Several years ago Dr. Paul Meier, Dr. Robert Hemfelt, and Frank Minirth wrote a book entitled, We are Driven: the Compulsive Behaviors America Applauds! The book addresses the driven mentality that afflicts Americans. I experienced this first hand on a mission trip to Mexico. Our church in Alabama went to Matamoros, Mexico to build a church.
As I selected this title I did so by looking in the mirror. I am speaking to me. By speaking to me I can speak to fellow pastors. We are cut, in many respects, from the same mold.
What a message, “He knows!” In several locations, the Bible assures us that God knows. There are other references, but I will mention only three. “Are not two sparrows sold for a cooper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.” (Matt. 10:29) In the very next verse Jesus repeats the same concept, “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matt. 10:30) The Psalmist expressed a similar thought, “He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.” (Ps. 147:4)
Do you ever feel as if you are under relentless attack? These attacks could be from Satan or Satan’s emissaries. Let’s be honest, sometimes Satan uses enemies within the church. Ezra faced such attacks. Remember Ezra’s task was to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. As he undertook this task he came under attack. Consider the relentless nature of the attacks he faced.
How are you living proactively? Specifically, in what ways? It seems the best way to answer this question is to share a definition so that we’re all on the same page. One definition states: the “action to control a situation rather than just responding to it after it has happened.” As pastors are we controlling the situation or merely responding to it?
If somebody were to suggest that you take a break from ministry would you accept it as a meaningful suggestion or an unwanted piece of advice? Ministry breaks tend to come in two varieties.
I recently read Andy Stanley’s book, Visioneering (God’s blueprint for developing and maintaining personal vision). I recommend the book, as you consider vision casting. The book is worth the read, just to get to chapter seventeen. In this chapter Andy discusses distractions.
This past Sunday a lady walked up to me after the morning service and said, “Thanks for the sermon.” That simple statement was like extra frosting on a cake, a cherry on a hot fudge sundae. Pastors need to hear encouraging words. Why?
Encouraging words do just that, they encourage. All of us need encouragement. Without it the well soon runs dry.
Last month I attended the Louisiana Baptist Evangelism conference. At the conference I heard a sermon that was encouraging and convicting to me. This sermon was about our attitude toward people.
Evangelist Phil Waldrep preached from the neglected passage in Rom. 16. In this passage Paul sends greetings to various people with whom he was associated. Almost half of the chapter was devoted to “greeting” these people. To be honest, the passage is somewhat monotonous to read. Bro. Phil shared three truths that made this passage come alive.
Last week I visited with a pastor who acknowledged he is living in a cave. He went through a painful exit at his previous church, is suffering with health issues, and his family is struggling with financial challenges. The story could represent anyone who serves in ministry. This pastor added a detail that all of us should heed. He admitted he is living in a cave (Tim’s interpretation). He acknowledged that the pain and discouragement he has experienced has caused him to withdraw. So, at the present moment he is a cave dweller.