Archive - Pastor’s School RSS Feed

Flush Your Dope!

"Religion," "spirituality" and "morality" pills artwork

This morning Pastor Kevin Jamison from our East Campus threw down in Pastor’s School. He taught the 70+ men in our program about gospel centrality. It’s good for them, it’s good for me, it’s good for you. It reminds me of this quote from Robert Farrar Capon’s The Foolishness of Preaching:

I think good preachers should be like bad kids. They ought to be naughty enough to tiptoe up on dozing congregations, steal their bottles of religion pills, spirituality pills, and morality pills, and flush them all down the drain. The church, by and large, has drugged itself into thinking that proper human behavior is the key to its relationship with God. What preachers need to do is force it to go cold turkey with nothing but the word of the cross — and then be brave enough to stick around while it goes through the inevitable withdrawal symptoms. But preachers can’t be that naughty or brave unless they’re free of their own need for the dope of acceptance. And they won’t be free of their need until they can trust the God who has already accepted them, in advance and dead as doornails, in Jesus. Ergo, the absolutely indispensability of trust in Jesus’ Passion: unless the faith of preachers is in that alone — and not in any other person, ecclesiastical institution, theological system, moral prescription, or master recipe for human loveliness — they will be of very little use in the pulpit.

  • What dope are you on? What pills do you need to flush down the drain?
  • What do you think the “inevitable withdrawal symptoms” in this quote would look like?

Pastor School Roundup: All About Vision

I look forward to waking up at 5am every Thursday, even though I generally hate the cold early mornings this time of year. Gathering with 70 aspiring pastors at Sojourn’s Pastor’s School on Thursdays makes it all worthwhile. Pastor’s School was birthed from our belief that the local church is responsible for raising up the next generation of pastors. This program exists to train men to serve, lead, and plant churches.

One recent morning, we talked about vision.

Vision is a picture of what could be, matched with a conviction that it must be.

If all we have is a picture with no action, then we get caught up in fantasy. If all we have is a conviction, with no picture, than we get caught up in dogma. For our pictures to be matched with conviction, we need to recognize four aspects of God-given revelation:

  1. Vision begins with revelation—God’s word inspires our vision.
  2. Vision requires conviction—we will never act if we don’t believe it is necessary.
  3. Vision calls for imagination—we creatively contextualize our convictions.
  4. Vision gives us direction—when we know what to do, we know where to go.

We ended our morning by talking about a vision for our homes. It’s easy to get wrapped up in our work or church, often to the neglect of our homes.

  • How is your imagination being stirred to apply these points in your life?
  • What vision has God given you for your family? Your job? Your neighborhood?
  • What do you think about the role of the local church in providing theological education?
  • How can this role accomplish different things than a college or seminary education can accomplish?