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Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between

Feature Friday (05/18/18)

This past weekend my senior pastor preached on one of our church’s core values. (You can check it out here). It is the sixth core value we have as a church. While it may not be in the top three, there is one thing that we all quickly realized about this value. One thing that stood out to almost all of us pastors on staff about this value. This core value really defines and describes what our jobs as pastors are all about. So what is the core value?

Paul puts it this way in Ephesians 4:11-13, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,”. We value equipping others to do the work of the ministry. Which brought on a good discussion at our weekly meeting? Who are we equipping? How are we equipping? And what are we equipping them for?

All of these questions really took us to one topic: leadership development. It is a hot topic these days and very much needed, but the truth is the church is the one organization that should be superb at developing leaders. We should eat, breathe, sleep leadership development. Isn’t that what Matthew 28:19-20 is all about? Isn’t making disciples really about making others more into the image of Jesus? And wasn’t Jesus the greatest leader ever to walk the face of the planet?

While we all granted that leadership development is important and we must be doing it. The tough part was how do we develop leaders. There are many systems, formats, and structures to help an organization do that, but I love what Kevin Fontenot and Scott Magdalein discuss in this Thriving Ministry Teams Podcast entitled “Leadership Development Principles for Your Church“.

Enjoy and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash!

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Feature Friday (05/11/18)

I remember it like it was yesterday. I had just finished up my first year of college. Freshman year complete and in the books. Now it was time to head home. After one year of “living life on my own” I thought heading home would be nice and that I would enjoy my summer. Well, I did, but there was one thing I experienced that summer that I did not expect. What was it? I missed my church family.

This was a weird and unexpected reality for me, seeing that the church I was “coming home” to I had grown up in since birth. But the reality was for the first time in my life, while I was away at college, I built relationships with other adults who had never known me as a kid and treated me as a friend, adopted grandkid, and more. Thinking this was normal I asked a few of my buddies who had been away at college if they had the same experience. The results of those conversations revealed that I was the outlier. The abnormal one. The one who had a unique experience, but why.

As I dug into these conversations and interacted with my friends throughout the rest of the summer I realized one major theme. All of them believed one of the 4 Myths that Keep College Students from Joining a Church. Which is why I appreciate Jim Davis’ insight in his article.

If you are a college student and probably heading home right about this time of year I have two words of advice: 1) Enjoy your home church this summer (if you don’t have one get one), 2) Begin preparation for next semester – research a few churches close to campus, ask a few college friends where they go, and make a plan for which churches to visit upon your return including dates.

If you are a pastor of a church in a college town or area use this summer to think through and make a strategy on how to best welcome, include, disciple, and give opportunities for college students to serve in the church this next school year.

Enjoy the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (05/04/18)

When you start a new job, move to a new area, or join a new group there is always new language to learn. Having recently done all three of these things I have been learning a lot lately. I have been learning new acronyms, phrasing, and ways of doing things at my workplace. I have been learning new areas of the county I live in.

While I may not be learning a new language, it certainly feels like it with the number of new words and phrases I have had to adopt over the past 2 months. But instead of being frustrated by it (ok maybe a few times) or getting angry and giving up, it has given me a new found sympathy and compassion for new followers of Jesus.

Having followed Jesus for some time now, I often forget what it is like to not know what a certain Bible word or phrase may mean. But I don’t think that means we don’t use words the Bible or even Jesus used. NO! Instead, we must patiently seek to teach and help others learn the new “language” of a great relationship. Which is why I love Ryan Higginbottom’s article Big Bible Words: Covenant. An unfamiliar word for many, but a vital word to Bible readers – skeptics, seekers, and believers alike.

Enjoy the read and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (04/27/18)

I can still remember the day, time, place, and emotions of that day. It changed my life. It changed the lives of many I knew. And it changed the life of my entire family. I had been told that such an event in one’s life could have and would have dramatic results, but I never grasped the meaning and depth of change my life would encounter until that day. March 10th, 2013 @ 12:10AM my life changed forever. I became a dad.

Having a son, and now two daughters, and another son on the way soon has drastically changed my outlook and experience of life. I love being a dad. Don’t get me wrong it is hard. Very hard at times. And to be honest, I regularly see myself as a failing parent. Was I too easy on him? Am I too hard on him? Should I have acted sooner? Should I have waited before helping out? All of this and more are daily internal battles I have with myself. But one thing I know, while there are many styles of parenting, tough love is needed for every child at some point in their lives.

That is why I love so much Abigail Shrier’s article “‘Knock It Off’ and ‘Shake It Off’: The Case for Dad-Style Parenting“. In a way I would not have thought about before, Shrier makes a great argument for why kids need, what she calls, “dad-style parenting. While I am not the best guy to ask about how to parent “dad-style”. This article challenged me, yet again on my duty and privilege as a dad.

I hope you enjoy the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (04/20/18)

He was one of the best bosses I have ever had. Trevor (not his real name) was my first real boss. I had just turned 18 and applied, interviewed, and got the job. From my very first interview, Trevor treated me with respect, valued my feedback, and encouraged me throughout my time with the company. But that was not all. He gave me the opportunity to grow.

Being the youngest member of our sales team, I was often insecure and doubting my own abilities. Yet I constantly strove to perform well and serve our customers well. Trevor seemed to take note of all of this and constantly encouraged me (often publically) and provided plenty of growth opportunities. Throughout my time there, Trevor never gave up on me and often asked me what my future goals and aspirations were. Nearing the end of my time with the company he had helped me connect my passions and skills to not just the company but a bright future.

By the time I left the company and Trevor’s supervision, I had moved from being the newest sales member on the team to assistant manager. I attribute much of that growth, vision, and opportunity to Trevor’s leadership. As a leader of others now I value Trevor’s leadership that much more. And Michael Hyatt shares that “Better Bosses” is one of the three realities that will help keep top talent around your organization or under your leadership longer.

Check out the full article “What Top Talent Really Wants In a Job?” for the other two wants of top talent. And if you’re a leader or top talent what else would you add to the list?

As always, be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (04/06/18)

Rest. We could all use just a little bit more of it. Maybe, I am the only one who feels that way. Or maybe it is because I have 3 (about to be 4) kids age five and under. But the more I talk to friends, family members, co-workers, and others, the more I am affirmed in my belief that we could all use just a little bit more rest.

Resting is hard to do in a busy, frenetic paced culture like we have in the world today. Especially, when busyness is like a badge of honor and well-rested slower paced life people tend to be labeled as lazy. Yet the idea of rest is all throughout Scripture. And not only that, but “abiding” is one of the few descriptors Jesus gave as a mark of a true disciple (John 8:31-32; 15:4-8). What does it mean to abide? I am glad you ask because Sinclair Ferguson answers that question in this article.

So go abide and get some rest this weekend while enjoying the Lord’s day with the Lord’s people!

Photo by Nik Lanús on Unsplash

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