Growing older amplifies the reality that change is inescapable and control is something of an illusion. For disciples of Jesus it bids us recognise the difference between death and dying; that Jesus has overcome death, and that dying is only a shadow. It also bids us look to the one where certainty, comfort, and peace …

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The pastoral impulse of care and comfort and the preaching impulse to bring changing truth must be embodied together for each to be effective. Comfort without challenge results in stultifying stasis. Challenge without empathy results in thoughtless hurt. God brings the changing challenge of his word to his people primarily through one with whom they …

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The notion of being a courageous pastoral leader invokes thoughts of the television show ‘Yes, Minister’ where senior public servant Humphrey Appleby causes government minister Jim Hacker to reconsider his latest intention by commending it as courageous. There is an uncertain and vulnerable space in being courageous. Will Willimon contrasts costly courageous leadership with what …

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Will Willimon writes so well, and so economically, that when trying to quote, it’s hard to figure what to leave out. He refers to the need for pastor/preachers to have courage because “Gospel preaching on Sunday requires finding a way to talk about matters the congregation has excluded from conversation all week. The need for …

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