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Tag Archives: promise

How Healthy Is Your Experience of Living Out of Loving Union With Jesus?

Just as Jesus lived in a relaxed, loving union with the Father, we are invited to a similar relationship with him. “If you remain in me as I remain in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). He promises that if we do this, “fruit” always follows. Jesus doesn’t say that we cannot do things without him. He doesn’t say that we can’t lead or build a ministry without him. He does say that, unless these behaviors flow out of a relationship of loving union with him, they are worth nothing. I name God’s invitation to us loving union. Love captures the way we remain. Union speaks to the depth of the connection. It is helpful to think of the level of our loving union on a continuum that ranges from 1-10. Use the brief assessment that follows to get an idea of where you fall on. Read more.

Succession, Installation, and Covenant

I presided yesterday over the installation of Rich Villodas as my successor at New Life Fellowship Church. It was one of the highlights of my 26 years there as the Founder/Senior Pastor. An installation is like a wedding in which two parties make vows. While that analogy is helpful, I believe the term “covenant” (i.e. a solemn agreement between two parties) is a better term to use when framing a pastor’s relationship with a congregation. While a covenant is not always permanent like a vow, it implies responsibilities, obligations, and privileges. It is a promise, a trust. I learned from some of my Anglican and Presbyterian friends about their process and theology. This, in turn, helped me to shape the installation around the public making of a solemn covenant. It was deeply moving and powerful. A number of people asked me if I would make the text of the covenant agreement available. Here it. Read more.

Yes, We Get Paid to Pray

Every third Wednesday of the month our pastoral staff takes a Day Alone With God. Each person finds a park, beach, a quiet place outside their home to intentionally spend time in silence, Scripture, etc.  Take a look at Rich Villodas’ recent blog called “Yes, our pastors get paid to pray and rest about his experience and to see specific instructions he gave our staff just last week around that day. As I look at my schedule, however, I realize I have moved to Days Alone with God almost weekly. And I wondered why? I believe it relates to the unique season of transition in which I find myself. We are in the final year of my stepping back from the role of Lead Pastor at NLF to a Teaching Pastor/Pastor-at-Large role. (Go to Pete’s Transition for the congregational announcement of our four-year process). It has been wonderful and a joy to coach Rich (along. Read more.