Position Papers: Positions We Pastor From, Not Pastoring

When I first started writing articles for a blog, it was because my boss (the CEO of Lifeway) encouraged me to use the blog as a way to encourage church leaders—as that was part of my role at Lifeway. Since becoming the Senior Pastor of Mariners Church five years ago, I realize that sometimes people […]

Soft Complementarians: Holding to Headship and the Gifting of Women

The place of women serving, leading, and teaching in the Church is frequently a topic of discussion, seemingly heightened in 2023 as Christian denominations such as Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) have made national news over their discussions and decisions regarding the role of women in a local church. […]

People Walking Away? We Are NOT in Unprecedented Times

The more things change, the more they stay the same. There is nothing new under the sun. History repeats itself. The longer we live, the more we find those cliches true in all realms of life. Here is a moment in the history of Christianity. The times are divisive and chaotic. The culture surrounding Christians […]

How Do You Plan the Annual Teaching/Preaching Calendar?

I shared recently some theological truths behind the practice of advanced sermon planning: God exists outside of time and metaphors in the Scripture about pastoral ministry include wisdom and intentionality. Planning a teaching calendar in advance gives the preacher more time for research, prayer, and receiving illustrations through the regular rhythms of life. By knowing […]

3 Theological Truths about Advanced Sermon Planning

Occasionally someone will ask a question that reveals a struggle with planning a teaching/ sermon calendar far in advance. Questions like: Question: How do you listen to the Spirit if everything is so planned out? Answer: My hope is to listen to Him through the whole process from planning, to preparation, and throughout every word […]

Eminem, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and a Leader’s Heart

Eminem is one of the most accomplished artists in the history of the music industry. Though not nearly as broadly known, Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones was a well-respected author and preacher in his day as he served Westminster Chapel in London. Though both are considered highly influential, Eminem and Martyn Lloyd-Jones articulated very different responses […]

5 Reminders on Different Seasons in Leadership

The Apostle Paul gave three different metaphors when he wrote to Timothy about ministry leadership: the athlete, the soldier, and the farmer (2 Timothy 2:1-7). When Paul wrote to Christians in Corinth, he used a farming metaphor and spoke of the different roles ministry leaders played, planting and watering, while pointing out God as the […]

2 Inabilities of Position Papers in a Ministry Context

There is a growing importance for ministries, whether a local church or a Christ-centered non-profit, to develop position papers on key theological questions and cultural issues. The reality is that many doctrinal statements do not address some of the cultural issues facing ministry leaders today. Without articulated positions, it is challenging to offer clarity with […]

4 Benefits of Developing Position Papers in a Ministry Context

Throughout 2022, I led our church staff and elders through an intentional process of ensuring our positions on several topics and cultural issues were documented for the sake of consistency and clarity. We already had a statement of faith that captures the core doctrines of our church, a beautiful statement that originated with John Stott, […]

4 Upside-Down Actions as You Gather at Church this Easter Weekend

In our Resurrected King’s Kingdom, the values are often opposite of this world. We have been included in what many refer to as an upside-down Kingdom where the weak are strong, the first are last, and the servants are the greatest among us. As we celebrate our King’s defeat of death this Easter weekend at […]