Monthly Archives: March 2007

124 Things Church Elders Do. 18 Things They Don’t

Leadership in the church is not an easy task. These lists on plodblog would be overwhelming to all of us in church leadership were it not for the power of God that works within us. Elders must not take these things lightly. Nor must the church take lightly the hard work of being an Elder in the church.

I am always stopped in my tracks when I reflect on the little two-letter word in Peter’s words to elders – “…shepherd the flock of God” (1 Peter 5:2) – it is not our flock, my flock, or your flock. It is God’s flock. Church leaders must always hold this truth humbly in the process of making decisions, guiding, leading, confronting, and otherwise shepherding the local flock.

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I Wonder . . .

… what would happen in the church if members truly desired men of God to preach the Word of God so desperately that they would develop a work and ministry plan like this one. So often today it seems that pastors feel pressure to do far too many things to keep the organization running, keep the people happy, keep up the appearance of success, that spiritual work is set aside. And preachers just forget the priorities and need to be reminded of the call and priorities of the pulpit. Yes, we are in a different era, with different methodologies abounding, and biblical resources for everyone almost without end. Yet … God will work amazing and powerful things through the local church preacher of proven character under the control of the Holy Spirit who infuses his message with that which only God can give and provokes godly responses (like repentance) more than a “feel-good” improved self-esteem.


Random Links

I’m not sure how some people have time to develop blog posts every day! This has been one of those weeks where it’s been hard to find time to get some quality time in Scriptures much less time to write. Therefore, I bring out a few odd links that I’ve been saving. 

I’ve not often found anyone who writes about the “announcement wars” in church. Cory Miller has and I think he makes some very good points.

I’m not sure what to make of this site. It seems we once again mimic rather than innovate. Do we really think that unchurched people will seek this out? I’m just not sure. Maybe I’m just not with it.

This young lady gets her wisdom from somewhere. I’m pretty sure that I’m not the source, but I’m proud to be called her dad. This post is pretty insightful. The quote at the end is great!

I was this blogger’s High School Pastor in Southern California. I’m pretty sure I had little to do with where the journey has taken him, but I like the insights he has into the missional church conversation. I still don’t like the term all that much but Dave is adding wisdom to the conversation and maybe I’ll change my mind.

You can’t get these pens in stationery stores in the USA. You can get them here. Great value if you like very fine point pens. They also have some cute stuff that seems to be popular in Japan.

[added 3/31] This service looks pretty interesting. I read about it in the Seattle Times this morning. I’ll try it and let you know if it adds value.

And that should be enough for now. From the blog ranked 627,892 on Technorati.com.


Two Things from a Wise Man

Mark Dever, the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in downtown Washington DC shares two lessons he has learned from the failure of a dear friend in the ministry. Both of them are true and should be considered by all in the church whether they are a pastor or not. 

Lesson number one:  no accountability relationships will work if there is not a commitment to honesty on the part of the person in question.

Lesson number two:  the public success of your ministry is no indication of the true state of your relationship with God. He goes on to say that “We shouldn’t be surprised that God can sovereignly have His truth preached through the mouths of hypocrites.  My brother minister, are you in a time of public blessing?  Don’t assume that necessarily has anything to do with how your own relationhip with the Lord is.”

I can’t improve on Dever’s comments so read the post. Mark is the Executive Director of 9Marks Ministries, “whose purpose is to help local churches re-establish their biblical bearings and re-think their ministry methods, by helping local church pastors and leaders in the discovery and application of the biblical priorities that cultivate health and holiness in the local church.”


Countdown

I’m not sure what to make about this as a tool for evangelism, but it could certainly make someone think about eternity. What do you think?


iGeneration

I have just begun reading Generation Me by Jean Twenge. The book is an exploration of the values, practices, and other lifestyle issues that dominate the those born in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Just two chapters in and I’m reminded of why it can be so hard to lead and pastor the generations younger than my baby boomer years. The author is a member of the early edge of this younger generation, born in 1971. The 70s were often called the boomer’s “me decade” but Twenge asserts that “compared to today’s young people, they were posers.”

Twenge seems to have used sound, objective research methods, and her observations in the introduction and chapter one certainly ring true with what I have experienced. This is not a Christian research book, but the insights will be helpful all of us in ministry. This is an extended generation that has been encouraged to speak their mind, reject conformity and question authority. Actually, Twenge says “GenMe doesn’t jsut question authority-we disrespect it entirely.” Essentially they have been raised with the undisputed conviction that the individual comes first … at least it does if they are the individual.

Twenge doesn’t really like the Generation Me label (I’ve found that none of the post-boomers like any label) and would rather use iGeneration instead … apparently that didn’t take with her publisher. I think it works on a couple of levels – the internet focus (also something shaping them) as well as the subtle play on “i” for individual.

Lest I offend any of my younger readers, I think we will find that all of us have the same sinful tendencies as leaders, followers, workers, parents, kids. I can be pretty self-absorbed, proud, individualistic, and hard to get along with. It just comes out in new ways as the culture continues to follow and live anything but the truth of Scripture. We all stand in need of God’s grace!

But Twenge holds that her generation leaves Boomers in the dust when in comes to self-absorbtion and that is both good and bad (or so she has foreshadowed in the early pages). They are more tolerant of differences, often more confident and definitely more open-minded, but they are also often cynical, lonely and anxious. And they are often depressed. I’ve been reading books about the emerging church and it’s younger leaders and members in the hope of being a better pastor/leader. This book will give me a better take on another generation that Jesus loves.


Why I Have No Garden

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These critters graze through our yard about once a week and enjoy a salad of ivy, and whatever else may try to grow around the house. They love roses, tulips, and whatever gras might poke through the moss I grow. For some reason, they don’t eat daffodils or dahlias … so guess what i grow? All in all it is still pretty cool to find wild animals in the midst of our civilization.