I thank God for the gift of music. I am particularly thankful for sacred, Christ-honoring music. Music is an integral part of worship and edification. It can draw our hearts closer to the Lord and reinforce scriptural truths in our minds, or it can weaken our walk with God and pull our flesh toward the world.
For thirty years, Dean Herring spent his life ministering in South Georgia. During that time, he spent eight years as a youth minister, two years in evangelism, and twenty years as a pastor. He had the privilege of preaching at numerous youth camps, marriage retreats, and conferences across the country each year. But after a visit to Treasure Valley in southern Idaho, God began to impress upon the hearts of the Herring family that He wanted them to move to the area and plant a Baptist church.
In 1989, First Baptist Church of Plattsmouth, Nebraska was on the brink of closing its doors. The church had been without a pastor for eighteen months. An elderly couple and one widow were the only church members remaining. But they decided to launch out by faith to call a new pastor. They believed God wanted their church to go forward, though many obstacles stood in the way.
Is There a Disconnect between Your Leadership and Your Relationships?
My generation tends to think of a strong spiritual leader as someone who is authoritative and able to administrate from a position of command. Indeed, we see leaders like this throughout the Bible—Joshua, Nehemiah, perhaps Paul.
There’s a lot of talk in our day about transparency. Some of it is just talk in which people try to create an illusion of transparency where there is none. But biblical Christianity is transparent and free of guile.
We know that God is more interested in the spiritual health of a church than its numeric growth. A spiritually thriving church will be reaching people with the gospel and seeing people added to the church, but a church focused only on growth may be seeing people added without true conversion or spiritual maturity.
The average tenure for pastors and assistant pastors is somewhere between three to seven years. There are many reasons why pastors and assistants move on. We cringe to hear of the bad reasons, but sometimes ministry transitions are good for all parties involved.
If planning counts as productivity, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is my most productive! This is my week for setting goals and planning out the “big rocks” in my calendar for the coming year.
When Terrie and I moved to Lancaster over thirty years ago, I began an eighteen-month season of intense personal outreach. Every week, I would knock on no less than five hundred doors personally with a church invitation and a purpose to share the gospel at the door.
I meet once or twice each year with the senior men of West Coast Baptist College to discuss ministry philosophy and personal growth. As we met last month, I was encouraged by their sense of anticipation and eagerness for getting into the ministry.
Every pastor has former church members and former workers. It has been said that the average life of a church worker is seven years. That may be the average, but I am sure it is not God’s intended norm. Here are a few simple thoughts to help people be faithful in the work of God over a long period of time.
There is no greater leader, than the Lord Jesus. Two thousand years after His brief earthly ministry, the impact of His leadership is still being felt, books are written about Him, universities named after Him, churches meet weekly to worship Him, He was a leader among all leaders because people today are still following him! Why did people follow Jesus?
North Valley Baptist Church was started by Pastor Calvin Blanton in the downtown area of Phoenix, Arizona, in 1956. For twenty-eight years Pastor Blanton faithfully led his congregation until he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in 1984.
Christians across America are frustrated. Some are discouraged. Some are fearful. Some are hopeless. Our culture is shifting before our very eyes, and there seems to be little to nothing we can do to stop it. We see the decaying morals and we sense the intolerance toward Christians growing around us.
If you’ve served the Lord any length of time, you know that the outward expressions of service don’t guarantee a consistent heart for the Lord. The same is true of serving on a church staff. Being in the ministry is no guarantee that you will be strong as a Christian or that you will be diligent in the spiritual disciplines of following God and serving His people.
Most of us have more ideas than time. That’s a good problem. It’s better than more time than ideas, for sure. The danger, however, is that we develop a tendency to also have more half-started projects than we have involvement. Once we’re convinced that an idea is something God has laid on our hearts—whether that be a new ministry, building, activity or event, project, or program—how do we act on it to bring it to completion?