Author: Michael Cooper

Extraordinarily Ordinary: Finding Success in the Simple Rhythms of Life

In high school, I was voted “most likely to become a rock star.” Okay, let me nuance that a bit; I wanted to become a musician. I wanted to play music, travel, and make money. I desired to be successful and make a name for myself. I had dreams and goals of making it “big” in the world of music. Now I find myself in the pastoral ministry—far from the world of music, fame, and money. But within ministry, there is that desire to be “successful.” But ministry “success” is usually defined differently: impacting a large number of people,...

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Spurgeon’s Wisdom: The Three Places of Blessing Around Our Hill

Each week I attempt to read a sermon by my favorite preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Recently I read a sermon from 1855, The Church of Christ.[1] In it Spurgeon sought to develop an argument on the clause from Ezekiel 34:26, “And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing.” Here he attempted to convince his audience of the church’s role in the world. His argument was simple: first, “Christ’s church is to be a blessing” and second, “Christ’s church is to be blessed.” As I was reading, I was struck by his first point,...

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New Ministry Resolutions: Remembering the Old Convictions of Preaching

The old has passed and the new has arrived. The calendar has turned and we’ve entered into 2017. However, we know that the “new” will soon wear off and the fresh reminder of the “old” will define the plowing of pastoral ministry. If you’re like me you probably have New Year resolutions for your ministry, dreams of leading the church to be more evangelistic and seeing the ministry grow spiritually. But as I personally consider these new resolutions for 2017, I am reminded as a pastor of my old calling to “preach the Word” (2 Timothy 4:2). These “new”...

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Being Theologically Intentional: The Importance of the Sunday Morning Gathering

From Monday through Saturday we are beat up by the world. We are persuaded to believe that our lives ought to be consumed with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:15-17). The week has the ability to take its toll on us. This is why as God’s people the Sunday Morning Gathering of Christ’s Body is vital to our existence as believers. We need a safe place from the dangers of the world. As the Body of Christ gathers in the local embassies of His Kingdom, the Church...

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Six Ways to Fight the Monday Morning Pastoral Blues

Monday Morning. The weight and pressure of another week rolls around as you roll out of bed to find that first cup of coffee. But this Monday is different. You feel “off,” like something is wrong. There is that lingering thought in the back of your mind to just stay home and veg out. You get on social media only to see your pastor friends talk about their amazing worship service, soaring attendance, and growing churches. So you reflect. In your opinion, your Sunday worship was weak at best, and your sermon fell flat. You gave the invitation and the congregation...

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