Dealing with Pastoral and Congregational Anxiety: An Interview with Bill Selby

Dealing with Pastoral and Congregational Anxiety: An Interview with Bill Selby

So many things raise the anxiety level of the average pastor—even being average. Pastors are almost always overworking yet remain underpaid. An unexpected illness or sudden death in the congregation can wreak havoc on pastors’…

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It’s always a difficult question to ask Carla Sunberg where she’s from. She considers three places home: Frankfurt, Germany, where she was born and lived her first eight years while her family was on missionary assignment; Kansas City, where…

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Missional Engagement in Smaller Congregations: A Panel Discussion

Missional Engagement in Smaller Congregations: A Panel Discussion

In 1997, the Board of General Superintendents made a historic decision when they declared the United States and Canada a mission field. They recognized that the traditional definition of missions had changed and that the church would have to…

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How Would H. F. “Mr. Missionary” Reynolds Respond to Today’s World?

How Would H. F. “Mr. Missionary” Reynolds Respond to Today’s World?

The world is changing, and the church must change with it. Right? Can we still rely on the wisdom of the denomination’s founders when our nation and its place in the world are different from the days leading into the…

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A Different Kind of Mission than We've Known: An Interview with Verne Ward

A Different Kind of Mission than We've Known: An Interview with Verne Ward

Verne Ward grew up in the Church of the Nazarene but had little idea he was going to be a missionary. Questions about eternity and what really mattered got him to ponder his life’s mission. After college, Verne started to…

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MarkHollingsworthAs a holiness pastor, I must admit that technology has challenged my sanctification. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to give the sound man a little “feedback” of my own. Why can’t sound people assume that when you step to a microphone you’re going to say something that needs to be AMPLIFIED?! Instead, you have to repeat your first sentence because the sound guy was looking down at his smart phone playing “Angry Birds” when you walked to the

pulpit. GEEKS!


Furthermore, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve labored over a PowerPoint presentation on my laptop, transferred it to a flash drive, and then to the sanctuary computer, only to get one of those big red “X” messages that says something like, “An error occurred while creating an error report; your presentation has been permanently and fatally deleted.” That’ll leave your heart “strangely warmed.” Makes you long for the good old days of Flannelgraph!

But when you really stop and think about the good old days, the good old days weren’t so good either. In my first church, we took a leap of technological faith and bought a sound system from Radio Shack. The volume controls were on the first shelf of the pulpit, just to the right of the stack of outdated hymnals, Bill Gaither chorus books, birthday pencils, and anointing oil brought back from a trip the former pastor took to the Holy Land. In effect, I was my own sound man.

Unfortunately, the very first Sunday we had a glitch. Apparently, we didn’t properly ground the new sound system. Do you remember CB Radios? State Route 33 ran past our church, and as I began the pastoral prayer, “Our Heavenly Father,” bleeding over the sound system came a trucker’s CB radio, “Yeah, go ahead; I got my ears on.” Three board members who were not entirely sanctified lay their all on the altar that day, and seven teenagers volunteered for missions in the Congo!

The good news is: God’s got his ears on . . . 10-4? Isaiah 58:9 says, “Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ He will quickly reply” (NLT). God won’t let your message go to voicemail.

MARK HOLLINGSWORTH serves as senior pastor of First Church of the Nazarene in Edmond, Oklahoma

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