The Pastor's Spiritual Life
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 15 June 2007

It is a question that has been rolling around in my head for a while. The only problem is, how can I get an honest answer? The question is: How much do pastors pray, practice silence and read scripture? It is a simple question, but one, I fear, that many pastors try to avoid. As pastors we believe that we should be spending time in these practices, but I have a sneaking suspicion that we do not spend very much time in either prayer, silence, or formational scripture reading.  

I shared this with a pastor friend of mine and his response was, "Well, we have a lot to do and not a lot of time." I believe his answer was honest and real, but he did not go into detail about how much time was spent in these practices. Other times I have brought it up have been met with a quick subject change. I'm not sure how to understand all of this. 

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 June 2007 )
Ineffective Clergy pt 4
Written by David   
Tuesday, 12 June 2007

This is the fourth post in this series of articles about the UM Study that found ineffective pastors as the major obstacle with turning around the UMC decline. Even though I have other comments, I will make this my last article about this particular study. My main problem isn’t really the findings of the study, but that I feel the study didn’t go far or deep enough in looking at the issue of decline in the UMC. Why, for instance, didn’t the study deal with any cultural issues? There have been significant changes in our culture and I would think that would have some bearing on our decline.

The ’shrinking’ middle

One of the problems I have with this study is it’s disregard for what is going on in society and the culture at large. Some have commented on the fact that we are experience a “shrinking middle.” The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The middle class is being squeezed. Instead of dealing with the traditional bell curve, we now have a curve that is high on both ends and low in the middle.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 June 2007 )
Practical Side of Missional
Written by Jeff   
Friday, 11 May 2007

I am often asked how does an individual practice the “missional mindset”. Just read a good example from the Blind Beggar Blog, here is the quote:

“When the new neighbors move in you go knock on the door and welcome them to the neighborhood, you talk about football and fishing over the fence, you invite him out…and get acquainted. You invite them over for barbeque and listen to his lame jokes with grace. When he tells you about the problems he is having at work, you talk about your struggles also and how God has helped you through them. When the wife’s dad dies, you let them know you are praying for them. When he asks about what you do with your spare time, you humbly tell him how you work down at The Bridge with street kids every other month, how you help with a homeless ministry, tutor students in reading at the local high school, and have a wonderful community of faith that you love being involved with. You live a modest low consumption lifestyle before them. You pray for them regularly and are always ready to talk about why you’re living the way you are.”

The article includes several other examples of everyday missional living. For me living missionally is simply living my everyday life with God.

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