A Hope-Inspired Existence

In Christianity, Church, Community, Discipleship, Formation, Gospel, Spiritual Formation, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by Bizgainey2 Comments

The early church was a raucous bunch!

Stumbling, bumbling, and fumbling their way into this new-way-to-be-human the Gospel so clearly proclaimed.

You don’t have to read too far into the New Testament to pick up on the sense of dynamic power at work within and among them!

They (the earliest followers) are not a second-guessing kind of people.

They aren’t a “Hey, I wonder-if-this-is-true” study-group kind of people.

We don’t find them huddled up in bible-study groups complaining about how bad the world is.

Nope.

None of that.…
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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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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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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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I Know What You Did Last Weekend!

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Culture, Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

I Know What You Did Last Summer, a favorite slasher/horror movie of the late 90s, grossed over 100 million at the box office.

The revenue and popularity generated by the original were immense. So much so that they decided to follow it up with two sequels.

As always, Hollywood greed crowded out good judgment.  The follow-ups were flops.

But, as far as horror movies go, the original still gets strong reviews among regular folk like you and me.

I know that many of my readers probably aren’t into horror …
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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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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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