When you are a pastor,there are two primary elements of your ministry that you and the people in the church agree upon. You study the Bible and you tell people about it. Whether you preach, teach, or write, most people understand these as basic elements to what you do.
Another element of pastoral ministry is counseling. Real counseling isn’t just listening and being a friendly ear to hear about people’s problems, though some who go to a pastor’s office think of it like that. It also involves sharing biblical guidance for this problems and situations.
A result of all of this talking about the Bible is the impulse for a pastor or Bible teacher to try to speak into everyone’s life as a pastoral influence. But we do not have permission to be such a voice in to every life we are connected with or bump into.
Continue reading “You can’t be “pastoral” with everyone: 5 questions to ask before we get pastoral”
Jesus made a lot claims during His life. Son of God. Forgiver of sins. Son of David. Lord of the Sabbath. The “I AM”. When Jesus asked what the Disciples thought of Him, Peter called Jesus the Messiah (Matthew 16:13-16).
Messiah literally means “anointed one”. It is, in part, a reference to the anointing of a new king. It is a perfect match for the One destined to ascend the everlasting throne of David, to rule over Israel, every nation, and all of creation.
When Jesus was received like a king to Jerusalem, everything the people hope for falls into the picture of Messiah. The title drew a very distinct picture in their minds. it should do the same for us. But are we looking for the right Messiah?
Continue reading “Which Messiah are You Looking for?”
Life isn’t perfect and rosy. It’d be nice, but it’s alright to be honest. Stuff happens. Sometimes there are a lot of pieces to pick up and put back together, or to scrap in favor of something new.
But fixing troubles isn’t easy, either. It gets worse depending upon the number of people involved in the situation, and how long the trouble has gone on. Eventually someone has to step up and tell the hard truth, to tell it like it is so the group can move on to what is possible.
Continue reading “Six Tips to Remember Before You Speak the Hard Truth”
Leadership is a responsibility. Some people desire a place in leadership so they can have a say or be the one calling the shots. They don’t want to be told to clean the bathroom, they want to be the one doing the telling. Others are thrust into leadership without asking for it. There are few who really understand all there is to know about leadership.
The very first thing to consider, for everyone who aspires to lead, is the issue of responsibility. John Maxwell often says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” Scripture warns those who want to be teachers about their higher level of responsibility. Surely God considers the work of a leader to hold as much weight, if not more. Old Testament prophets often delivered God’s judgment on leadership for their failures that had destructive consequences on the people.
If our individual assemblies were meant to coast their way downhill, ending up wherever whenever, God would not have ordained leaders or provided the spiritual gift of leadership. The fact God places people in authority means that authority is as special to Him as those being looked after. It is no small thing.
Continue reading “It’s Okay to be a “Sensitive” Leader”
After a recent meeting with our leadership team, one of them mentioned how he thought we had a good group. He had heard about church board meetings that involved a lot of yelling and screaming and said with confidence that we should not have to worry about that.
Another team member told a couple of stories from his experiences in those meetings, and agreed with the first’s assessment that we currently have a great group. He also mentioned how one of those big boardroom fights led to innocent families being pushed out of the church.
That’s when I gave the same two-cents I usually share in a discussion like this. It’s the pastor’s job to make sure those situations are as close to non-existent as possible. One way to do that is to be a strong leader, willing to put your foot down. Some things just aren’t up for debate. The senior leader, whether it’s a pastor in a church board or the chairman of a business organization, has to be willing to say so.
Continue reading “When the Leader Speaks”