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About John Johnson

John Johnson is the lead pastor at Village Church in Portland, OR and Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at Western Seminary. He also has a strong commitment to building the church worldwide, partnering and teaching ministries in Lebanon and India.

Jul
02

Thinking Through Ministry and This Strange Thing Called Growth

Illustration of child measuring tree

Back in 1988, Kent Hughes, then an emerging pastor, was part of planting a new church. All the signs were positive. The mother church endorsed the project, and Kent was an up-and-coming star. The community was strategically targeted, and a solid core was part of the initial foundation. As he put it, “We had everything…
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Jun
25

Reflecting On Peterson (Part One)

Page of notes.

Sometime in the late eighties, when I was slogging my way through my first senior pastorate, I was introduced to Eugene Peterson. I don’t remember how I got on to his books, but I read Working the Angles, and I was hooked. His opening words stopped me in my tracks—“American pastors are abandoning their posts,…
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Jun
06

Living With A Dying Parent

Elderly couple

In preparing for ministry, one of our ordered tasks is to care for the aged and the dying. Over the thirty years I have pastored, I have shared in this journey with many families. It has its emotional costs, but as I have recently learned, the costs when it involves your own parents can be…
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Mar
20

Starting and Ending with Why: The Importance of Asking “Why?” When We Prepare to Preach

Man reading at messy desk.

Tonight, I decided to clean off my desk at Western Seminary. Like my desk at church, it has lost a fair amount of dignity due to the mess of endless piles, sticky marks from drinks, and the occasional untidiness of homeless pens and paperclips. I left it impressively clean when I took a brief leave,…
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Feb
27

Stepping Into Mystery

Morning fog

Preaching is bound to take one into regions of the Word that one can only explain as mystery. One does not have to go far. Genesis 1:1 immediately informs the reader that one has entered into a revelation in ways both impenetrable and unimaginable. Hence, I cannot recall a week when, assigned the homiletical task,…
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