A Weekly List of Links and Resources for Pastors

We enter the second week of this strange new world. I hope you are well!

My habit on Mondays has been to post a series of links to articles that are helpful to those in ministry or can be helpful to those to whom they minister. Before I continue with that pattern, let me share some other info.

My good friend Dr. Glenn Jago is the Senior Pastor at Church of the Open Door in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Glenn told me about something he and his youth pastor, Duane Adler did this past Wednesday. I asked Glenn to write a few paragraphs describing an event he held online for his people:

There are several approaches to pursue to stay in touch with your congregation and beyond. I only want to share one particular idea with the readers of the blog, “For Younger Pastors.” It is Facebook live, and it allows listeners to tune in and add comments and ask questions.

Our youth pastor and I did our first live feed on Facebook at noon on Thursday, March 19, 2020. We preplanned our discussion and goals and identified a few topics that we were going to discuss. The rest of the time, we shared personally and then with those on-line.

I highly recommend it if you can avoid looking or acting silly. Humor is essential, but you must have a designated outcome and purpose for your time together. You need to answer the question regarding why you want people to listen to the Livestream and what you hope to accomplish. Once you determine your target and goal, then keep driving the conversation and toss it back and forth with the other person. We offered several suggestions for finding your regular life routine. We shared our personal stories to encourage them to think outside the box.

The goal is to keep the topics changing, exciting, funny, and challenging, along with words of encouragement. People need to know that they are not alone, and others are facing the same issue. However, they need to hear ideas on how they can deal with the crisis at hand. The bottom line, shepherd your people creatively.

Thanks, Glenn, for sharing that!

My friend Ron Smith is a missionary in Milan, Italy. Ron recently wrote and told me about this: “In church we are encouraging unity and one thing we are doing specifically is pairing up in “friends of prayer”. The idea is to pray for one another daily and to meet at least once a month face to face.” He went on to tell me that he speaks to his friend each day. I believe that began before they were hit with the coronavirus, but imagine how helpful it is with all that they are going through!

I want to re-emphasize something that I wrote about early last week. It is so important that you keep in touch with your seniors citizens – especially those who may be homebound or in retirement communities and nursing homes.

In many retirement/nursing facilities, common dining areas have been closed and people are having to stay in their rooms. For many that means being confined to rooms that are not much bigger than 15×20. Because this age group is so vulnerable to the coronavirus, keeping people in their rooms for the majority if not the entirety of the day is a common practice. One can only imagine the psychological impact of sitting in the same room day after day, with minimal contact with others. A regular phone call from someone in your church would be very helpful.

I try to keep my posts to a reasonable length, so let me share a few links and perhaps share a longer list mid-week.

Ligonier Ministries is allowing Connect Group Studies to be used for free during this period. This is an opportunity for a small group of people to work through a particular topic of study. It may be something you can suggest to your small groups since they likely aren’t meeting.

Crossway, publishers of the English Standard Version, has a suite of online Bible study resources the they are making available for free use for the next several weeks.

This is a thought-provoking article on what the coronavirus reveals about our society and ourselves. Thanks to Paul Miller.

Jamie Dunlop gives hope to the boring Bible teacher in this article. We all probably wonder if at times we’re putting people to sleep. A good read.

Hershael York, from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, talks about pastoral life and ministry in this article. It should provoke some good reflection.

Timothy Raymond writes about the life of the church during COVID-19.

I used to tell my congregation that my hope was that if I were to call them at 3am and ask them to define justification, they would be able to do so. Nicholas Batzig writes on the comfort that this doctrine brings.

See you in a few days!!

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