Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Three things to remember if you are in ministry

Like many, I've attended more than a few "how to" seminars. I've been an active participant in seminars on everything from how to stay organized, how to do public speaking, motivate employees, run a successful fundraising campaign and open up a satellite church.

All of these seminars have one thing in common in their ability to list the top five or ten things that are necessary. I've always laughed when I thought of complying a 'list' of priorities when the very definition of a priority means that it needs to before or 'prior'. A list seems of ten or more seems to contradict the idea that anything is actually the priority or the most important.

I have however likely discovered three things to remember if you are in ministry. If you keep these things 'front and center', you'll have better days and restful nights. The three things are actually quite simple:

  1. The organization you are a part of has been around over 2,000 years and Jesus said "the gates of hell will not prevail against it". You can help or hurt the mission but the mission is bigger than anyone of us.

  2. Your most important tool in your tool bag is Prayer. It accomplishes more than everything else. Give it a try.

  3. We win. Read the end of the book....Revelation 21:3 "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God."

Friday, November 12, 2010

What are you doing here?

Have you ever felt alone? Have you ever felt that the weight of the world is on your shoulders and that your very future seems hopeless?

That time comes all too often for many. It’s often irrational as well since rarely do the things that we fear the most actually come to pass.

God asked that question, “What are you doing here?” to Elijah (1 Kings 10:9). He actually asked that exact question, “What are you doing here, Elijah” twice. When God asks us a question, it is for our benefit, for our self-examination as He already is fully aware of the answer. God doesn’t ask questions to learn anything.

Elijah was an amazing man of God. He commanded the clouds to dry up and bring no rain for three years and it didn’t rain. Her raised the son of the widow of Zerepath from the dead. He defeated the 450 prophets of the evil King Ahab and the false god Baal on Mount Carmel, and called down fire from heaven. Elijah then outran Ahab’s chariot all the way to Jezreel (about 28 miles…. quite a marathon!)

God however asks Elijah this particular question, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” because Elijah had then succumbed to doubt, fear and his own personal anxieties. While God had demonstrated amazing miracles at his hand and constantly provided for him, Elijah now feared for his own life.

Sometimes God needs to ask us the same question. Not because he desires to know the answer but He wants us to examine exactly in Whom our trust resides.

Elijah is often criticized for running for his life after seeing so many victories but I think many of us can relate. We often need to be reminded exactly what we are doing here and in Whom we trust.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Changing God’s Way

I received a pre-release copy of a new book today, authored by a good friend of mine. A few years ago, this new author, Dennis, was actually one of my interns. We've remained good friends and I've always enjoyed his friendship and his heart for God.

We spent literally dozens of hours together each month looking at scripture and talking about how the church is to reach and preach and teach. We also talked often about how the local church has been changing and trying to find new methods while preserving truth.

The fact that this 180 page “soon-to-be-released” book and the accompanying 75 page workbook was authored by someone that was my intern made me take notice. It reminded me of the verses in the book of Hebrews regarding how we are to remain teachable and also should in fact become teachers.

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. (Hebrews 5:11-13)

Maturity is something that needs to be taught. Without a Godly influence our maturity process is nothing more than aging. The process of maturing as a Christian is called discipleship. While there are many great programs and books out there (like my friend’s first edition), true discipleship requires a disciple-er.

Given a little time, we are to be both a learner and a teacher. Whom are you disciple-ing?

The Real Virus Is Fear

There is a virus that is attacking and ravaging this country but it is not Covid-19.   It is fear.  This fear is being spread by people ...