Talk with the Preacher

Monthly Archives: November 2012

“When we start in ministry, we usually do not have grand goals for recognition or achievement.  We want to be a good pastor.  We want to be used by God.  More than ever, we want to finish well.” So say the writers of Bearing Fruit: Ministry With Real Results, about their sixth tip for sustaining fruitful leadership: Remember the Dream.  It all sounds very Chariots of Fire-esque, but they may have a… Read More

Apparently when you run a marathon there are places along the course that you are tempted to give up.  I can’t imagine, for the life of me, that there wouldn’t be, frankly.  The writers of Bearing Fruit: Ministry With Real Results tell the story of a marathon runner in the Marine Corps Marathon who felt the temptation to quit around about mile 18 (mile 18??!?).  When asked why that leg of the… Read More

Tip #3 is Make Time For Recovery. I wouldn’t have known this, of course, not being a world class athlete myself, but studies show that the most critical indicator of excellence in top athletes is what they do in their down time.  Turns out the very best athletes have rituals for resting in between their moments of performance, rituals that allow them to refuel, heal, and refocus. The authors of Bearing Fruit:… Read More

The writers of Bearing Fruit: Ministry With Real Results use the metaphor of a marathon runner in the eighth chapter of their book.  From that metaphor they have extracted some guidelines for sustaining fruitful leadership, which is a nice way of saying, “making sure the pastor doesn’t go off the deep end.”  Here on the blog I’ve been trying to explore these tips, helpfully translating their truth for those who might not… Read More

Strategy #2: Move at the Pace of Your Success Very recently I was on the elliptical trainer at the gym.  (Believe me, I am loving how virtuous that sounds.  Don’t buy it.)  I was moving right along, trying to tick off the minutes as fast as I possibly could, when a roving trainer stopped at my machine.  “Nice to see you here,” he said.  (I took that as a judgment statement, even… Read More

I cannot understand people who run for fun.  I can understand running if you’re being chased by somebody scary, but running just for fun is baffling to me.  It’s not that I haven’t tried.  I mean, it would be great to own a couple of pairs of cute running shoes.  I’d love to be able to throw around phrases like, “The other day on my run…”.  I’d really like the health benefits… Read More

The first time I ever heard Barbara Brown Taylor in person was about fifteen years ago when she came to the church where I served as associate pastor and preached for a Sunday morning worship service.  As a young woman in ministry dreaming about the elusive possibility of claiming a place in the pulpit, it was quite a thrilling experience to see her preach and know that it could be done.  I… Read More

Jesus Changes How I See Mark 10: 46-52 I had the opportunity last week, at the invitation of a couple of Calvary members, to hear Barbara Brown Taylor speak at Virginia Theological Seminary.  If you are unfamiliar with Barbara Brown Taylor, you should know she is an Episcopal priest who was plucked out of relative obscurity about fifteen years ago when Time Magazine named her one of America’s ten top preachers.  Since… Read More

Psalm 1 King James Version (KJV) 1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit… Read More

This morning I spent a chilly hour and a half in a line that wound all the way around a local elementary school building.  While the wind was bracing, the sun was shining and the spirit in the crowd was high.  People carried their bundled-up toddlers and hung on tightly to their dogs’ leashes.  Conversations between strangers sprouted up all along the line.  We were all waiting to vote. In my particular… Read More