Transforming Pastoral Ministry: Calling!

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Contemplation, Formation, Pastoral Ministry, Spiritual Formation by Bizgainey2 Comments

For decades I was confused about calling.

I believe most of us are.

Rightly so.

After all, our calling, vocation or mission in life is often tied tightly to doing something.

In fact, when you ask someone about calling or personal mission, they will likely list off a host of things they are doing.

Ruth Haley Barton notes our rampant confusion regarding calling when she says,

“We set young leaders up for a fall if we encourage them to envision what they can do before they consider the kind of
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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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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.…
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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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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, …
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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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