Wanted: One generous donor with deep pockets willing to empty them for the sake of the gospel. Your gift would send every member of our congregation on a trip to Ghana or India or the Dominican Republic. While there, these affluent suburban residents of Ohio will see Christian work and meet Christian workers living in simplicity and sometimes need, facing pagan religions and often persecution. Maybe these Americans will encourage or help those they meet in the foreign land. If so, that will be a side benefit to the main purpose of the trip: to instill a sense of urgency for spreading the gospel in America where our abundance distracts us from the church’s primary mission on earth.Read More
Since last week many have been talking about the suicide of a megachurch minister in California. And quite a few have been writing about it. Perhaps no post has received more attention than that from a minister’s daughter who described the hurts and heartaches of her father.
“I’ve seen firsthand the beauty and pain wrapped up in a life called to ministry for almost thirty years,” she wrote on Facebook. And, as of yesterday, more than 43,000 had read her post. More than 34,000 commented. Almost 7,000 shared it. A few days later she admitted she’s been amazed and “slightly overwhelmed” at the response. The experiences shared by her readers have deepened her commitment to build the church and help those hurt by it.Read More
Andrew Stoecklein, pastor of Inland Hills church, a megachurch in Chino, California, committed suicide last weekend. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about him. I didn’t really know Andrew, but I had met him twice. And I can’t stop wondering, What kind of pain was he in to take his own life?
I can guess at the answer. Most pastors I know live with the pressure that they can’t be really human. And this happens no matter the size of the church. These guys feel like they’re being held to an impossible standard. Many are put on a pedestal they never chose and don’t want.Read More
I didn’t want to go to church Sunday. And I certainly didn’t want to preach. As I lay in bed comfortable under the covers, I wrestled for 15 minutes with the decision to get up.
I could call in sick.
One of our associates was preaching in our chapel service, and he could preach in the main auditorium too.
I’ve never bailed at the last minute before. Our executive pastor would be OK with it.
It’s not that I don’t feel called to preach. But it had been a heavy week: Sermon planning for all of 2019. A death in the family of a good friend followed immediately by the death of a longtime member in our church. People close to me wrestling with worrisome health issues.
It would be a good morning to sleep. It would be a good afternoon to sleep.Read More