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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Reimagining Community: It’s Not What But How

In Change, Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Community, Discipleship, Ministry, Small Groups, Transformation, Transforming Community Groups by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Reimagining Community: It’s Not What But How

The past few weeks I’ve been summarizing some of the rhythms of ministry that characterize Pillar Community Church.

Many of them – likely all of them – are active in any congregation professing belief in Christ.

At Pillar, it’s not really ‘what’ our rhythms are, but ‘how’ we practice them that prove to be distinctive.

Not better, mind you.

Just distinct.…
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Disruptive and Dynamic Process of Spiritual Formation

In Church Leadership, Church Planting, Contemplation, Discipleship, Formation, Spiritual Formation, Transformation, Worship by Bizgainey1 Comment

Disruptive and Dynamic Process of Spiritual Formation

When I awakened to and accepted this disruptive and dynamic process of spiritual formation, I then began to establish it as a solid foundation for life and ministry.

After eight years (really more) of traveling this road, I am becoming convinced that the disruptive and dynamic process of spiritual formation ought to be the mark of every ministry.  Particularly any ministry desiring to seek the Kingdom of God in Christ and invite others to do the same!

I suspect that others are awakening …
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The Story of a Church: A Disruptive and Dynamic Journey!

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Formation, Spiritual Formation, Surrender, Transformation, Worship by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Spiritual Formation as a Disruptive and Dynamic Journey!

God’s Kingdom has come (already begun) with the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ. This is an indisputable biblical fact.

It’s also true that his kingdom rule continues to be contested!  The powers that once ran and sought to ruin his good world through sin and shame continue to exert notable force.

Even as the often slow but certain Kingdom-coming continues to make its presence known!

These two realities

That God’s reordered rule in and through His son, our Messiah, has already…
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Delight: Rediscovering the Joy

In Culture, Delight in God, Desire, Formation, Spiritual Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Delight: Rediscovering the Joy

To delight (be satisfied, gratified, entirely content) is to receive a high (perhaps the highest) degree of pleasure or joy.

To give delight is to share our life in such a way that our presence,  gifts, and strengths bring satisfaction to those with whom they are shared.

For example, who doesn’t remember the moments in which we tasted pure, thick, and lasting delight?

Moments like:

A first love. A life-long goal or ambition finally achieved. The birth of a child (or first steps and words). The…
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The Ghost of Christmas Past: Wanting to Extinguish What Must Be Explored

In Advent, Blessing, Brokenness, Christmas, Imagination by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

The Ghost of Christmas Past: Wanting to Extinguish What Must Be Explored

Everything about the Ghost of Christmas Past is exceptional.

Everything.

While televised renditions attempt to capture its essence, all of them fail – some miserably so.

But, of course, how could they not?

The Ghost that Haunts Us All

Dickens imagines a complex and contradictory apparition.  Conveying the essence of the Ghost of Christmas Past is like trying to describe an ancient, angelic being.  The kind of being lodged in the bowels of Apocalyptic books like Daniel or …
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Football, Formation, and Faith, Pt. 3: It’s Always More than Friday Night!

In Culture, Discipleship, Football, Formation, Habits, Vero Beach Fighting Indians by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Pt. 3: How Well We Perform Does Matter, But’s It’s Always More than Friday Night

Every high school football player knows that the goal is to win on Friday night.  That’s why they practice.  They repeat plays and schemes over and over and over again so that, come Friday night, they behave on and act from the habits they’ve developed in practice.

I’ve watched as the Defensive Coordinator and his staff, have run a particular defensive scheme over and over again.  At times, it seems, they’ve focused on one or …
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The Ten Things I’ve Learned about Formation While Watching My Son’s High School Football Team

In Culture, Discipleship, Football, Formation, Habits, Spiritual Formation, Vero Beach Fighting Indians by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Pt. 2: Formation (Development) takes time and is not easily measured in the short-run.  

Joe Erhmann, former NFL player and volunteer Defensive Coordinator for Gilman High in Baltimore, Maryland, has spent his life helping boys become men.

His story, beautifully captured by Jefferey Marx, in his bestselling, Season of Life: A Football Star, A Boy, A Journey to Manhood, reminds me that growth and development are best measured in years, rather than days – or even seasons.

In a particularly moving portion of the book, a mother asks the coach …
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You Are What You Love!

In Christian Leadership, Community, Discipleship, Fully Awake, Habits, Love by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

For many, discipleship is more about what you know than it is about what you love.  James K.A. Smith, in his excellent book, You Are What You Love, challenges the assumption that drives this cognition-as-belief model of discipleship.

Smith suggests that “Discipleship is a way to curate your heart, to be attentive to and intentional about what you love.”

He argues, quite persuasively, that discipleship is an issue of what we love more than it is one of what we know.…
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A New Year’s Prayer for a Soul-full, Sacred, and Satisfying Way of Life!

In Contemplation, Culture, Desire, Discipleship, Imagination, Prayer by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Matthew 3:10

Sometimes a tree can be so unhealthy that the only hope for renewal is to chop it down.  John, in the Matthew passage above, is proclaiming just such a message! For, as he envisions God’s Kingdom yet to come, he imagines the King as one who comes with an ax.  Not for the purpose of destruction, but for the …
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