Unexpected Pregnancy and the Church

A few years ago I met a single and pregnant woman named Jordan. She was 19. She joined Embrace Grace, a support group for women with unexpected pregnancies at my church, and she shared her story with us. Days before coming to the class, Jordan had found out she was pregnant. She was scared....

Why Christians Don’t Tithe

I believe in tithing. Soon after joining my first church as an adult, I received a membership packet, which included a statement about giving. It read, "As a member of this church, you agree to support this ministry through your regular tithes and offerings."  Even though I didn't fully understand it, the tithe concept...

Mind the Gap

Charles Haddon Spurgeon pastored the great New Park Street Chapel (later the Metropolitan Tabernacle) in London, England, from 1854 to 1892. He was only 19 years old when he was called to pastor New Park Chapel, a well-known church which had dwindled numerically to 313 members, with actual attendance being much smaller. It took only a few...

Pastoral Counseling

My husband and I were lead pastors for 32 years. We served mostly in small communities where church people were more like family. Being the “parents” of the family meant we frequently got a frantic call at the first sign of trouble. Births, deaths, heart attacks, accidents—pretty much any type of crisis or complication. They depended on...

Can You “Narcissist-Proof” a System?

Editor's note: Hear TKU President, Dr. Jon Chasteen, talk about narcissistic leadership with Dr. Chuck DeGroat on the Church InTension podcast. If you’re building an organization/community from the ground up, what are steps to ensure it has the best shot of narcissist-proofing itself? Are there parameters you can set for health on the front...

Dealing With Leadership Anxiety

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? This leadership journey began when I was twenty-four years old and had been married six days. It was my first day as a hospital chaplain at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. It housed six hundred beds, home hospice, and the...

To Be or Not to Be a Pentecostal

The time in Fort Wayne would be a milestone for Jack Hayford as a Pentecostal pastor. Ever since he had begun speaking in tongues in May 1955, he had continued the practice privately. But he was wavering in presenting himself and his Fort Wayne church as distinctly and publicly Pentecostal in practice. He and...

Blame It On COVID

Years ago at Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo, Texas, where I serve as senior pastor, there was a young guy on our softball team. He was in his early 20s, and at a game one night he was hit in the head with a softball. After he got up and shook it off everything seemed fine, but...

Getting a Word From God

Have you ever wanted to hear from God or needed a word from the Lord? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. As you pursue a deeper, more intimate relationship with God you’ll undoubtedly come to a place where you need to hear from Him. He speaks in a variety of ways, whether it be from His...

Making 2020 the Best

Everywhere we look, we see memes about how 2020 will go down as the worst year ever. It’s true that 2020 has been challenging, but what if we look back on this year and remember it being far better than we are seeing it now? We have an opportunity to confront some ugly things in our society...