The challenges to Christian ministry continue to mount. Between a cultural shift toward intolerance of truth, the decision fatigue of pastors, the opinion overload of society, and a host of other challenges, it’s no wonder that so many pastors and spiritual leaders are falling out of the ministry.
Although I’m aware of and experience these types of challenges, I want to finish my race still serving the Lord. And I don’t want to stagger across the finish line—depleted and embittered toward the people God has called me to serve—either. I want to finish my race in love with Christ and fully engaged in His work.
In a previous blog, I shared the Spiritual Leadership Conference session 5 Commitments of Continuing Churches. Our goal, however, is not just to build a ministry that continues, but to personally stay in the race.
In other words, we cannot help others to continue if we give up.
One of the characteristics of effective leaders is a practice of personal assessment. In the Wednesday morning session of Spiritual Leadership Conference ’16, we looked at 5 principles of continuing leaders with a challenge to personally assess how we’re doing in each area.
We have the absolute promise that the church will continue. Jesus plainly declared, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). Thus, we have the advantage of operating from the knowledge that we are on the winning side.
Even so, you and I both know of churches that have not continued for Christ—churches who have left off aggressively reaching the world with the gospel and dwindled to nothing or have tried to “reinvent” the church and lost their distinction and effectiveness.
So what is the difference between a local church that continues and a church that doesn’t? What helps a church remain true to its founding doctrine and biblical in its methods?
In a morning session of Spiritual Leadership Conference ’16, we looked at five commitments of continuing churches.
Our theme was Continue from 2 Timothy 3:14, and the emphasis was on continuing with a heart for God and in the work of God with renewed passion and commitment to Christ. I’ve been praying for the conference guests and for each pastor and church represented that the Lord will use the truths and helps from the conference to bear fruit that remains in their churches and communities.
For the past several years, we have placed as much of the conference as we can online for two groups of people—those who could not attend the conference and those who could.
I’d like to highlight the online resources available to you and suggest a few ways you might use them. (more…)
I don’t know about you, but I’m always asking the Lord to help me be more effective in the ministry. It seems that with every passing year, the challenges we face are greater, the time constraints more pressing, and the needs around us enlarged. Through God’s grace, I want to be the most effective servant possible in the midst of these challenges.
In this growth points video, I share five characteristics that I am always seeking to develop in my own life and that I look for in the lives of those laboring here in our ministry as well.
(If you you can’t see this video in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here.)
Here are the points that I develop more thoroughly in the video: (more…)