Ministry—even good ministry—can be built on a shaky foundation. When Jesus gave the word picture of a house built on the sand or on a rock, He wasn’t only speaking to the Pharisees. He was speaking to you and me.
Of course, His promise to those who build their lives on truth is also for you and me.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.—Matthew 25:24–25
Years ago, I recognized that even godly leaders can have faulty ministry philosophy. In a painful and prayerful season, I outlined ten foundational pillars that I want to be the basic keystones of my life and ministry. (Incidentally, these are also the core values we have chosen for West Coast Baptist College.)
Occasionally, I review these pillars to remind myself of the aspects of ministry that are truly vital. (more…)
What would you do if someone offered you a one hundred dollar bill which you knew was counterfeit? If you took it, you may be able to spend it undetected, but you would also weaken your own economy.
This was the situation which merchants in Athens faced in the first century. And those merchants who refused to accept coins that weighed less than their stamped value were known as “approved” merchants.
It is in this sense that we are commanded to prove what is acceptable unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:10). We are to try it for authenticity and excellence.
In this Growth Points video, I mention three areas of our lives that we must be continually “proving”—evaluating for what is acceptable to the Lord.
(If you cannot see this video in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here.)
We may get away with unproven areas in our lives—but ultimately in doing so we weaken our testimonies, our society, and our ability to influence a world for Christ.
The military boasts of its ability to build leaders “from the ground up.” But God is interested in building leaders from Heaven down.
Jesus Himself exercised the downward mobility that modeled the highest form of spiritual leadership (Philippians 2:5–8). And His Holy Spirit now indwells our hearts, enabling us to lead by serving.
Servant leadership is the direct opposite of the world’s model of leadership. The world says leadership gives me the right to be served; but Christ’s example shows that leadership gives me the opportunity to serve others.
The world’s model of leadership concentrates on harnessing the energy of followers to make me successful. Servant leadership is about helping others reach their potential for Christ. (more…)
I’m still reflecting on what God did in my heart through Spiritual Leadership Conference. This year’s conference was so full of blessings. Here are a few of mine:
The highlight of the conference for me is always the preaching services. As a pastor who is usually the one preaching, it is refreshing to be the one listening—hearing Spirit-anointed men of God preach the Word of God.
From Sunday morning to Wednesday evening, the Lord spoke to me in every preaching service—encouraging, challenging, and convicting me. He also used the preaching to confirm in my heart areas where I had already sensed Him leading. I’m more challenged than ever to walk close to the Lord, to walk by faith, and to lead our church forward in ministry.
Every year, I look forward to the opportunity to fellowship with like-minded pastors, missionaries, and Christian servants from around the country at the conference. It is a joy to hear what God is doing in other ministries, to share prayer requests and burdens with front-line servants of God, and to enjoy encouraging, edifying fellowship. (more…)