Pastor and Wives Encouragement Retreats

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Saturday, 19 July 2014 00:00

Dealing with Quarrelsome People

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Do you know any quarrelsome people? Certainly there are none in God’s church. Right?
 
The apostle Paul faced many of the same issues that you and I do, including quarrelsome people. In II Tim. 2 Paul discussed quarrelsome people. Paul identified the following:
 
  • People who quibble over words
  • Babblers
  • Those who distort the truth
  • Those who cause strive and love to argue
Thursday, 10 July 2014 00:00

Can Pastors Have Friends?

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“They don’t call us any more. And the last few times we tried to get together, they had other things prioritized. Something is wrong.”

My wife and I were wondering about our friendship with this couple. It had been good to have someone with whom we could be off-duty. It seemed to us that they did not feel any need to be flossing their spiritual teeth just because they were in the company of a couple who had been appointed to take care of them. But now I felt I had to see them.

“Could I come over for a few minutes? There is something I’d like to talk with you about.”

Monday, 07 July 2014 00:00

Who are you?

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Several years ago a young man walked up to me and asked this question: “If you were not a preacher, who would you be?” He went on to explain that his question was meant as a thought provoker. He explained that much of our identity is tied to our vocation, possessions, accomplishments and the like. My friend reminded me that we are valuable because God created us and loves us just as we are apart from our accomplishments.

All of us know this to be true. God loves us unconditionally!  Love is His nature.  “God is love.” (I John 4: 8)  Sometimes we forget and need to be reminded of this simple truth.  As I pondered my friend’s question I quickly formulated my list of things in which I seek value.

My vocation- I am a pastor. I feel affirmation in being a pastor. I must differentiate my vocation from my standing before God. I need to be reminded I will always be valuable even when I am not serving as a pastor.

Monday, 30 June 2014 00:00

Rescued from the Futility of Accomplishing

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After declaring everything to be meaningless, Solomon asked a piercing question: What does a man gain for all his efforts that he labors at under the sun? (Ecclesiastes 1:3)

Everyone pursues something, labors for something, works for something. And Solomon’s point was that all the labor under the sun is meaningless because there really is no gain, no profit in the end.

Friday, 20 June 2014 00:00

Thankful for Who?

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Do you have trouble giving thanks for some people?  These people may cause you to join the Sons of Thunder in hoping God will rain down fire from Heaven.  Don’t be so spiritual, you think similar thoughts!  LOL!

A few weeks ago I read through I Corinthians. As Paul opens the book he gives thanks for the Corinthian believers. (1:4) As I read those words I thought to myself, “Come on God, give thanks for the Corinthians.” After all the Corinthians were marred by division, jealousy, envy, immorality, lawsuits, marriage issues, questions of Christian freedom, drunkenness, and questions about speaking in tongues. Talk about a church with problems. I might have missed a few of their issues.  Giving thanks for such a group would be like giving thanks for a migraine.  I was reminded of the command in I Thess. 5:18, “In everything give thanks.” So, if Paul could give thanks for the troubled church in Corinth, what can we learn from him?

Paul gave thanks for the Corinthians because he was a gracious man who had been touched by the grace of God. Though the church had issues Paul still treated them with grace. The Bible outlines the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. In that passage we are instructed to be kind, gentle and patient. In short, we are to be gracious with other people.

Saturday, 14 June 2014 00:00

Shepherding the Flock

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As I write this, I’m getting ready for a test at the hospital. Just routine, I think. Last week I went for an annual checkup and my doctor spotted a couple of areas for which she wanted more tests.

About the time I get through with these tests, a note will arrive from the dentist announcing my 6 month checkup. Right now, my car is overdue for its 3,000 mile oil change and it’s time for a tire rotation. The house needs painting and the air conditioning unit is being serviced.

Nothing about ‘maintenance’ sounds very glamorous. A friend of mine is in charge of maintenance at a chemical plant up the river, but don’t let it fool you. We’re not talking about sweeping the floors and mowing the grass. His area is keeping those massive machines and intricate processes working as they were intended.

That lovely old car you spotted on the highway still purring like a kitten after 200,000 miles functions well not because some rich guy bought it and spent a fortune overhauling it, but more than likely because its owner took good care of it from the first day. He had it serviced regularly and kept it in a garage and treated it as an investment.

Sheri, a single young woman, said to me once, “I don’t know what all the fuss is about maintenance. I’ve owned my car for a whole year and have never had an oil change or anything, and it drives like new.” I said, “Just stick around. You’ll find out.” She did.

Teams that don’t feel valued often simply go through the motions and that dampens motivation and decreases productivity. Great leaders pay keen attention to how valued their teams feel. Poor leaders seldom even think about it.

 

Evaluate your leadership against these five behaviors that great leaders show.

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