My long time friend J John is one of the most powerful, compelling, and hilarious speakers I know. Based in the United Kingdom, he has an amazing ministry with a global reach. Recently he broadcast a one-hour television episode we did together for his “Facing the Canon” TV series. (J John is a Canon in the Church of England, so sorry to disappoint, but I wasn’t shot out of anything.) He’s a terrific interviewer, and if you watch the program, you’ll discover just about everything I know about media, working behind the scenes with churches and ministries, and how to engage today’s culture. We had a terrific time and I think you’ll enjoy it:
You have no idea the number of pastors who tell me that their unique gift is to teach the Bible from a practical perspective. They focus on helping their congregation understand the Bible in practical ways. I assume they mean like the owner’s manual of a car, or the instructions for operating a computer. But the problem is – the Bible may be the least practical book ever written. In fact, I wonder if
At a Christian media seminar recently, someone asked what I thought of having a Bible verse on the back of their business card. I’ve been asked similar questions recently, and it brings up something worth discussing. Here was my answer (and I’d love to know your reaction):
Today, we’re seeing a real rise in what I would call “ministry divas.” These are men and women who are pastors, or ministry or spiritual leaders who’s focus is more on themselves than the people they serve. As a public service to our readers, the global research team at Cooke Pictures has developed a list of warning signs that someone might be a ministry diva. The following warning signs can apply to either a man or a woman:
Many people didn’t realize that 2007 marked the 80th anniversary of “Elmer Gantry” – Sinclair Lewis’s 1927 fictional portrait of a bogus evangelist. The novel itself wasn’t great as a written work, and as the Wall Street Journal points out, even it’s admirers found little to praise as a work of literature. But the image of the con-artist, scamming preacher lives on in our collective memory. The novel was so controversial that it was literally banned in Boston, even though it sold 175,000 copies in it’s first few weeks. The story has given us not only a list of powerful archetypes for this kind of character, but an almost endless list of clichés as well.
We may have discovered the world’s first transgendered evangelist. “Sister Paula” is now on Portland cable TV and podcasting. Who says this business isn’t interesting?