Y-Axis Reality and The With-God Life!

In Christian Leadership, Christianity, Church, Church Leadership, Culture, Desire, Formation, Ministry, Pastoral Ministry, Social Imaginaries, Social Imaginary, Spiritual Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Ask yourself the following questions:

Why am I here? Do I serve a purpose in this world? If so, do I know what that purpose is? What’s the meaning to life? Who am I? What are my dreams, hopes, and aspirations? When do I last remember feeling happy or experiencing a deep sense of contentment?

Did you have trouble coming up with satisfying answers to some of these questions?

If so, you’re like most of us who struggle with coming to grips with answers to life’s most important questions about …
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A Memorial Day “Number” to Remember: 63,922

In Addictions, Freedom, Freedom from Porn, Pastoral Ministry, Pornography, Sex and Violence by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

This Monday, the 27th of May, is Memorial Day.

It’s the day our country sets apart as a day to remember all the men and women who have died while serving in the United States military.  Nearly every city in our country will offer some service or “moment” this coming Monday.

We are encouraged to pause, reflect, and – most importantly – remember the high cost of freedom.  Indeed, many Sunday morning houses of worship will join the chorus calling us to remember!

As you prepare for this day, I’d …
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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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Christmas: Being Present to Glory

In Advent, Christmas, Consumption, Culture, Formation, Pastoral Ministry, Purpose and Meaning, Soul-Care, Spiritual Formation by Bizgainey2 Comments

The lyrics of the sacred song fly through celestial air.  Like a volleyball in a winner-take-all championship match, they are launched to and fro.

Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. they go.

These are no lightweight lyrics.

No, these lyrics are stout – laden with a density befitting the Divine!…
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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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Arranging Sunday’s Sermon All Week Long

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Contemplation, Formation, Pastoral Ministry, Preaching, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

The past couple of weeks, I have been addressing the role of preaching within the local church.  Specifically about the how and why of preaching more than the what of preaching.

This preaching-focus is connected to one of the primary roles (or Pillars) pastors must fulfill to be effective in ministry.  In the Transforming Pastoral Ministry and Leadership model I am offering, this is Pillar #4: Preaching, Teaching, and Worship.

I am also suggesting that we learn to practice the art/craft of preaching much like a Curator practice the art/craft …
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Preach What Pours Forth!

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Contemplation, Formation, Gospel, Ministry, Pastoral Ministry, Preaching, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

I have the privilege of preaching every Sunday.

Yes.

It is a privilege!

After all, I get to present ideas on a wide range of topics lifted from the most popular book in the history of humankind.

That book, of course, is the Bible.

Two years ago, I was encouraged by a mentor to try preaching one Sunday without notes.  I still remember shuddering when he recommended it.…
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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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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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