Church Leadership

A Little Understanding – The Footings

People often ask, “Why does life suck?” For those who find the language offensive, please forgive me, but it wouldn’t be a quote if I tried to soften it. Pastors may use more carefully chosen words, replacing the offensive ones and reworking the question this way: “Why is everything a struggle at my church?” I would never go as far as to say the solution to life sucking or a struggling church is Proverbs 3:5-6, but I can say the solution to navigating through these times is not in your hands, your strength, or how you understand things. The solution lies in letting God take over, and He will plot the course. He will carry the weight. “He will make your paths straight.”

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A Little Knowledge – What We See Becomes What We Know

Many personal growth, church growth, and outreach how-to books and motivational sermons are “mirrors,” or to bring it back around to the building metaphor, pictures of the décor. They address the appearance. This isn’t a bad thing. Appearance will go a long way when it comes to enticing people to visit your church or ask about your faith. What people see demonstrates the commitment, enthusiasm, and passion of Christ followers.

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Joy

Boy, I struggled with this Advent theme! I feel… I guess I should stop there because I have already started off on the wrong foot. Joy is not a feeling. Joy is supposed to be a constant. Joy is not influenced by situations but rather situations should be influenced by joy with one notable exception. Joy should grow stronger as we recognize that God has a plan no matter what situation we go through. Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve, when it comes to me and joy. Often I allow my feelings to bury my joy, even deplete it. Joy shouldn’t be influenced by situations but if Satan has his way, joy is all but eliminated or at least forgotten/overlooked when life doesn’t go the way we had hoped…

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Love

What does love mean? I am lost in a sea of ideas most of which end up suggesting that I benefit from love. I cannot argue against this idea. Whether I apply a worldly/cultural definition or a biblical one, love always benefits me. That being said, true love in its purest biblical form doesn’t set out to benefit the one who practices it. When one sets out to love like God loves, one must accept that the benefit comes from obedience to the calling of God to love one another. When we love like God does if we expect it to benefit us by making us feel good, we will soon become jaded and withdraw from this practice. Loving like God loves more often than not, hurts…

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Peace

As we continue the Advent series we find ourselves with the same dilemma as we did with Hope. The biblical definition of peace, like hope, does not match the world’s definition. We find in the prophesies of Isaiah a difficult passage about the coming Messiah. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. Isaiah 9:6-7a (NIV). I personally do not doubt that Jesus was the one Isaiah was referring to but I believe that you can put up a good argument that peace was not and still has not been realized through His arrival. As a matter of fact, things actually became less peaceful once He established a following during and after His life on earth. Even Jesus said…

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They Told Me I need To Write A Blog, I’m Glad I Did!

It was August of this year that I penned a blog of lament called They Told Me I Need To Write A Blog. I felt like giving up. I had no job and, because I am a Transitional Pastor, the odds were not in favor of me getting a job; pastors aren’t leaving churches during the uncertainty of COVID. I was ready to give up. I had started blogging because I needed to get noticed if I was going to find a publisher for my book. That’s what I was told so that’s what I did. Blogging ended up being more than just a way to get noticed. I fell in love with writing my blog but even more, I loved the friendships I formed in the blogging community. The book was why I started blogging and, as tough as it was to accept, maybe blogging, not the publishing of the book was why God inspired me to write it in the first place…

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