9 Lessons Learned in 9 Years of Pastoral Ministry

As I’ve concluded nine years in pastoral ministry and transitioned to a new season of ministry at the Berkshire Institute for Christian Studies I’ve taken some time to reflect on my experience as a shepherd of God’s flock – the ups, the downs, and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. I’m not at all claiming to have enlightened reflections, superior wisdom, or the keys to ministry success – and it didn’t take me nine years to figure that out. Nevertheless, by God’s grace and mostly through error, I have learned a lot. So I humbly offer these reflections as an expression of my gratitude for God’s sustaining grace and for the seemingly limitless patience of my Faith Church family. 

What Kind of Soil Are You? (The Receptive Ground Hearer)

What is the difference between the previous three soils and the final one?  The difference is consistent fruit bearing – there are enduring yields.  But what is the difference in the nature of this soil from the other three?  It is receptive of the seed.  The seed is able to germinate and grow with depth and without thorns crowding it out and taking over the ground.  The difference is in the soil.  This soil is receptive of the seed.  But what does this mean? 

Hope After Disappointment: an Impression of the late-19th Century Advent Christian Message

Throughout the 1830s and early 1840s, a frenetic movement raged across the American landscape spawned by William Miller’s conclusions regarding the time and manner of Christ’s return. His study of the Bible led him to believe in the personal return of Christ in 1843, a belief that quickly won wide approbation among those who would come to make up the Second-Advent/Millerite movement. Despite the earnest expectation of these Millerites, Christ was not to appear in 1843, nor was he to appear in the eagerly embraced subsequent year of 1844. The accumulation of these failed expectations became known as “The Great Disappointment.” The Second Advent movement was in ruins.

The Problem of Luke 23:43 & a Few Proposed Solutions

Advent Christians make the right conclusions concerning the state of the dead in the intermediate state, so we humbly believe, though they are at times less concerned about the path they take to get there.  One text in particular that has been ignored, swept away, minimized or mistreated time and again is Luke 23:43, Jesus’ iconic words to the thief on the cross, “And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise”(ESV).  If there is in fact a rise of the spirit of historic adventism, then its adherents will no doubt be eager fill in the potholes of past mishandlings of the Word of God and set the record straight.

"Establishing Believers, Leaders, and Churches"- Resources for the 2018 Eastern Regional Annual Convention

Leading up to the 2018 Eastern Regional Annual Convention, Advent Christian Voices will be featuring a series of articles highlighting the central topic for this year’s convention, which invites us to consider what means to establish believers, leaders, and churches. This feature has been submitted by the Eastern Regional office and is intended to encourage conversation heading into the convention. The following is a set of helpful resources from BILD meant to inform and give context to the Region’s discourse at the convention. Articles from Advent Christian authors on pertinent topics will be forthcoming.

What Kind of Soil Are You? (The Hardened Ground Hearer)

The seed is the word of God that is proclaimed or taught.  It is the Scripture with its life giving message.  The seed is always sown on the heart. The heart is the center of your person.  It is the unique combination of what one believes/thinks and what one wants/desires.  One who is hardened ground is one whose heart is not receptive to the seed that is sown and this primarily means that one does not understand the meaning or import of the Word that was spoken or heard. 

A Chance Against Hell?

Recently, I read a book by serial church planter Peyton Jones. Towards the end of the book, he takes aim at church leaders, church members, and those who have been part of “the machine” for years. He writes, “There are millions going to hell, and statistical evidence points to the numbers increasing with every passing year…

The Cost of Planting...

Can you think of a good reason NOT to plant a church?   There are a plethora of good answers:  a declining community, a bad location, no church planter or core group and no vision for reaching the lost.  I am sure you could add finances to the list. While the cost of planting a church can be significant, it largely depends on the context in which one is planting. In 2002, we planted Northside Community Church in Knightdale, North Carolina, a suburban community just outside of Raleigh.

The Lecturing Career of Rev. Mrs. Miriam McKinstry (2/2)

Mrs. Miriam McKinstry, as discussed in the previous post, outlined her course of lectures on “The World’s Great Empires” out of the desire to see a new form of teaching that would stir up more public interest. Mrs. McKinstry was an evangelist at heart, and desired to take her lecture series and teach it all over the United States and Canada with the goal of spreading the message of the soon-coming return of Christ.