Posts Tagged ‘pastor’

Before I get into this blog, I want to put forward that I am making an assumption. I am assuming your pastor is called by God, preaches the Word, has a burden for the message God has laid on his heart that week, and begs the Holy Spirit to speak through him (or her) so the message is not the pastor’s but is coming from the Lord himself. If that is not a description of your pastor, you need to communicate with him and then look up my blog “Thinking about leaving a church?”

So moving forward with my assumption in place, let’s explore a story in Mark 3: 1-6

“Another time (Jesus) went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” Mark 3: 1-3

Here we have Jesus going to the synagogue, a tradition He would generally do to worship and to teach. This is much like your pastor today where he goes to his local church focused on teaching the Word. Now like some of our churches, He is there to teach to a group that is pumped, ready to dig in, and respect and encourage their pastor as well as those sitting back just waiting for the pastor to mess up to jump on him. Why people with this attitude don’t find something better to do with their time, I have no idea. It’s something hurting within them but it tends to happen at times.

Some pastors who are aware of these people get timid and very cautious with every little thing they say and do hoping to avoid a conflict. This is not the case with Jesus! He has the man with the damaged hand stand up in front of all to do what is right and loving. Every one is on the edge of their seats wanting to see what happens next.

“Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.” Mark 3: 4

Here it is…. a one sentence sermon in the form of a question. The law (that Christ came to fulfill so we are no longer under it through grace) said no work could be done and Jesus challenged it. Which is God’s heart on the Sabbath? Good or evil? Life or death?

No one said a word….. No one responded. This is not because they didn’t know the correct answer. It’s because they closed down their hearts and didn’t want to do the right thing. Didn’t want to follow God’s heart. They were hard-hearted and closed down.

This happens in our own lives at times during the message time too, doesn’t it? We know God is wanting to break down some walls in our lives. We know that He is calling us to do something, change something, or release something as the pastor brings the Word but we just decide to fold our arms, sit in the shadows, and decide to blow it off.

You might say, “Wait, Tom…maybe they didn’t know the right answer.” OK, let’s read on…..

“He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.” Mark 2: 5-6

Did you catch that?They would not submit to his challenge and encouragement to change and respond so Jesus was… ANGRY! We are used to Jesus getting angry at the temple and kicking out the money changers but here we see He gets mad at people who refuse Him. He was DISTRESSED at their stubborn hearts.

We get this view that Jesus is ever gentle with so much patience that we can do whatever we want…. whenever we want… and He will just sit on the sidelines until we need Him. Come on now!

He calls us for one reason; he wants us to respond. When you feel a challenge from your pastor in the Word, when you feel a conviction as you read the Word, when you know He’s trying to reach out to you……. Listen! Act! Move!

Will you act on the Word today or, like the Pharisees, will you blame the messenger and plot against him?

What you do with the Word……MATTERS!

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Got a flyer from “Care for Pastors” the other day and it had some statistics about pastors that I thought others might be interested in. When I used to get things like this before I was a pastor, I thought they were a stretch. Now after more than 10 years and meeting and talking with pastors from all over, I no longer do. It may sound self seeking but take care of your pastors as they look to invest into you and your families lives.

Statistics from “Pastors at Greater Risk” by H. B. London…


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A thought jumped into my head in the middle of yesterday’s message at church and I thought I would explore it a little more here in blog form. However, before I do, I want to let you, the reader, know that I am making some assumptions. If you do not fall into these assumptions, this blog may not be for you. I am assuming you are a Christian involved in a Christian community through a church. I am assuming you enjoy this church and have a pastor that is faithful and caring that you wish to encourage. If you fall outside of these assumptions, some of my other posts might be for you but this one might not fully apply. With this in mind, let’s move forward…..

Many pastor’s feel encouraged with nice words people give to them after a message that they enjoyed,  a sincere inquiry of how they are doing from someone, or, in the rare occasion, a card of appreciation from someone they care about saying a simple “Thanks”. These things are priceless even if they are just sparked in October by Hallmark (October is Pastor Appreciation month…. don’t forget!) However, these are not the bullet points I wish to cover in this posting (though they are vital to the pastor).


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I have read and discussed a lot over the years about watered down theology in the postmodern church but this is not one of those posts. This is a post from a pastor of a contemporary church who enjoys going to powerful conferences (Catalyst, Willow Creek GLS), reading blogs, listening to podcasts, and thumbing the latest books on church leadership. This is a post from a guy who has tapped into the teachings of many of the cutting edge church leaders that have solid theology and engage culture without watering it down. This is a post from someone in the mix who has to say that while there are many wonderful new things happening in the modern church in the area of leadership, there are some concerns as well. Quite frankly, the same old concerns done in an all new style. Here are just a few….


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Welcome to all those who are stopping by because they are checking out the “big” announcement from church yesterday. There’s a decent amount of info involved so I decided to go blog style so here it is….

When we started The Shepherd’s Fellowship, I felt led not to be part of a denomination. There were many benefits to this but also some downfalls including a lack of financial and resource support. However, the toughest part for me was not having the relational support. Not having other pastors and churches around our ministry to work together, have accountability, and to encourage one another. I looked at church networks and pastor coaching possibilities and could not find anything that seemed to be a match to the relational ministry we felt called to. I also looked for years for sister churches and pastors that I felt a close connection to. While I found many that I love and cherish, I found only one church and only a couple of pastors that I felt a partnership with even close to what I was looking for.


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Well, I covered the two main issues I noticed the week I spent with Doug Pagitt, Solomon’s Porch, and Emergent. So now, onto a minor. Now this topic will have to do more with Doug Pagitt who is one of the leading voices of Emergent than Emergent as a whole.

I know several who care more about debating some of this stuff out will want to debate the history of preaching and it’s role in the church. Some may even be tempted to start a campaign about how too many churches worship the pastor over God and this needs called out. This is not what this blog is about. It is some observations that due to the above stated concerns, some may rebel to the far other opposite to where they also offer a negative output.


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