The last time I needed a jump was at a remote parking lot at the Charlotte, North Carolina airport. Arriving near midnight, exhausted from an overseas teaching stint and long flight, I was eager to get going on the 100-mile drive to my home.
But my Buick wouldn’t start. A week earlier, when I had hoisted my luggage from the backseat at 5:00 a.m., I had left on the interior lights. My frustration evaporated when a service vehicle patrolling the parking lot pulled alongside my car. The driver used jumper cables to connect his strong battery to my depleted one. He started his truck, routing energy to my weak battery. Within minutes I was on my way.
That’s what I want to do through this blog and resource site: to pull alongside others and give them a jump so they keep going in Christian living and ministry. The New Testament verb translated “encourage” literally means “to come alongside.” If anything I write rejuvenates the weak batteries of saints and servants, I’ll be happy.
My primary qualification isn’t my PhD, the books I’ve written, or 33 years as a full-time professor at a Christian university. It’s my own history of struggle. My own batteries have been low so many times that if there were a AAA company that serves the soul, I’d be dropped as a customer.
If there has been any progress in my life since I came to faith as a child, it has been the three-steps-forward, two-steps-back variety. I’m a 65-year-old depression-prone, emotionally-fragile person who finds it lots easier to teach about faith than to exercise it. I’m a desperate, bloodied soldier of Christ who marches with a limp. Yet by God’s grace, I’m still in the battle.
So I won’t write from a vantage point of superiority, as someone who has mastered Christian living and ministry, but as a broken-world person who’s eager to pass along what sustains and empowers me. My posts will consist of the following types of content:
- Stories from my pilgrimage, or the lives of others.
- Bible truths or texts that invigorate me. (I promise not to bore you with sermons!)
- Personal reflections on daily life and ministry. If age increases wisdom, perhaps I’ll have something helpful to say, but you’ll be the judge of that.
- Practical tips for Bible teachers and small group leaders. Since 1981 I’ve taught college-level classes on this subject area. Equipping folks to serve more effectively is a way of encouraging them.
- Leadership lessons I’ve learned the hard way – from experience.
- I’ll recommend resources that resonate with and help me.
My plan is to post at least once each week, and I crave your feedback. I’m not soliciting strokes. It’s okay to disagree with me or to offer an alternative perspective. Together, perhaps we can replenish each other’s batteries all the while making God look good and more desirable.
Checkout the free RESOURCES on my website: columns and poetry reconciling depression and faith; helps for Bible teachers and small group leaders; ideas for church staff; devotionals, faith poems, and more.