Tuesday, 29 January 2013

4 Types of People Every Pastor Needs in His Life

Ministry isn’t meant to be a solo endeavor. Unfortunately, for many pastors, it is. A 2011 LifeWay Research survey said half of pastors in the United States experience loneliness in ministry.

Lonely ministry contradicts how God wired the universe. We need each other. You’ll find the phrase “one another” 58 times in the New Testament. We’re to love one another, care for one another, pray for one another, etc. Those references aren’t just for lay people. All of us — especially those in ministry — need other people to help us do what God called us to do.

Remember, even the Lone Ranger had Tonto! You weren’t meant to do ministry on your own. I wouldn’t be where I am in ministry without the help of others. For example, mentors have played an incredibly important role in my life. When I first moved to Orange County 33 years ago, Ray Ortland — from nearby Mariners Church — played a crucial role in my life. There were other mentors in my life before that. And I’ve been able to mentor many young pastors during my ministry. In fact, mentoring is a driving focus of what I do these days.

You are well aware that pastoring is a lot more complex than most people think it is. Pastoring is more than preparing a sermon. Pastoring is being an example in speech, life, love, faith and purity. The fastest way to help someone grow spiritually isn’t giving them information. It’s showing people how to live in a way that honors Jesus.

You can’t learn pastoring like that just from seminary. You need mentors — you need other people to be your example, too!

But you don’t just need mentors. All of us in ministry need four different kinds of relationships.
  1. You need models. Some of your models may be dead! In other words, you need to identify people who have served faithfully in ministry and finished well. For instance, my models have been people like William Wilberforce, John Wesley, General William Booth and D.L. Moody — among others. They are great guys to learn about ministry from — through what they’ve written and what others have written about them
  2. You need co-workers. You may not have anyone else with you on staff, but you need other people to help you with the work of ministry. It can be staff or lay volunteers, but they are crucial. As a pastor, your job isn’t to do ministry — but to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. You can’t do all the ministry God has called your church to do on your own.
  3. You need friends. You also need people you can confide in — people who care about you and your ministry. I suggest you have some other pastors in your life as friends because they can better understand your world.
  4. You need mentors. And as I mentioned, you need people you can learn from in ministry. These are people who are further along in ministry —but they don’t need to be much further. Six months further will be helpful to you.

Friday, 25 January 2013

7 Ways to Be a Better Pastor This Year

By Justin Lathrop

While your church members are making hundreds of different resolutions, there were seven fundamental commitments that I hope every pastor would make for 2013:
  • Inspire courage — Your church members could do incredible things in 2013, more incredible than you could ever imagine. It’s our responsibility as leaders to inspire them to take action. Will you inspire your church members to be courageous and accomplish amazing things next year?
  • Diversify your network — This is a topic I care a lot about. My hope is that you would take time this upcoming year to learn from leaders who are different than you. Trust me, you won’t regret taking the steps to diversify your network and learn from other leaders in your church.
  • Help the next generation — As leaders, I believe we’re mandated to invest in the next generation. Whether you’re 60 or 26, take some time next year to mentor the next generation of leaders.
  • Start celebrating — Although you probably wouldn’t want to admit it, how much energy did you spend in 2012 competing with the church down the street? Let’s make 2013 the year that we stop competing and start celebrating the successes of others.
  • Choose to believe — Will you commit to believing in others this year? Even though our initial tendency might be to pick out every flaw, choosing to believe in other people starts as a choice and turns into a way of life.
  • Burst your likeminded bubble — Whether it’s a business leader or a person with an opposing political view, there is always something we can takeaway from meeting with “un-like-minded” people. Trust me.
  • Get away for solitude — How did you do this year when it came to getting away and replenishing your spirit? If you didn’t make the commitment to get away for solitude in 2012, I hope this post will provide some encouragement for 2013.
What are some of the other commitments pastors should make for 2013? What are you most excited about for this upcoming year?

Saturday, 19 January 2013

12 Marriage Killers

Dr. James Dobson has “12 Marriage Killers” that are very prevalent for today’s society

1. Over-commitment and Physical Exhaustion

Husbands and wives should constantly guard against overcommitment. Even worthwhile and enjoyable activities become damaging when they consume the last ounce of energy or the remaining free moments in the day.

2. Excessive Debt: Conflict over how money is spent

3. Selfishness

4. Interference from In-Laws

5. Unrealistic Expectations

6. Gaming

7. Alcohol or Substance Abuse

8. Addictions

9. Frustration, Loneliness, Low Self-Esteem, and the “Greener Grass” of Infidelity

10. Business Failure

11. Business Success

12. Getting Married too young

Be honest!  What do you need to change today?

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Raising children is a challenge for all of us

Here are a few helpful tips!  

* Give them quality time - More than anything else, your children need time from you. Viewing television together is a poor substitute for quality time with your children. Going to movies together is not quality time together. You need to be interacting. Quality time involves face time. There needs to be conversation and maybe even some laughter. If you miss all of the other points, please don't miss this one!

 * Lead by example - You cannot expect your children to read the Bible if you don't read the Bible! You can't expect your children to love their neighbor if you don't love your neighbor. Are you following this? You are their model!

 * Reassure them they are loved - We have found that the simple yet powerful act of saying "I love you" often can make a huge difference. When a hug or kiss is included with the verbal reassurance of love a powerful statement is made. Tell them and show them that they are loved as often as you can because the days slip by quickly!

 * Consistently hold them accountable - Children want to know that they have boundaries. They often test those boundaries. When your children cross the line that you have set you must consistently hold them accountable for their choices or they will become confused. They need and want consistency.

 * Teach them respect - Teach your children to show respect to adults as early as possible. As they grow older you will need to have consequences for when they do not show respect to either their parents or another adult. If they do not learn respect at an early age it is difficult to teach as they grow older.  

* Share in meaningful conversation - Your children need to know that when they are speaking, you are actually listening. They may not choose the best times to tell you about their day but they need to know that they are more important. Give them the time even when it's inconvenient. It will strengthen your relationship and they will come back for more!

 * Love your spouse - Your children need to see that their parents are in love. There’s nothing so comforting and reassuring as knowing your parents are authentically in love. Boys will learn how to treat women properly, and girls will learn how to bless their future husbands.

When parents show their children how to love their mate it goes a long way to authenticate their parental teaching. As parents we do have a HUGE INFLUENCE on our children as they grow and mature! The suggestions we made above, basically all come down to having a great relationship with your children. Teach them how to love.

Teach them how to show respect. Teach them how to communicate. Teach them how to take responsibility. Teach them...

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Successful family traits

According to a study of more than 500 family counsellors, the following are the top traits of happy and successful families:

*Communicating and listening
*Affirming and supporting each other
*Respecting one another
*Developing a sense of trust
*Sharing time and responsibility
*Knowing right from wrong
*Having rituals and traditions
*Sharing a religious core
 *Respecting privacy

I think it is good to be honest about areas in your life where you are weak and look to implement change wherever possible to help nurture a healthy and loving family environment.

All the above need effort from you.  Change today and create a better future!