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We Were Gentle Among You: Pastoring Like a Nursing Mother

Title Graphic: We Were Gentle Among You: Pastoring Like a Nursing Mother

You are a parent to five young children. You’ve noticed that they’ve been acting a bit strange around you (especially #4). But they’re just kids, you reason; kids are weird sometimes.

One day, after the younger two are in bed, the older three approach you. They look solemn and hesitant.

“What’s up?” you ask with a smile.

The oldest asks, “Can we talk?”

Continue reading “We Were Gentle Among You: Pastoring Like a Nursing Mother”

Ministerial Sexual Abuse: High Treason in the Kingdom of God

This week, another story broke about a pastor who sexually abused a church member. That sentence seems accurate almost every week. Ministerial sexual abuse in an unfortunate constant in 2019’s headlines.

As each story that breaks, the same responses multiply. Some, understandably, see such abuse as permanently disqualifying. A man who has used the office of pastor to manipulate one under his care for sexual pleasure may never fill the office again. Others question why these reports matter—especially when the abuse took place “so long ago.” Should what a man did as a 22-year-old pastor impact his eligibility to hold the office one, two, or three decades later?

At the heart of this question are two matters: the nature of sex and the nature of the church. Continue reading “Ministerial Sexual Abuse: High Treason in the Kingdom of God”

I Sinned ≠ I Repent

Yesterday, I posted a short meditation on the difference between saying “I’m sorry” and “I sinned.” I emphasized that expressing sorrow over an action is different than admitted a wrong. When we have done wrong, both are necessary. We should feel and express grief over the harm we have done. Likewise, we should own our wrong-doing; we should admit that what we did was actually wrong. Both are necessary, but both are not sufficient. Love calls us to repent. Acknowledging that we have sinned against our neighbor and expressing grief do not equal repentance. Continue reading “I Sinned ≠ I Repent”

Welcoming Single Parents

This guest post by Wendy Alsup explores how the local church can welcome, include, and minister to single parents. It is part of my “Welcoming…” series, which features first-person articles on how to welcome various demographics into our lives and church communities. Previous installations include “Welcoming the Hearing Loss Community” and “Welcoming the Eating Disorder Community.” 


My little church plant in the Lowcountry of South Carolina has many single parents. On a given Sunday with 40 in attendance, at least 15 regular attenders are single parents and their children. Most are single mothers with primary custody of their children. Continue reading “Welcoming Single Parents”