Ministry Progress, April 2022

Photo: snapshot I took during Christian leadership meeting mentioned below, led by James Robison, in the Life Today TV studio. (It was not televised.)

It’s happening — at last!

Step by step, this past year or two, I’ve been building toward an equipping ministry for pastors. Now it’s moving into its next phase, and I’m excited to see it coming to fruition. It’s still not easy — see the prayer requests below — but by God’s grace, it’s coming together.

It’s a service ministry, helping pastors handle the toughest questions our confused culture sends their way.  I’ve been studying these issues for years, and I know it’s no challenge to God. Hard as these questions may be, they all have great answers from a biblical perspective. It does take study, though, and for many pastors — I keep hearing this from them — it’s just really challenging to find the time to study. A pastor’s job is huge.

The Pastors’ Corner

Over the past several months I’ve been working the first phase of ministry to help ease that load on pastors. Almost all of it has been in writing so far, at The Stream’s outreach to pastors called the Pastors’ Corner. I’m in the middle of a series now on homosexuality and transgenderism, possibly the most difficult question many pastors deal with. My latest article is a mid-course recap of what I’ve covered already and what’s coming next.

Other topics so far have included critical race theory, which is nearly as complicated as that. Visit the Pastors’ Corner and you’ll see where I’ve also covered faith and science, atheism, and varieties of religious belief. Many pastors have told me they wish they had more time to study these things. Many Christians have told me they wish their churches could help them know what Christ would say about them.

Not Just In Writing

I’ve never wanted it only to be about writing, though. That’s just been a warm-up. Very soon I’ll be starting my first series of pastors’ roundtables on tough topics, followed by webinars later this summer, then online courses and direct coaching with pastors.

If you are a pastor, please see and sign up for the roundtable opportunities described here. If not, please send this along to your pastor!

A Heart-Gripping Need

I want you to know this really grips my heart, and I intend to keep going in spite of obstacles.

I was in a meeting in Dallas last month with a small group of some of the nation’s top Christian leaders, where they all agreed our country is in a rough place. Christianity in particular is under attack, accused of being homophobic, bigoted, anti-science, and more.

Christians hear this, and they question their faith: Are the accusations true? How do I answer them? Does anybody have an answer?

Yes, there are answers. Good ones; answers that should encourage anyone who’s worried about these charges against us.

I hear from pastors, and I know they want to help. It’s that study time issue I mentioned above, though. And when they do find time, most of what they read is theory. Theory isn’t bad, in fact it’s essential. What’s even more helpful for pastors, though, is seeing how it ties in with practical ministry. That’s my focus: Equipping pastors for practical ministry on today’s toughest issues.

Progress Despite Disruptions: Prayer Needs

Over the past year I’ve been studying myself, building systems to make this ministry as effective as possible, for as many pastors as possible. It takes a lot of technology, a lot of writing, and a lot of strategy. God has provided me free strategy help from an expert in the field, and free instructional design help from a specialist in that discipline.

Through the past year I was also dealing with obstacles and disruptions, the last of which — or so I thought — was back surgery, just before Christmas. Unfortunately that same disk seems to have gone bad again. Something tweaked in my back while I was standing up from a chair in my hotel in Texas last month. It kicked off a lot of pain, and now I’ve got another MRI scheduled, and an appointment with the surgeon again next week.

(I’ve been joking with people since then: “The lesson is, if you’re sitting comfortably in a chair, just stay there. You don’t know what might happen if you stand up!”)

I am not convinced it’s going to require surgery this time. It’s another disruption, though. I would ask you to pray for God’s total healing. Please pray, too, for God to give smooth sailing on the technological side of this work.

Thanking God for You

I am so grateful you are on my team, praying and supporting this ministry.

I thank God for you, and I can’t wait to report to you next time on what God has done through these conversations with pastors, as I seek to serve them, and to equip them for the hardest questions we all face these days.

Tom Gilson

Vice President for Strategic Services, Ratio Christi Lead Blogger at Thinking Christian Editor, True Reason BreakPoint Columnist

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