Danny made his way to Hastings, Michigan 3 years ago for his first pastorate. He reflects here on lessons learned and gifts received as a new pastor. CPL: Tell us about your ministry context.I pastor Hastings Church of the Nazarene (MI) which turns 85 years old this year! The church was planted in a storefront in 1932 by a pioneering female pastor. One characteristic of Hastings Naz is that she is growing younger. When we arrived 3 years ago, we were the only 20-somethings in the church with an average age of well over 60. The church was existing in survival mode for a few years and feared having to shut her doors. Slowly but surely, things are changing.
Dr. Brent Peterson was one of the featured preachers at last month’s Hugh C. Benner Preachers Conference . He currently serves on staff at College Church in Nampa ID and is Dean of the School of Theology and Christian Ministries at Northwest Nazarene University. CPL: You are a full time professor now but have held several pastoral positions over the years. Tell us about those and what was most life-giving about being a pastor.Let me begin by saying I feel very blessed for the people and places God has allowed me to serve and be served and there was not a specific calling to one job, but a general calling to care of God’s sheep.
Pastor Stuart Williams will be one of the featured speakers at this year’s Hugh C. Benner Preachers Conference. He speaks winsomely about the call to ministry and God’s provision even in the midst of pain and tragedy. CPL: How did a native of South Africa land in a Church in Calgary, Alberta Canada?My journey from Cape Town to Calgary began as a desire to prepare myself for pastoral ministry.
Rev. Edgar Diaz is Senior Pastor at Tampa First Hispanic Church of the Nazarene. He has served as Director of the New Start and Hispanic Ministries in the Florida District. He will be one of the featured preachers at the NTS Hugh C. Benner Preachers Conference this September. CPL: You have a very diverse educational background. How did you end up in pastoral ministry?When I left the army, I started my university studies and began working at Hewlett Packard where I held several management positions.
Jon Middendorf has served as Senior Pastor at Oklahoma City First Church of the Nazarene since August of 2007 and as Youth Pastor, Sr. Associate and Pastor of Student Ministries prior to that. He will be one of the featured speakers at the NTS CPL 2017 Preachers Conference (Finding Your Rhythm: Preaching the Church Year, September 26-27) on the NTS Campus. In this CPL interview Jon talks about ministry over the long haul – its joys, challenges and his hopes for the future.
Pastor Megan M. Pardue’s preaching context is a little outside the norm: she pastors a house church and shares with the CPL about the challenges and joys of conversational preaching. CPL: How did you become pastor of Refuge?I have been a member of Refuge since 2009. When I graduated from Duke Divinity School in 2012, I was without a ministry position. The pastor of the church at that time had accepted a call to another church and, to my joy and surprise, the church called me to be their pastor.
JR. Forasteros, Teaching Pastor at Catalyst Community Church in Dallas, TX, sat down with the CPL recently to reflect on his pastoral journey, his increasing love for collaborative ministry and why the best resources for good preaching might include some books you’d least expect. CPL: Give us some background on your preaching context and the demographic of your church. Catalyst is a church of about 250 people in the suburbs of Dallas. I have been serving here for 2 ½ years.
Dr. Andy Johnson has been busy! Last month we highlighted his new commentary called 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Now, Dr. Johnson has released his second book, called "Holiness and the Missio Dei." In Holiness and the Missio Dei, Dr. Johnson takes the reader on a biblical journey that explores the question of what holiness or sanctification has to do with God's mission in the world. He refuses to relegate the idea of humans becoming holy to the realm of individual inward piety or legalism, on the one hand, or to the realm of the impossible prior to Christ's return, on the other.
"Neuroscience and Christian Formation," by Dr. Dean G. Blevins, Professor of Practical Theology and Christian Discipleship This new book contains an amazing collection of essays written by practical theologians gathered by Dr. Dean G. Blevins (Nazarene Theological Seminary) and Dr. Mark A. Maddix (Point Loma Nazarene University). It serves as an introductory textbook and resource for Christian education and formation professors to use in Christian education or Christian formation courses at the college or seminary level.
Dr. Andy Johnson, professor of New Testament at NTS, recently published 1 and 2 Thessalonians in The Two Horizons New Testament Commentary series. The Two Horizons series offers a unique approach to biblical exegesis with a paragraph-by-paragraph engagement with the text that is deliberately theological in focus. Dr. Andy Johnson's new commentary on 1 and 2 Thessalonians is now available in paperback. His commentary approaches the biblical text theologically and will greatly contribute to your understanding of the Thessalonian letters.
Our website is now 2 years old! To celebrate our anniversary, we will be featuring previous Preaching Life interviews. This week is CPL board member Josh Broward. He and Dr. Jesse Middendorf’s new book, ‘Edison Churches,’ will be released this November, featuring the church Josh most recently served. CPL: Tell us about the church you serve, its history and the community where it is located.Duneland Community Church was started 70 years ago as Chesterton Church of the Nazarene. Chesterton is a quiet town on the far eastern edge of the Chicago area in NW Indiana, so we have both high-level professionals who work in Chicago and "townies" who rarely leave the county.
Pastor Marissa Coblentz speaks poignantly about life in the rural church – its challenges and joys. CPL: Tell us about your current ministry assignment and how you landed there.My husband and I co-pastor a small church in rural Missouri. When I tell the story of how we landed there, it starts with babysitting. I really hate babysitting (even though I love my friends' kids!) After graduating from seminary, I was staying home with my one-year-old son and pregnant with our little girl when I decided that I needed another source of income and a creative outlet so I could escape from babysitting. My husband and I had planned to wait until our children were a little older before we pursued any type of ministerial position.