“Clem,” Lesslie and J.R.W.: Examples to the Flock

In a congregation with a group of clergy recently, I said something I say often: “We (pastors) lead with our lives.” Our culture places much emphasis on competence and skill. Please, God, let us clergy show competence!  But, let us also do more. 1 Peter 5:2 and 4 say that elders are to “shepherd the […]

Grown-Up Discipleship: Loving Enemies

John Wesley begins the concluding paragraph of his third discourse on the Sermon on the Mount in this way: “Behold Christianity in its native form; as delivered by its great Author!  This is the genuine religion of Jesus Christ.” When you consider the subject Mr. Wesley has been addressing to get him to this conclusion, […]

Two-tiered Witness?

Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians has been holding me for weeks.  I’ve blogged already about Paul’s vulnerable, transparent witness: “You are our letters of commendation,” he says to the Corinthians (chapter 3).  Paul has no structural, organizational props for his ministry, just the effective witness of a life lived before others that he can […]

From One Heart to Another

In 2 Corinthians, Paul is put in the position of defending his ministry.  “Are we beginning to commend ourselves?” he asks the Corinthians.  “You are our letters [of commendation],” he reminds them.  Paul’s “defense” of the authenticity of his work is the strong, open, vulnerable witness he has lived amont these people.  “We have renounced […]

Living the New Creation Reality

The Thursday before Easter I presided at a funeral of a man I did not really know.  I had presided over his grandson’s funeral several years ago.  I then had his daughter’s funeral (the mother of the boy who had died).  Three years ago, he put me down as the pastor to do his funeral. […]

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