I want this fourth quarter of my ministry to make a difference for His glory. To be clear, I want to avoid seven dangers in my last years of ministry. And I know I can succumb to any and all of these dangers without His strength, His mercy, and His plan.
It is not easy to cultivate a peaceful mind in a storm. Sometimes, we encounter unpredictable storms in life and it is not just any kind of storm. It won’t be a serene breeze but a strong and destructive one.
Why are so many of our churches not moving forward? Since so many of our churches are in need of revitalization, let’s begin by seeing what roadblocks hinder turnarounds. Here are ten of the most common.
It started with the airport. As I arrived at Ashville, North Carolina, it felt at the very least cozy, if not completely reverent.
Jesus knows that we are carrying heavy burdens. In order to rest, we must come to Jesus with our heavy burdens. And we must lay down our heavy burdens before Jesus. We can rest when we put our heavy burden on Jesus. The secret of rest is in laying things down.
Though it is not an excuse, we must acknowledge that the pastors and other church leaders pay a high cost when they become intentionally evangelistic. Sometimes it just seems easier to keep our mouths shut about the gospel. Look at these costs to being an evangelistic leader in a local church.
During this third year of discipleship training, I had the privilege of serving in the women’s class. As a senior pastor, it is customary to serve the men’s group so serving the women was a bit of an exception.
One of my pleasures is to have an interest in new topics. Interest in new topics begins with encounter. New or unfamiliar encounters can help you to become interested in new topics.
Vocational ministry is a calling. It is not just another vocation. If you enter ministry for the wrong reasons, it is likely you will not do well. Indeed, it is likely you will not make it. Here are five of the most common failures.
The weather is very hot. But summer must be hot. We cannot resist the flow of nature. The most flexible life is to live according to the flow of nature.
The pendulum swings in churches. The congregation does not like a previous direction, so they overcompensate with the next move they make. Often, the overcompensation becomes a more challenging situation than the previous state.
The spirituality of service is the spirituality of Jesus. Jesus says that “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45).
They say that when a tiger dies it leaves its leather, but when a people die they leave a legacy (their name). I regard that as the remnant of a life well lived. The reason why there is such an emptiness when a person passes away is precisely because of that remnant of a life well lived. When I think about our congregants that passed on before us, I still fully miss them as their legacy is left behind and remembered.
Sick churches become dying churches. Dying churches become closed churches. Those statements are factual unless some type of change or intervention takes place. But intervention or change is unlikely unless the church recognizes that it is sick.
Have you heard of the Billy Graham rule? It states that men should never have a one-on-one meeting with a woman who isn’t his wife. This rule recently came into the public eye when the Washington Post reported that Vice President Mike Pence “never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.”