The Most Neglected Pastoral Priority

"A pastor can be so busy caring for his people that he never makes time to stop and pray for them" (Brian Croft).

The whole article is here.

Church of the Week: Traveler's Chapel at Wall Drug

This week's "church of the week" here on the Desperate Pastor blog is the "traveler's chapel" at Wall Drug, the sprawling tourist attraction on Highway 16A in Wall, South Dakota, sixty miles east of Mount Rushmore. 
The lovely Robin and I visited it with friends just last week, and it was a haven of quiet and solitude in the otherwise bustling establishment. It is said to be fashioned after the chapel at New Melleray Abbey, a Cistercian (Trappist) monastery near Dubuque, Iowa. Somewhere I read that, while it is not a church, services (as well as concerts and other events) are sometimes held there. 
At the back of the chapel just inside the entrance were boxes of travel-size New Testaments, offered for free. 

It was a refreshing touch of sanctity in swirling mass of humanity and commercialism, and I'm so glad the lovely Robin pointed it out to me and made sure I didn't miss it. 

Church of the Week: The Salvation Army, Rapid City, SD

What a lovely Sunday morning worship experience the lovely Robin and I enjoyed yesterday at The Salvation Army in Rapid City, South Dakota.

I took the photo below after a stimulating adult Sunday school class and ten minutes or so before the morning service ("Holiness Meeting," as it is called) began. The small chapel (capacity 113) wasn't packed but did contain a healthy crowd of all ages by the time things began.
After a brief presentation to the corps officer (pastor) and area coordinators by Major Randy Hellstrom, Aux. Capt. Michelle Johnson led a short observance and prayer in connection with the Annual Day of Prayer for Victims of Human Trafficking. Majors Randy and Kathy Hellstrom led a period of singing, followed by a prayer and another congregational song. Major Kathy Hellstrom played a beautiful and inspiring piano arrangement as an offertory, and eighteen-year-old Cheyenne Black gave his testimony. Majors Hellstrom sang a wonderful duet, and then I got to preach! It was a blessed time of worship and fellowship, in spite of my preaching!

The Rapid City Salvation Army is ably led by corps officers Captains Nathan and Michele Harms, who are clearly doing a fine job. It is located at 405 North Cherry Avenue in Rapid City.

For Inquiring Minds

Pastors often get asked, "Which Bible should I buy/use/read/study?" So here is a handy little chart that might help:

Church of the Week: Huber Heights (OH) First Church of God

The lovely Robin and I, joined by our daughter Aubrey and son-in-law Kevin and their youngest child, Avery, had a wonderful time of worship and fellowship yesterday at Huber Heights First Church of God in--wait for it--Huber Heights, north of Dayton, Ohio.
We were there on that particular Sunday because our old and dear friend, Bill Riley, was "candidating" for the senior pastor position at this church. We were warmly greeted multiple times before we got to the sanctuary. We sat with Lorraine and Courtney on the front row during the 10:30 a.m. service, which was led by a full worship team (keyboard, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, drums, and three vocalists). I especially enjoyed the drummer, a young man who was on his game. 
Bill preached on "Living Like Jesus in the Community," from Luke 19:1-10, and did a wonderful job. I'm always on pins and needles when Bill preaches because you just never know what he's going to say or do. He gave the assembled crowd of (I'm guessing) two hundred or so good reason to affirm the search committee's choice for him as their next senior pastor, and lo and behold, after a congregational meeting that followed the service, they did!  
Of course, while waiting for the congregational meeting to end, I snooped--er, toured--around the church a little, and it is an impressive facility, lovingly maintained. I especially liked the fact that the church library is actually a library, with books on all four walls. Yea for them! 

I'm sure it won't be our last visit to this church. We'll be happy to return often. 

Huber Heights First Church of God worships at 6900 Brandt Pike in Huber Heights, Ohio.

The Pastor's Desk (Episode 40)

The pastor's desk above belongs to my friend, Major Doug McGuire, who serves with his wife as corps officer/pastor of The Salvation Army in East Liverpool, Ohio (it's a real place, honest!).

His wife vows that there was no tidying involved. She says it's always this neat. She has also never offered to send a photo of her desk.

(If you would like to participate in this recurring feature on the Desperate Pastor blog, submit a photo of a pastor's study, office, or desk--but no tidying up before taking the picture, mind you--to, along with a short description identifying to whom it belongs)