What Christians believe can be viewed as quaint. Eugene Peterson refers to this in his book, The Contemplative Pastor, and he doesn’t like it. When some business person shakes his hand after church and says, “This was wonderful, Pastor, but now we have to get back to the real world,” Peterson bristles. He isn’t taking […]

In his book Deepening Your Conversation with God, Ben Patterson observes: prayer is the work and ministry is the fruit. He’s right. Praying for others is the heavy lifting of wielding influence — especially when your advocacy involves searching Scripture and using God’s revealed will and reputation to make your case. As R. A. Torrey […]

Following a mentor is like following a truck. Leave enough distance to see where he’s going — and to swerve if he hits a pothole. If you’re the mentor, encourage those who watch you to learn from your mistakes as well as your strengths. You don’t want them to be like you. You want them to be wiser than you. […]

God is in charge of history. He asks us to work, to try, to pour ourselves out to make things better. But he is an actor in history also. He chastises and rescues, he intervenes in ways seen and unseen. Or chooses not to. Twenty-sixteen looks to me like a chastisement. He’s trying to get […]

The greatest challenge with wielding influence is getting out of the way. Whether I’m writing, teaching, or praying, my focus often drifts back to me — and I am not the point. Brett Lott references this theme in Letters & Life, his slim volume on being a writer: I saw, suddenly and fully, that a story was about the […]