Over the last few weeks, I have been reaching out to pastors with the question “How can I pray for you?” For the most part, it has been well received. Some never responded. Thanks to Facebook Messenger, I know that they read the message. I was pretty relentless in my pursuits some days to message up to 5 pastors to get one to respond with a prayer request.
This confirmed to me that some pastors are reluctant to open up. They have difficult trusting people, even other pastors. Believe it or not, pastors can be vicious toward each other. Ministry can become a competition where one pastor trashes another pastor to his church and community. In a small community like where I reside, it takes very little to ruin a person’s reputation. They may have done nothing wrong, but one person’s reaction that stems from bitterness can be believable. Soon it spreads like a cancer. No wonder some pastors don’t feel like they have a safe place anywhere.
At this stage of my life, I’m not too concerned with how my ministry to other pastors is perceived or received. Matthew 10 tells us that there are times when you have to shake the dust off your feet and move on.
I’m determined to fulfill my God-given mission no matter what. In this transition, I still don’t know what that looks like. I feel like a fish out of water, but I hold fast to the reality that God will assign me to something that will accommodate the craziness of my life. Most churches won’t have me on staff because of my travels to pick up and drop off my kids. Who said I need to be on staff somewhere? Some churches won’t allow me behind their pulpit because I’m divorced. God can still use His Word and my mouth to proclaim it. It may be a little unconventional, but I trust God to open doors no one can shut.
I will tell you one thing that is on my heart right now. I have been on staff in churches where money was an issue. I would love to be able to provide some ministry to churches that do not have the resources but have the desire to be a biblical New Testament Church. I envision God making a way for me to provide training, pulpit ministry, worship resources, strategic planning, visionary direction, or whatever a church needs that doesn’t have the funds to do it. I don’t know what that will look like, but I know there are still some people and pastors out there who would love to have certain resources but can’t afford them. I would love for God to use me to help make it happen. Is it because I think I’m the answer? Absolutely not! It’s because I know the answer – the Lord Jesus Christ who wants them to be a shining light where they are.
Please pray for pastors as we wrap up this month of appreciation for them. Also, I ask that you pray for me that God would allow me to refresh the weary laborers who pour their lives into their congregations and communities.
For those who have followed my blog for a brief time or a long time, you know that my writing style has been a bit straightforward at times. It could be the way I perceive things, or what is honestly the truth. Not all things are meant for the public to read.
I have shared some posts regarding my recent church plant. Things did not end as well as I would have liked, but the ministry still continues. I should not have been so “vocal” about how I perceived things to the world without addressing the matters at hand privately. I have gone against the biblical advice I have given my audience, and I have dishonored God in my approach.
Many of us have been guilty of “puking our guts out” on social media when we are hurt. We give subtle jabs to those who have hurt us. As a part of my healing process, I am going to take the high road and take my hurt to God and godly counsel when necessary.
Too many of us are guilty of talking to others first before we go directly to the source. It really is the coward’s approach, and it goes against what the Bible tells us to do.
In correction to my blog posts, I took out parts that were better left unsaid. I was going to originally delete them altogether, but I saw some things that still should have been said that were not harmful.
To my blogging audience, thank you for reading through my junk. I want to apologize to you for times when I should have acted in a more Christ-like manner and did not.
God bless each of you. Thank you for hanging in there with me!
Tonight, our family watched a movie that is older than the kids – “The Ultimate Gift”. It is the story of a young man who grew up with everything he ever wanted. The entire family was wealthy. The patriarch of the family died, and everyone lined up ready to receive his or her share of the estate. Most walked out disappointed. The last one to enter was the estranged grandson. He received his inheritance after learning some valuable life lessons that were the true gifts.
What gift are you giving to others? I’m not asking if you give money or possessions. I’m asking if you give time, love, gratitude, work, service, encouragement, and the intangible things that will outlast possessions. Jesus said that it is more blessed to give than to receive. So I ask again, what gift(s) are you giving to others?
For many years, I have heard older people speak unkindly about the younger generation. When I entered my first full-time church ministry, I quickly discovered that the older generation would lie and handle things as unprofessionally, if not more than, the younger generation.
It is true that more is caught than taught. You can tell children all you want, but our example makes the difference. That is not to say that children will not grow up and still make poor choices. I find it terribly disheartening when grown adults who now have grown children have less a sense of responsibility than a high school boy. They don’t have the common courtesy to tell people when they quit a job or how they really feel on a matter. Honest thoughts from this pastor – it’s pathetic! I’ve been guilty. If integrity and character is part of the fiber of an individual, it will show forth in his or her actions.
Bottom line – whether you’re old or young, take responsibility! Don’t make excuses for laziness! Be honest about how you feel. If you don’t feel like doing something, either make yourself or say you don’t feel like it.
Those are my honest thoughts…
I was sitting in a local restaurant on Monday. It is a well-known chain and a weekly stop for me. I was expecting a predictable day where I would sit, eat, and leave. I am about to commend this franchisee for a move that blessed my heart. Sadly, there are those who would criticize this move.
When I walked in, I noticed a man young who works there. He seemed a bit insecure as he walked around the dining area to see what needed attention. As he was sweeping, he stopped to talk to me. The conversation was a bit awkward as he began talking about my phone. I could sense that he may have had a learning disability. We discussed cell phones, and he continued to work. He came back later and offered to take my trash.
As he walked away, I thought about how many businesses would discriminate because of his condition. This company hired him to do something that was needed. He engaged the customers to the best of his ability and blessed my heart in the process.
It bothers me that some people may have considered him a nuisance and would complain to management. People can be cruel. I will not call out the restaurant by name, but I will say that I appreciate them giving this young man a chance to make a contribution where needed.