I believe in the resurrection. I believe that Jesus died on the cross, his hands and feet held to the wood by metal spikes. I believe that his body was pierced by the soldier’s spear, and even the sun was darkened as all creation grieved the death of God’s eternal Son.
I believe in the resurrection. I believe that Jesus’ body was placed in a borrowed tomb, where it lay for three days. I believe that the power of God, his heavenly Father, brought life to his dead body and rolled the stone away from the entrance so all might see that Jesus was no longer there.
I believe in the resurrection. I believe that the unbelievable story of the women was true, just as the angel had announced: “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”
I believe in the resurrection. I believe that there is no force in the universe that could stop, hinder, contain, or successfully oppose the risen Savior, my Lord, Jesus Christ. No nails are long enough to hold him to any cross unless he wills it to be so. No tomb can be sealed so tightly—by Pilate or Herod, or Caesar himself. Were there an army of a thousand men guarding the tomb, it would make no difference. Jesus said he would lay down his life and take it up again. And he did.
I believe in the resurrection. I believe that Jesus appeared to eleven discouraged, defeated, demoralized disciples in a room where the doors were locked and all hope was lost. I believe that when he showed them his nail-pierced hands and his spear-pierced side, they fell at his feet and cried out, “My Lord and my God!” I believe that in the days that followed, hundreds saw him alive. All their doubt was removed; their fear was gone. What could the world do to them? Jesus was alive.
I believe in the resurrection. I believe that Jesus lives today—as powerfully and perfectly alive as he was two thousand years ago, and for all time past and yet to come. I believe he empowers his followers to follow in his footsteps, fight the forces of evil, and find their peace and joy and eternal hope in him.
I believe in the resurrection. I believe that Jesus calls women, men, and children to join him in changing the world, one heart and life at a time, starting with their own. One day soon, he will come again on the clouds of heaven with an army of celestial warriors whose numbers are beyond counting and whose power is beyond imagining. Then Jesus will establish his eternal kingdom, where there will be no more soldiers or spears or sepulchers or battles or bleeding wounds or crosses.
I believe all this because I believe in the resurrection.
By Ed Baker of Orchard Hills Church, Cedar Falls, Iowa. Published in Reformed Worship magazine, December 2011.
Our Brand New Book, “Preaching Christmas” is available at:
Barry Davis’ timely book, Preaching Christmas is an answer to prayer. Every year leading into the month of December I am literally pleading with God to give me new insight to a story that I have been preaching on for the past 29 years, the story of Christmas. Every chapter is based on biblical doctrine and never strays from what is written in the Word of God about the birth of Jesus Christ. Preaching Christmas will give fresh insight to pulpits all across this country. Thanks Barry, for being an answer to prayer!!
Dr. Fred Luter, Jr. Pastor, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans, LA.
Former President, Southern Baptist Convention
Every teaching pastor I talk to loves Christmas. It’s an incredible opportunity to tell the wonderful and redemptive story of God’s love through the gift of His Son Jesus. And yet it’s also a challenge to create a fresh new series of messages each year. In his book, Preaching Christmas, Barry Davis provides messages that are biblical, redemptive, organized, uplifting and insightful. The Holy Spirit will help you make them your own, but these messages provide you with great material!
Dr. Dan Reiland, Executive Pastor, 12Stone Church, Lawrenceville, GA.
As much as I love the Christmas season, one of the hardest parts for pastors is discerning how to package the most familiar story of Christianity in a new and fresh way each year. Obviously, this should be a work of God’s Spirit, but I believe He uses the Body to bless one another. Such is the case with this wonderful resource. I can see myself referring to this often. Christmas is coming — I’m feeling more prepared already!
Ron Edmondson, Senior Pastor, Immanuel Baptist Church, Lexington, KY.
Whether you are like me, and look forward to every Christmas season, excited to share about the History & the Mystery, the Glory in the Story, the Revelation in the Incarnation, or like other pastors who honestly dread December and all the pressure to be fresh and relevant while still biblical, this is a treasure-chest of CHRISTmas inspiration for all of us. Reignite the CHRISTmas flame in your heart and ministry once again with this excellent resource.”
Myles Holmes, Pastor, REVIVE Assembly of God, St. Louis, MO.
Preaching fresh, creative holiday messages is always a challenge even to a seasoned communicator. Dr. Barry Davis’s new book Preaching Christmas is an extremely helpful resource for those who hope to inspire and encourage believers during the Christmas season. This book is filled with timely illustrations, practical insights and solid, theologically rich sermons.
Dr. Tom LaHue, Senior Minister, Port Orange Christian Church, Port Orange, FL.
Bivocational or Part-Time Ministry?
By Barry L. Davis
If you’ve been involved in ministry for any length of time, and been on the search for a new ministry opportunity, you’ve seen the terms “bivocational” and “part-time” thrown around pretty loosely to describe the role the seeking church expects their future minister to fill.
To the average person, part-time would describe someone who works under 40 hours per week, and most likely 20 or less. Bivocational means that in addition to the ministry, this person also works at another job as well. On its face, most of us would assume both of these are part-time positions, but in the church world, things can get a little muddy.
For instance, while some churches really mean it when they say they are not expecting the minister to work full-time, their actual requirements tell a different story. Here is an example of a church advertisement for a part-time position that was just recently published:
We are looking for a part time minister to take over for our current aging pastor. We are a small country church with a beautiful church building, Sunday School Rooms and fellowship hall. Position would include all the normal duties of a pastor who loves people, wants to help our church grow spiritually as well as attendance.
Teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, teach the members to witness and serve the Lord. To preach/teach in 3 services a week, as well as plan revivals and special functions. Be willing to visit the community, hospital and nursing homes. We are seeking a God called man who has a deep seated desire to serve the Lord and to lead his people in all aspects of a ministry.
This ad is fairly typical of what I see from churches looking for part-time/bivocational ministers. It is blatantly obvious that this church is not really looking for someone with minimal hours to devote to the church ministry. No matter how gifted you might be, you cannot preach/teach three services every week, do extensive visitation, and meet all of these other expectations on a part-time basis.
In these instances what the church is really saying is that they can only afford to pay you on the level of someone working part-time, but they are expecting you to put in full-time hours. While it is perfectly understandable that many churches do not have the finances to offer a full-time salary, it would be better, and certainly more honest, to say, “we need someone to fulfill all the duties of a full-time pastor, but we can’t afford to pay you what we’d like to.”
If you are looking for a ministry position and find one that is listed as part-time or bivocational, you would do well to ask the following questions before moving too far forward in the process:
1) Could you share with me how many times you are expecting me to preach and/or teach on an average week? (are you expecting me to lead a Sunday School Class, mid-week Bible Study, Small Group, etc…?)
2) Do the lay leaders of the church cover hospital and home visitation, or is that something you are wanting me to do exclusively?
3) Who is in charge of planning and implementing special services during the year, such as Holidays, Graduations, Fellowship Meals, etc…?
4) Will I be overseeing Weddings and Funerals?
Those should be enough to give you a good idea of what the expectations of the church really are. You can probably think of some more.
Please understand that none of this is written to discourage you from accepting a ministry role in a church that is not able to pay a full-time wage if that is what you believe God is calling you to. The purpose of this article is simply to help both you and the church walk into this relationship with a very clear idea of what the expectations are.
I’d love to see your Comments below. Have you been in part-time ministry? Share with us your experiences.
Barry L. Davis, D.Min., Ph.D.
Founder/Owner — The Pastor’s Helper