What’s Going On

What is your devotional life like?

How are things at home?

How are things at work?

How is your stress level?

If you’re struggling in any of these areas, it will show in your area of ministry. If your private life is in disorder, so will your ministry be in disorder.

You may have a pure desire to minister to others, and maybe you don’t feel like your stress at work is hurting your ability to minister on a Sunday, or that your relationship struggles at home are compromising your effectiveness, but they are.

I’m certain your pastor doesn’t condemn you for struggling in certain areas, but he certainly wants you to minister from a healthy place. If you need to take a little time off to focus on some areas in your life for healing, talk to your pastor. He’ll have your back. And in the long-run…you will bless your pastor!

Read the previous post: Gossip: A Contagious Cancer

Read the next post: Support Your Worship Leader

Gossip: A Contagious Cancer

It’s interesting to me that a devil is fighting a cancer. The Tasmanian devil population in Australia is fighting an epidemic of cancer of the face. Biologists think it originated in a female in the 1980s or 1990s when a nerve cell in her face underwent a drastic mutation.

Tasmanian devils fight and bite each other in the face, thus spreading the mutation to the bloodstream by biting off some of the tumor, causing the cancer. This has become an epidemic and is killing off the Tasmanian devil population. They are also saying this type of tumor has “evolved into a parasite, with the ability to spread quickly from one devil to another, killing its victims in a few months.” After further research by Australian biologists, it seems the cancer cells camouflage themselves.

Look at the words used: fight, bite, parasite, camouflage, tumor, cancer

It struck me how this is so much like gossip.

Fight. Bite. Parasite.
Galatians 5:15 “But if you bite and devour one another, take care lest you be consumed by one another.”

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is…self-control.”

Don’t disguise gossip as a prayer request. “Just so you know how to pray…”

I Samuel 16:7b “…but the LORD looks at the heart.” God already knows what the prayer request is.

Half-truths (maybe to make the teller feel better about who they are)

Embellished truths (to make the story sound better)

Lies (no truth at all)

The cancer, which is contagious, starts when gossip starts. What is the cancer? (Note these all start at the tumor stage.)

The loss of relationships

The loss of jobs

The loss of trust

The loss of reputation

Hurt and pain that seems unbearable

Cancer’s outcome many times is death. Gossip causes death of relationships, dreams, hopes, maybe even a future. I’ve known of gossip to cause emotional death, spiritual death and even physical death.

God tells us not to gossip and by not gossiping, you will truly bless your pastor. Then he won’t have to deal with the aftermath of destruction.

Note: I wrote this post earlier this week. This morning I read this post (10 Things I’ve Learned About Church Drama) by my Twitter friend, Pastor Ron Edmondson. I detect a theme with God this week.

Read my previous post: Waste Time With God

Waste Time With God

I spoke with a friend last week who told me she likes to “waste time with God”. While doing her devotions and praying one day, the devil told her she was wasting time; there were dishes to be done, errands to run, and other things on her to-do list, so why was she wasting time with her Bible? She decided that was the perfect way to waste time…with God!

Why waste time with God? Here are five reasons:

You need to hear from Him.
He will have something to teach you, or just encouragement for you. Listen for His still small voice.

You need knowledge from Him.
If you’re not reading your Bible, how will you know what’s in it? You can’t give out to other people if you haven’t first filled yourself up.

You need direction from Him.
When you spend time with God He’ll give you direction. Either for a situation that will arise during the day or maybe for life-changing events.

You need to worship Him.
Spending time with Him is worship. Without God we are nothing. We need to take time to acknowledge His greatness and thank Him for what He’s done in our lives. (And He’s done some amazing things for us!)

It will help you in your area of ministry.
You’ll feel fresher, have more passion and clear focus for what God wants to do through you. He’ll give you insights and creative ways to minister. Knowing you’re doing what God has called you to do will keep you energized!

Got A Minute?

Photo Source: Pinterest

I feel bad for pastors. I know they chose the profession they are in, well, that’s not right – they obeyed God’s call to the profession they are in – but being the face of his church and preaching every week, makes him somewhat of a celebrity.

People have problems they want to discuss, issues they face, or tough circumstances they may need advice on, and they always want to talk to the pastor. Unless they have a relationship with one of the associate pastors, only the senior pastor will do.

I’ve seen people who want to talk with their senior pastor so badly that they will interrupt him while at an event, a banquet or a meeting. Ah-hah! It’s their opportunity to grab him and have his undivided attention!

Not so. His attention is divided, even if he’s professional enough not to let it show; but he’d probably rather be enjoying his dinner or getting home to his family after the meeting.

This doesn’t mean he doesn’t care for you – he does! But he could spend all day with the “quick-a-minute” conversations people stop him to have and then never have time to study and prepare for Sunday’s sermon or spend quality time with his wife.

Please be considerate of your pastor and his time; senior pastors are bombarded from all sides. Allow him the privacy he needs to be just an ordinary man. If you have a concern or problem, ask yourself if it’s something a small group leader or associate pastor can help you with. If not, then please call your pastor’s assistant and make an appointment. By meeting him at a time that is convenient for him you can be sure you will truly have his undivided attention and you will bless your pastor!

Read my previous post: Don’t Just Sit There, Do Something

Don’t Just Sit There, Do Something

One of our ladies decorates the front of our building throughout the year. It’s her gift to us, and she does a beautiful job! [December 2012]
 Too many of us are pew-sitters. The statistic I’ve always heard is 20% of the people do 80% of the work. That has seemed to be accurate in my 30 years of lay ministry; there are always the faithful few.
I want to challenge you to get involved. You don’t have to lead a small group, take care of toddlers, lead worship or teach a Bible study. There are so many small ways for you to help with ministries at your place of worship that don’t involve being the center of attention or needing a great teaching skill.
Our church serves coffee and cookies after service and we have a crew of men and women who prepare that for us each week. Somebody has to plate the cookies, put out the napkins and cups, make the coffee and clean it all up. And somebody needs to take out the trash when it’s all over!
Maybe you have an eye for design and would like to help decorate at special times of the year.
Do you like to clean? Sign up to be on the clean-up crew after big events.
The office staff might like somebody to come in during the week to make copies, prepare mailings or fold bulletins.
Maybe you do have a gift to teach and lead but you haven’t stepped out yet to make your talent known. Why not? Your world is waiting to hear what you have to say!
Do you love children and families? Children’s ministry has the hardest ministry positions to fill, so if you love kids, talk to your pastor. He will be blessed!
Are you a gifted musician? Your worship team or praise band needs you!
Do something to get involved, whether it’s big or small. God has given each of us a gift and a passion to use for His glory.Your pastor will be blessed by your obedience to God! (God will be blessed to!)
Read my previous post: Greet Visitors