A Little Encouragement for the More Senior Pastor Who’s Been Doing It Right for Years

"Nearly all of the attention and encouragement given to pastors in conferences, podcasts, books, videos, or otherwise, is pointed to a stereotype of a younger pastor who is out there trying to change the world." - C.Leaders

296 reads

Gold in the Laundry: Finding Value in the Mundane

By M.R. Conrad, reposted from Rooted Thinking. (2020)

Bathe the children. Cook three square meals. Weed the garden. Repair the fence. Beat back the vines of the encroaching jungle. Unclog the outhouse. Patch the hole in the roof. Help the neighbors. Such was the life of missionary Mary Slessor. Far from the conveniences of her homeland, this Scottish woman found the mundane chores of daily life in Nigeria consuming her time. Is your life similarly filled with repetitive, mind-numbing tasks? Do you feel there is little value in the mundane?

Daily Monotony vs. Spikes of Excitement

As a child listening to missionary stories, I never saw this side of Mary Slessor. Yes, Slessor saved infants from being murdered. She rescued slaves and battered women. She calmly knitted while armed chiefs raged at one another. Most importantly, she introduced the gospel to areas few missionaries dared to go. However, biographies often leave out the boring parts of everyday life. They must, or you wouldn’t keep reading!

In her correspondence, Slessor candidly reported the mundane tasks that consumed most of her days. Summing up, she wrote, “So, you see, life here, as at home, is just a record of small duties which occupy the time, and task the strength without much to show for it.”1 Years passed, and her work remained a mostly domestic affair with no churches planted in her region and few converts to report.

4306 reads

Honoring the Faithful

Memorial Day is always a wonderful time to reflect on the “good inheritance”1 (Ps. 16:6) that we enjoy as Americans, as Christians, and within our individual families. We honor those who have given of themselves—especially those who have given their very lives—for our country, and we also remember all of those who have preceded us in our family histories.

As I grow older, Memorial Day also causes me to think about other significant people—especially dedicated servants of God like the pastors, teachers and professors who devoted their lives in teaching me (see Heb. 13:7). They gave of themselves, to the very limits of their strength, to build up my life and ministry.

I could say so much about so many of these men. Of course, one of those whose ministry blessed me very profoundly was Dr. John Whitcomb. Providentially, I was given the wonderful opportunity of both studying under him extensively, and also working with him in ministry for many years.

Memorial Day makes me think of Dr. Whitcomb in particular because, back in 2003 when we visited the Whitcombs at their home in Indianapolis for the first time, it was at the end of the week, following Memorial Day. The purpose of the visit was to begin interviewing Dr. Whitcomb about his life story. I ended up writing on his biography for both a magazine article and a book chapter.2  Our time together also unexpectedly led to Lynnette and me assisting Whitcomb Ministries—an endeavor that continues down to this day.

1441 reads

In Praise of the Boring, Uncool Church

"...things that are cool are ephemeral. What’s fashionable is, by the necessity of the rules of fashion, quickly obsolete. This is one of many reasons why chasing cool is a fool’s errand for churches and pastors, as I argue in my book Hipster Christianity: When Church and Cool Collide." - TGC 

1625 reads

Are our pulpits full of preachers who want to quit but haven't yet?

"Even if we haven’t seen a dramatic increase in pastoral attrition, many people believe it’s still coming.... If the bubble does burst later this year or next, all eyes are on three demographics: pastors early in their careers, those nearing retirement, and bivocational ministers." - C.Today

1109 reads

Research: Habits of Pastors Who Endure in Ministry; How You can Help

"The following 12 practices were identified by comparing current pastors with former pastors who had left the pastorate before retirement age. We analyzed which questions most strongly predict whether a pastor continues to serve as a senior pastor." - Lifeway

510 reads