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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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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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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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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A Story About A Church: Something Has to Change!

In Cancer, Change, Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Community, Formation, Spiritual Formation, Transformation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

A Story about a Church: Something Has to Change!

Why is that life – that joyful life with Jesus – so hard to experience now?  What is it about the way we are living life that makes such moments exceptional, and why on earth can they not be normative?”

She had me at “why.”

She was right.

In my heart, I sensed that something had to change.…
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The Story of A Church, Pt. 2: Discovering a Fairly “New” Thing!

In Brokenness, Cancer, Change, Formation, Prayer, Spiritual Formation, Transformation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

The Story of a Church, Pt. 2: Discovering a Fairly “New” Thing!

When our Pillar family began this journey back in 2011, congregational resources related to spiritual formation and soul-care were scarce.  Further, communities attempting to practice a similar way of life were few and far between. 

We quite literally felt like an island unto ourselves.

I searched high and low for resources of all types – both people and places – that I could rely on or to whom I could turn for companionship.  Now and then someone or …
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What is a “Contemplative” Bible Study?

In Christian Leadership, Contemplation, Culture, Discipleship, Formation, Fully Awake, Habits by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Our culture is, perhaps, the most distracted and disengaged culture in human history.

New York Times Journalist, Tony Schwartz, recently noticed how distracted he’s become when trying to read a book – something an award-winning Journalist and author ought to be able to do with ease.   Upon reflection, he realized that unread books were piling up in his home: mocking him, rebuking him, as they lay silently – untouched – on the bedside table.  In an insightful article, he writes:

“Instead of reading them, I was spending too many hours …
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The Long Journey Home: 2016’s Desires, Part 2!

In Desire, Discipleship, Formation, Prayer, Purpose and Meaning by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

“But the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them.”

The above quote is the way C.S. Lewis begins the closing pages of his final book in the Chronicles of Narnia Series, The Last Battle.  The Last Battle is my favorite of the Narnia series!  Lewis goes on to say – in painting his picture of heaven,  “And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. …
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Thirty Is The New Eighteen

In Culture, Formation, Ministry, Parenting, Uncategorized by Bizgainey3 Comments

Failure To Launch, featuring a trim and fit Matthew McConaughey and slim and curvy Sarah Jessica Parker, made Emerging Adulthood look cool: sexy.  Emerging or postponed adulthood is the term used to describe an entire generation of humanity caught somewhere between the ages of 18 and 30(ish).

Emerging adults  struggle with their journey into the world of adulthood.  Apparently emerging or postponed adulthood is more of the norm than the exception these days.

Consider the following excerpt from a piece in the NY Times a few years ago:

“The 20s …
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The Journey Of A Burning Heart

In Christian Leadership, Community, Contemplation, Culture, Spiritual Formation, Surrender, Uncategorized by Bizgainey2 Comments

Pillar Community Church has been interacting with Ruth Barton’s latest book, Life in Christ Together, for a few months. The book is gently nudging us toward a fresh experience of doing life together within the context of ministry and modern life.

Ruth’s text traces the Emmaus road story (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+24%3A13+-+33&version=CEB .).

In chapter eight, she frames the journey of discernment – an ongoing discovery of the presence of Christ – by proposing six intervals or intersections through which we all travel.

I sense that each intersection may serve as markers for …
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