Category: Uncategorized

BGAV Small Church Ministry FB Group

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I’m excited about the launch of the new Baptist General Association of Virginia Facebook group for Small Church Ministry. I’m the new BGAV Minister in Residence for Small Churches (don’t worry…I still have my day job!), and this is our first step in developing a small church network.

If you’re interested in small church ministry, this is the place to gather. Here’s the link if you’re interested —

It’s a closed group to allow candid conversation and to keep out the trolls, but request to join, and we’ll add you quickly!

Podcast: We Are What We Are


On Easter Sunday, I preached from Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth — 1 Corinthians 15:1-11.  In that passage, Paul says, “I am what I am by the grace of God…”

Isn’t that what Easter is about? We are what we are — not what we used to be, not what we will be — but we are what we are by the grace of God. Here’s the audio of that message. I hope your Easter was glorious!

Photo credit: The Acrocorinth. By Marina Loukas (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Podcast: Opening Graves, Restoring Hope


For the fifth Sunday in Lent, I preached on Jesus raising Lazarus from the grave, from John 11:1-45. After encounters with Nicodemus (John 3), the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4), and the man born blind (John 9:1-41), Jesus raises his friend, Lazarus from the dead. This is a rich story with many perspectives, but one very important idea: opening graves raises hope among God’s people. Here’s the podcast:

Podcast: The Place, Purpose and Power of Prayer

Here’s a podcast of the sermon I preached last Sunday, September 27, 2015, from James 5:13-20, titled “The Place, Purpose and Power of Prayer.” I hope this message is an encouragement for you in your prayer life.

Podcast: Where God’s Name Is


I preached this sermon on Solomon’s dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem last Sunday, August 23, 2015. The biblical text is 1 Kings 8:1, 6, 10-11, 22-30, and 42-43, the Year B lectionary reading for that Sunday. The point of the sermon is that 5 important things happen where God’s name is found.

Pray for Charleston, Stand with Emanuel

 I’m inviting white pastors and white church members to stand with Charleston and the members of Emanuel Church by joining the NAACP. We join our African American brothers and sisters humbly and as learners in the shared responsibility of justice and equality. #PrayForCharleston #standwithcharleston #blacklivesmatter #pastorsforpeace #itstime #showyourcard  

I Wish I’d Known

I’m writing an article for Outreach magazine titled “I Wish I’d Known…” about things small church pastors wish they had known before they started pastoring. I need short quotes that finish the “I wish I’d known” thought. I’ll use these short quotes throughout the article. So, fire away in the comments , please!

My Book is on Amazon Today


My new book, The Reconciling Community: The Missional Mending of Spiritual and Social Relationships through Local Church Ministry, is now available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.

If you would like a copy to review and post on your blog and on Amazon, I’ll have 20 print copies available next week to send to reviewers. A review can be a short impression of the book, or a longer in-depth analysis. Message me on Facebook with your mailing address and I’ll get the book out to you next week.

Note: the current Kindle version does not have a clickable table of contents. I’ll fix that this weekend, so hold off purchasing the Kindle version until that’s fixed. Thanks!

Good Day and Helpful Physical Therapy

Today was as good as last night was bad. I got some rest while Debbie ran a few errands. Pain levels decreased and I was basically pain-free this afternoon.

One new development is that I may have shingles on my back now. This has just developed and is a similar problem to the other neuropathy I have. So, when it rains, it pours!

I will have one final MRI tomorrow and then we get to come home Thursday afternoon. Home will certainly look good, although we could not have asked for better care here.

The lymphoma diagnosis is still preliminary, but the most important thing is to get home, get back to church, and get back to our congregation and community. I
My next post is from home!

Good Day Today and a Possible Answer

Today was a good day as I had no pain all day after receiving a new pain medication. Physical therapy evaluated me and I walked down the hall about 25 feet with a walker. PT and occupational therapy will work with me tomorrow. The doctor coordinating my case is giving me a break from tests tomorrow, so PT and OT will take up my day.

I was scheduled today for a CT-guided biopsy of a lymph node in my neck. However, they opted just to do a CT scan of my neck first. It showed no abnormality so the ENT doctor said there is no reason to do a biopsy. That’s good news, but doesn’t help us solve the puzzle of what is wrong.

The neurologist does think I have some type of lymphoma which is a cancer of the blood. Apparently lymphoma can be very painful, and also has some of my other symptoms. This is not definite yet, but looks like the most likely at this point. The challenge is to confirm this and then determine what type of lymphoma it is.

So that’s the latest news from the Warnocks. We’re just trusting God to help the doctors figure this out so we can get on with it. Lymphoma comes in many varieties and the survival rate is high and treatments are available. If it is lymphoma, lots of people have survived it and lived long productive lives.

Just pray for us and the doctors and nurses. I have a great team of medical professionals working on this. But mostly we have great friends who are praying and that’s the most important thing. More tomorrow after we see the doctor in the morning. Thanks for your prayers.