Chuck Swindoll has a Potty Mouth?

In the "sometimes I'm ashamed to be identified with other Christians" file, the loonies at VCY Radio Network have dropped Charles Swindoll's - yes, Chuck Swindoll's program "Insight For Living" from their radio lineup because of "crude" "vulgar" and "from-the-gutter" language. The words in question? "buns," "heck," "balls," and "crap." You can read a portion of the press release here.

It seems to me that VCY Radio Network was looking for something to get their panties in a wad about. I wish they had called me - I can think of several things that offend me a lot worse than the word "heck." Pharisaic legalists who legislate extra-biblical offenses just to make sure nobody in the world is attracted to the people or God of the Bible come to mind...


We closed on our house today around noon. We clean tomorrow and move in on Saturday. Thus begins a whirlwind of a week of unpacking, finishing up things at Fellowship, and launching things at McKinney.

I'll be around, but if I post anything it will be short and sweet. Just didn't want you to start wondering where I went.

UFC and Me

What do I have in common with Dana White, the President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship? (My mom will be so proud!)

Besides the obvious hairline similarities, and the fact that his biceps measure roughly the same as my thighs, nothing... except that Ryan Dobson talked about both of us on his podcast this past Monday. Granted, White gets the lion's share of the broadcast, but at least I got a mention.

Who knew evangelism on the golf course could be the application for a podcast about UFC?

If you have a couple of minutes, check out Ryan's site. He's doing some really great stuff in the area of helping young men be men. I could blog for weeks about the problem of pacificity in today's men, Dobson is doing something about it.

Thanks for the discussion Ryan. I'm jealous to not be a teenager anymore - the man camp sounds like a blast.


I'm by no means the expert at pastoral transitions, but I have done it a couple of times. Being as I'm in the middle of one right now, I thought I'd share some of my observations.

1. The leaving pastor usually overestimates the amount of time the church will need him on staff to transition. When we left the church in Arlington to come to Fellowship, we gave them almost 30 days notice because we wanted to make the transition easier. In reality, that makes the transition a lot harder for everyone involved - it's like ripping a band-aid off a little bit at a time. Once you've announced your transition, you need about a week to pass the baton and a week to say goodbye. Beyond those two weeks, it's virtually impossible to do any good.

2. Even if you're not planning a transition now, you should be planning for your transition now. All of us is going to transition out of our role at one point or another. If you truly care about the ministry you're leading, you should always have one or two people trained to the point that things could go off without a hitch if you keel over tomorrow. As I look back at some of the ministries I've been able to be a part of in the past, it's pretty obvious where I've done this well and where I've done a lousy job. You don't want the ministry to take a giant step backwards when you leave, so start preparing leaders now.

3. Leave on good terms. Even if you're leaving a ministry because of conflict, you should leave as best you can on good terms. There's never a reason to air your dirty laundry to the congregation or others. You don't have to lie to someone who asks, but be general enough in what you say that you don't become a diviscive force as you leave. "This just isn't a good fit for us anymore" is a much better answer than "Pastor Larry is a crook." Pastor Larry will still be around after you leave with the power to clear his name of anything you say about him. You won't have that luxury. If there's a major issue that the governing body at the church needs to know about, by all means let them know, but after you've resigned, you have a responsibility to let them decide whether or not to go public with that information.

4. Clean up before you go. One of the worst experiences of my ministry life was starting a ministry where the guy before me started all kinds of projects and left them for me to finish. He thought he was doing me a favor by planning all kinds of events so I wouldn't have to, but I ended up executing the events that he planned. Finish everything you can so the new guy/girl can start with a clean slate.

5. Offer your assistance, but don't stalk your successor. In every position I've left, I leave behind a small folder trying to catch my successor up on the "state of the ministry." I leave him the previous year's calendar, pertinent phone numbers, and a list of activities and programs we've done with contact information in case he wanted to use it. I top that folder off with a letter from me that includes my current contact information. If he needs my help, I invite him to call me. Otherwise, I leave him alone. Believe it or not, I had one predecessor who called me once a week for four months at a past position just to see if I needed any help. Those conversations were weird, awkward, and completely unneccessary.

Transitions can be great for both parties involved, provided they're handled in a careful and professional manner. If I get time later this week, I'll talk about transitions from the other side - how to transition in to a new role.


Normally I'm one who hates these kinds of things, but I must be feeling gratuitous today because I've filled out two of them in a twelve hour period. This is it though, no more. Don't bother emailing me your forwards - I have my email set to automatically delete anything with "FW:" in the subject line. But because Lisa is a loyal reader and commenter, I guess I'll oblige. But I refuse to tag anyone else except Drew since he sent me one of these forwards earlier today.

I’ve been tagged. I was asked to share 7 little known facts about myself and then ‘tag’ 7 others. The only problem is trying to come up with 7 things my blabber mouth hasn’t already told you all!

1. I don't like dessert. Seriously. My favorite desserts in the world are blackberry cobbler and my mom's caramel apple pie, but when it comes right down to it I'd rather eat a second helping of the main course than eat dessert. It works out well, since Kari is the exact opposite.

2. I don't sing in the shower. I sing everywhere else, and was even paid to sing at some points in my life, but I'm not a big shower singer. It's honestly because I'm afraid someone will hear me singing in the shower, even though I don't mind them hearing me sing at other places.

3. One of my biggest phobias - if you can call it that - is drinking after people. I'll kiss my wife, but I won't drink after her. It gives me the willies just thinking about it. Don't ask why. I think it's the whole backwash thing, but the whole idea grosses me out.

4. I hate working out, but like being in decent shape. So, I bribe myself with little things throughout the day in order to force myself to do other things that I like. For example: I do fifty pushups every morning before I get in the shower. If I do my fifty pushups, I let myself drink a Coke on the way to work. If not, it's water all day.

5. I looove yard work. I've been miserable for the last 18 months in an apartment where we pay someone else to do our yard work for us. We're moving into a new house next weekend, and I can't wait to move in because I'll get to mow the yard. I've even tried to scheme a way to get to the house before the movers so I can mow the yard before they get there. Yep, I'm sick.

6. I sang first soprano until my Junior year of high school. Two hundred years ago, I would have been rich beyond belief for keeping a high voice so late. This way, I just got tougher.

7. I eat Taco Bueno at least 5 times per week. I know where every Taco Bueno is within a ten mile radius of my house, school, office, and new office. That's right - I checked out to get the lay of the land before I even signed the job offer letter. I love that place.

A Lousy Day on the Golf Course is Better...

It was 82 and sunny today here in Dallas, with a slight breeze that kept the flies away - a perfect day on the golf course. Now if I could only hone in on my golf swing...

I had a boss one time that hated the fact that I love to play golf. He saw it as a waste of 4 hours that could have been spent in the office instead. Though I was sensitive to his position on the matter, my comment to him was, "I've shared the gospel more times on the golf course than in my office at the church."

It's true. Although I love to play with friends - especially with friends from the church, I try to never show up to the golf course with a full foursome, instead opting to pick up a random extra guy at the course. Other times like today, I enjoy being the random extra guy who joins another group because I know for four hours I have a captive audience.

I used to hate the first hole with an unfamiliar golf group because the polite thing to do is to introduce yourself. Then, someone asks the question, "what do you do for a living." I used to hate that question because I was afraid it would put a damper on my cigar smoking, f-bomb dropping stranger friends. Now I love the question. Usually, when the strangers find out, they'll apologize for their friends' language, and begin to ask more questions when I don't immediately condemn their friend to hell for the word he said after his sliced tee shot.

I've found I'm usually invited to share the gospel by the third hole. No, usually not in such obvious words, but I've found by the third hole someone nearly always asks me what made me want to go into ministry. So I get to explain the gospel by hole three, and spend the next fifteen holes talking them through it. And since you have to stop every four or five minutes to hit, the conversation never gets heated.

Today was a good day. I showed up by myself, picked up another guy at the clubhouse, and set out on our way. We were to the gospel by the second green. Then we spent the next sixteen holes talking through everything from grace and inerrancy to his questions about the Council of Nicea and his eastern mysticism view of Psalm 23. By the end of the day, he might have moved from an 8 on the "away-from-Christ" meter to a 6. He's not there yet, but maybe one of you will play golf with him one day and get to help move him closer. Meanwhile, pray for him if you think about it - his name is Forest.


If you're one of the two or three people who reads this blog on a regular basis (thanks Mom and Dad), and you've wondered where I have been (sorry for not calling), you'll be happy to know that it's finished.

"What is finished," you ask? Seminary? The job search? The search for a place to live? My leftover muchaco and bean burrito from dinner?

Yes, yes, yes, and... yes.

It's been a pretty eventful couple of weeks in the Freeland household. Two weeks ago I preached my final sermon and turned in the last paper of my seminary career. I floated across campus, and straight on to a golf course where I played 18 of the most blissful holes of golf I've ever experienced. I didn't play particularly well, but I did not once feel guilty for playing golf instead of studying.

Additionally, a few weeks ago Kari and I accepted the position of Pastor of Young Adults at McKinney Memorial Bible Church in Fort Worth, TX. Those of you who know me know that this type of position wasn't really even on my radar a couple of months ago, but after a few conversations with the executive pastor there it became clear that this was the perfect opportunity for us. We'll get to serve in an area we know a little about, and I'll be able to be mentored by an established senior pastor who is at a phase of ministry where he's passionate about developing other future senior pastors.

This Monday, we signed a contract on a house and close in two weeks. That's a pretty crazy time frame for packing and moving, so we're going to be blowing and going for a while. My poor wife is going to start sporting a hairline that resembles mine. But we couldn't be more excited.

I'll be back - I can't wait to start thinking through a new phase of ministry with you, and telling you about some of the cool things going on in Fort Worth.

Thanks to those of you who have been praying for us over the past few months. It looks like we made it...