If you were born with the ability to change someone’s perspective or emotions, never waste that gift. It is one of the most powerful gifts God can give—the ability to influence.
Fear is to begin with the end in mind. There is no end. Life is eternal. Live life knowing that the end was your past, and the future is only full of beautiful beginnings through an eternity built around God’s love.
The most intriguing people you will encounter in this life are the people who had insights about you, that you didn't know about yourself.
We must admit that simply knowing the contents of the Bible is not a sure route to spiritual growth. There is an aweful assumption in evangelical churches that if we can just get the Word of God into people's heads, then the Spirit of God will apply it to their hearts. That assumption is aweful, not because the Spirit never does what the assumption supposes, but because it excused pastors and leaders from the responsibility to tangle with people's lives. Many remain safely hidden behind pulpits, hopelessly out of touch with the struggles of their congregations, proclaiming the Scriptures with a pompous accuracy that touches no one. Pulpits should provide bridges, not barriers, to life-changing relationships.
You can lose your MONEY. You can lose your FRIENDS. You can lose your JOB and you can lose your MARRIAGE...and still recover...as long as there is HOPE. Never lose HOPE.
I must admit, that I have learned more from my negative experiences than I have ever learned from my positive one.
Coming to the END of MYSELF and all SELF effort...seems to be the very point that God steps in and shows HIMSELF to be more than ENOUGH.
I have not learned a single lesson, been inspired or impacted by another person’s life void of negative experiences.
Yes an atheist priest can perfectly minister to a believing congregation and miracles can happen in that congregation. Miracles depend on the faith of the believer, not that of the officiant. A bartender who never takes alcohol can serve alcohol to his clients. What is necessary is that the priest believes he is doing the good work. The congregation needs faith and it helps them. It would be evil to deny them such a service in the name of his lack of faith. - Bangambiki Habyarimana
There comes a time in your life when you can no longer put off choosing. You have to choose one path or the other. You can live safe and be protected by people just like you, or you can stand up and be a leader for what is right. Always, remember this: People never remember the crowd; they remember the one person that had the courage to say and do what no one would do.
Your solution lies not in finding favor before men but before God. Learn to seek Him for your problems and His favor will meet you.
Finally, the work of the minister tended to be judged by his success in a single area - the saving of souls in measurable numbers. The local minister was judged either by his charismatic powers or by his ability to prepare his congregation for the preaching of some itinerant ministerial charmer who would really awaken its members. The 'star' system prevailed in religion before it reached the theater. As the evangelical impulse became more widespread and more dominant, the selection and training of ministers was increasingly shaped by the revivalist criterion of ministerial merit. The Puritan ideal of the minister as an intellectual and educational leader was steadily weakened in the face of the evangelical ideal of the minister as a popular crusader and exhorter. Theological education itself became more instrumental. Simple dogmatic formulations were considered sufficient. In considerable measure the churches withdrew from intellectual encounters with the secular world, gave up the idea that religion is a part of the whole life of intellectual experience, and often abandoned the field of rational studies on the assumption that they were the natural province of science alone. By 1853 an outstanding clergyman complained that there was 'an impression, somewhat general, that an intellectual clergyman is deficient in piety, and that an eminently pious minister is deficient in intellect.
In a team setting, leadership is shared by a community of people, which counters the tendency for pastors to form congregations in their own images.
Those who criticize the innovative concept of multi-site churches must also remember that at one point stained glass and hymnals were new as well.
Our real problem is not the pervasiveness of the darkness but a failure of the light. Light always dispels darkness. The glorious light of the resurrection life of Jesus Christ is still sufficient and available to those who reject self-reliance and return to His plan for biblical leadership. This return can reignite the radiance of the Gospel in transforming power.
So often in the church, being a pastor or a spiritual leader means being the example of godly living. A pastor is supposed to be the person who is really good at this Christianity stuff — the person others can look to as an example of righteousness. But as much as being the person who is the best Christian, who follows Jesus the most closely can feel a little seductive, it's simply never been who I am or who my parishioners need me to be. I'm not running after Jesus. Jesus is running my ass down. Yeah, I am a leader, but I'm leading them onto the street to get hit by the speeding bus of confession and absolution, sin and sainthood, death and resurrection — that is, the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm a leader, but only by saying, Oh, screw it. I'll go first.
We don't forget that we are Christians. We forget that we are human, and that one oversight alone can debilitate the potential of our future.
I remember my father, who had served in Vietnam, once talking to me about how real courage is when you're scared out of your mind but you do what you have to do anyway. I didn't feel very courageous at the moment. I felt like a small mouse in the mouth of a lion.
We lied to ourselves thinking in our minds we knew everything. We were deceived in believing that youthful enthusiasm could replace wizened maturity.
I feel as if I've gone past the lukewarm stage that Jesus talked about in the book of Revelations and am slowly dwindling on cold. Deep down I want to change, but I don't know how. I'm the pastor. I'm supposed to know how. I hide my frustration with an obsession for Ohio State football and hours at the I Sold It on eBay internet cafe around the corner from the church.
The couch and I were what I would describe as frenemies. I loved to hate it. It was too small for my frame. I had tried to tell my wife that fact when we bought it off of Craigslist, but she assured me that it went perfectly with our room decor and it was a good deal.
They weren't people that liked change. They were the kind of people that would have tied change to a chair with dental floss if they could in order to avoid it. They were the type of people who desired to live in their virtual bubbles and grew to resent anyone that challenged that world.