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Category Archives: Church Practice

20 Things You Should Know About Your Pastor (reblog)

Here are twenty things I believe are true about most pastors I know.
I hope you will work together with your pastor for the good of the gospel!

1. He loves God and you a lot. (Be mindful.)

2. He is a painfully limited human being. (Be realistic.)

3. He probably has a pretty low view of his “performance”. (Be kind.)

4. He wishes he were a better preacher. (Be awake.)

5. He really does want God’s best for you and your family. (Be open-hearted.)

6. His work knows no time or locational boundaries. (Be patient.)

7. He hears much more negative information than positive. (Be encouraging.)

8. He has chosen a vocation in which few remain. (Be praying.)

9. He has chosen a highly leadership-intensive call. (Be lead-able.)

10. He needs help. (Be available.)

11. His God-given vision is bigger than himself and the church. (Be faith-filled.)

12. He wants to personally meet all the needs, but knows he can’t. (Be understanding.)

13. He’s going to say some dumb things every now and then. (Be forgiving.)

14. His family is patient with you, so be patient with them. (Be conscientious.)

15. He is greatly encouraged by your faithfulness. (Be there.)

16. He is passionate for God’s Word to be made practical to you. (Be hungry.)

17. He longs for church to be your spiritual oasis. (Be loving.)

18. He dreams for your and your family’s spiritual health. (Be receptive.)

19. He needs to hear that you prayed for him. (Be interceding.)

20. He’s just a regular guy. (Be real.)

 I stole this from: Cary Schmidt @ http://caryschmidt.com/2014/02/20-things-you-should-know-about-your-pastor/
 
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Posted by on April 11, 2015 in Church Practice, Just For Fun

 

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The Life Saving Station

On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur stood a lifesaving station. The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat, but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea and with no thought for themselves went out day and night tirelessly searching for the lost. Many of those who were rescued and also others from the surrounding area wished to become associated with the station and to give their time, money, and effort for the support of its work. New boats were bought and new crews trained. The lifesaving station grew.
In time some of the crew became concerned that the station was so crude and poorly equipped. They felt that a more commodious place should be provided as the first refuge of those snatched from the sea. The emergency cots were replaced with beds, and better furniture was purchased for the enlarged building. The station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they decorated it beautifully and furnished it exquisitely. Fewer members were now interested in leaving the plush station to go to sea on lifesaving missions. So they hired surrogates to do that work. However, they retained the lifesaving motif in the club’s decorations, and a ceremonial lifeboat lay in the room where club initiations were held.
One dark stormy night a large ship was wrecked off the coast, and the hired crews brought in boatloads of cold, wet, half-drowned people. They were dirty and sick and obviously from distant shores. The station was in chaos. The event was so traumatic that the people contracted for outbuildings to be constructed so future shipwrecks could be processed with less disruption.
Eventually a rift developed in the station. Most of the members wanted to discontinue the station’s lifesaving activities as being unpleasant and a hindrance to their normal social life. Some insisted, however, that rescue was their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a lifesaving station. But the latter were ignored and told that if they wanted to keep lifesaving as their primary purpose, they could begin their own station down the coast, which they did. Over time those individuals fell prey to the same temptations as the first group, coming to care more about comforting one another than rescuing the perishing. After a while a few, remembering their real purpose, split off to establish yet another lifesaving station. And on and on it went. Today if you visit that seacoast, you will find a number of impressive lifesaving stations along the shore. Sadly, shipwrecks still occur in those waters, but most people are lost.

-R. Kent Hughes (Adapted from “The Life Saving Station by Theodore Wedel)

 

We Need Each Other

We Need Each Other

“let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” -Hebrews 10:24,25

Notice the language in this passage: us; one another; our; assembling together… without question God wants the church to be united.

Jesus prayed that we would “be one” (John 17:22) and when the church is assembled, united in the purpose of receiving instruction, worship, and service, -that prayer is fulfilled.

Notice the word “stimulate” – that’s the Greek word paroxusmos and can mean sharpen or provoke.
This is what happens when we stick together, we sharpen each other’s faith and walk. The wisdom of the proverbs puts it this way: “Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17

So what happens when members of the body of Christ decide to withdraw or not participate or assemble together?

History provides a great lesson in this regard… when the children of Israel entered the promised land, there were two and a half tribes that did not want to go in to the land with the rest of the nation. They found land east of the Jordan that they felt was “better for them.”
Although God wanted the nation to dwell and participate together, these tribes were allowed to settle apart from the rest of the nation.
Over time those tribes faded out of the record of the nation. They produced no great heroes or prophets, and are gone from the annuls of history.

Staying together is not always easy, and there are legitimate reasons to part company with a particular group, but “not gathering together” is both unbiblical and unwise.

When individuals withdraw from the church, both the individual as well as the church suffer loss. Sometimes that loss can be significant.

Paul gave us the image of the body in terms of our human body, with limbs and parts that all work together as a whole (1 Corinthians 12). He says: “God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired” – 1 Cor 12:18
This is God’s work!

Imagine if your eye decided it no longer wanted to be a part of your body. What if it could separate itself from you.. just pop out and run away!
It would quickly wither and die, and the rest of the body would suffer.
Just as the body needs the individual parts, the individual needs the body.

Christian, don’t listen to the voices that claim that there are deficiencies in the corporate church gathering and that withdrawing is the answer. There will always be problems in every church and every family, because we are all broken sinners. Remember that this is God’s plan, method, and expression in this current age.

We need each other, and it could be, that we need your ideas, gifting, and input to make us all better!

 
 

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Expecting Too Much.

I read this recently and thought it captured the feelings that we pastors sometimes have when people want us to fix them, and they do not seem interested in being an active disciple themselves.

A man had given much thought to what he wanted from life. After trying many things, succeeding at some and failing at others, he finally decided what he wanted. One day the opportunity came for him to experience exactly the way of living that he had dreamed about. But the opportunity would be available only for a short time. It would not wait, and it would not come again. Eager to take advantage of this open pathway, the man started on his journey. With each step, he moved faster and faster. Each time he thought about his goal, his heart beat quicker; and with each vision of what lay ahead, he found renewed vigor.

As he hurried along, he came to a bridge that crossed through the middle of a town. The bridge spanned high above a dangerous river. After starting across the bridge, he noticed someone coming the opposite direction. The stranger seemed to be coming toward him to greet him. As the stranger grew closer, the man could discern that they didn’t know each other, but yet they looked amazingly similar. They were even dressed alike. The only difference was that the stranger had a rope wrapped many times around his waist. If stretched out, the rope would reach a length of perhaps thirty feet.

The stranger began to unwrap the rope as he walked. Just as the two men were about to meet, the stranger said, “Pardon me, would you be so kind as to hold the end of the rope for me?” The man agreed without a thought, reached out, and took it.” Thank you,” said the stranger. He then added, “Two hands now, and remember, hold tight.” At that point, the stranger jumped off the bridge. The man on the bridge abruptly felt a strong pull from the now-extended rope. He automatically held tight and was almost dragged over the side of the bridge. “What are you trying to do?” he shouted to the stranger below.” Just hold tight,” said the stranger. This is ridiculous, the man thought.

He began trying to haul the other man in. Yet it was just beyond his strength to bring the other back to safety. Again he yelled over the edge, “Why did you do this?” “Remember,” said the other, “if you let go, I will be lost.” “But I cannot pull you up,” the man cried. “I am your responsibility,” said the other. “I did not ask for it,” the man said. “If you let go, I am lost,” repeated the stranger. The man began to look around for help. No one was within sight.

He began to think about his predicament. Here he was eagerly pursuing a unique opportunity, and now he was being sidetracked for who knows how long. Maybe I can tie the rope somewhere, he thought. He examined the bridge carefully, but there was no way to get rid of his new found burden. So he again yelled over the edge, “What do you want?” “Just your help,” came the answer. “How can I help? I cannot pull you in, and there is no place to tie the rope while I find someone else who could help you.” “Just keep hanging on,” replied the dangling man. “That will be enough.” Fearing that his arms could not hold out much longer, he tied the rope around his waist. “Why did you do this?” he asked again. “Don’t you see who you have done? What possible purpose could you have in mind?” “Just remember,” said the other, “my life is in your hands.”

Now the man was perplexed. He reasoned within himself, If I let go, all my life I will know that I let this other man die. If I stay, I risk losing my momentum toward my own long-sought-after salvation. Either way this will haunt me forever. As time went by, still no one came. The man became keenly aware that it was almost too late to resume his journey. If he didn’t leave immediately, he wouldn’t arrive in time. Finally, he devised a plan. “Listen,” he explained to the man hanging below, “I think I know how to save you.” He mapped out the idea. The stranger could climb back up by wrapping the rope around him. Loop by loop, the rope would become shorter. But the dangling man had no interest in the idea. “I don’t think I can hang on much longer,” warned the man on the bridge. “You must try,” appealed the stranger. “If you fail, I die.”

Suddenly a new idea struck the man on the bridge. It was different and even alien to his normal way of thinking. “I want you to listen carefully,” he said, “because I mean what I am about to say.” The dangling man indicated that he was listening. “I will not accept the position of choice for your life, only for my own; I hereby give back the position of choice for your own life to you.” “What do you mean?” the other asked, afraid. “I mean, simply, it’s up to you. You decide which way this ends. I will become the counterweight. You do the pulling and bring yourself up. I will even tug some from here.”

He unwound the rope from around his waist and braced himself to be a counterweight. He was ready to help as soon as the dangling man began to act. “You cannot mean what you say,” the other shrieked. “You would not be so selfish. I am your responsibility. What could be so important that you would let someone die? Do not do this to me.” After a long pause, the man on the bridge uttered slowly, “I accept your choice.” In voicing those words, he freed his hands and continued his journey over the bridge.

-Rabbi Edwin Friedman in Peter Scazzero’s book: The Emotionally Healthy Church: A Strategy for Discipleship That Actually Changes Lives

 
 

The Myths Of Faith Healing…

There is a great article by Larry Keefauver over at Charisma regarding faith healing.
Here is a summary of the myths..

Myth #1 is that God always heals now at the initiative of our faith.

Myth #2 is that if you stand fast in faith, you will be physically healed in time and space.

Myth #3 is that if you just confess your healing, you will be healed right now.

The faith healers on television and elswhere have done a great disservice to the world with their twisted view of biblical healing.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2011 in Church Practice, Teaching

 

Do You Love Him?

“What! is Christ thy Brother, and does he live in thine house, and yet thou hast not spoken to him for a month? I fear there is little love between thee and thy Brother, for thou hast had no conversation with him for so long. What! is Christ the Husband of his Church, and has she had no fellowship with him for all this time? Prayer is the outcome of that sense of need which arises from the new life; a man would not pray to God if he did not feel that he had urgent need of blessings which only the Lord can bestow. Prayer is the autograph of the Holy Ghost upon the renewed heart.”

-Charles Spurgeon

It makes me wonder, why so few enjoy, I mean truly enjoy prayer.

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2011 in Church Practice, Meditation

 

Saddleback Health & Fitness Seminar – Infomercial for Sustainable Development

Is this the mission of Jesus?

Ponderings From Patmos: Saddleback Health & Fitness Seminar – Infomercial for Sustainable Development.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2011 in Church Practice

 
 
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