We live in a day when increasingly people are living in a vacuum, many around us not sure what to believe or even not sure what they believe. This is why it is so important that the pastor and church leaders and even those who are part of the body of Christ own what they believe. READ MORE
Today we’re going to talk theology, especially the theology of suffering. If the church is ever going to become a healing community it needs to have a solid theology of suffering. A pastor who has a theology of suffering prepares his people for times of hardship and also empowers his people to serve one another when one member is hurting. All of this has to come out of a deep and committed understanding of the gospel.
The church committed to the gospel is a church that will understand the role that suffering has in God’s purposes. I have the privilege today to talk to someone who could not have survived deep suffering had it not been for the gospel of Jesus. She talks a lot about the gospel because it’s been her and her family’s lifeline. My guest today is Michelle Bates who in the span of several years faced unbelievable loss. Michelle wrote a book titled Beyond The Shadow, How Suffering Led Me to the Deep End of Grace. It is an excellent book and something we spent a lot of time talking about in this interview. Michelle lives in Humansville,MO where she and her husband Mike and their three children run an Inn.
We talk a lot in these podcasts about the sort of hard things pastor’s face; marriage challenges, hard people in the pastor’s life, the struggle with children and even facing loss. My goal has been pretty singular with all the interviews, and that is to encourage the pastor to keep his focus, to not be distracted and to realize also that with serving Jesus can come, and probably will come a lot of opposition and challenges. There is one thing we have not talked about in the sort of things pastors face and that is the pressure to bend his convictions to the many theological trends blowing across our landscape today. The pressure for the pastor to bend to, to compromise his message is becoming an increasingly heavy load to carry. It’s getting harder and harder to just stick to the simple message of the gospel. Even with all the pastoral responsibilities he carries, it’s getting harder for him to take time in studying and preparing for his primary role, of preaching the Word of God. READ MORE