A friend recently asked me for a list of books on Pastoring. Honestly, I have found very few that are worth our time. Here is are the few I have found:
Darrin Patrick on Eldering and Pastoring
The Reformed Pastor, Richard Baxter
Pastoral Trilogy by Eugene Peterson (Angles, Stones, Plant)
On Church Leadership, Driscoll
Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, Piper
The Art of Pastoring, Hansen
I used the following quote from an article on McCain in the recent issue of Rolling Stone is my recent sermon Lord of the Story. Rolling Stone editor, Mark Taibbi rips into Joel Osteen while preserving the notion that there are more palatable forms of Christianity. In other words, he doesn’t throw out the Christian baby with the dirty health and wealth water.
Of all the vile, fake, lying-ass, money-grubbing, shyster scumbags on the face of this planet, there is perhaps none more loathsome than Osteen, a human haircut with plastic baseball-size teeth who has made a fortune selling the appalling only-in-America idea that terrestrial greed is actually a form of Christian devotion.
This quote was sparked by McCain listing Osteen as his most inspirational author, pretty sad. If Osteen is what inspires McCain, I’ve got some serious reservations about his presidential groundedness.
This is something I have wrestled with for some time. As a short-term overseas missionary and friend of many long-term overseas missionaries, I have struggled in labeling all my missional buddies in the U.S. as “missionaries.” Perhaps this is a pride-infused hold over from Christendom models of mission or perhaps it springs from a deep respect for those who cross cultural and linguistic barriers that rise much higher than those of domestic “missionary” activity. Let’s face it, church planting in the U.S. is hard but very often it is not cross-cultural or cross-linguistic. In fact, it is very often close-cultural and close-linguistic. The men and women who surrender such cultural and linguistic comforts for the sake of the gospel are missionaries of a different stripe. Very often, they are those who risk and give their lives for the sake of the gospel, and are given special honor in Scripture (Rev 6; 3 John 1.6-7).
Ross Appleton, missionary in preparation to the Middle East, has claimed that “missionaries get too much press” and that they should not be treated as a “spiritual elite.” Ross has some good, God-centered thoughts on the whole enterprise and motivation for mission. I have debated this larger issue of missionary nomenclature for domestic disciples at greater length based on Chris Wright’s definitions of “mission” and “missionary” here. Though I have embraced being a missional disciple, a missionary in Austin, I still retain a deep respect for those who have sacrificed much more than I have.
The Church Basement Roadshow will be in Austin July 19. Read more about it.