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Category – Pastoral Ministry


A Pastor’s Reflections: Deep Work

VFT
We live in an ever-increasing age where numerous technological developments vie for our attention. Slowly but surely we are programming ourselves constantly to be on the alert and listen for imminently arriving bleeps and buzzes from our electronic devices informing us of a newly arrived e-mail, text, phone call, or…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Run with the Best

VFT
Ever since my teenage years I’ve done my best to exercise three to four times a week, which means that I’ve spent time in the gym for a good portion of my life. My early goals were adding muscle and strength, whereas my present-day goals are fighting the battle of…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Old Dogs and New Tricks

VFT
If you follow-the American job-then-retirement narrative, you’re supposed to go to college, get a job, work for forty years, retire, and then spend the rest of your days on the tennis court or golf course. The implicit storyline is, there’s a time in your life when you are on the…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Grin and Bear It

VFT
Over the years I’ve been able to watch seminary students excitedly depart for summer internships and then hear from their supervising pastors how well or poorly they did. Many interns do fine, but there are some who have trouble. One of the most common problems is that interns do not…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Poker Face

VFT
One of the most important elements of being a good pastor is maintaining a good poker face when you’re counseling, that is, showing no reaction. I promise, chances are you will sit down with people in your church and hear of some crazy things. One couple told me that the…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Know Your Audience

VFT
One day during a heated doctrinal debate at presbytery my wife walked into the back the church sanctuary where we were having our meeting. She was supposed to meet me for dinner so she arrived a few minutes early. When we broke for our recess my wife greeted me and…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: End of the Line

VFT
When I was an intern I served at a church that had its building by a main road. This meant that we received our fair share of people who were looking for handouts. Rather than usher the people away, the elders of the church made a genuine effort to help…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Man Up!

VFT
In our culture there are many things that society tells us makes a man—can he earn a healthy salary? Does he own a house? Drive a truck? Wear stylish clothes? Popular with women? Bench press 250? You get the idea. Sadly, some of these same criteria infect the church. Scads…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Warts and All

VFT
At times I find myself swimming against the tide of popular trends. In particular, one such trend where I find myself out of place is in the desire to read biographies of great Christians. In general, I’m not opposed to learning about the lives of famous Christians, but I do…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Data Gathering

I think when people imagine what it’s like to receive pastoral counseling, they envision their pastor or elder giving them wonderful advice. And, to a certain extent, this is true. When you have a problem and need advice, your pastor or elder should be able to give you sound counsel.…
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