Archives For Scott Hollingshead

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I was in seminary, and had never been a pastor before. But I knew God was preparing me to become one, and my desire was to church plant. So I was overjoyed when a pastor asked me to join him in a new church close to where I lived. This was exactly what I wanted to do, and seemed like the perfect opportunity.

But I had no way of knowing that perhaps the most significant lesson I would learn through that experience would be from the pastor himself. After several years of ministry the church plant disbanded and the pastor left the ministry. He and I still kept in touch after the church shut down, but that communication dwindled over time. I found out he wasn’t going to church much anymore, and when I challenged him about that, he cut me out of his life.

I was shocked. We had been so close. We were together on the battlefield, partners in the gospel, slugging it out in that start-up church. What happened? How did this happen? Were there warning signs along the way? As I look back on that experience, I’ve pulled out three lessons for pastors—warnings you could call them—from a pastor leaving the ministry: Continue Reading…

deny selfJesus was known for some outright difficult (even offensive) declarations, and Mark 8:34 is certainly a prime example:

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

How does this difficult declaration apply to us today?

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I love my small group–and I’m not just saying that because I’m the pastor and I’m supposed to. Sure, I have weeks where I barely get everything together in time to attend small group in the first place. But within minutes of the group starting, I’m overwhelmed; not by the stress of another activity on the schedule, but by the sheer blessing of redemptive relationships.

The small group I attend isn’t made up of a bunch of long-time friends or people who naturally have a lot in common. In fact, my group is quite varied in age, occupation, experiences, and life stage. And I think it’s better that way. Despite all of our differences, the gospel has drawn us together and freed us to be transparent with one another. Like any relationship, this didn’t happen from day one but has gradually grown as we submit to God and He uses us in one another’s lives. And the growth I’ve witnessed has been incredible.

Here are three reasons I love being part of a small group:   Continue Reading…