Reclaiming What’s Lost

In Christian Leadership, Christianity, Church, Community, Discipleship, Formation, Gospel, Pastoral Ministry, Spiritual Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Christ’s earliest followers sensed a fresh wind blowing.  They sensed that, as the resurrection-story poured forth, they were experiencing and living in the new-kind-of-Kingdom vision that Jesus often proclaimed.

No, they didn’t fully realize what was going on at the moment.

But that didn’t matter.

The earliest followers of Christ stumbled, bumbled, and tumbled their way into this new-kind-of-Kingdom promise of the Gospel.  As they did, they experienced power, proclaimed hope, and dispensed love – gratuitously, I might add.

They began, in short, a journey as a new-kind-of-people within a …
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Feeling, Rather than Fleeing, Pain!

In Addictions, Brokenness, Formation, Fully Awake, Habits, Loneliness, Psalms, Purpose and Meaning, Resolution, Soul-Care, Spiritual Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

The Princess Bride, a modern fairy tale employing all of the standard elements like Royalty, clearly defined heroes and villains, stark contrasts between good and evil, hints of magic and happy endings, is one of my favorite flicks.

While there are so many parts of this movie that make one laugh, there are also just as many parts that offer insight.

In one poignant moment, just after Princess Buttercup is mocked by the “Dread Pirate Roberts” and before she rediscovers her long, lost Wesley, the Pirate King reminds her that …
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Ministry, MLK, and Making Time to Write

In Brokenness, Christian Leadership, Culture, Discipleship, Formation, Gospel, Love, Ministry, Spiritual Formation, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by Bizgainey6 Comments

Wow!

It’s been nearly a month since I’ve blogged.

I’ve been locked in a busy season of life and ministry.  For many involved in full-time (or even part-time and volunteer) ministry, the Advent Season is full and vibrant.  Busy but rewarding.

I find that, when ministry demands are high, moments for writing are few and far between.

That’s when I have to create space to write.

Time to Write Doesn’t Just Happen

This morning, I looked at my calendar and was stunned to find that it’s already January 10th.  We …
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Advent 1: Look Up, Your Redemption is Drawing Near!**

In Advent, Christmas, Contemplation, Culture, Delight in God, Desire, Discipleship, Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, suggests that we are a people of deep and unending desire.  He further states that our unending quest for satisfaction reveals a deeper and often confounding truth about what it means to be human!

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant…
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Transforming Pastoral Ministry Puts Transformation Over Success

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Community, Contemplation, Discipleship, Formation, Pastoral Ministry, Soul-Care, Spiritual Formation, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Rhythms of Life and Ministry: Transformation Over Success

For the past few months, I’ve focused on what I call Transforming Pastoral Ministry.

In this specific series of post, I am attempting to propose a new way for pastors and leaders to serve and minister to the church.

It’s a way that’s built around a host of Pillars tethered to a particular cluster of Rhythms!

Remember, these Pillars are the what of pastoral ministry.

By that, I mean that these five areas are the principal areas of concern for any ministry. …
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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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Transforming Pastoral Ministry: When Resistance Isn’t Rejection

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Contemplation, Formation, Pastoral Ministry, Purpose and Meaning, Spiritual Formation, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

One of my favorite holiday movies, that I often watch right smack in the middle of the Christmas season, is The Family Man.

I’m a big fan of the cast, which includes Nicholas Cage, Tea Leoni, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Piven, and Saul Rubinek.

But more than the cast, it’s the storyline that gets me.

Every.

Single.

Time.

A Glimpse of What’s Possible

Here is the gist: single, billionaire playboy (Cage) falls asleep one lonely Christmas Eve night in his upscale NYC apartment.  The next morning (Christmas Day) he wakes up …
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Transforming Pastoral Ministry: Our Primary Calling

In Church Planting, Contemplation, Formation, Pastoral Ministry, Soul-Care, Spiritual Formation, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

It’s easy for a pastor to convince him or herself that our primary calling is to the role we play within the context of the congregation we serve.

It’s natural to assume that when we are with our people, we are there in a particular capacity that demands a specific role.

For example, when I am engaged in pastoral care, in the privacy of my office, I am often tempted to play the role of ‘fixer,’ or ‘advocate,’ or ‘super counselor who solves everyone’s problems with ease and grace,’ etc.…
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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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