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Posts Tagged ‘priesthood of all believers’

The Barna Group recently published results of a study they did on young adults and faith. One of the articles about their research was entitled, “Five Myths about Young Adult Church Dropouts.” It is a worthy and helpful read that examines young adult dropouts from several perspectives. Three comments caught my attention—riveted me, actually, to the point where I had a hard time catching my breath. In three different places the article said: (more…)

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Last year I was asked to host a book study on what it means to be pastors who sees their call principally in terms of preparing and empowering people for ministry in their everyday lives. I was amazed to find out that—as popular as the topic is—there are many books aimed at helping the laity identify their ministry, but there are few books designed to help pastors in their work of equipping people for ministry in daily life. So I scheduled a series of conversations that were designed to explore questions such as:

What does it mean to be an equipping pastor? How is that different from what most pastors were trained to be and do? What implications does this hold for program, staff, structure, and day-to-day operation of a congregation? How does one shift from being a ‘pastoral’ or ‘program’ pastor to being an equipping pastor?

I hoped that 6 to 12 pastors might respond. Before the conversations were over, I had engaged over 100 pastors on this topic. I heard some amazing, encouraging, and puzzling things from them. Among the findings were: (more…)

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It started out as a simple request: a nearby pastor suggested that we find a few pastors who would be interested in gathering for a book study on what it means to be “an equipping pastor,” that is, what it means to be a pastor who sees her or his job to be that of equipping members for ministry in daily life. It’s been a buzzword in the church for a good many years, so I was immediately interested and started looking for a book that would serve as the centerpiece for a study group.

I was amazed that—as popular as the topic is—I couldn’t find a definitive book on the subject. I found books aimed at helping laity understand their ministry (William Diehl’s Thank God It’s Monday comes to mind). I found books that were approaching 30 years old. I found newer books that focus on particular pieces of the puzzle (Chris Scharen’s excellent Faith As a Way of Life: A Vision for Pastoral Leadership is a good example). But I did not find a comprehensive book that is designed to help pastors understand and live out their role in this way.

What does it mean to be an equipping pastor? How is that different from what most pastors were trained to be and do? What implications does this hold for program, staff, structure, and day-to-day ministry? (more…)

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I need some help. I’m having an intriguingly hard time wrapping my mind around the many themes and predictions that Phyllis Tickle unveils in The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why. If you’ve read the book skim or skip the next three paragraphs, which are provided for those who have not yet read this small book of big ideas.

Tickle’s metaphor is that every 500 years the Church feels compelled to hold a giant rummage sale. She briefly traces this pattern in Judaism, but she is most concerned with the pattern in the Christian Church. The first Great Transformation was marked, of course, by the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus, when even the calendar was reset. The next change happened with Gregory the Great in the sixth century, with the founding of monasticism. The Great Schism occurred around 1000 AD, dividing the Eastern Church from the Roman Catholic Church. The Great Reformation took place five hundred years later, and now, she concludes, we’re due for another rummage sale, which she labels the Great Emergence.

It is significant, she contends, that every 500 years “the empowered structures of institutionalized Christianity…become an intolerable carapace that must be shattered (more…)

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