Transforming Pastoral Ministry and Leadership, 5: Soul-Care IS the Mission!

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

This past Sunday I experienced a moment that reinforced the why, how, and what that supports and sustains Transforming Pastoral Ministry efforts.

The moment came through Tom Rhodes.  Tom is a personal friend and an active member of the Pillar family.

Tom has been a friend of mine for nearly twenty years.

Eight years ago, when we launched Pillar, I let Tom know what I was up to and invited him and his family to join us.

Tom and Sophie joined us shortly after we began worshipping as a congregation.…
Read the rest

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 …
Read the rest

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.…
Read the rest

A New Vision for Transforming Pastoral Leadership

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

A New Vision for Transforming Pastoral Leadership **This blog, and perhaps every blog to follow, will be exploring a new vision for pastoral leadership and congregational care.  A vision I am discovering or have been “stumbling, bumbling, and fumbling” my way into the past eight years of planting and serving a congregation committed to soul-care and spiritual formation.  If you find it helpful, please let me know and freely share it with others.**

I serve as the pastor of Pillar Community Church in Vero Beach, Fl.

My family and I, …
Read the rest

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 …
Read the rest

The Tragic End of the Transactional Gospel

In Formation by Bizgainey2 Comments

The Tragic End of the Transactional Gospel

Recently, most churches in America celebrated Easter, or Resurrection Sunday.

The “Big-Day” within the Christian calendar.

The day of all days, so to speak.

Or, as one pastor-friend of mine used to say, “Easter is to Christians what Super Bowl Sunday is to football players.”

More than a Day, Easter is a Season!

Easter, however, is designed to be celebrated and experienced as a Season, not just a day.

It’s actually a season of 50 days during which we bump into the resurrected …
Read the rest

An Unusual “Fast” at an Unusual Time!

In Formation by Bizgainey2 Comments

An Unusual “Fast” at an Unusual Time!

Lent is, traditionally speaking, the season of the church calendar year during which many Christians fast.

While I often fast during the Lenten season, it’s rare that I commit to a fast during the season of Easter.  In fact, I love the rhythm of the church calendar: we fast during the 40 days of Lent and then Feast for 50 days during Easter season.  The feast is always longer than the fast.

Yes, I love that.

A few weeks ago, during the middle …
Read the rest

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…
Read the rest

Easter: A Celebration of God’s Self-Giving Love and Beauty!

In Consumption, Delight in God, Desire, Discipleship, Easter, Formation, Freedom, Love by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Easter: A Celebration of God’s Self-Giving Love and Beauty!

Are there ever moments in your life when your desire feels ravenous?

Moments when you are just never satisfied, always longing for, wanting, or craving bigger, better, more?

I use the term ravenous to mean intensely eager for satisfaction or gratification.  I have written extensively on this blog regarding the prevalence of desire within the human soul.

We can all probably agree, at least on some level, that many of our decisions related to how we spend our time and where …
Read the rest

A Cross-Generational and Cross-Cultural Ministry Seeking to Discern God’s Will, Together!

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Discipleship, Formation, Ministry, Spiritual Formation, Transformation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

A Cross-Generational and Cross-Cultural Ministry Seeking to Discern God’s Will, Together!

When I reflect on the mistakes the modern church has and is making (and let’s face it, every church era contains numerous crippling but unintended consequences of decisions made in goodwill), two that remain prevalent are:

Age and cultural/racial segmentation and segregation, and Discernment as personal and private decision making.

At Pillar, we’ve sought to reframe both of these and believe the reframe is essential to the core of any church whose desire is to become a congregation of …
Read the rest