readers of my blog...i'd love to hear your input, if you were a pastor (or are a pastor) post a comment and let me know what "one prayer" you'd pray for your church and let me know if your church is or would participate (then check out craig's video below)...btw, this reminds me, for some reason, of the promise keepers event in 1996 that brought 39,000 pastors from around the world (i was there) to the atl to unite, receive instruction, pray for one another, humble themselves and repent to one another for division and prejudice, and commit to walk in unity - Kingdom of God come!
coach richt is heading to the middle east to encourage our troops...let them know we're praying for them; and, coach some flag football against weiss and tuberville - how cool is that? gotta love the fact that he's a humble, God-loving, family-oriented man
he's a big reason why i'm a bulldog fan (and the fact that over half my life has been spent in georgia!)...
in essence, there are two key holidays that churches use to build from (Easter and Christmas...I would include Mother's Day, but he didn't) - and the question is...
Will they experience a weekend on par with your Easter service? Or will they find a bait-and-switch sucker punch waiting for them this week?
having served on staff in both small and large services, i must say, i was challenged by that quote - why? because i know the honest answer...
having said that, let me reference a quote from craig that puts into perspective some of what those in ministry have to go through...i dont' normally excerpt directly from other posts, but i feel this one warrents it (props to craig for a great series of posts he's doing right now)...
Pastors, your life is different.
I used to fight for the normal life. One of my mentors told me that as long as I strive for normal, I’ll fail. He encouraged me to embrace the differences of ministry and learn to flourish within those differences. (Living the balanced life will likely be impossible.)
in the words of bill o'reilly, "what say ye?"
Pastor, here are just a few ways your life is different:
- You prepare new messages every week for the same crowd. (I can’t think of any other profession who does this without the help of curriculum or speech writers.)
- You do what many managers or business owners do. (The short list includes: maintaining the building, building new facilities, hiring, training and firing staff, overseeing the budget, raising money, recruiting and leading volunteers, etc.)
- You shepherd the flock. You might counsel someone who is suicidal, meet with a couple who is about to divorce, do a funeral and a wedding before your preach on the weekend.
- You are rarely “off duty.” Like the doctor who might be on call one weekend a month, you are almost always “on call.”
- Though your hours are flexible, they are generally long and unusual. You work many nights, weekends and most holidays.
- You have the pressure of life in the “fish bowl.”
- Your role creates many social obligations.
- No matter how much you do, your ministry is never “finished.”
Some resent the differences. Some embrace them. I choose to embrace the differences and strive to follow Christ as my model instead of the culture’s cry for balanced living.
ps - the person who can guess the context of this quote will win the grand prize...
this is just one of those pet-peeve things of mine...why do i start something (or you) and then don't finish it? know what i mean? like, going through all my files and consolidating them...or, starting a page on the web (i.e., myspace, another blog, etc)?
so, i'm just processing out loud...i'm going to make a better effort at...before i first attempt something, i'm going to first decide if i'll finish it...
what about you?
- God is connecting people - it begins here! people are what make ministry, make churches, make progress - God is connecting people because together we can make much more of a difference (see Deut 32:30)
- resources are being made available - i've blogged about it before, it's nothing new - but more and more churches are opening up their resources, curriculum (which they developed and paid for), and personnel to be available to other ministries. i love this! this is the Body of Christ supplying to others as there is a need. (you've got to read this verse to better understand) - most recently, newspring in anderson, sc, had a one day conference called unleash - couldn't go? that's ok, they've posted video and pdf's online to resource people - love it!
- the Kingdom of God is being realized by those in the marketplace and the ministry - there's a cooperative relationship developing between these two that is going to PROPEL the church into the future - here's an example where one of the key leaders is al weiss (president of worldwide operations for walt disney parks and resorts) - he's part of an aggressive effort to fund church planting in rapid growth communities (think northside of atlanta - where the residential growth has surpassed church growth and leaves a spiritual vacuum in the community - simply put, there aren't enough churches!)
- aggressive is the word - timidity is "so yesterday" (to put it into modern vernacular) - leaders are realizing that moving forward requires the first part - MOVING! it's key and critical to live a life of risk - there is truth to the risk/reward paradigm - the higher the risk, the higher the reward
what are the blockages that hinder leadership?
below i've listed 5 that are easy to allow...
- lack of vision - easy enough - talked about it in this post - there's a ton of material available on the subject of vision...which leads to #2
- lack of learning - there's simply no reason to not be informed! there is too much information and too many resources available (many for free), to NOT be informed
- lack of exposure - being exposed to other models of leadership and leaders is key to perspective - let me explain...when you see a new model, you go back and evaluate your model (at least, hopefully you do) - that gives new perspective
- lack of passion - if you're not passionate, don't lead! (cause if you do...it won't be for long)
- lack of relationship - scripture is true when it says, "iron sharpens iron" - that means it takes relationships, to pound, forge and sometimes, put into the fire in order for you and i to continue to increase in capacity. we need relationship (first with God, then with others) - no iron can sharpen itself, it takes another!
- "Change is preceded by challenge, and challenging the status quo is where leadership begins."
- "As a leader, there is something in you that leans toward evaluating and critiquing everything you bump into organizationally."
- "Deep in your heart you feel that if you were in charge, things would not only be different, they would be better."
- "When you stop challenging, you have stopped leading and begun managing." And that's a problem!
- no vision - just what it says...duh!
- low vision - well, sorta what it says, more like "you-ain't-got-no-faith-vision"
- wrong vision - borrowed vision (someone else's), more like "you-ain't-got-no-prayer-and-seeking-going-on-to-get-vision vision"
- vague vision - little detail, more like "go-back-and-get-some-more-revelation-of-what-God-wants vision"
- God vision - just what it says...duh!
when you take your death sentence seriously,
you won't take yourself so seriously
you rely on God