Category Archives: Quotes

Parenting Teens

There is seemingly no end to advice on being a good parent – especially the parent of an adolescent. While my “parenting teens” years are in the rearview mirror (as are my youth ministry years), I think Kevin Huggins’ advice in the now out of print Parenting Adolescents is still the very best.

The key to becoming a more effective parent is to become a more godly person.

When I read this book 20 years ago I noted in my journal that there are three basic errors that parents (i.e., me) tend to make when it comes to dealing with problems with their children.

  • Misguided focus. The focus of a disappointed parent too easily becomes that of changing or controlling his or her teen’s outward behavior often seeking to eliminate our feelings of distress.
  • Misdirected Goals. A parent’s goals can be considered misdirected when they are aimed at getting their desires fulfilled by people or circumstances – for example, getting their children to do what the parent wants – instead of their relationship with Christ.
  • Misplaced Dependency. When we choose not to depend on God to satisfy the desires that battle within us, our dependency comes to rest in our own ability to get people (like our kids) to come through for us.

We must focus first on meeting the true need in others rather than the need in ourselves and find the strength to do that in Christ – even when that requires trusting God to protect our children. We so often create damaging strategies of human effort to keep our worst fears from happening.


Quotes for Church Leaders 2

Another addition to my collection of quotes for leader types. 

Committees produce complexity instead of leadership. Committees don’t lead; groups don’t lead; only people lead. Search the parks in any city; you will see dozens of statues of leaders – and not one of a committee.

McIntosh and Martin

It is naïve and foolish to be surprised or immobilized by sick behavior in the church.”

John Cionca

A vision that costs nothing changes nothing and is worth nothing.

James Means

You cannot have impact without community. You cannot have community without unity. You cannot have unity without humility. You cannot have humility without experiencing the holiness of God

Joe Aldrich

We have too many people who have plenty of medals and no scars.

Warren Wiersbe

Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led. But it does mean loving and knowing the one who is leading. It is literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reason – a life of knowing Him who calls us to go.

Oswald Chambers

Being a pastor that satisfies a congregation is one of the easiest jobs on the face of the earth, if we are satisfied with satisfying congregations.

Eugene Peterson

There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.

Jonathon Edwards

No one can have a Biblically authentic ministry without hard work.

Kent Hughes


Quotes for Church Leaders 1

[This was originally a separate page on the blog, but I decided to move it to the main section and update with periodic posts]

While serving as Executive Pastor at Crossroads Bible Church I would include a quote from my then current reading on each week’s staff agenda. I’m adding them to my blog, a few at a time, because it seems a shame to keep them to myself. (Thanks to Amy Thompson, my former administrative assistant, for retyping them for me). Check back now and then for more…

“The worship of success is generally the form of idol worship which the devil cultivates most assiduously”

Helmut Theilicke

“A vision with no underlying sense of purpose, no calling, is just a good idea.”

Only mediocre people are always at their best.”

Somerset Maugham

“I used to believe that if everything’s going well, leave it alone, or as the old adage says, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ Now I know that’s wrong. The best time to try something new, to take risks, to move off in a different direction is in good times, not bad. Isn’t that what leadership is all about fixing things that aren’t broken?”

Visionary Leadership, Burt Nanus

“Worship does not satisfy our hunger for God; it whets our appetite. “

Eugene Peterson

“We have become too enemy-conscious, and can over-do the spiritual warfare aspect of intercession. We need to be more God-conscious; so that we can laugh the laugh of faith knowing that we have power over all the power of the enemy.”

John Piper, The Pleasures of God


“It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers that his Helper is omnipotent.”

Jeremy Taylor

“Rather than saying to culture, “This is what religion is,” [the churches] have been much more inclined to say to culture, “What do you want religion to be?” Rather than presenting religion as a system of meaning that insists on informing all of one’s life, [the churches] have broken it down and offered it as a wide variety of belief practice, program and service items.”

Reginald Bibby, Fragmented Gods: “The Poverty and Potential of Religion in Canada”

“Churches are therefore filled with baby Christians – people who are spiritual infants. That is a fitting description, because the characteristic that is most descriptive of an infant is selfishness. Babies are completely self-centered. They scream if they don’t get what they want when they want it. They are aware of only their own needs and desires. They never say thanks for anything. They can’t help others; they can’t give anything. They can only receive. And certainly there is nothing wrong with that when it occurs in the natural stage of infancy. But to see a child whose development is arrested so he never gets beyond the stage of helpless selfishness – that is a tragedy. And that is exactly the spiritual state of multitudes in the church today. They are utterly preoccupied with self. They want their own problems solved and their own comfort elevated. Their spiritual development is arrested, and they remain in a perpetual state of selfish helplessness. It is evidence of a tragic abnormality.”

John MacArthur, Reckless Faith

“Sin is often defined by how it affects man, not how it dishonors God. Salvation is often presented as a means of receiving what Christ offers, not as a mandate to obey what he commands. Many modern-day evangelists have reduced the gospel to little more than a formula by which people can live a happy and more fulfilling life. The focus has shifted from god’s glory to man’s benefit.”

John MacArthur, Drawing Near

“We are not sent to preach sociology, but salvation; not economics, but evangelism; not reform, but redemption; not culture, but conversion; not progress, but pardon; not a new social order, but a new birth; not revolution, but regeneration; not renovation, but revival; not resuscitation, but resurrection; not a new organization, but a new creation; not democracy, but the gospel; not civilization, but Christ; We are ambassadors, not diplomats.”

Hugh Thomson Kerr


A great leader never sets himself above his followers except in carrying responsibilities.”

Anonymous

When the not-so-still small voice of the self becomes the highest authority, religious belief requires commitment to no authority beyond oneself. Then religious groups become merely communities of autonomous beings yoked together solely by self-interest or emotion.”

Charles Colson, Against the Night

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

Alexander Graham Bell

“Jesus didn’t give us an impossible task; just one that requires us to move forward on our knees, depending upon his Spirit….”

Dick McClain

“Christian Community is simply impossible apart from Christian truth!”

Marshall Shelley, The Consumer Church

“In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome where it became an institution. Next it moved to Europe where it became a culture. And finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise.”

Richard Halverson, US Senate Chaplain.


“There are only three kinds of people in the world; those that are movable, those that are immovable, and those that move them.”

Li Hung Chang

“Never take down a fence until you know why it was put up. If you get too far ahead of the army, your soldiers may mistake you for the enemy. Don’t complain about the bottom rungs of the ladder; they helped you get higher. If you want to enjoy the rainbow, be prepared to endure the storm.”

Warren Wiersbe, On Being a Servant of God

“You can be young only once, but immature for a lifetime.”

Mark Wheeler

“There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God”

Jonathon Edwards

“Christian leaders are godly people (character) who know where they are going (vision) and have followers (influence). Leaders, who constantly walk with God and have a clear, significant vision, attract followers.”

Aubrey Malphurs, Planting Growing Churches for the 21st Century

“Not even evangelicals can straitjacket the Holy Spirit.”

Carl Henry


“Excellence is never cheap. It is costly. Constant care, serious preparation, and continual application are required. Excellence involves desire plus discipline plus determination.”

George Sweeting

“Between the great thing we cannot do and the small things we will not do, the danger is that we shall do nothing”

Adolph Monod

“Some minds are like concrete – thoroughly mixed and permanently set.”

Unknown

“Is our actual concern to see a vital Christianity flourish, or is it to secure a more orderly and less violent society to live our comfortable and self-satisfied lives?”

John D. Woodbridge



Pastoral Shortcuts

Quote without comment:

But prayer is not a work that pastors are often asked to do except in ceremonial ways. Most pastoral work actually erodes prayer. The reason is obvious: people are not comfortable with God in their lives. They prefer something less awesome and more informal. Something, in fact, like the pastor. Reassuring, accessible, easygoing. People would rather talk to the pastor than to God. And so it happens that without anyone actually intending it, prayer is pushed to the sidelines.

And so pastors, instead of practicing prayer, which brings people into the presence of God, enter into the practice of messiah: we will do the work of God for God, fix people up, tell them what to do, conspire in finding the shortcuts by which the long journey to the Cross can be bypassed since we all have such crowded schedules right now. People love us when we do this. It is flattering to be put in the place of God. It feels wonderful to be treated in this godlike way. And it is work that we are generally quite good at.

Peterson, E. H. (1989). Vol. 17: The contemplative pastor : Returning to the art of spiritual direction. The Leadership library (52). Carol Stream, Ill.; Dallas; Waco, Tex.: Christianity Today; Word Pub.; Distributed by Word Books.


Only the Grace of Christ

 “Only love for Christ has the power to incapacitate the sturdy love for self that is the bane of every sinner, and only the grace of Christ has the power to produce that love.”
– Paul David Tripp, A Quest for More, p. 105.

I found this quote on a couple of blogs this week. How little we seem to understand the selfish center within us that must consistently be brought to the Cross.


Quotes from Another Pastor’s File

Thanks to Michael at Behind the Leaf for sharing a personal collection of thoughts and quotes. I liked these for bringing an element of conviction:

  • Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former – Albert Einstein
  • Excuses are the cradle…that Satan rocks men off to sleep in. – D. L. Moody
  •  “You are no longer rewarded for the hours you put in, but what you put into those hours.”
  • “There are many of us that are willing to do great things for the Lord, but few of us are willing to do little things.” – Dwight L. Moody

 


Crazy Love

Francis Chan makes some powerful points in his challenging book Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God. His concern is that so many Christians are lukewarm. He would in fact question whether they have truly been saved – a judgment that comes from God himself in Revelation 3:15-16: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. (ESV).

Some convicting excerpts:

  • I quickly found that the American church is a difficult place to fit in if you want to live out New Testament Christianity. The goals of American Christianity are often a nice marriage, children who don’t swear, and good church attendance. Taking the words of Christ literally and seriously is rarely considered. That’s for the “radicals” who are “unbalanced” and who go “overboard.” Most of us want a balanced life that we can control, that is safe, and that does not involve suffering (p. 66).
  • We disgust God when we weigh and compare Him [God] against the things of this world. It makes Him sick when we actually decide those things are better for us than God himself (p. 95)
  • Are you willing to say to God that He can have whatever he wants? Do you believe that wholehearted commitment to Him is more important than any other thing or person in your life? Do you know that nothing you do in tthis life will ever matter, unless it is about loving god and loving the people He has made? (p. 95)

 

Chan has much more to say in this easy to read, yet thought-provoking little book about the “crazy, relentless, all-powerful love” of God. A much more in-depth review of the book is posted on Discerning Reader.