Encouragement for Pastors and Those Who Care for Them

Month: September 2021

18. The Inertia of the Ordinary

Last time, we raised the question of Psalm 11 (which I embarrassingly mis-referenced) that “if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). Particularly, what can or should the local church do or be in the face of the difficulties of the current world.

What needs doing, it seems to me, is the quiet and faithful ministry of the church. The church’s real power lies in what essayist Cullen Murphy calls “The Inertia of the Ordinary.”

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EPISODE NOTES

Notes and resources relevant to this episode:

The Psalm referenced is Psalm 11:3

Cullen Murphy, Are We Rome?: The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America (United States: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007).

Cullen Murphy, No, Really, Are We Rome?, The Atlantic, April, 2021.

Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries (United States: HarperSanFrancisco, 1997).

Frederick Niedner, Author Walter Wangerin’s many lives and words, Christian Century, August 24, 2021.


Podcast music provided by Over the Rhine, and used with permission.
Intro: “All My Favorite People” / Lyrics
Outro: “Called Home” / Lyrics


Thanks for joining us at The Table.

To find our more about Greatheart’s Table, visit us here.

You can email us at GreatheartsTable@gmail.com.

17. What Can the Righteous Do?

Here at Greatheart’s Table, we are especially grateful for those of you who are NOT pastors. I write for pastors and those who love them, as the tag line says. But many of you are not pastors. You are those who love Christ and his church and are enjoying finding kindred spirits with whom to live this Christian life together. Your presence here is an encouragement to me.

This post is the first installment of two in which we explore the unsettledness we feel in the face of a broken world. Our impulse is to do something, to take action, to respond.

The question that plagues us is, “What Can the Righteous Do?” Let’s think about that.

UPDATE: Due to an overeager ring finger on my left hand, Psalm 11:3 became Psalm 111:3 in the initial post. As far as I am able, I’ve repaired the damage. Thanks to those who pointed this out!


EPISODE NOTES

Notes and resources relevant to this episode:

The Psalm referenced is Psalm 11:3

James Davison Hunter, To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World (United States: Oxford University Press, USA, 2020), p. 234.


Podcast music provided by Over the Rhine, and used with permission.
Intro: “All My Favorite People” / Lyrics
Outro: “Called Home” / Lyrics


Thanks for joining us at The Table.

To find our more about Greatheart’s Table, visit us here.

You can email us at GreatheartsTable@gmail.com.

16. The Playful Pastor

Welcome to Greatheart’s Table, a place meant to encourage the ordinary pastor in the long grind of pastoral ministry.

And encouragement is what we often need.

Most of us here will never have a broad platform or a particularly large church. And most of us quite often question our calling and wonder about our relevance. And being serious sorts, we often let these things drag us down. With this unusually long episode (a couple minutes longer than normal), I’d like us to find a counter-weight to this heaviness with a spirit of playfulness. Let’s talk about something that sounds odd to say and which for some may sound even wrong.

I’d like to encourage you to be a “Playful Pastor.”


EPISODE NOTES

Notes and resources relevant to this episode:

Though it may sound like it, “Pastor Mike” is not a pseudonym. The Reverend Willard E. Michael was, while Barb and I were students at Michigan State University, the pastor of East Lansing Trinity Church in East Lansing, Michigan. He is one of the reasons I am today a pastor.

Calvin Seerveld, Rainbows for the Fallen World (Canada: Toronto Tuppence Press, 1980), pp. 52, 53.

Some daydreaming is good, as recently reported by the Washington Post journalist Jill Suttie.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/08/02/daydream-mind-wander-happiness/
Accessed 8/2/2021

The quote from the song “Born” is from the 2005 album Drunkard’s Prayer.
http://overtherhine.com/music/drunkards-prayer/

Marilyn McEntyre, Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies, Second Edition (United States: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2021), p.191.

Genesis 1:31


Podcast music provided by Over the Rhine, and used with permission.
Intro: “All My Favorite People” / Lyrics
Outro: “Called Home” / Lyrics


Thanks for joining us at The Table.

To find our more about Greatheart’s Table, visit us here.

You can email us at GreatheartsTable@gmail.com.

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