We don’t have formal commitment contracts for staff at Lancaster Baptist Church. I’ve always felt like I wanted the people who serve on our staff to be here because they want to be, not because they signed a commitment to be.
That said, before someone comes on staff, we do have conversations about intent. If someone is joining our pastoral staff or leading a team, I would prefer that their intention at least is to stay long enough that I can invest in and train them and that they can become a real asset to our church family.
Just over eighteen years ago, Tim Christoson and I had this kind of a conversation. At the time, he was in his last year of Bible college, engaged to Nicole, and looking to serve as an assistant pastor. When I interviewed him, I could see that he had a heart for the Lord and a desire to be used of God. I asked him if he were to come to Lancaster Baptist Church, if he would commit to stay at least ten years. (more…)
If your experience is like mine, you’ve discovered that Satan does everything he can to rob you of your joy in the ministry.
But it’s not just ministry. In every area of life, we face ongoing pressure and the potential for a loss of joy. We have to be wise to sense when that discouragement is developing so we can rebuild and maintain the joy of the Lord.
In this short growth points video, I share six ways the Lord has taught me to maintain or rebuild joy:
(If you cannot see this email in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here.)
Relationships are vital to ministry. Whether you are a pastor, a church staff member, or serve as a leader in any area of church ministry, cultivating strong relationships is a necessary investment.
Relational-less ministry is both ineffective and harmful. It is ineffective because if we look at ministry only as a checklist, we may fulfill action-item duties, but we’ll not influence lives. It is harmful because it leaves the leader without one of the key resources to sustain faithfulness and accomplish their calling.
Relationships take time and purpose to develop. They also become the greatest treasures of life. (more…)
If the ministry is anything, it is labor. Paul told Timothy, “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work” (1 Timothy 3:1). And that is exactly what it is—work.
I know there are many who look at a pastor or those who serve on a church staff and think they have something close to a one-day-a-week job. But the truth is far different. Caring for the church as a faithful undersheperd requires not only sermon preparation and administrative work, but also the love, prayer, care, bearing others’ needs, and intense spiritual warfare that Paul referenced when he wrote, “Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:28).
But the work of the ministry is a great work. It’s a work I love, and I get to do it for people I love. Does it have inherent burdens? Yes. But does it have inherent joys? A hundred fold more. (more…)