Showing posts with label Shepherds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shepherds. Show all posts

Saturday, June 01, 2024

Mining the Minors: Zechariah (20)

In chapter 11, Zechariah is either living out an object lesson in real time or else telling a parable in which he is a character. By no means is his illustration a simple, obvious analogy, and commentators are all over the place in trying to parse out its intended meaning. The parable concerns two shepherds and a flock doomed to slaughter, and it’s chock full of symbols, familiar and unfamiliar. If we can’t unpack it to everyone’s satisfaction, at least we can make a few sensible suggestions consistent with other prophetic scriptures, and eliminate the more absurd possibilities sometimes offered.

The parable spans Israel’s history, starting in the distant past and ending in the future.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: The Role of a Senior Pastor

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

A website with plenty of other, more helpful posts also contains this gem:

“Question: What does the Bible say about the role of a senior pastor?”

Tom: Oh, you’re going to make ME pull the pin on this one? Fine, fine.

The question is phrased this way: “What does the Bible say?”, which might lead one to naively conclude that the answer will have something to do with the teaching of the Bible. Which it sort of does ... until you read the first sentence.

Saturday, February 06, 2021

Mining the Minors: Amos (1)

G.J. Wenham suggests the nomadic lifestyle of the shepherd tended to foster mistrust in ancient societies, as plausible an explanation as any other for the low estimation of the profession in the eyes of the elite. But though the Egyptians disparaged herdsmen, God uses the term as a compliment, and he called some of the greatest men in Israel’s history from among the flock.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Leadership: It’s a Dog’s Life

It seems everybody today is complaining about the lack of leadership in the local church. Those appointed to lead are not leading at all, or they’re leading too much. Either the whole church is failing to stand for anything, or else arbitrary and inflexible leadership is killing off the life of the church by strangling it with tradition, routine and rules. No one likes how things are running, but no one is terribly sure what a better style of leadership would look like.

Oh, there’s no end of advice out there.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Point of the Exercise

It is God who confers authority, but he doesn’t do it for its own sake.

Sure, a position of authority often comes with side helpings: popularity, riches, dignity, power, a (usually temporary) legacy ... and (in Old Testament times at least) a bunch of wives. But these are baubles. They are not the point of the exercise. Other things come with authority too: abuse, rebellion, heckling and a horrible, frequently harrowing level of responsibility — but let’s not get into those.

My point is that it is always and only the WORK that matters to God, not the status or other benefits that authority confers.

Friday, May 03, 2019

Too Hot to Handle: A Lack of Leadership

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Is a good man always hard to find?
Immanuel Can: Tom, we need a new generation of spiritual leaders in our congregations. But they don’t seem to be appearing in most places, and not nearly fast enough for the rising need.

What can we do?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Leadership: It’s a Dog’s Life

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Too Hot to Handle: The Role of a Senior Pastor

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The Point of the Exercise

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Quote of the Day (9)

Youth work is a juggling act.

I haven’t done it in a few years. The cultural distance between me and the current generation is significant enough that I can’t imagine the sort of effort required to properly bridge it, and the opportunity is not there in any case. Others are doing the job, and God bless ’em.

But I’ve put in the better part of a decade leading youth groups and/or teaching Sunday School and I well remember the juggling act that comes from trying to please everyone with an opinion about what you’re doing.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Leadership: It’s a Dog’s Life

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Too Hot to Handle: A Lack of Leadership

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Too Hot to Handle: The Role of a Senior Pastor

The most recent version of this post is available here.