I recorded this podcast in February, just before COVID. Have a good laugh at my reference to the primaries in Maine. Seems like years ago, doesn’t it? I interview pastor Steve about his involvement with IPM (Intentional Pastoral Interim) and how best to help troubled churches. READ MORE
I have a question. Maybe two? What is happening to the church during COVID? What will happen to the church? We are hearing a lot about what COVID is doing to the church and to believers. (I A study done by The Barna Group suggests that because of this reason one in five churches will close post COVID (See source here.) Barna also anticipates that one in three Christians will likely stop attending church or already have. (See source here). READ MORE
Today is a hard topic but a necessary one. I want to talk about something the church needs to be more aware of than I think we are and that is the topic of opioid addiction. You will also find later in the podcast that this is a very personal subject for me as I choose this podcast to share publicly about my own struggle some years ago with dependance on prescription pain medication. READ MORE
In this podcast I muse over the state of the gospel, post-Covid. I also encourage the pastor to commit to gospel-centered, Biblically-solid expository preaching. My suggestion is; the church that will remain strong are those who are committed to the gospel. I also look at some of the pressures threatening the church, distracting her from her mission, and the call to remain true to the sufficiency and authority of scripture. While I speak somewhat strongly toward some drifting even in my own denomination, some of the hyperbole I use is meant to capture our attention with hope that we will all be challenged by returning to the gospel in our preaching.
It’s Interesting how this podcast turned out. I asked around for someone I could interview on the subject of addiction, mainly the issue of addictions to opioids and how the church should understand it and respond and so someone was recommended to me. His name is Mark Danzey. I sat down with Mark and as we began this conversation the addiction we ended up mostly talking about was on pornography. And I agree. This is a needed conversation and one that few are willing to talk about. I sat down with a young man some time ago who said something like this. It’s weird to me that this is probably the biggest struggles guys face, but probably the one struggle no one talks about. So we are talking about it today, with Pastor Mark Danzey. Before we go to the interview let me in introduce Mark.
Mark has been providing pastoral counseling for the last 25 years. Passionate about his work, Mark has spent the last 10 years focused on working with couples in various scenarios from premarital counseling to crisis counseling. Mark is eager to help people looking to make positive changes in their life through personal relationship coaching, career coaching and executive coaching. Additionally, as a Certified Civil, Domestic and Divorce mediator, Mark helps to mediate difficult situations toward a path of peaceful and amicable resolution.
Mark holds a M.A. in Pastoral Ministries, ordination in the United Methodist Church, as well as certifications with the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals, the International Coaching Federation and the State of Georgia Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Mark and his wife Tammy, have been married for 16 years and have four grown children and one amazing grandson!
Check out the websites that highlight Mark’s different ministry offerings:
Brett Schultz grew up in a pastor’s home and he’s actually a normal kid.
Pastors try as best they can to assure their children do not grow up with the common stigmas that come with being a PK (Pastor’s Kid). The pressure to represent the family well can be a heavy burden for any child of a ministry parent. While most pastors and missionaries do a great job protecting their children from these burdens, there are some things that are beyond their control. Brett is my son, and he’s often told me that we did well allowing him to be a normal kid, but there were somethings we could not protect him from. READ MORE
Let me start with a question, maybe a bit tongue in cheek. What if during this Covid 19 season while the church has been fasting from meeting corporately that the antagonist in the church have had a huge change of heart and are now determined to come back fully supporting the pastor and the church leaders?
Well, we hope this would be, but I would imagine that the pastor and church leader will in time be under attack again. I am sure for many pastors this break has been a reprieve from ongoing attack and criticism from what our guest today refers to as hero persecutors. Similar to how Satan left Jesus to tempt him again at an opportune time, I have no doubt that this respite for the pastor from attack, will resume again, at an opportune time. What do leaders need to do and understand when the church becomes a toxic environment? How can the church nurture a climate where the work of the gospel thrives even when there is conflict? I have the privilege in this Before You Quit podcast to look at these questions with with Dr. Chris Creech, author of the book Toxic Church.
Chris Creech and his wife, Faith, have been in ministry for over forty years. During this time they have served in pastoral ministry for over twenty-eight years in five churches, including one church they planted in Toronto. Chris earned an M.Div. and Ph. D. from Southwestern Seminary. He has taught at seminaries in Singapore and Malaysia as resident faculty and as adjunct faculty at other seminaries in Asia, Europe, North America and South America. Currently they are serving Pinnacle Ministries as Directors of Pastoral/Missions/Church Health and as adjuncts in several Asian and US seminaries.
During this Covid 19 season (I’m sure it will have a better name down the road) I have been thinking a lot about what this will do to or for the church. Will we be stronger for it? Is this one of those events that God will use to sift the church, from those who are lukewarm to those who are deeply committed? During this time many give testimony of opportunities to reach people they would have never reached before. Online messages have a reach unlike anything else we have seen. READ MORE
What a time we live. Who would have thought even three months ago that this would be our story. Stay at home. Places closed. People lose jobs. During this time my heart has mostly gone to the pastor who longs to continue shepherding his people who are severely being tested. READ MORE
Aside from the Bible, one other book served as my lifeline during the hardest period of my life; my wife’s brain surgery and subsequent struggle to recover her speech, reading/writing skills, and my son’s passing to cancer just months after. That book was A Grace Disguised by Dr. Gerald Sittser. I’ve read the book probably four times, and recommended it to many who needed a healthy dose of theological perspective. What a thrill to land an interview with the author of this book, Dr. Gerald Sittser.
Order A Grace Disguised Here