"2014 Graduating class of Asbury Theological Seminary…This is my charge to you: Go forth as William Borden did: No Reserves, No Retreat, No Regrets.
That is your posture. Don’t waste your time trying to build a professional ecclesiastical career… that’s building political reserves. Don’t waste your time second guessing the truth or power of the Word of God, or the centrality of Jesus Christ, that’s creating a retreat in case the winds of popular culture turn against the church. Don’t end your ministry on any other note but faithfulness, for that will create regrets.
As God’s Word says and the presence of our Golden Grads testify: It is not the one who starts the race who will win the prize, it is the one who finishes it."


"Combining long-term planning and the silicon valley ethic of moving quickly and maintaining agility."

Book Thoughts: “Developing a Series” by Jonathan Malm


I have attended churches that use sermon series for the last 8 years and this was the first time I read something that really outlined the purpose and strategy of using a series as a format for Sunday worship. This is a very fast read, I read through it in less than hour while sitting on the front porch, but it is one of those books that just says what it needs to say and gets the job done. Really, I would hope that is all an explanation of the concept “sermon series” should take. 

Here are few favorite quotes:

It (a sermon series) gives your congregation a chance to invite their friends…

It gives outsiders an excuse to check out your church…

It helps drive a point home with your congregation…


Before you start developing the packaging and marketing materials for your sermon series, it’s important to understand your end goals for the series. What are you trying to accomplish in the lives of your congregation members? What would you like them to leave the service understanding that they previously didn’t? What actions do you want them to take by the end the series?

Available digitally on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HXXLVSW/

On smugness.

Holding this tension is one of the most terrifying but reverent things we can do as a people of faith. Thankful for scholars that can be candid about it. 

I must confess that as a NT scholar I am inherently suspicious about theological systems like Calvinism or Dispensationalism or even Arminianism and the like which seem to foster certain kinds of feelings of intellectual certainty and even smugness about things that are in fact profound mysteries.