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A Conductor of Community
Gail Song Bantum turned a love of music into a life of ministry.
I attempt to quiet my thoughts. Eventually, I turn to Google to expand upon the greater idea of life stemming from death, but still the phoenix appears. From death, comes life.
Saving the Funeral from an Untimely Death
People today are confused about what funerals are for. How should pastors respond?
Let's lead funerals that facilitate the church's worship. Let's create expectations that funerals are congregational. Let's celebrate the reality that—in life and in death—Jesus is Lord.
Religious Freedom Lessons from the Quakers
What a 17th-century woman leader taught me about fighting for freedom—for all
When she was released, she married George Fox. It wasn't until after George's death, though, in the 1690s, that Margaret finally saw at least partial legal tolerance of the Quakers.
Funeral for a Stranger
What to do—and what to avoid—when eulogizing someone you never met.
Rather than dwell on that, I chose to pivot into a discussion about why death happens. It is natural for us to grieve.”. I spoke about Jesus' bitter grief at the death of his friend, Lazarus.
Leading in the Midst of Suffering
I’d helped others through trials and struggles, but dealing with my own was a new challenge.
Just breathe. I struggled to pay attention as the doctor described the details of her death. The lack of oxygen. My wounds were still too fresh from my daughter's death.
Preaching in the Midst of Tragedy
In four years of pastoral ministry, I’ve had to preach through four national tragedies.
An usher peeked her head around the door and said, "Your father wanted me to give you this message: After you left for church the news report revealed that the death toll has risen
Why I Did a Funeral for a Dog
What does Scripture have to say to those grieving the loss of an animal?
There's another reason Ogar's death was painful for them. He did it well, and it was fitting to honor that service in light of the circumstances of his death.
Make a Difference for the Kingdom
Whether or not your name eventually appears in history books, we’re all called to do our part.
Robin Williams, Charles Colson, and Anotonin Scalia are just a few people whose death was felt across America. What they did within “the dash” between
I Grew Up with Two Women Pastors
Seeing two women lead our church gave me the freedom to pursue the gifts God had given me.
The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:5–6). We are sufficient because God has made us sufficient.
Easter Is Good News for Women Leaders
Though the world tells us we don’t matter or that we’re less-than, God clearly says otherwise.
The 11 disciples had sat under Jesus' teaching day in and day out. And then he died a gruesome death right in front of them. What kingdom had he ushered in?
My Friendship with Elisabeth Elliot
Leadership lessons over decadent desserts changed my life.
The world recoiled at the news of five American missionaries speared to death in the Ecuadorian jungles by Auca Indians. Elisabeth's husband, Jim Elliot, was one of those men.
What Tommy Taught Me
Our church’s walk with a homeless man marked us indelibly.
My heart was broken. As a pastor I am well acquainted with death. And if by some chance they did, they were loved in life and death, and received a dignified burial.
The Surprising Power of Our Weakest Moments
In God’s hands, crosses become instruments of life-giving grace
of obedience. In God's hands, crosses that are considered instruments of death become instruments of life-giving grace and conduits of shalom. Of course
Learning to Love the Church
When I became a pastor I didn't like much about the complexities of community in general and of a holy community in particular.
resurrection. Jesus' resurrection is the final piece, that together with his birth and death, sets the Good News (the Gospel) in motion and creates the Christian life.
Why We Fail the Grieving
Comforting bereaved people takes more than good intentions.
Working as a chaplain in hospice and as a bereavement coordinator forced me to come to terms with the inevitability of my own death. I'm not talking about wallowing in morbid despair.