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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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: Congregational Care as Companionship

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Discipleship, Formation, Pastoral Ministry, Soul-Care, Spiritual Formation, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by Bizgainey3 Comments

From time to time someone will ask me a question like the following:

“Pastor Biz, what do you spend your time doing during the week?”

To which I often answer (in my more serious moments) something like,

“I meet with church/community members, have appointments over meals, and work with our ministry teams and leaders.  The care I provide to our ministry teams differs from week-in and week out.  Currently, our Youth Ministry is receiving more time than usual.  But I may meet with our Missions, Children, Deacons, Elders, Worship, team,…
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Transforming Pastoral Ministry: Congregational Leadership

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Contemplation, Discipleship, Formation, Pastoral Ministry, Soul-Care, Spiritual Formation, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by Bizgainey4 Comments

I don’t know much about cars.

I do know that ALL wheeled vehicles have axles.  After browsing the internet, I learned that axles are used for steering, driving, and braking.  They are, therefore, crucial for basically every aspect of vehicular transportation.

Further (to sound more knowledgeable than I am), they transfer power and torque from your engine to your wheels.  This means that axles withstand the accelerated forces of driving and braking.

Axles, it seems, always endure stress as they perform the job that makes it possible for me to …
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Transforming Pastoral Ministry, 6: Called to “Curate”

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Discipleship, Formation, Transformation, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by Bizgainey2 Comments

I love lemons.

They are, by far, one of my favorite fruits!

I most enjoy lemons in the vast array of pies, tarts, cookies, and cakes Melissa takes the time to bake.

To enjoy lemons, in any form, dozens of things must happen first.

I won’t list all of those things (because I don’t know them), but I will note a handful that are helpful for our analogy of cultivating/curating.

A seed is planted. A tree must grow in soil that is conditioned and nurtured to encourage its growth. Bugs,…
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The Rise and Fall of the “Be Better-Do More-Try Harder” Trinity

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Discipleship, Formation, Ministry, Pastoral Ministry, Spiritual Formation, Transformation, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by Bizgainey1 Comment

The Rise and Fall of the “Be Better-Do More-Try Harder” Trinity

When I began my “ministry career” back in the mid 90s, I was driven by two primary convictions:

My calling was to do all I could to win young people to Jesus, and Encourage them to go out and “change the world for Christ.”

These primary convictions shaped how I went about doing youth ministry. They followed me into and shaped the early years of my senior pastoral ministry, as well.

It took me years to recognize that these …
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Transforming Pastoral Ministry, Pt. 3

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

Transforming Pastoral Ministry, Pt. 3

The image of Pillars came to me years ago during a brisk afternoon run in the hot Florida sunshine.

It was during a particularly trying season of ministry back in the years of 2003 – 2004.

It was a season filled with strife, conflict, anger, hurt, despair, etc.  The conflict I was experiencing then is, all too often, common within the walls of the church.  The symptoms of the conflict and pain became evident because the Elder board asked our long-tenured senior pastor to resign.…
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Transforming Pastoral Leadership: What, Why, and How!

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Discipleship, Pastoral Ministry, Transformation, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Transforming Pastoral Leadership: What, Why, and How!

As I said in my first post, these reflections on pastoral ministry will be rolling out piecemeal.  With this installment, I am going to hit the pause button.  Really, the rewind button and take you back to 1995.

I married Melissa, my wife of nearly twenty-three years now, on July 29, 1995.  Within two weeks of our wedding day, we were invited to join a church and serve in a position of Associate Pastor of Youth and Children.

The church was Oak Grove …
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Putting an end to the Funeral Gospel.

In Community, Discipleship, Formation, Funeral, Funeral Gospel, Gospel by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Putting an end to the Funeral Gospel.

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

And, though this friend had a full life, he still – for so many – died at too young an age.  As such, his death was an untimely and terrible reality to face for dozens, even hundreds, of family and friends.

As is often the case for funerals such as this, the church was packed.

Well into the service, a pastor took the …
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Easter: A Celebration of Self-Giving Love

In Delight in God, Discipleship, Easter, Formation, Love, Spiritual Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Easter: A Celebration of Self-Giving Love

Last week, I began exploring several pervasive assumptions regarding how we perceive or experience God.  Each one prevents us from experiencing Him the way the Bible consistently portrays Him to the world.

These assumptions are:

God is Distant from us. We don’t often think of God as one who reveals Himself. God is Disgusted with us. When we do reflect on His presence in our midst, we rarely think of Him as one who reveals Himself as Divine, self-giving love. Many, in fact, perceive…
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