Posts Tagged ‘Pastoring


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.


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.


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.


Seth Godin For Pastors

Seth Godin is a marketing guru who I find simply brilliant. He has a way of simplifying complexities. He has lots to say about communication, advertizing, and organizational systems. He also helps me think about many things which I wouldn’t otherwise because of a cognitive autopilot. He doesn’t write for pastors specifically, but much of what he writes about overlaps into the world of pastoring a church. So, I find it helpful to think, “What does this mean for me as a pastor?” when I read his blogs.

He wrote a blog awhile ago called “Who is your customer?” Does a pastor work for himself? A congregation? A denomination? In some ways, he certainly does work for one or all of these. But as I think about my job as a pastor, who do I answer to? If I fail to do my job adequately, who am I responsible to?

For me, and many pastors I know, we have only one customer. If I honor Jesus, teach others about Jesus, and follow Jesus, I’m successful. There may be other customers, but there is only one that I must answer to. This is refreshing and terrifying at the same time.

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