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Apr
15

The Most Frightening Part of Ministry

Hand reaching out

By Andy Flowers Counseling people. No doubt about it. No other aspect of pastoral ministry is as horrifying as counseling. Preaching is frightening at first, but it’s something that we get comfortable with quickly. We spend the bulk of our week on sermon prep. There are a million great books and conferences about forming and…
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Apr
02

Spirit Empowered Mission: Hoist the Sails

Crowd in circle, rolling dice

Should we cast lots today? What can we learn from the disciples’ actions before advent of the Spirit? What does the addition of a 12th disciple say about Israel and the church? We asked Art Azurdia… Listen to sermon (Acts 1:12-26): First, the obvious question: Should we make decisions by casting lots? Oh sure, as…
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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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Mar
19

Spirit Empowered Mission: The Apostolic Docudrama

illuminated window in Hagia Sophia

Why preach a longer or shorter sermon series?  How do you prepare to preach a longer book like Acts?  Does the church’s mission of gospel proclamation get taken for granted? We asked Art Azurdia… Listen to sermon (introduction to Acts):   Tell me a little bit about deciding to do a longer preaching series through…
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Mar
17

Giving to the Poor: Balancing Charity and Dignity

Harvesting food in field

A few years ago, I listened to a mixed-race pastor who leads a multiethnic congregation in an impoverished neighborhood speak about the challenges of his ministry. One of the challenges he discussed was the need to balance dignity and charity. The need for charity was very real where he served; many people did not have…
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