Pastors, Megachurches and Eugene Peterson

Buried in the middle of Eugene Peterson’s recent interview and lost amongst the controversy about his position on same-sex marriages is an equally important little quote when he talks about mega-churches

“I think the thing that’s most disturbing is the megachurch because megachurches are not churches. My feeling is that when you’re a pastor, you know the people’s names. When 5,000 people come into the church, you don’t know anybody’s name.

I don’t think you can be a pastor with just a bunch of anonymous people out there. In the megachurch, well, there’s no relationship with anybody. I think the nature of the church is relational. If you don’t know these people that you’re praying with and talking with and listening to, what do you have? I feel pretty strongly about that.

Now, there’s a lot of innovation in the church, and overall, I can’t say I’m disheartened. I’m just upset by the fad-ism of the megachurch, but I just don’t think they’re churches. They’re entertainment places.”[1] Continue reading

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Commissioned (Matthew 28:16-20)

The talk from Hannes’ commissioning service

 

This morning we are commissioning Hannes.  What exactly is it that we are commissioning him to do? What better place to find out than this famous passage often referred to as “The Great Commission.”

Before we go on, note three important things

–          First that it in fact it is not us that commission. We are simply passing on Christ’s commission

–          Second that whilst there is a specific way in which Hannes has been called to fulfil this, the commission is for all of us

–          Thirdly, we need to say something about the context. Continue reading

Mission is not the enemy of pastoral care

It’s one of the perennial challenges for church leaders. Do we focus outwardly on mission or inwardly on pastoral-care.  At times, it can feel like these two things are in competition. If our focus is always on outreach, then people in the church will go uncared for, unvisited, unsupported.  Of course, if we don’t do mission, then will we see any new people? Does that local church have a future? Continue reading

Discerning a Calling 10: Who do you go to for advise?

Actually, like most of the articles in this “discerning a calling” series, the question is relevant to decision making generally.  I want to suggest that who we go to for advice (and when we go) will shape the advice we get and may tell us a lot about how far we have already gone down the road of making a decision. Continue reading

Discerning a calling – Counting the cost

Jesus talks about the importance of counting the cost before embarking on a chosen mission. I want to talk here about the cost of moving into full time Christian work as a pastor or a missionary. Continue reading

Discerning a Calling 6: Keeping your calling fresh

So, you’ve been through all the questions, discussion and soul searching. Your church agree that it’s right to set you apart for ministry. You head off to Bible College, complete a course then get stuck into church planting, pastoral work or cross cultural mission.  And that’s that isn’t it? You are called for life! Continue reading

Discerning a Calling (5) – Looking forward, what next

So, you’ve talked with the elders, family, other church members and there’s agreement that things should progress a bit further.  What might the next steps look like?

Really at this stage we’ve just agreed that something seems right. We’ve not talked about how it might happen.

I want to suggest a few possibilities Continue reading