Away to Pray

Dennis Voskuil

READ : Matthew 14:22-23 After he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. (v. 23) Pressed on all sides by crowds who were eager to be healed and taught, assailed by carping scribes and Pharisees, and surrounded by befuddled disciples, Jesus seized upon opportunities to go off by himself to rest and to pray. On this occasion Jesus had sought solace in a boat along the Sea of Galilee when a throng of …

Following the Leader

Dennis Voskuil

READ : John 12:20-26 Sir, we wish to see Jesus. (v. 21) After being introduced as a guest preacher, I positioned myself behind a large wooden pulpit. Engraved there, and visible only to the preacher, was a sign bearing this request of the Gentiles when they approached Philip: “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip and Andrew brought the Gentiles to Jesus. He warmly received his visitors and spoke to them of his approaching death and burial using the image …

Leaders Being Led

Dennis Voskuil

READ : John 21:15-19 “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” (v. 17) The first reading assignment for a seminary leadership course I co-taught was Henri Nouwen’s classic book, In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership. Nouwen was a noted Catholic scholar who taught for many years at the Harvard University Divinity School. Although his reputation as an author, scholar, and teacher grew, he sensed that he was …

Servant Leadership

Dennis Voskuil

READ : Matthew 20:24-28 Whoever would be great among you must be your servant. (v. 26) When the other disciples heard that James and John were seeking positions of authority in Jesus’ coming kingdom, they were angry and more than a little jealous. Aware of the rumblings of discontent, Jesus revealed the essence of Christian leadership. He informed them that while the rulers of the Gentiles lorded over their people and acted like tyrants, this would not be so among …

The Ambitious Mother

Dennis Voskuil

READ : Matthew 20:20-23 Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink? (v. 22) Jesus and his entourage were walking up toward Jerusalem when Mrs. Zebedee, her sons James and John in tow, knelt in front of Jesus and said, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom” (v. 21). Like many, Mrs. Zebedee believed that Jesus’ popularity would turn into …

Faithful Leaders

Dennis Voskuil

READ : 1 Timothy 4:11-16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. (v. 16) I have been privileged to participate in many services of ordination to the ministry. In my denomination, the charge to the one being ordained incorporates this passage from 1 Timothy in which Paul instructs his young associate Timothy on the responsibilities of Christian leadership. The counsel that Paul gave Timothy is fitting for all who follow Jesus Christ, but it is especially poignant …