Tuesday, January 29, 2008



I've got a dilemma. I've found what seems to be a dichotomous relationship between what I'm being taught in Bible College and the "real church world". One camp says to utilize the gifts of administration and vision to open up channels for the Holy Spirit to move and work in a more unhindered fashion in our churches. The other camp says any such administration and vision are an effort to yank the reigns from the Holy Spirit's leading and guidance of his church.

Are we afraid to exercise gifts of administration and vision because doing so requires effort? Or. Do we assume the posture of allowing the Spirit to lead, simply because it's easier? I will never question or compromise my belief in the importance of the Holy Spirit's leading. I'm asking why these opposing views have lined up as they are? Ironically these "camps" all reside in the same place - the body of Christ. I was told and I've subsequently found out that ministry was extremely rewarding but seldom easy.

To my relief and to my excitement, this Thursday, I get to spend some time with some guys I greatly admire and whom God is using to do some great things in their church. The topic - a review of the book Simple Church. Yeah, that's what I need right now.

Monday, January 21, 2008

God is Moving

This morning the phone rang. It was a member of my wife's extended family. The Holy Spirit was dealing with him in a powerful way. He had questions. After a few minutes , he accepted Christ! He said that he works 7 days a week and is'nt comfortable in church(yet). He asked if he could meet weekly with me.
He is open and searching!

Beyond the miracle of new birth, it is never any less amazing each time someone accepts Christ! Please read my previous post. Just because people are not comfortable with the church, does not negate the fact that they want Jesus.

Pastoring the flock,


Friday, January 18, 2008

Beyond Proclamation - There must be a hand.


Several months back, my daily devotions landed me in Zechariah, chapter 11. As I was reading, verse 4 caught my attention. It says, "Pasture the flock marked for slaughter". Funny thing was, I read it as "Pastor" instead of "Pasture". Later that same day I read the passage again, and again I read "Pastor".

It wasn't until several days had past, during which I sought the Lord as to why this verse spoke to me, that I noticed that it said "Pasture." Surprised and embarrassed at my oversight, I began to dig into this passage and realized that God was telling Zechariah to lead-shepherd-pastor rebellious Israel.

What does this have to do with me? Good Question! It's the same question that I asked God in my prayers since that day.

Here's my take on it. Too often, there are people who seem to be written off by the church today as stubborn, unchanging, destined to fail and beyond hope. They're "marked for slaughter", both by their unrepentant hearts and and by Christians who deem them unworthy of the effort it would take to reach them.

These people will hardly set foot in a church (who would blame them after being written off), they won't sit under the proclamation of the Word and they won't join in a fellowship with the people they perceive as those who could care less.

However, just as God knew that there would be hard times in the future of Israel, he knows that there is coming a time when these "write-offs" will no longer have the chance for redemption.

If they won't sit under the proclamation of the Word in a church-building, then the Church needs to reach out to them. What does it take? Relationships! I know now why God would not allow me to declare a college major in anything other than Church counseling ministries - it's relational. It's reaching out to the lost, hurting, rejected and seemingly hopeless with a message backed by a physical expression of God's love and power.

Proclamation is great, but only if it is heard. The Word is powerful and even more so when presented in a relevant way by a caring, outstretched hand.

Friday, January 11, 2008

God is Amazing

I might have used that title already, but it's truth makes it worth repeating. I was driving, on my way to work at the group home today and began to pray (with my eyes open). I was asking God to do something amazing during my shift, nothing in particular, just something amazing.

When the evening began to wind down, one of the residents came up to me and we started talking. We hadn't always gotten along real well, he was typically getting into trouble - starting fights, getting angry and being agressively disobediant. For the past several weeks I have noticed a change in him, especially how he was being more open and respectful toward me.

I was excited when tonight's conversation turned to God. I felt the Spirit whisper, "Tonight's his night." We talked for a while longer and I asked him if he had ever accepted Christ. He said that he often went to church as a child, but had never accepted Christ. I asked him if he would like to do that tonight, he said that he thought it was time.

We sat down at the table and prayed, It was a simple prayer in which he asked Jesus to forgive his sins and come into his life. I watched as his attitude and typical expression softened and changed. He asked me if I had my Bible and if I would read it with him - He HATES to read! But he wanted to read God's Word!

God is amazing! Thank you God for answering my prayer and for giving this young man hope and a future!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Insight From a Book

For the one person who reads this, I just finished the book Communicating For a Change by Andy Stanley and Lane Jones. I must admit, I got more than I expected from it. Not only did it address areas where I fail, or, at least do poorly, but it also gave me a glimpse of what the goal of a good communicator should look like.

Surprisingly, Stanley began by saying that he never felt called to preach, he just volunteered. Wow! I'm not dissing the call, I believe it is important. However, I wonder how many people sit in the pews or chairs every Sunday wanting to do something but they are waiting for "the call". I'll be thinking on this for quite some time.