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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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A Pastor’s Reflections: Body and Soul

VFT
One of the things that the pastorate can do is take a toll on your body. Perhaps it’s because the pastorate is conducive to a sedentary lifestyle—you sit at your desk and study for hours, then you meet someone for lunch, show up to a church social and eat a…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Showing Interest in Others

VFT
As a pastor you will meet a lot of different people throughout the course of your ministry. I have met fighter pilots, professional athletes, contractors, school teachers, stay-at-home moms, accountants, politicians, musicians, children, students, and the like. Some of these people have had more interesting lives and vocations than others.…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Funerals

VFT
I’m not sure why, but pastors often fail miserably at performing funerals. I can remember sitting in a funeral service where the pastor stood before a very large congregation and admitted he was at a loss for words—he did not know what to say. Ok, fair enough. Death is a…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Protect Your Pastor!

VFT
All you have to do is read the headlines on the interweb to know that we live in some crazy times. It seems like people are all to willing to use violence as a means of promoting their agenda. And it seems to be a growing trend that more and…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Enemies Within the Church

VFT
One of the biggest surprises in my ministry was the opposition to the gospel that arose within my own church. I always assumed there would be opposition to the gospel from outside the church, from the unbelieving world. But at several points in my pastorate I stressed the importance of…
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