Ministry can be tough.
Our hearts are prone to dissatisfaction and grow weary very quickly. When the pressures of pastoral ministry begin to stack up, the desire to run creeps in. We find ourselves continuously unhappy with our circumstances and begin to wonder what it would be like to pastor a different church or serve in a different capacity.
We begin to pray whiney prayers like “Lord… you know my situation,” “These people are just so _____,” or “I’ve been here for ____ years now.” or “I can’t handle one more person leaving…”
Discontentment is a weed that distracts from God’s will for your life. Foundationally, discontentment is pride. It begins to grow in the heart when you begin thinking you deserve better or more than you have been given. The motive for pastoring shifts from sheep-tending to shepherd-wandering. You begin to pursue what’s next for you and look at your current role as a launching pad for your next church that you truly believe is much better than the one God has you at now. You begin to gaze away from your flock which results in neglecting them.
Pastor, you primary calling is to the people God has you with now, not who you think you deserve… or who you want to have…. or who you wish you had. Your ministry is to who God has given you. As we labor faithfully in our current positions, we are to do so with an assured understanding that God has us where he wants us and will move us when and where he wants us, in his timing, not ours. He has called us and prepared us for these days. When you feel week, remember that we minister in his grace and strength, not our own.
As we consider God’s course of history in light of our circumstances, let us remember that our enemy has already been defeated. His head has been crushed and our King has been crowned. And our King is working all things to the glory of his great name. Your current position has been given to you by him to shepherd faithfully and live for his glory, not your own.
Stand confidently and contently in God’s pleasing placement for you and your family, until he moves you otherwise. Discontentment will lead you to despair.
Dear Future Pastor,
I know you can’t see it, but God will take care of you.
You don’t know how you are going to pay for tuition.
You don’t know how you’re going to pay for housing.
You don’t know how you’re going to pay for food.
I get it.
You are afraid it will be too much.
You are afraid you won’t be able to handle the workload.
You are afraid you will do poorly.
I’ve been there.
Continue reading “Seminary and the Faith to Move: An Open Letter to Those Contemplating Theological Education”
Job challenges and transitions…
Blindsided moments in life…
All of these bring much chaos to our lives causing much worry, anxiety, and fear. Often we find ourselves with all sorts of questions for God, asking “Why me? Why now? Why can’t I just have a normal day Lord?”
Continue reading “6 Words That Will Change Your Perspective Each Day”
This coming June 16-17, thousands of Southern Baptists will gather in Columbus, Ohio, for our annual meeting. In light of the approaching convention, I want to share 7 reasons why I believe pastors should join us in Columbus.
1. Gospel Legacy. This will be the 158th session of our 170-year history. That’s right… 170 years and 158 meetings. It’s important for us to understand the faithful gospel legacy that has been passed down from generation to generation since 1845. We have not been a perfect denomination. In fact, we have a tainted past when it comes to subjects like racism and abortion. But we have sought to repent of our past and chart a biblical way forward.
When faced with a liberal trajectory, faithful men and women fought to bring our convention back to understanding the biblical inerrancy of the Holy Scriptures through what is known as the Conservative Resurgence. Over the last 170 years, many under the banner of Southern Baptists, have contended for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. The task of continuing this great gospel legacy now rests with us.
2. A National Call For Prayer to All Southern Baptists. One of the highlights of this year’s meeting is a prayer gathering. On Tuesday night, June 16, Dr. Ronnie Floyd and other SBC pastors will lead our convention attendees in a time of intentional prayer over many different matters concerning our denomination and country. Thousands will unite under one roof, asking God to bring about a great awakening across the world and accomplish the Great Commission in our lifetime. This extraordinary gathering of men seeking God through prayer and petition is one not to be missed.
Continue reading “Seven Reasons Why Pastors Should Attend the SBC Meeting in Columbus”
Prayer is necessary for the Christian life. It is our daily communication with our Father in heaven who loves to hear his people pray. One of the resources that accompanies my daily time alone with God is The Valley of Vision. The book is a collection of Puritan prayers and helps me learn to pray. I am daily in need of deepening my walk with God and there is much to learn from these prayers. When I read the prayers, I read them unto God as if my own, declaring my need of him daily.
The prayer I read this morning is titled Paradoxes and I hope it helps you think through your own need of daily grace and mercy.
O CHANGELESS GOD,
Continue reading “Paradoxes”
The Great Commission given to us by Jesus Christ is a command for his Church to carry the good news of the gospel of Christ to every urban center, street corner, African bungalow, and farmhouse across the globe. We are called by God to take the gospel to the nations, giving people the opportunity to turn from sin, believe in Christ Jesus, and have the opportunity to spiritually mature in him.
In recent years, the North American Mission Board has restructured, retooled, and reengaged with the primary task of planting churches. I am thrilled at what NAMB, under the leadership of Kevin Ezell, is doing to mobilize churches to focus on key influential cities, where most of the population in the United States live. It takes lots of people and lots of money over a long period of time to plant established, healthy churches. I rejoice in all God is doing through the North American Mission Board.
Championing church planting in key and influential cities must be strategic and highly elevated. I gladly give each year to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and I highly encourage you and your church to give as well. But we must not delegate our church planting to just giving money and not sending people.
Continue reading “Planting Local”