3 Lessons from Three Decades of Ministry, Marriage

I entered the pastorate with a fair amount of preparation. From graduate to post-graduate work, I was surrounded by motivated friends and a world-class faculty. It was the best of times. I had every opportunity and I loved it. Along the way, I had the chance to apply...

What’s the Key to Successful Church Ministry?

Graduation week at The John Leland Center for Theological Studies is an occasion that puts me in a reflective mood. In 1970, it was me, and the world was changing. Rapidly. But since the church in general and Baptists in particular tend to lag at least several decades...

5 Things a Pastor Learned in the Hospital

With an almost three-week hospital stay behind me, I realized there were several things I learned from the experience. Here are five of them: 1. People who are in the hospital are really sick You might think that would be obvious, but when I say sick, I mean really...

An 8-Year-Old Who Understands Second Chances

His name was Chris. I don’t remember his last name. He was about 8 years old and lived a few blocks from the Louisville, Ky., church where I served as associate minister of music. I only knew him a couple of months. Chris had the husky build of a future football...

8 Steps to Help Your Church Engage Their Community

Each Wednesday evening after prayer meeting, I walk to the third floor of our facilities to view the answer to many people’s prayers. Our church has a medical clinic there, which makes it possible for anyone without insurance to see a doctor or a dentist and get...