Ash Wednesday Gone Bad

Back by popular demand is a blog post that I wrote in February of 2007 about an experience during my first year as a full-time pastor. Please laugh along with me (though it wasn’t funny at the time). By means of background, Ash Wednesday fell on my birthday this year: a day which should be a
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So This Is It

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It’s been over one year now since I left traditional ministry. And folks say to me all the time, “When are you going back to the church?” I don’t know how to answer other than to say that we need to think about the church in new ways. Why do we always think about church
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Getting Married to God

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On Monday, November 4th, I celebrated the 7th anniversary of my ordination. Seven years ago this week, I stood at the front of a church– Calvary Baptist Church in Washington DC and said to the congregation gathered of family, friends and congregation members that I would serve God in my vocational pursuits. I said I
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When Calling Takes You Outside the Church PART TWO

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In continuation of the conversation about what happens to your own sense of doctrine when calling takes you outside the church? (The first part of this series can be read by clicking here if you missed it). What happens when you don’t have a denomination or a presbytery or bishop or association telling you to
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To Remember Who You Are

A couple weeks ago with Kevin out of the country for work and no particular geographic place I needed to be I packed up from DC and headed south toward North Carolina. While I was in seminary I worked to keep my student debt at $0 as a student associate pastor at a rural United
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Why Still Preacher on the Plaza?

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One question I’ve gotten recently is “Why haven’t you changed the name of your blog?” The official title of my blog is Preacher on the Plaza. I started this blog back in January 2009 (back when not everyone and their brother had a blog) when I became the pastor of Washington Plaza Baptist (WPBC) in
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Not All Worship Is the Same

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I’ve been around church for years. And I think I’ve seen so much of what makes church, church these days– Traditional Worship Contemporary Worship Contemplative Worship Worship by the Common Book of Prayer Worship where tongues are spoken Worship where hands are raised Worship in shorts Worship in suits Worship with shouts Worship in silence
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Spiritual Tour Guide

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Last week, I was having lunch with a friend who I’d hadn’t seen in years. As we were catching up on life’s ups and downs, she stopped the conversation to make a bold statement: “I’m tired of being a spiritual guide for everyone else.” My friend, a veteran minister with a thriving campus ministry under
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I Confess

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I hear it from clergy all the time: it’s hard to worship when you are leading others. One of the joys of my Sabbatical time so far has been the opportunity to visit to other churches and consider again what church means to me as a participating worshipper. But learning how to be a worshipper
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