How to be Present

I could still quit, I thought as I found a place to sit and finish some work. I had just come from my last meeting with Human Resources before starting as an Intern Chaplain with a large North Texas health care system. Frustrated with the process and still rubbing my arm from the mandatory flu shot, all...

Why Major in Biblical and Theological Studies?

Until the last 30 or 40 years, virtually everyone whom the Lord called to go to school to prepare for the ministry, and who believed that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, took as many Bible and Theology courses as they could cram into the program he or she was in. The logic until then was...

Catalyst for Change

As we continue our national conversation in which we wrestle with issues surrounding social justice, violence against African Americans, and the polarization taking place in our social and political discourse, one thing is clear:  we all have much to learn, and a posture of humility and openness towards others is a necessary ingredient in our pursuit of discipleship...

Guidelines for Pastoral Care During Covid-19

As outbreaks of the coronavirus continue to spread globally, the endgame continues to be a moving target. Meanwhile, we as shepherds and faith leaders still must care for people, many of whom are feeling a rise in anxiety verging on panic. Allow me to offer these 10 brief guidelines to help frame our thinking and subsequently our...

Spiritual Needs in the Time of Corona

By now, many of us have acclimated to the COVID-19 social-distancing protocols. Churches are learning how to serve people online, schools have shifted to virtual home-based learning, and families are doing their best to stay in touch and support each other. As this crisis persists, we will need to address continuing needs of physical well-being and mental...

Stones Cry Out

I had a conversation with a student recently about the reality of God in the midst of lockdown. “In springtime,” he said, “it is always easy to look around and see examples of God in creation.” He was not referring to a pantheism in which “god is all and all is god.” Rather, he simply meant that...

What the Burning of Notre Dame Says About the American Church

The Notre Dame Cathedral burned in April 2019. The burning revealed neglect, rot, and decay both by the French society and the Catholic Church. The American church is experiencing the same revelation of neglect, rot, and decay. The world watched in disbelief as the Cathedral of Notre Dame engulfed in flames. Regardless of your...

Shelter in Grace

My social media feed blew up in the last couple of weeks with people arguing for and against holding public worship services in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. At the time, I was a bit surprised, unaware of the controversy that was brewing. Shortly after that, two pastors received national attention for violating stay-at-home orders by...

To Serve or Be Served

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that...

Chronological Extension of the Kingdom: Pastoral Ministry, Theological Education, and the Mission of the Church

As pastors and Christian ministry leaders, we understand that our purpose and task is tied with the mission of Christ. Yet there is an important aspect of the Church’s mission that is regularly overlooked and even ignored. One of the primary themes that runs throughout the Pastoral Epistles, and is particularly notable in 2...