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Posts Tagged ‘teacher’

Some people claim to speak what Jesus stood for but don’t match up to His words. Some people claim to say what Jesus believed but then find their Jesus is quite different than the Jesus of the Bible. Some people have walked away from Jesus based on what they have seen or experienced by others but never really got to know Jesus of Nazareth for who He really is.
Maybe it’s time to stop assuming you know Jesus and spend some time hearing His words and seeing His actions.

The Shepherd’s Fellowship is starting a new study this week through the gospel of John. John was one of Jesus’ best friends and an apostle. The reason he wrote this book is so that “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” John 20: 30-31

John knew he was writing to people who either knew little about the real Jesus and/or where leery of His claims. This time together will give you a chance to get a first hand account of the One who many worship, many deny, and many still seek.

As we start our study, John lays out the deeper purpose of his gospel as well as the two main themes we will see repeated time and again. We will explore three errors that the world thinks of Jesus and refocus ourselves into the truths taught as we dig into John together.

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I remember when I was a younger in the ministry, how excited I was to have mentors built into my education track. Each year, I would receive a new mentor to work with who had more years of training and experience than I did. I treasured the thought of mentors so much that I was the only student in my class that not only enjoyed the new mentor each year but asked my previous mentors is they would still mentor me.

However, with a little time and experience, I stopped feeling the need for my mentors as much. Actually, in some ways they became a little frustrating because they had come from different backgrounds and had different views than mine on where God was leading. As I would talk to them about issues that were coming up in day to day ministry, I found their perspectives were a little more frustrating than appreciated. My time with them became less and less as I felt I knew more than I used to and didn’t need their help any longer.

This was a mistake. This was going from being a toddler in ministry to being a teenager in ministry. I thought I understood things better than these heroes who had gone before me and I lost the benefit of their wisdom for a season. Yes, I was getting a better foothold under my feet of what God was leading me to do. Yes, they had different backgrounds and understandings of where God was leading me. However, instead of pulling away, I needed to learn more about submission, discernment, and wisdom.

As God shaped my understanding more, another strange thing happened. I starting become a mentor. I had people who were newer to ministry start reaching out to me for coaching. While it seemed odd at first, I was happy to help any way I could in the situations people were finding themselves since I have traveled that path before. It was encouraging to give advice that made a difference and put people into roles God was leading them to but needed someone to believe in them.

Some of those relationships continue today. They are my closest of friends and they mean so much to me. Many of those relationships went to the road side. After a little bit of time, they were no longer interested in counsel. They would still ask the questions but you could see their eyes glaze over as you answered. They would nod politely but then say something like “Thanks but I’m going to go ahead and do what I wanted to anyways.” with no consideration of a different point of view. Others would be so thankful for you believing in them to give them a role but within a short amount of time they change your counsel or authority from helpful to “getting in the way”.

I have learned not to be so bothered about it mostly because I did it to others in my past. However, I have learned after many years in ministry that the person hurting is the mentored more then the mentor.

I have mentors in my life. I love getting counsel from people who have different backgrounds and outlooks. I love to pray over and struggle over their thoughts and see where God leads me.

I have people that I mentor in my life. I love their hearts and passion for the work of the Lord. They have vibrant ministries and passion to help others. I love talking with them, praying together, and helping them avoid some of the mistakes of my past.

I have people in my life that have called me mentor but have since pushed that away. That’s ok. I went through that too. My prayer is they will seek other mentors and not try to do it on their own. Our personal views alone (or even as a leadership team) can get off base when we don’t get outside counsel. Seek Godly men and women who have been there before who can give you more resources than you have on your own.

Mentorship is awesome! It’s Biblical! The problem is when we shut it down without prayerful consideration.

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” Provers 15:22

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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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