Pastor Chris (Page 2)

Pastor Chris (Page 2)

All blogs written by Pastor Chris Clarke.

What are people for? Essays by Wendell Berry

I just realized that while I may not be old, I am old enough to no longer remember when certain personally influential writers came into my life. Few are more important to me than Wendell Berry. His lucid prose, his tight poetry, and the insight and clarity of his essays mean that whenever I pick up one of his books I will not be disappointed. In fact, I regularly re-read…

Applesauce and the #s of Ministry

Yesterday I was making some apple sauce. I mean I was making it good and plenty. I was peeling and coring and boiling and trying not to spill as I poured it into jars. I was so engaged in it. A kid was there helping me, counting apples, moving apples around. I was excited. There might as well have been two kids making apple sauce (except, of course, we actually succeeded…

Parental Leave: a Time to Serve

My office is all packed up, the bookcase is bare, I am not leaving the church but while I am away on a 10 week parental leave a new office is being built and our new music director is taking over my current space. Things are changing rapidly around St. Andrew’s Duncan and around my house. 10 weeks with four little boys (and summer vacation in full swing no less!) and a…

Mass Shootings and an Old Promise

You may or may not know that I have two boys 6 and 3 and another due in a month, and a foster child (age 6) in my house. What sort of world are we making for the children, we being us, the adults? I am as biased and confused and frustrated as anyone about the goings on in the world today, the number of news stories I struggle to explain to the boys makes me feel small,…

4 Keys to a Vital Congregation

People seem to dig the list when it comes to blogs and ministers and lay folks alike seem concerned about the decline of the church and wary of the future. More important all of us are trying to figure out how not only to lead the church but also how to be the church. Many people have pointed out that these days feel a lot more like the church of the Book of Acts than…

3 Reasons Pastors Struggle With Comments

No one really likes criticism, especially if it’s not constructive, not given in a manner meant to help. We have all received feedback that was meant to demonstrate the intelligence of the one offering the criticism, or meant to tell us about what they value, that contains nothing on which we can build. I want to do my job well, and so do you, whatever you do. I…

I Used to like Writing Sermons

I used to love writing sermons. It was one of my favorite aspects of ministry and one that I very much looked forward to as I traveled my way through seminary. I suppose that’s because I have always loved books—loved ‘em so much I bought a whole bookstore and ran it for a few years—loved ‘em so much I even had a few poems published in some places—this lead me to think I…