“I’m saying this in love”

It’s the phrase that I suspect most Christians dread to hear but it’s one that I suspect is most used among believers too.  Tim Wilson recently asked on twitter which particular Christian cliches irritate us the most and the phrase “I’m saying this in love”   and presumably variants on that theme came up. Why does… Continue reading “I’m saying this in love”

Pastoring the grieving

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I’m continuing a little series on the day to day work of a pastor and so today we want to think about what happens when a member of the church or one of their family dies.  What should you be doing.  We cannot be over prescriptive here because every family will have different needs and… Continue reading Pastoring the grieving

On hospital visiting as a pastor

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This is prompted by a twitter discussion recently about whether non-conformist pastors opt to wear a clerical dog-collar when visiting the sick. Dog-collars tend to be part of the traditional uniform of the clergy, particularly though not exclusively among Anglicans.  A lot of us would tend to frown upon then  seeing them as emphasising a… Continue reading On hospital visiting as a pastor

The hard work of the pastor

I think we can fall into one of three traps if we are involved in church pastoral ministry.  At the one end of the spectrum are those who see pastors as basically chaplains, nice, homely sorts who are primarily employed to go round and visit the elderly church members and drink copious cups of tea.… Continue reading The hard work of the pastor

How does a Christian doctrine of suffering affect counselling of the bereaved?

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In June 2005, my Great Aunt was mugged and knocked unconscious.  She died in hospital two days later.  As a family we went through the full range of emotions; shock and sadness at the tragic loss, anger at those who did it, guilt at our failure to visit “Auntie” more often.  Whilst each bereavement is… Continue reading How does a Christian doctrine of suffering affect counselling of the bereaved?

What I need for Christmas

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Mariah Carey sung: I don’t want a lot for ChristmasThere is just one thing I needI don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas treeI just want you for my ownMore than you could ever knowMake my wish come trueAll I want for Christmas is you Songwriters: Mariah Carey / Ellis Williams / Robert Allen… Continue reading What I need for Christmas

My burden as well?

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When we were little, my mum used to read Jungle Doctor stories to us.  These were a collection of stories that a missionary had told to help communicate the Gospel and were later put into book form. The stories were allegorical tales about the different animals. In one story, Antelope comes across Monkey.  Young monkey… Continue reading My burden as well?

If you want to look after your pastor, just let him have a normal weekend off!

I’ve just read one of those Twitter threads which outlines how churches should look after the pastors.  This current one talks about things like using paying the pastor a decent wage, paying for any counselling they need, letting them have marriage enrichment weekends, praying for them, giving them sabbaticals and also giving then a “sabbath… Continue reading If you want to look after your pastor, just let him have a normal weekend off!

The good shepherd carries me

You are probably familiar with that old little poem, a favourite of greeting cards, bookmarks and fridge magnets. It talks about two sets of footprints across the sand.  The speaker though spots moments when there is only a single track and complains that at the point when life seemed hardest, it looked like Jesus had… Continue reading The good shepherd carries me