Tough Words | Repost Set 3

Below are some posts that were challenges me and people around me:

christianity pastoring

Preaching | Gentrified

My good friend Logan Gentry has some excellent thoughts on preaching, and asks some great questions.  Below is a quote from the synthesis of his thoughts on what the point of preaching is:

It seems to me that our preaching has a 3-fold reach in regards to focus and application. It seems that each message has an individual application in how we view God, a community application that explains to the body how this message affects the local church they sit in and informs the strategy or theology of their vision and then finally how it affects the way Christians live in and engage a secular society that doesn’t agree with them.

Go give it a read and chime in here!

pastoring theology

Tough Questions

There is a huge difference between knowing an answer from scripture and applying it pastorally to peoples lives.

The past few weeks, I have been wrestling with God’s word over the issue of remarriage, as I was recently asked to officiate a wedding for a couple with divorce in their past. I can honestly say that this has been the most difficult pastoral challenge I have faced, having to wrestle with Scripture that is hard to understand, and apply it to such a weighty topic where people have a lot invested.

I am confident that in seeking God and weighing the arguments of both sides, I have come to the right conclusion for this instance, but it is still not easy to swallow, especially when I genuinely care for the couple.

The most difficult part, however, is that my conviction of the teaching of the Bible differed from their understanding, and it has resulted in a fractured relationship.  I’m still wrestling with how to understand this and work toward reconciliation, but I know that God is faithful and will honor my obedience to Him.

Pastoring is unbelievably difficult at times…please pray for me, and your pastors!

austin stone pastoring personal

Today Was a Great Day


Every once in awhile, you have an absolutely outstanding day, and God’s faithfulness is overwhelming.  Today was one of them.  Here’s the rundown:

  1. Donuts with my wife and son
  2. Sermon prep
  3. Meeting discussing future vision of some specific ministry and my role in it
  4. Developing a staff training for social media engagement with a few folks
  5. Staff prayer time where we prayed for our children and that our faith would be like theirs
  6. Strategy Team meeting with men I would take a bullet for
  7. Interview with a potential resident in our newly-minted residency program
  8. Finish sermon prep
  9. Preach the gospel to a room full of college students excited about a movement at The University of Texas
  10. Go home to spend time with wife, son, and in-laws who just arrived
  11. Pack my bags for the hospital in anticipation of the birth of my second son

All I can say is that God is absolutely gracious, sufficient for my endurance, and fully able to accomplish more that I can imagine.  King Jesus is good to me!

pastoring personal

Pastoring a Wedding


I’ve really grown to enjoy the role of officiating weddings as a pastor.  I’ve had the opportunity to perform a half-dozen weddings over the last year–some for old friends, some for new friends–and I am consistently reminded of God’s grace in my life to bring me such an amazing woman.   Additionally, the symbolism of the wedding ceremony only gets richer with each iteration, and I am consistently finding myself dwelling on different aspects of Christ’s character at different points throughout the typical weekend.

There’s always a little bit of awkwardness that goes on too…I tend to get some strange looks as I am introduced to parents as “pastor”.  They’ve got the “I’m pretty sure you just graduated high school…how can you possibly be performing a wedding?!?” face on, and it is generally an fun interaction.  It’s also a little strange to perform “pastor” duties like praying for meals and such, and I still don’t know what the proper protocol is when I just want an ice cold fermented beverage at the reception.

The best part, hands down, though, is watching the groom catch the first glimpse of his bride as she walks down the aisle.  Maybe it’s because I wept like a baby at my wedding, but I’m always hoping the groom sheds a tear in that moment when he locks eyes with his gorgeous bride.

Sorry to be sappy, but I’ve got a wedding tomorrow…