Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Up late and thinking...

So it's nearly 2AM and I can't sleep. Listened to the rain as it passed over earlier and now my mind is racing.

As a pastor, I am entrusted with the leadership of my congregation. I must lead that collective group of people according to my personal convictions along with the convictions of our congregation. I must also lead this group according to a common purpose and calling laid upon us by God. We have a God-given responsibility to reach the community around our church. All of this rests upon a healthy trust between pastor and congregation.

In your opinion, what builds that trust? For those of you seminary grads, I don't want the textbook answer. What solidifies your trust in your pastor, the man who leads the church you attend? Don't be idealistic either - I know you want Biblical truth, honesty, transparency, etc. Give me specifics, what are some specific instances where your pastor did/said something that emboldened your trust in him.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Leadership Lessons

Over the past few Sunday evenings, I've been teaching through the book of Titus. Our church is beginning a transition in our leadership structure so I took the opportunity to show our congregation this little book in the NT. I have mentioned often my affinity for leadership, but I do believe this NT letter holds the simplest leadership lessons I've encountered to date. For the sake of brevity, here's what I presented over the last 3 weeks -

Chapter 1 - The need for leadership and the qualifications for those in leadership
Chapter 2 - A succession plan for the Church - building generational relationships
Chapter 3 - What leadership does - instruction, encouragement, accountability

If you've taught this book or are in leadership, what are your thoughts on Paul's letter to his pastor friend, Titus?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Down Time

So it's been a few weeks since I've been here. I've been feeling under the weather for about a month now and yesterday, life finally came to a screeching halt. My body finally shut down and all I could do was sleep. I can usually fight through sickness, with medication and rest. Apparently, I wasn't getting as much rest as I should.

It reminds me of the Creation story in Genesis 1. After 6 days creating the universe, God rested. He exercised "shabath". It is pronounced "SHA-baht" and means, "to cease or to rest." The amazing thing is God didn't need to rest. He is self-sufficient. The Scriptures describe Him as one "who does not sleep" (Psalm 121). So, in Genesis, God did not create for 6 days and then sleep. He created for 6 days and then ceased from His work. He did not rest because He was tired.

Maybe we should take a lesson. We all need moments of rest in our lives. We need moments where we're not focused on work, life, marriage, kids, money, etc. We MUST have moments of rest - ceasing from work. Most of us only rest when our bodies finally shut down, i.e. me. We have to get better at allowing ourselves to rest in the midst of a busy schedule, not just when the busy schedule is over. Here are few points to ponder

1.) Everybody needs rest - God did it as an example for us.

2.) Don't let your schedule dictate your life. This is one of Steven Covey's 7 Habits - Put First Things First.

3.) Listen to your body - there are tell-tale signs of fatigue. When your body can't fight off everyday things like a nagging cough or sinus infection, probably a sign you're not getting enough rest.

4.) Ask your peers - Ask friends to assess your lifestyle. An outside perspective is always a more fresh one.

5.) See a doctor - if necessary, see your primary care physician. Get a physical and see what factors are present. Make sure to let the doc know you're battling symptoms of fatigue.

"Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least" - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe