Archive for the 'Pastor' Category

25
Aug
12

Jesus and a “Social Gospel”

Over at Huffington Post, Rev. James Martin has “changed” three of Jesus parable to reflect a Gospel that is more palatable for those who don’t feel the need to help the poor and needy because it would only enable them. His re-rendering of Jesus’ parables are quite amusing, but also have the sting of conviction in them.

His three stories are from Mark 2:1-12; Mark 6:30-44; Mark 12:17-31.

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20
Aug
12

A Monday morning word for my fellow preachers…

Take heed, therefore, brethren, for the enemy hath a special eye upon you. You shall have his most subtle insinuations, and incessant solicitations, and violent assaults. As wise and learned as you are, take heed to yourselves, lest he outwit you. The devil is a greater scholar than you, and a nimbler disputant: he can transform himself into an angel of light to deceive: he will get within you, and trip up your heels before you are aware…You shall see neither hook nor line, much less the subtle angler himself, while he is offering you his bait… O what a conquest will he think he hath got, if he can make a minister lazy and unfaithful, if he can tempt a minister into covetousness or scandal!…If you will engage yourselves against principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places; if you will undertake to rescue captive sinners out of the devil’s paws; do not think that a heedless, careless course will accomplish so great a work at this.

Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor, pages 74-78.

14
May
12

Seth Godin for Pastors – Part 4

In his blog post on Worldliness, Seth Godin defines “Intelligence” as knowing a lot about a little and a little about a lot. He talks about how knowing a little about a lot has become exponentially more difficult as the internet gives us access to nearly everything that is known. (If only it gave us access to the unknown!)

Thinking about “worldliness” along with him, of course he doesn’t mean in the biblical sense, but in what we might call being shrewd, wise, or intelligent. It’s an important quality to possess. With all the talk in church circles of “engaging culture” and the like, this means we need to know at least a little about a lot.

However, Godin challenges, in our endeavor to know a little about a lot, we have to know a lot about a little. Pastors presume to understand the Bible and speak on God’s behalf from his Word. As a pastor, this is the one thing we must get right. I may not understand reality TV shows, modern art, or survival skills, but if I fail to plumb the depths of biblical knowledge, I have neglected my calling. After all pastors, Paul reminded Timothy to watch his life and doctrine closely.

14
Mar
12

Seth Godin For Pastors – Part 3

Yesterday, Seth Godin wrote about the “Mathematical Impossibility of Universal Delight“. I think he intends this to be another application of the saying, “you can’t please everyone”. Sometimes you can’t even please “someone”. Another important product of this Mathematical Impossibility is that neither you nor I can ever be correct all the time (maybe even most of the time?). So, for pastors and as a pastor, I think this calls for two responses. First, we must cultivate humility in our hearts. If you and I know we can’t always please everyone and at least some of the time we are wrong, then we must approach every truth claim, every church strategy, and every piece of advice we distribute with humility. Secondly, we must be faithful to our calling. Every leader we read about in the pages of Scripture was opposed at one point or another. Opposition to what we say and do as pastors isn’t necessarily an indication that we are going in the wrong direction. But, remember response #1.

25
Feb
12

Seth Godin for Pastors – Part 2

Seth Godin says “Time Doesn’t Scale“. Changing his thoughts into my words, the amount of time you put in isn’t necessarily proportional to the amount of work you get done. First, it depends on your profession. Secondly, it depends on your aptitude. Thirdly, it depends on your product. (It probably depends on lots of other things too, but we’ll stop at three.)

I don’t know what this may mean for an accountant, or a carpenter, or a photographer, or a teacher. But, I don’t have to. Whatever “product” needs to be created can often be done better and faster with increased aptitude. When I worked for Starbucks as a barista I got paid to make a product during a shift. When I became a manager, all of that changed. I needed to help baristas develop an aptitude. More drinks per hour meant more profit margin.

Now, I’m a pastor. I need to know what this means for me as a pastor. What “products” do I need to produce? Sermons? Bible Studies? Time for prayer? Time for people? 100 other things? For me, logging hours alone doesn’t always enable me to produce a better “product” in my study. Without devoting some serious time though, my product won’t be nearly as crafted as it should be.

One of my “products” right now is to find a meeting space for our church. Time and aptitude seem to be the solution for overcoming the obstacles things like the building code restrictions are placing in front of me.  I’ve got building code requirements working against me, but with increased aptitude (which includes networking), I should be able to find something soon (one would think). There’s no shortage of retail/office spaces, but it seems the code requirements are inhibiting us from repurposing spaces like that. Only time will tell how I can develop this “product”.

Sometimes you need to conquer the things you “have to do” so you can get to the things you “get to do”.

Pastoring is a weird job, maybe one day I’ll figure it out.

Seth Godin says, “Time doesn’t scale”. But I’ve heard it before as, “Work smarter, not harder”

Read Part One here.




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