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Archive of posts tagged pastoral care

Winston Churchill on Pastoral Ministry

No, not that Winston Churchill. I’m referring to the American novelist who was quite famous in the early 20th century. I listed his novel, The Inside of the Cup, as one of the most intriguing books I read in 2015. I had hoped to write something more extensive about the book, but as typical I […]

The Value and Importance of Pastoral Visitation, Responses to Thom Rainer

Recently Thom Rainer posted a column titled, “FIFTEEN REASONS WHY YOUR PASTOR SHOULD NOT VISIT MUCH.” I first heard about it from a former student who recognized that this column argued the direct antithesis of what I teach in my pastoral ministry class and what I advocate for at this site. Thom has been helpful […]

Charles Dickens’ The Chimes & Comforting Those Who Mourn

Dickens is good to read for reminders of what all you have to be grateful for and for reminers of the plight of the working poor. The Chimes is not as good as A Christmas Carol, but has some similar themes and ideas (man shown his future, warned by ghosts). One of the more striking […]

Value of Greek in Preaching, Pastor Nathan Joyce

Nathan Joyce, Union alum and pastor of Heartland Worship Center in Paducah, Kentucky, recently recorded this brief video on the value of Greek for preaching and pastoral ministry for my first year Greek class. In just about 90 seconds he makes the point so well, so I wanted to share it here as well. He […]

Pastoral Care at the Hospital and in Times of Loss

Recently I was asked to speak to a class in our Worship Leadership program on pastoral care issues, specifically hospital visitation and bereavement.  The professor rightly wanted these students to be prepared to participate in this work of pastoral care. Below are my notes in bullet form for some key, basic thoughts on this realm […]

“Shepherds in a Ranching Culture”

Hal Poe wrote a column with this title recently for our local paper, The Jackson Sun. It is well worth reading. Hal underscores the importance of pastoral oversight and care and the value of smaller congregations. Here is a piece of his warning about inherent issues of large, mass meetings: The mass meeting has always […]

Paul, the Pastor of Particular People

One key point I have sought to make here and elsewhere is that Paul models a pattern of ministry which is attuned to each individual in the church and not just to a corporate mass. He conceives of ministry as serving particular people not simply people in the abstract. I think his language bears this […]

Luther and the Care of Souls

I have previously written on the pastoral impulse of the Reformation, the fact that this renewal of the church arose primarily from the earnest desire to care for souls, to see that they be taught the gospel and shown the way to peace with God and eternal life. This is a crucial point. Just recently […]

When Shepherds Play the Part of Wolves

 “When those who have the title of shepherd play the part of wolves, heresy grows in the garden of the Church.” - Lothar of Saxony, 12th century (cited in Barbara Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, 123).                 [Illustration, "Shepherd Wolf," by Gustave Dore]

“Your souls, more precious than thousands of worlds”

How should a pastor think of the members of the church he serves? Too often today church members are thought of as customers or potential workers. This is not the scriptural pattern; nor is it the practice of our forebears. Just today I came back to “The Glory and Ornament of a True Gospel‐constituted Church” […]