Encouragement for Pastors and Those Who Care for Them

Month: November 2021

24. Futility Is Resistible

I have spent the past several episodes talking about staying and leaving ministry and I wasn’t going to say anymore. But given my own experience of futility, joined with the publication of a couple of intriguing essays in The Atlantic, I wanted to make sure that I had taken seriously the current pressure on ministry. My heart here is to express that contrary to reason, and to the Borg, “Futility Is Resistible.”


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EPISODE NOTES

Notes and resources relevant to this episode:

Andrew Solomon, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression (United States: Scribner, 2015), page 244.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/10/church-pandemic/620496/

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/10/evangelical-trump-christians-politics/620469/

References to Elijah come from 1 Kings 19.

Though “the Borg” is a Star Trek reference, it has an older provenance. The phrase shows up with reference to the Roman Empire in the movie Ben-Hur. Messala says to Ben-Hur, “Persuade your people that their resistance to Rome is stupid. It is worse than stupid, futile!”

I believe that Edith Schaeffer develops this image in her book Affliction: A Compassionate Look at the Reality of Pain and Suffering (United States: Baker Books, 2012).


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


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23. Pack It Up and Tear It Down

Hi! Thanks for once again pulling up a chair to Greatheart’s Table. I can’t see you, but knowing you are out there is a wonderful encouragement.

I’ve been addressing questions touching upon longevity in pastoral ministry. If you’d care to comment and add your voice to the conversation, I’d love to hear from you. You can do so using the email address in the show notes.

In this post, the final of three playing off language lifted from Jackson Browne’s album “Running on Empty” we consider a question not often addressed for pastors. When is it time to “Pack It Up and Tear It Down?”


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EPISODE NOTES

Notes and resources relevant to this episode:

Mary Gauthier, Saved By a Song: The Art and Healing Power of Songwriting (United States: St. Martin’s Publishing Group, 2021), p. 24.

Michael E. Osborne, Surviving Ministry: How to Weather the Storms of Church Leadership (United States: Wipf and Stock, 2016).

“. . . to live is Christ …” – Philippians 1:21

“When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night in order to kill him, but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.” (Acts 9:23-25)

Song lyrics as well as the titles of these posts are taken from Jackson Browne’s songs “The Load Out” and “Stay.”


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.

22. Just a Little Bit Longer

Hi! Thanks for joining us around Greatheart’s Table.

We’re currently considering the question of pastoral longevity, which may sound rather dull to most, but it is a question never far from the minds of most pastors I know.

If you find this helpful, please review us and encourage others to listen in. You have no idea how meaningful and important that is.

In this middle post of the three, we explore the question of why it is, when pastoring can be so messy, that we stay. Continuing to riff off Jackson Browne, I’ve titled this one, “Just a Little Bit Longer.”


Thanks for listening. You can help support this podcast by dropping a few coins in our tip jar. Thanks!

EPISODE NOTES

Notes and resources relevant to this episode:

Initial quote is from Eugene Peterson, The Pastor (United States: HarperCollins Publishers, 2011), p. 314, 315.

My reflections here are idiosyncratic and anecdotal. More deeply studied and quantified insight on pastoral sustainability can be found in the superb books Resilient Ministry: What Pastors Told Us About Surviving and Thriving by Bob Burns, et. al. and Michael E. Osborne’s Surviving Ministry: How to Weather the Storms of Church Leadership.

Lyrics quoted are from the songs “Stay” and “The Load-Out” from Jackson Browne’s album “Running on Empty,” the title of which, ironically, is resonant of pastoral experience.


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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