Blessed Are the Merciful?

Following Dallas Willard’s line of thinking in The Divine Conspiracy, we don’t believe Jesus is saying, “Be merciful and you will be blessed.” Rather, his idea is, “As a tender-hearted person you get stepped on and burdened by people’s pain, yet the Father of mercies is always delighting in you.” (Matthew 5:7, paraphrase) That is really good news!…

Blessed Are the Peacemakers?

We may (mis)use Jesus’ beatitude to be a people-pleaser, conflict-avoider, referee for other people’s conflicts, or fixer of problems. But in Matthew 5:8 Jesus is not saying, “Be a peacemaker and God will bless you.” As I explain in my booklet Jesus’ Greatest Teaching, in his beatitudes the divine Rabbi has something much better for…

Top Soul Needs of 2018

Your desire is to grow in trust in the Lord. That’s why the top article on Soul Shepherding’s website this year was Fear Not! 365 Days a Year with over 53,000 views. We had 975,000 page views in 2018! We are grateful to hear from pastors and leaders that our content is helping them grow in apprenticeship…

God is Fun!

The Christmas gospel shows us how very fun God is. Appreciating the Lord’s fun-natured personality can have a huge positive impact on our life and ministry to others. We expect God to be a judge, holy, all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere present, eternal, and totally loving. But is God really fun? That sounds nice, but it seems…

Happy Christmas?

Christmas isn’t all happy. Trying to make it that way actually diminishes our enjoyment and meaning of this sacred season. Consider the first Christmas. The backdrop is that God’s people go four centuries without hearing a word from God. When God finally speaks, Zechariah (John the Baptist’s father) refuses to believe it and is struck…

Magnify Your Ministry!

Paul says of his pastoral ministry, “I magnify my office” (Romans 11:13, KJV). Pastor, do you magnify your office?  Paul’s example and instruction is not just for professional church pastors—though it’s especially for them!—it’s for all of Christ’s ambassadors. So let me re-ask the question. Bible teacher, small group leader, marketplace worker, elder, counselor, leader,…