On Generosity

Last week I shared a mini-sermon with our students on the topic of generosity. The context was to announce an invitation to the college’s upcoming fundraising banquets – see here, and please feel likewise invited to attend! The announcement prompted an opportunity to share briefly on a too often neglected area of discipleship: generosity. Generosity and the topic of money generally have become choppy waters to navigate for today’s pastors. Today’s pastors are frequently nervous to talk about money lest they – and the church – be associated with the self-promoting antics of flashy TV or “health, wealth, and prosperity” preachers who hijack Scripture’s rich … Continue reading On Generosity

“What Time Is the 3:00 Parade?” What the Church Can Learn from Disney

Last May I led our staff through a customer service seminar. We listened to an episode of one of my favourite radio broadcasts: Under the Influence with Terry O’Reilly. CBC has just replayed that episode, so it’s available for free download for another week or so here; manuscript version here. The episode offers loads of fantastic advice for improving customer service using examples from places like Macy’s, Zappos and Disney. The examples from Disney most resonated with our staff. Disney staff are taught to value their customers as people,with the understanding that people remember people, not products. Consequently, Disney staff are coached to answer the question: … Continue reading “What Time Is the 3:00 Parade?” What the Church Can Learn from Disney

N.T. Wright’s New Book on Paul and a Primer on the “New Perspective” on Paul

I want to draw attention to a new book on Paul that will become a “must reference” (note: not a “must read”!) for anyone preaching or teaching on the apostle Paul or any of Paul’s writings. The book is N.T. Wright’s 2-volume Paul and the Faithfulness of God (Fortress, 2013), and I say “must reference” instead of “must read” because almost nobody is actually going to read the full volumes’ 1,700 pages! (I recall when Wright spoke at the British New Testament conference in Edinburgh, 2004, his doctoral supervisor, Prof. Morna Hooker of Cambridge, introduced him by saying that as … Continue reading N.T. Wright’s New Book on Paul and a Primer on the “New Perspective” on Paul

“Cool Runnings”: Preaching without Notes

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m in a phase of preaching without PowerPoint or notes. Preaching without notes is actually not something new for me. Although I’ve also utilised manuscripts over the years, preaching without notes is my preferred practice. Recently, I’ve been reflecting on the actual process I undergo when preparing to preach without notes. It got me thinking about Cool Runnings, a movie about the Jamaican bobsled team that debuted at the 1988 Calgary Olympics.           (The team has competed in 6 Olympics, including Sochi.) I was a kid living in Calgary during the ’88 … Continue reading “Cool Runnings”: Preaching without Notes

Blogging!

After threatening to do it for at least two years, I’ve finally started a blog. My aim is to unpack some of the thoughts and ideas rattling through my head as I lead a Christian college, read the Bible, and contemplate Christian life and leadership. (Maybe it’ll even inspire me to get something published!) I’ve put a little of who I am on the About page. I’ve listed some publications on the Publications page and a message on the Speaking page and will update these as warranted. I’ll try blogging something more interesting than this later, but this’ll do to … Continue reading Blogging!