What You Need to Know Before You Join a Recovery Group

Have you ever asked yourself, “What will it take to beat this addiction?”  I sure did.

Many times.

Over.

And.

Over.

And.

Over.

Again.

My wife asked it of me about a thousand times more than I asked it of myself.

Here’s the deal: If you’re asking, at least you are acknowledging that you have a problem!

Many Men Never Ask the Question: “What will it take?”

Most men – many men – never get that far.

While I can’t tell you every step you’re going to need to take, I can give you many of them.

One I’ve not discussed yet is the power of community!

I don’t know anyone who has ever beat addiction in isolation!

So, if you’re fighting alone, then you’re falling apart!

Continue reading “What You Need to Know Before You Join a Recovery Group”

Transforming Pastoral Ministry: Congregational Care as Companionship

From time to time someone will ask me a question like the following:

“Pastor Biz, what do you spend your time doing during the week?”

To which I often answer (in my more serious moments) something like,

“I meet with church/community members, have appointments over meals, and work with our ministry teams and leaders.  The care I provide to our ministry teams differs from week-in and week out.  Currently, our Youth Ministry is receiving more time than usual.  But I may meet with our Missions, Children, Deacons, Elders, Worship, team, etc. depending on the day or the week!  I also spend time in study and preparation for my teaching/preaching responsibilities.  When I have time, I like to pray/think/reflect on the church’s overall health.  I also try to craft out time to pray and connect with parishioners who are homebound or in need of visitation.  And, finally, I enjoy meeting with other pastors and ministry leaders, when possible.”

That’s all to say that I spend most of my time and energy providing some form Congregational Care.

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Reimagining Community: It’s Not What But How

Reimagining Community: It’s Not What But How

The past few weeks I’ve been summarizing some of the rhythms of ministry that characterize Pillar Community Church.

Many of them – likely all of them – are active in any congregation professing belief in Christ.

At Pillar, it’s not really ‘what’ our rhythms are, but ‘how’ we practice them that prove to be distinctive.

Not better, mind you.

Just distinct.

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Football, Formation, and Faith: Formation Happens Best in the Context of Community.

Football, Formation, and Faith: Formation Happens Best in the Context of Community.

“On a team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.” — Bill Belichick

We’ve often heard the saying, “Teamwork makes the dream work.”

And, true while that may be, most communal endeavors – ones that contribute to lasting change – drink from a deeper well.

Team, or teamwork, is like the water that pours from the tap.

The reservoir below the surface is something more closely aligned with the experience of family.

Or, as a football player might express, “a brotherhood.”

The team that performs as a unit on the field, accomplishing the individual tasks in a way that supports the entire team’s goal, is birthed from relationships built over time by the bands of brotherhood.

Achievement Connected to Teamwork

As any athlete worth his/her salt will tell you, when looking back on their career, their achievements on the field can be credited, in large part, to the family or team that provided both the context and the challenge in which they could blossom and grow – over time – into the athlete and person they have become.

In a church and culture seemingly bent on worshipping at the altar of autonomy and individualism, perhaps we should reconsider the ramifications family involvement and commitment, particularly in relationships to formation.

As I’ve said in previous posts, Formation- lasting change over time -takes place within the context of community.

Continue reading “Football, Formation, and Faith: Formation Happens Best in the Context of Community.”