about weakchristian

Weak Christian?  That I am.

Husband, father, pastor (Presbyterian Church in America), church planter, preacher… and weak in each respective calling?  That I am.

“For he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”   – 2 Corinthians 12:9

I am a weak, common, broken jar in which the Spirit has poured the gospel and Christ has poured his strength.  That means I am a celebratingly fragile man.  I am blessed by God to be a husband and dad (of four).  I am called by God to be a leader.  I am equipped by the Word of God to be a teacher.  I have been ordained by the church of God to be a pastor.   BUT – I am still just a clay jar.  I feel it every day.  And every day I pretend to be a vessel of Titanium.

My name is Jim Powell and I am what I am.  This blog is, hopefully, not just about me, but about a paradigm of gospel living in a broken world – how strong faith in a strong gospel is for weak people.

If you live in Eastern Pennsylvania, come check out West Valley PCA, Emmaus – a church that is growing more messy as God fills us with people who know they are weak and yet rest on a strong gospel, being renewed amidst a culture that craves strength and stability.

jim in rockies

MA History and Political Science, Carson-Newman College 2000
MDIV Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 2003
pastor, Harmony PCA, Kingsport, TN 2003-2006
asst. pastor, Cornerstone PCA, Center Valley, PA 2006-2008
planter/pastor, West Valley PCA, Emmaus, PA Sept 2008-present

22 thoughts on “about weakchristian

  1. Alex Burdine says:

    I love the switch to third person half-way through the bio. Alex Burdine finds third person hilarious.

    You’re the best. A pastor of transparency. A man of humility. A friend of truth.

  2. weakchristian says:

    Jim Powell didn’t pay Alex Burdine write that.

  3. Alex Burdine says:

    You laugh at my jokes consistantly. That’s payment enough.

  4. marc mantasoot says:

    hey jim,

    i love your intense, persistent focus on weakness. i’ve been exploring this concept recently. i’m currently reading 2 corinthians 11 and 12. men in my small group just prayed that i would experience weakness. felt like a curse, but i know that it’s a good prayer. i just have alot of fear as to what strength in weakness looks like in my life. i’m glad to know that someone else appreciates “biblical weakness.” i’m part of a faith group called dare to soar. we explore our weaknesses in experiential ways and find that God’s grace is sufficient usually beyond my expectations. more weakness, more grace. i know this is kind of random, but i wonder if a retreat would serve you. actually, i judge that it would serve you. here’s the website: http://www.idaretosoar.com/pppm/

    another random thought, do you know jon peiffer? he’s a friend, who was in the TIU MDiv program. he graduated a couple of years later though. think he also moved back to Pennsylvania. he is a man of great transparency and humility as well.

    Anyways, thanks again for your blog on weakness and even on missional communities. i feel a little eeiry about how well i connect with your experience.

  5. weakchristian says:

    Not sure how you stumbled on the blog… as to date it has been a ‘my friends feel guilty if they don’t read it and comment’ kind of a thing.

    O to have more Christian men praying for weakness that they might live in the power of Christ… O to have more Christ-followers feel the exhilirating dependence on the sufficiency of grace (beyond our expectations).

    I’m glad the weakness theme connected with your place in life… though I am NOT surprised. It is after all, the elephant-in-the-room common denominator among all of us. Check back and continue to help us flesh this out.

    Oh, and I can’t place Jon Peiffer from TEDS.

  6. Glen Moody says:

    Hey Jim. I’ve been following your career and your moves; seems like I’m always a step behind you. I quote you often in your comment about being led to move from an area that is “overchurched.” You are so right, my friend. I miss seeing you guys and wondered where you went, so I’ve been googleing you.
    I’m afraid the Lord has called me to serve the over-churched. We have moved to Grace Free Church here and trying to put together a program like a “little TEDS” called Seminary for All (theological education for adults). I believe that all Christians are “called” to do ministry and that the gifts of the Spirit enable us to do that. Yep, that’s a hard sell, but that’s what I’m working on doing. Sometimes it feels like I’m trying to describe an elephant to a man born blind.

    Glen Moody
    Kingsport, TN

  7. mary buckley says:

    Hi, Jim! My name is Mary Buckley. I am the artist who painted “City Rain”. How surprised and honored I was to see one of my paintings on your website! My husband and I are both ministers and at this point are serving the Lord on the MS Gulf Coast. I would love to hear more about how you came across this painting.
    Thanks so much for sharing it with others!

  8. weakchristian says:

    Thank You Mary for commenting. Thank you for sharing your gift and evidencing God’s redemption of all things – especially the arts – through your quality work.

    Isaiah 45:8 is my prayer when I look at your painting: Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down your righteousness; let the earth open up, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit.”

    Soli Deo gloria in your ministry.

  9. Jonathan Bonomo says:

    Rev. Powell,

    I really appreciate the sentiment of your blog. God grant me the grace to never presume myself to be a “strong Christian!” Anyway, I hope to check in from time to time as time permits.

    And by the way… I greatly (and I mean greatly!) appreciate and am thankful for your loving support and service to my parents through their struggles.

    Many Blessings to you and yours,

    Jonathan Bonomo Jr.

  10. Jimbo,
    Good stuff here. This just reeks of you.
    That’s a good thing,

  11. why did my comment disappear?

  12. weakchristian says:

    Sorry Justin. I replied to you via email and inadvertently deleted your comment(figured it was more private/family oriented anyway). Hey, give me a call any time (610)737-2110 and/or email me jim@cornerstonepca.net. Look forward to hearing from you.

  13. Tonja says:

    Jim – I was researching “philosophy of preaching”, which I will have to think about soon, and stumbled across yours. Thanks for publishing it in very clear words and ideas. I’m currently a student at TEDS taking my first preaching course (ugh) and was equally encouraged that you are a relatively recent grad from there. I am also very encouraged by Glen Moody’s comment (#6 above) – I think a “Seminary for All” is an excellent idea, absolutely fantastic. Thanks for blogging and sharing your thoughts and passions. I will definely continue to check this one out. Tonja

  14. weakchristian says:

    Blessings at TEDS! If you would, pass on a hello to any Prof you see, especially Bob Yarbrough, Doug Sweeney, John Woodbridge, Steve Roy, Greg Scharf and John Nyquist… I praise and thank God for my time at TEDS. Enjoy your preaching labs…


  15. Jeremy Floyd says:

    Jim Powell is the coolest dude in the world! How might I get in touch with him?

  16. ^^ Quite possibly the funniest thing I have ever read. He’s certainly up there on the list of coolest dudes in the world…

  17. Daine says:

    I like in Lehigh Valley…Just moved 2 years ago. Would like to talk to you about a bible study that I am doing.
    Email: dainesoman@hotmail.com

  18. Cindy says:

    I am interested in your mininistry I am looking for chritian literature on healing from ssexual brokenness.

  19. Shad Gilbert says:

    Jim, my name is Shad Gilbert, and I’m a church planting partner for Riverbend Community Church, here in the Lehigh Valley. I was tying to find our church through Google, and came across your blog instead. We should get together sometime. Look here: http://www.riverbendonline.org.

  20. sis :) says:

    Hey, little bro!
    I love your heart. Thank you for your friendship and unconditional love. Miss you, and thank you for all of your prayers and encouragement. God is so gracious. Love you!

  21. mom2olivia says:

    Hi Jim,

    I love yor humility to us all. Yes, we are all weak Christians, Oh, thank you for that awesome reminder. I hope to be back and share the journey with you. Please stop by and say hello as well. Your sister in Christ, Robin

  22. Fay says:

    Just saw
    your blog on weak christians,
    quite an interesting train of
    thought. I thought that God
    gives us strength and power
    to the weak so that we can
    soar. If we always remain weak
    when shall we soar.
    I thought weakness was in
    relation to food and issues that
    are grey – but hey just
    trying to understand …?

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