Several weeks ago I wrote about an ugly church, the church at Corinth. Corinth faced many issues that made it an ugly church: division, immorality, lawsuits among members, problems with marriage, arrogance, and worship wars. We see similar issues in churches today. In fact, you may be serving an ugly church.
How do you relate to an ugly church? Paul gives us some wisdom. In II Corinthians 2 we find food for thought. First, we must exercise restraint. Paul said, “I determined this within myself, that I would not come again to you in sorrow.” (2:1) Paul restrained himself from making a painful trip to Corinth. He waited until God’s time was right.
Today I am feeling better than good. You might ask, “Are there days when you are not good?” The answer to that is yes and no. If, every morning, you asked me how I am doing, 90 percent of the time I would say good. However, there are days when things are better than good. Today is one of those days.
Have you ever stepped on a rotten piece of fruit? Such missteps are not a pretty sight. The pressure of your step might cause an explosion of gunk. Not fun Charlie Brown.
This image leads to the question of the day. Have you ever exploded under pressure? This often happens when you work with people and organizations, such as the church. The issue is not the pressure but how we cope with the pressure.
any pastors secretly struggle with measuring up to very successful pastors and churches. It’s tough, but it comes with ministry. People compare pastors. In this post I suggest a few ways to deal with this “measure up mentality.” I begin with one pastor’s experience. He received this e-mail from someone in his church. The names are changed to protect the innocent (uh, I mean the guilty).
As a minister, you have surely asked yourself, “Why do I do this?” When we ask such questions it usually comes at a time of discouragement or personal struggle. When discouraged or weighing motives, instead of asking the negative question, “Why do I do this?” I think it important to consider the positive, affirming statement, “Why I do this.”
Let’s face it; the church is not always pretty! In fact, there are times when we would say, “The church is downright ugly.” Laugh out loud or cry out loud? Regardless of our response, God has given us the responsibility of shepherding the church.
About two years ago I accompanied my sons on a hike up Mount Le Conte, a 6,593 foot mountain peak in the Smoky Mountains overlooking Gatlinburg, Tn. This is a grueling hike. I have made the hike a number of times. This particular hike was different. I was approaching my sixtieth birthday and my sons were in their 30s. The energy and age difference was obvious. I had to push on, even when I felt like my engine was running out of gas. (I can laugh about it now.)
Do you ever feel like you have it bad? All of us have been there. A good prescription for such times is studying the trials experienced by the Apostle Paul. I recently led a study of II Corinthians. A major emphasis in this book is Paul’s sufferings and trials. Any minister who reads this book will find his trials to be minimal in comparison. When we think we have the worst situation possible we can look around and find someone whose situation is worse. This is certainly the case when we compare our trials to those of Paul.
Judy and I have a dog named Lucy. Lucy is a delight to be around. She always wags her tail when someone approaches her. She always has a cheerful countenance. She will help you keep things in perspective. A while back I came home from work with a negative spirit. I walked into our home and Lucy helped me change my attitude. She convinced me to play ball with her. It is hard to play ball with a dog and not receive a new perspective.