Pastors spend a lot of time solving problems, and that means asking questions. Unfortunately, most of those questions are unimportant, even trivial. I know this because I’ve wasted plenty of my own time wondering about these same things.

Handsome businessman daydreaming of his business future
In fairness, many of these questions are forced upon pastors by their job description as the leader of an organization and have little to do with their real work as shepherds of God’s flock.

But a pastor has to earn a living somehow, so most spend the majority of their time asking questions like these—

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Everybody wants to change some aspect of their life. Whether it’s finances or career, marriage or education, we all want to be different tomorrow than we were yesterday.

Most of the time, we look for easy changes, quick fixes, or dramatic solutions that will produce instant results. But here’s the news: those things don’t exist.

Portrait of lovely girl drawing with colorful pencils

To produce lasting change you must take incremental action over time. Yes, that might begin with a big transition like going to rehab, getting married, or finding a new job.

But permanent change—true spiritual growth—comes by harnessing the power of simple, incremental actions repeated over time.

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Immigration reform is a hot topic this summer as the U.S. Congress appears poised to take action that could affect some 11 million undocumented residents. My denomination is on record in support of common-sense reform for biblical reasons. Our general superintendent, Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, even met with the President to discuss the matter.

Immigration

Even so, immigration is a sticky subject for many Christians. We are law-and-order people for sure, so going soft on violators is hard to swallow. At the same time, we’re deeply compassionate and believe in being hospitable to strangers and those in need.

What to do?

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Most people think the best way to change the world is to do something grand or spectacular, like cure cancer or put an end to human trafficking.

Those are needed and noble pursuits, no doubt, but you’re probably not the one to do them.

Eating ice cream. Asian girls sharing an ice cream. Beautiful ch

I seriously doubt that you will ever become president, start a worldwide movement, or make a great scientific discovery.

But you can still change the world if you want to. And you can do it today.

Here’s how.

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I am a huge fan of social media. In fact, I started blogging before there was blogging, circulating a weekly e-mail “post” to a few hundred subscribers back in the mid-1990s. I use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram every day.

Social media has flattened the world, making it easier for anyone to connect with everyone. As a pastor, whose job is communicating good news, I love that.

Businessman yelling at female colleague through tin can phone ag

However, as a reader and editor who thinks words have real power to do good or evil in the world, I have concerns. Sometimes it seems we have simply forgotten how to be nice.

Social media is like a power tool. With it you can build a beautiful platform—or make a big mistake really fast.

And these are not harmless errors. They are gross abuses of the power of speech, virtual literary sins. They harm not only you but those who read them.

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The first question I hear from every newcomer to Fall Creek Wesleyan Church is the same: “What does Wesleyan mean?”

We have a proud history, so I never mind the question. It’s just cumbersome to explain.

  • Connected to the great revivals led by John and Charles Wesley that transformed England and America.
  • Historic leaders in social justice causes such as the abolition, women’s rights, temperance, the pro-life movement, and anti-trafficking.
  • Ordaining the first woman in America.
  • Believers in the Bible but not fundamentalists.
  • Evangelical with a small “e.”
  • Founders of Indiana Wesleyan University and five other institutions of higher learning.

How do you reduce 250 years of evangelism and social action to a single sound byte?

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I am a big fan of pastoral ministry, and I’ve written about that elsewhere. Yet I know that many people find the pastorate an uncomfortable fit and are quietly looking for a graceful exit.

The number is nowhere near the erroneous, unfounded, and gleefully over-reported figure of 1,700 pastors a month suffering burnout.

Man having an interview with manager and partner employment job

Even so, some pastors—like some lawyers, doctors, and plumbers—do want to change careers.

The problem is they don’t know how.

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