1. William Willimon has written a very good piece entitled “ Major Moves in Ministry.” Specifically he addresses moves that ministers/pastors/church leaders must make in our day. Willimon is a good thinker, a prolific writer, and an outstanding preacher. I read whatever he writes.
2. Do you ever read Bob Buford’s blog (founder of Leadership Network)? His observations about both culture and the church are very insightful. Buford reads widely and often has several nuggets on in his blog. See his latest post, “The Great Reset.”
3. One’s own credibility as a Christian leader is very important. How tragic when a Christian leader develops a reputation for arrogance, rudeness, and having a sharp tongue. Even though this person may preach good sermons and have good ideas/insights about ministry, this minister/pastor/church leader may be discounted by others because of a track record of immature behavior. (This does not even begin to address that such behavior is beneath what a Christ-follower has been called to be.)
4. Have you seen some of the videos from “The Nines?” In 2009 Leadership Network asked 75 leaders, “If you had just nine minutes to share with Christian leaders, what would you tell them?” The videos are available here. For a sample, see Rick Warren speak about the perpetual immaturity of some church members.
5. Recently, I have particularly enjoyed Scot McKnight’s series, “Jesus the Benefactor.” Go here for a sample of this very good series.
6. This week, I wrote to a number of men (about two dozen) in our congregation asking them to help me think through two issues related to being a man today. I am thinking about these issues in light of Father’s Day. I asked these guys two questions:
What concerns you most about men today? (or you might complete this sentence: “I am concerned about men today because many men seem to be _________________”)
In what one area would you especially like to grow as a Christian man?
What I received in reply to these two questions was so helpful. These guys really thought through their responses. Occasionally, I will ask men and women in our church questions like these. Usually I do this through e-mail. The insight that I gain to responses from people in our congregation is incredibly helpful.
7. You can now access my notes from the three messages I gave at the recent Austin Graduate School of Theology Sermon Seminar. These notes were distributed at the seminar. The document not only includes some reflections on ministry in general but my actual speaking notes from a series of messages that delivered in Waco on 2 Corinthians 1- 6:10. Perhaps you will find this helpful. Second Corinthians–pdf