Christmas: Being Present to Glory

In Advent, Christmas, Consumption, Culture, Formation, Pastoral Ministry, Purpose and Meaning, Soul-Care, Spiritual Formation by Bizgainey1 Comment

The lyrics of the sacred song fly through celestial air.  Like a volleyball in a winner-take-all championship match, they are launched to and fro.

Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. they go.

These are no lightweight lyrics.

No, these lyrics are stout – laden with a density befitting the Divine!…
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Advent 1: Look Up, Your Redemption is Drawing Near!**

In Advent, Christmas, Contemplation, Culture, Delight in God, Desire, Discipleship, Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, suggests that we are a people of deep and unending desire.  He further states that our unending quest for satisfaction reveals a deeper and often confounding truth about what it means to be human!

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant…
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I Know What You Did Last Weekend!

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Culture, Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

I Know What You Did Last Summer, a favorite slasher/horror movie of the late 90s, grossed over 100 million at the box office.

The revenue and popularity generated by the original were immense. So much so that they decided to follow it up with two sequels.

As always, Hollywood greed crowded out good judgment.  The follow-ups were flops.

But, as far as horror movies go, the original still gets strong reviews among regular folk like you and me.

I know that many of my readers probably aren’t into horror …
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Transforming Pastoral Ministry Puts Transformation Over Success

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Community, Contemplation, Discipleship, Formation, Pastoral Ministry, Soul-Care, Spiritual Formation, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Rhythms of Life and Ministry: Transformation Over Success

For the past few months, I’ve focused on what I call Transforming Pastoral Ministry.

In this specific series of post, I am attempting to propose a new way for pastors and leaders to serve and minister to the church.

It’s a way that’s built around a host of Pillars tethered to a particular cluster of Rhythms!

Remember, these Pillars are the what of pastoral ministry.

By that, I mean that these five areas are the principal areas of concern for any ministry. …
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Arranging Sunday’s Sermon All Week Long

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Contemplation, Formation, Pastoral Ministry, Preaching, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

The past couple of weeks, I have been addressing the role of preaching within the local church.  Specifically about the how and why of preaching more than the what of preaching.

This preaching-focus is connected to one of the primary roles (or Pillars) pastors must fulfill to be effective in ministry.  In the Transforming Pastoral Ministry and Leadership model I am offering, this is Pillar #4: Preaching, Teaching, and Worship.

I am also suggesting that we learn to practice the art/craft of preaching much like a Curator practice the art/craft …
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The Basics of Big-Idea Preaching

In Church Leadership, Church Planting, Discipleship, Formation, Preaching, Transforming Community Groups, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Years ago I was trained under the renowned Bible-preaching teacher, Haddon Robinson.  He taught an entire generation of preachers to focus on Big-idea preaching.  That means that our goal is to communicate one main idea.  During that time, it was common for many preachers to offer multiple opinions on a wide variety of topics, week in and week out.

Dr. Robinson pushed back against that trend as he encouraged preachers to develop their sermon around the main thought expressed in the text (or passage).

Robinson’s book, Biblical Preaching, continues to …
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Preach What Pours Forth!

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Contemplation, Formation, Gospel, Ministry, Pastoral Ministry, Preaching, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

I have the privilege of preaching every Sunday.

Yes.

It is a privilege!

After all, I get to present ideas on a wide range of topics lifted from the most popular book in the history of humankind.

That book, of course, is the Bible.

Two years ago, I was encouraged by a mentor to try preaching one Sunday without notes.  I still remember shuddering when he recommended it.…
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The Good News Gospel of the Kingdom of God

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Discipleship, Formation, Funeral Gospel, Pastoral Ministry, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

**This article is one I’ve posted before.  I am re-posting it because I am going to circle back around to how a Transforming Pastoral Ministry frames and embodies the Gospel. Our understanding of and experience with the Gospel is vital if our mission is (as I contend) Spiritual Formation and Soul-Care.  I cannot think of any other conversations as important as this one.  Please let me know your thoughts**

Several years ago I attended a funeral for a dear friend who lived and ministered in our community for decades.

And, …
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Transforming Pastoral Ministry: When Resistance Isn’t Rejection

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Contemplation, Formation, Pastoral Ministry, Purpose and Meaning, Spiritual Formation, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

One of my favorite holiday movies, that I often watch right smack in the middle of the Christmas season, is The Family Man.

I’m a big fan of the cast, which includes Nicholas Cage, Tea Leoni, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Piven, and Saul Rubinek.

But more than the cast, it’s the storyline that gets me.

Every.

Single.

Time.

A Glimpse of What’s Possible

Here is the gist: single, billionaire playboy (Cage) falls asleep one lonely Christmas Eve night in his upscale NYC apartment.  The next morning (Christmas Day) he wakes up …
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Transforming Pastoral Ministry: Our Primary Calling

In Church Planting, Contemplation, Formation, Pastoral Ministry, Soul-Care, Spiritual Formation, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

It’s easy for a pastor to convince him or herself that our primary calling is to the role we play within the context of the congregation we serve.

It’s natural to assume that when we are with our people, we are there in a particular capacity that demands a specific role.

For example, when I am engaged in pastoral care, in the privacy of my office, I am often tempted to play the role of ‘fixer,’ or ‘advocate,’ or ‘super counselor who solves everyone’s problems with ease and grace,’ etc.…
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