I just launched a new podcast, Anchored in Truth where I address how the Gospel and life collide. In this introductory episode I talk with my wife Alyssa about what has happened these past 3 months and what Anchored in Truth is about.
In Deuteronomy 30 we get a glimpse not just for Israel entering into the promise land but a foreshadow of what Christ has done for us. The Word that became flesh, dwelt among us so that sinners could be saved!
A pastor is a leader. A pastor is a shepherd who is called to lead a group of people in growth with the Lord. He is to equip them for good works, and to live out the Gospel in their communities.
There are many great resources regarding Christian leadership. Pastor Craig Groeschel has a wonderful podcast on it. The President of Gateway Seminary, Jeff Iorg also has books and a podcast on leadership. Both I highly recommend. I do by no means have all the answers but wanted to share a new blog series called “Lead With.” I will describe important leadership convictions that I have learned through the years of pastoral ministry.
1) Teach change to make change
I am convinced that the Biblical model of church which is shared in Acts 2 reflects this. The early church was faced with some insurmountable odds. The culture was against them, the Jewish religious leaders were against them. Despite the resistance, what mattered was the Word of God being taught.
When we worship the Lord through the corporate reading and teaching of God’s word something happens; there is unity of hearts and minds. We stir one another up for good works as we meet on the Lord’s Day (Hebrews 10:25). Teaching change leads to change. True and lasting change takes time. The Lord does a change in the heart when the “why” is biblically taught.
2) The Gospel is attractive enough
We do not need to add more to this great truth! There is enough competing to get their attention of the people in your church. Pastor Dustin Benge tweeted recently, “Your people have been entertained to death this week. 27 hours of television, 24 hours of computer, 15 hours of cell phone, and 12 hours of radio.” The church has Jesus, the risen Savior who loves the church, died for the church, is for the church. We have that message to share with the community that Christ came to save sinners. This news out weighs, is greater than, and better than anything they will eve here. Jesus is enough!
Remember, what you win them with you win them to. This means you may get a crowd but you will constantly live in this cycle of having to outdo yourself each time to keep them. Yes, you may get people at the church but most events do not keep people at the church. What keeps them is the life-giving message of the Gospel taught and then shared through relationship. This fuels the flames of evangelism.
Jesus is and the one who builds His church (Matthew 16:13—26). Seek this great truth as you love one another and those in the community. As you live out the Gospel and are changed by the Gospel that is attractive to others (and can be offensive to some, Matthew 13:57).
4) Trust takes time to build, can easily be lost, and shouldn’t be taken for granted
I have been placed in new situations with new people before and I know trust is not always given quickly. It must be earned and proven. Trust develops through relationships of honesty and transparency. The serious role of a pastor comes with great responsibilities that should not be taken lightly. The pastor is the under-shepherd to the Chief Shepherd, Jesus. The pastor is to steward of the flock that God has given him. I am reminded that I am held accountable to God for not only handling the word of God but with how I shepherd the flock God has given me.
Trust is built and takes time; it can quickly be lost. Surround yourself with those who hold you accountable and encourage you to go forward. The message of the Gospel does not need to be given a black eye. The world is watching and we strive together for God’s glory through the relationship that the church has with one another. The bride of Christ is the church (Ephesians 5:32).
Christians have always adapted to the advancement of technology to be able to spread the gospel in different ways to reach more people. It was the Romans who created the road system which made it possible for the early church to travel with the message of Jesus Christ to the known world.
It was Johannes Gutenberg who created the printing press in the fifteenth century, which paved the way for the Bible to go from the hands of the affluent to the common person, from the hands of the religious elite to the peasants. The printing press made reading possible for so many people, which meant more people could read the Bible. The printing press paved the way for the Bible to be translated and mass produced for people to read in their native tongue. This was huge! It literally changed the world and how it communicated. Pastors now were able to print their sermons as pamphlets. Christians were able to adapt to this technology with the work of evangelism. Continue reading “Technology and the Gospel”
What is the biggest universal sport? I would say soccer. The one sport that is played in every country on a national stage is soccer. I have had the opportunity to go to several different countries and wherever I go I see soccer being played. They play with a beat-up ball, a can, or anything that they can kick; but it is still the same sport. Though the United States didn’t qualify (that’s a different blog post) and soccer may not be the biggest sport in the United States, however, it is a different story throughout the rest of the world.
The World Cup happens every four years and it may be the biggest event that occurs worldwide. It has been stated that 3.2 billion people tuned in to watch the world cup in 2014 (that’s almost half the world’s population) and you can assume that number is higher with this World Cup. Soccer is an international sport that touches almost every nation despite language barriers and differences. Soccer or “football” as its called in other parts of the world, points to a greater goal (no pun intended) that the Church is called to have. The Church (the global or universal body of followers of Jesus Christ made up of believers throughout history) is called to make disciples of all nations. What do the World Cup and Evangelism Have in Common? Continue reading “What Do the World Cup and Evangelism Have in Common?”
Yesterday marked the start of Passion week for Christians around the world with it being Palm Sunday. Every year, I try to direct my family on what did the last week of Jesus’ life look like? How can we look through the Gospels and see how he spent his week leading up to his death and crucifixion and ending with his resurrection? As a Christian parent we put the emphasis on what Easter is all about, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. A good resource that I keep going back to is The Final Days of Jesus by Andreas J. Kostenberger and Justin Taylor. Continue reading “Are You Ready for Passion Week”
My wife and I have the opportunity to attend a marriage conference. The conference is a little over seventy miles away from where we live and I drive an electric vehicle. The range on my car is a little over one hundred miles but that is if you drive at a reasonable speed (which means under the speed limit) and it is completely flat (which it was not) and there is no wind (which there was a lot). When I placed the address of the conference in the cars navigational system it said we would not make it on a single charge and would need to find a place to charge along the way. We took the cars advice, found a free charging station along they way, and sat and waited a little to charge the car enough to get us the rest of the way.
Marriage and electric vehicles have something in common. You need power to drive an electric vehicle just like you need Jesus Christ at the center of your marriage to glorify God in it. Continue reading “Marriage and Electric Vehicles”