Friday, December 23, 2011

Good Perspective on Santa

This is a short but good point on Santa in American culture. More could be said than the one recommendation given by the author of the following article. St. Nicholas is someone who can be explained knowing some of the history on him, say from a solid evangelical professor like James Parker III at Southern Seminary who wrote an article along the same lines.

http://pastormark.tv/2011/12/22/what-we-tell-our-kids-about-santa

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Church Planter Info

Some church planters out there will be interested in this article:

http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/21/5-things-we-now-know-about-suburbia/

The Brookings Institute researched movement trends in the US. It seems the suburbs are more diverse, which anyone in a metro area would already know, but this gives you numbers. It may help you to think through some outreach strategies that are going to reach the suburbs now.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Isaiah 7's "God with us" Immanuel

It's interesting that several commentators on Isaiah 7, in major evangelical commentaries, go along with apologizing for Isaiah 7:16. Expositors, NAC. This verse in no way indicates that Isaiah had to have a child or Ahaz had to have a child. If anything it is vague enough to include a child later, even the Christ child. God has already rejected Ahaz, there is no reason that he has to prove something to him by having an immediate fulfillment of verse 16. While verse 16 is a part of the preceeding, it is best to take it as a later fulfillment, along with teacher John Oswalt, in his work on Isaiah 1-39.

Monday, December 5, 2011

What Do Pastors Actually Do?

I'm actually a missionary right now, but a lot of people over the years have said to one another, what do pastors do with their time? To give you a rough idea, whoever you are asking, I can reflect on my pastor days and share what those men are doing typically:

BY WEEK OF YEAR--

1. Prayer for those who are sick in their congregation. (10 minutes to 5 hours)
2. Prayer for those who are wandering away from following Jesus in visible ways. (30 minutes to 5 hours)
3. Sermon passage and topic choosing (with more prayer and study). (0 minutes to 15 hours)
4. Sermon passages study, to make sure you know you're not off track. (5 to 15 hours)
5. Sermon writing. (10 to 25 hours depending on difficulty, knowledge, jokes, illustrations)
6. Sermon study and re-thinking it. (minimum 3 hours to 10 hours)
7. Administrating teams. (0 to 10 hours)
8. Evangelism or Evangelism Training or Special Events for Evangelism. (1 to 20 hours)
9. Administrating budget/economic planning. (0 to 16 hours)
10. Sunday School/Small Group/Men's Group/Women's Group leader training. (1 to 10 hours)
11. Checking up on what is happening in culture and their particular missions agencies they associate with. (30 minutes to 4 hours)
12. Materials checking/obtaining. (0 to 3 hours)
13. Other. Depends on size of church and needs. (0 to 10 hours)
14. Counseling. Depends on extensiveness of it and research. (0 to 10 hours)
15. Meeting people. (1 to 10 hours)
16. Mission Agencies Meetings. (0 to 5 hours)

Occassionaly, 17. Weddings and Funerals. (0 to 20 hours, normally more work than you get paid for it, as an example if you do a good custom order of service and message it could take 20 hours, which is half of some people's work week, but people often give you 100-200 dollars, which no one could actually live on and is somewhat weak.)

There you go, that week could be 40 hours or 70 hours. More than likely it is edging 50 to 60 hours per week....

Also, it should go without saying, but a pastor's work schedule is different than his congregants because you're working on their 'days off' or their 'days of rest.'