Skye Jethani’s IMMEASURABLE is a book I’d like to give every person just starting out in ministry

I’m very grateful to be part of the launch team for Skye Jethani’s brand new book Immeasurable: Reflections on the Soul of Ministry in the Age of Church, Inc. As part of the launch team, I got this book for free in exchange for a fair review. I signed up on a whim; but I’m really glad I did.

Immeasurable is a book I’d like to give every person just starting out in ministry. It is a much-needed antidote to the consumer-driven, success-by-the-numbers approach of a lot (if not most) of what passes as “Church leadership training” these days.

Skye does a great job of distilling and applying some of the best ideas of the “giants” he thanks at the beginning of the book—guys like Eugene Peterson, Dallas Willard, Brennan Manning, and Henri Nouwin.

If young pastors and new leaders start here, they’ll be on a virtual launch pad to much of the best literature out there on the essence of pastoral ministry, and they’ll be exposed to ideas and stories and will likely challenge them deeply.

Skye casts a deeply inspiring vision of pastoral ministry that encouraged me think about “church growth” as something much deeper than attendance numbers or even theological education. Instead, Skye urges pastors and leaders to consider growth in terms of communion with Christ and empowerment of the laity to deeply pursue their own spiritual growth.

According to Skye, Christian ministry must never be fully equated with mission, as vital as that is, but rather must retain real relationship with God as the ultimate end. This is so easily lost today when—as he reminds us—so many good things (like people in the pews and a passion for God’s mission in the world) become ultimate things.

This book is nothing less than a guide on how to avoid the ever-present temptations of idolatry for ministers. Above all, Immeasurable reminds us that ministry can never be about control; like all of life, it must be about communion.

A note on format of the book: it’s divided into 24 chapter that can each be read in about 20 minutes or less. Each chapter is more-or-less a self-contained essay on a different topic, ranging from the role of ambition in ministry, to preaching, to simplicity, to building influence and beyond. Each chapter has a few questions for reflection at the end. This format lends itself to serious reading and thought, and would be great to go through slowly with leadership teams. I could also see this being used for training programs for new leaders, with the questions being jump-off points for discussion with mentors.

Highly recommended.

→ Get it on Amazon

Why I observe Lent

I had been in an emotional and spiritual struggle for years, processing how the Body of Christ could be so defined, so marked, by division, quarrels, and willful ignorance of each other. My spiritual journey had led me right into the middle of some of those painful internal wars, and I hadn’t escaped without getting hurt. Read More

Become the righteousness of God

This is an edited manuscript of a sermon I preached at Grand Canyon University.  Watch the whole thing below, or keep scrolling to read through the content.

Has something ever happened to you that changed your reality to such extent that you became almost a different person? I can think of a few examples in my own life. When I got married, for instance, my reality changed!

I went from single, to married. From being a bachelor to being a married man. This changed so much about how I lived my life. Every decision was different and suddenly my priorities shifted. It was a very similar experience to become a parent for the the first time.

Maybe you’ve experienced something like this before, either getting married or having kids or a big move or even a new job or career shift.  Something happened, that changed your decision making process and set you on a new path. Sometimes these are positive experiences, and sometimes they are negative experiences, but they happen to all of us, and it’s what makes life interesting! Read More

Konstantin Basilika in Trier Germany

Have you been filled with the Holy Spirit?

“…be filled with the Spirit…”

(Ephesians 5:18 ESV)

The celebration of Pentecost is nearly upon us. As we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit in power on that day 2000 years ago, let’s talk about what it means to be filled with the Spirit.

Baptism vs. Filling

To be clear, I’m not talking about what many in the Pentecostal tradition would call “baptism of the Spirit.” What is usually meant by this is a second experience post-conversion, with the required “evidence” of speaking in tongues and the result of a “higher” sort of Christian life. Read More