Christian Living

Stop Loading Others with Baggage You Don’t Understand

My favorite people are those who really want to know all there is to know about God and His Word. They aren’t trying to better than anyone else. It isn’t a Bible Quiz competition or a “good Pharisee tactic.” Their heart just wants to get closer to God and serve Him the best they can.

One of my best friends is like that. He’s so hungry for more of God. He posts his daily reading completions on Facebook, more to keep on eye on himself than to impress anyone. Because he continues to learn and wants to understand better, we have some really interesting discussions.

Recently we sat together and he brought up one of my sermons he was listening to online. Since it was one of those rare occasions where we get our families together for a couple of days, we had one of those long talks. These are my favorite opportunities to find out if people really know what kind of baggage they are burdening people with.

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3 Characteristics of My Dream Church

A pastor has an enormous responsibility to the Church. Before all of the tasks of church life and ministry, they are entrusted with a vision from God, a Dream Church. This special message reflects on how this burden affects a pastor, as well as three characteristics of my personal Dream Church.


It’s Okay to be a “Sensitive” Leader

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.

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Christian Living, Ministry

When the Leader Speaks

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.

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The Spirit of Gifts

Part 4. The Holy Spirit is the giver of God’s Gifts to us. They are meant to be part of our lives, but do we forget why? What are the Gifts of the Spirit really for? The Spirit gives by His design and with specific intent. We need a change of heart to see the Gifts return.