his books (particularly Between Two Worlds and The Cross of Christ). Get to know his mind and his ways.


5. Be sure to read Tony Campolo’s “Baby Smiles and Life’s Truisms.” These are very good.

6. Geoff Surratt has written a very good post entitled “The Secret Life of Pastors.” Note his four loves.

7. See Mark Galli’s “The Most Risky Profession: Why You Need to Desperately Pray for Your Pastor.”

8. Chris Altrock is my friend, a great guy, and the author of a new book on prayer. His blog is worth reading. Great reflections on Scripture.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Ministry Inside.50

  1. Couple quick thoughts in response to number 4:
    1. People who are visiting a church don’t always get a full picture of a staff member in a couple of visits.
    2. Maybe when he’s not on stage he has 10 – 20 things that he needs to be checking on so it is hard to remember to smile and say hi to everyone you meet.

    I could probably add some others and I absolutely agree with what you said but being on staff at a church and having heard similar statements about myself I think it’s important to remember that a staff member can have a lot going on when at church on a Sunday and just because they fail to say hi to everyone isn’t necessarily an indication that they’re not friendly. Sometimes we have multiple things that need to be addressed and taken care of to make sure that all of our Sunday morning programming goes smoothly so that people don’t begin to complain about that.

    Anyway, that hit a hot button with me, and I don’t deny the importance of being nice and all of that but let’s be careful to make sure we don’t cast blame and critique his personality without knowing all the circumstances. I hope that you said something along those lines to this couple that shared their experience with you.


    • Curt, you make some really good points here. This is something that I’ve had to watch and be very intentional about addressing. As you noted, Sunday mornings can be a time for a minister in which there is a great deal going on. In fact, it is a very busy time.

      In earlier years, I sometimes walked right by people who needed a moment of attention but I was too busy with this or that to see them. There are a lot of people in our church building on a Sunday morning. I do pray that I will see and be attentive to people who especially need a word of encouragement after a long, painful week. I am more naturally introverted than extroverted so this comes after prayer and intentionality. Otherwise, I am afraid that I would continue to not see people who may be right in front of me.

      Thanks so much for your comment. May God bless your ministry and the hard work that you obviously do.