Don Follis

Don Follis

Don Follis | A mentor for pastors

No pastor has influenced me more than the Rev. Eugene Peterson, a Presbyterian clergyman, author and scholar. He died at age 85 on Oct. 22 at his Lakeside, Mont., home. Along with writing more than 20 books, Peterson is best-known for his colloquial translation of the Bible called "The Message." It has sold nearly 12 million copies.

Don Follis | We vote, but Jesus alone ushers in his kingdom

My work is a good fit for me, as I spend my days interacting with pastors from a wide array of backgrounds. As I counsel, give spiritual direction, ask questions and listen to stories — some heartwarming, others heartbreaking — I know that church-based vocations are not for the faint of heart.

Don Follis | The truly faithful have nothing to fear

President Donald Trump hosted a White House dinner for 100 evangelical leaders in late August. When the President entertained the church leaders aligned with his Republican base, I thought back to a summer visit to Plains, Ga., the hometown of President Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter.

Don Follis | On defying one's family to earn a Ph.D. from Cambridge

After I finished Tara Westover's memoir "Educated" (Random House, New York, 2018), I saw the book made President Barack Obama's summer reading list, too. He wrote on his Facebook page on Aug.

Don Follis | Being emotionally present helps one do right thing

When I present seminars on emotional health, I tell a story from Luke chapter 7 (verses 36-50), where I think Jesus shows remarkable self-awareness. Jesus was invited to a dinner party hosted by one of the Jewish teachers of the day named Simon. Just after arriving, Jesus is approached by a woman who heard he would be attending the dinner.

Don Follis | Love is strongest element in our 40-year marriage

Late in the afternoon 40 years ago today, I pulled my light-blue 1974 Ford LTD onto Interstate 17 and headed north out of Phoenix. At 10 a.m. that morning, my bride and I were married at Central Christian Church in Mesa, just east of Phoenix. She sat next to me on the car's navy vinyl bench seat.

Don Follis | Attending Sunday school with a familiar face

My wife and I left our Americus, Ga., hotel room at 5:20 a.m. June 10, and headed for Sunday school class.

Ever left for Sunday school that early?

We wanted to make sure we got a seat at Maranatha Baptist Church, where the Sunday school class cannot exceed 475 people. We were told even early arrivers can get turned away.

Don Follis | Memorial, museum evoke painful memories

Back in the day, when I was a theology student, one of my professors handed the students an essay by a Southern white preacher from the mid-1800s arguing that the Bible clearly justified slavery. Our assignment was to read the essay and write a one-page response.

Don Follis | Let women rise up, speak the truth and lead

The #MeToo movement began by exposing predatory male behavior and hypocrisy in liberal enclaves in Hollywood and the mainstream media. Now it is spreading through the rest of society. The #MeToo movement has given birth to the #ChurchToo movement.

Don Follis | All moms need grace in the moment

My mother was not different from the other mothers in our Northwestern Kansas town in the late 1950s and early 1960s. She was not different from mothers across the country. She had one child after another, four of her five kids in less than seven years. I was number two, the first of three boys. I am 14 months younger than my first-born sister.