Ron Edmondson

  • 7 Things to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

    What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

    Wow! How many times do I hear people asking a question like that? It seems to be a daily occurrence.

    Or maybe not just like that, but they want to know what to do — and they don’t know what to do. So they ask a question about what to do. (Are you following?)

    Unfortunately, knowing the right thing to do is not an exact science. If only I knew every time I’m asked. In fact, if it were, many of us in my profession would either be out of a job—or making a lot of money.

    Of course, the first answer is to talk to God, but how many times have you done that and still cannot discern what He is saying. What do you do then—when you don’t know what to do?

    Again, I don’t always know. Wish I did. Sometimes I do, but sometimes I simply have some principles I can share.

    Here are a few suggestions when you don’t know what to do:

    Phone a friend. Someone who knows you well. Isn’t it wonderful how God puts people in our life who can speak into our life? The challenge is often having the courage to ask and then yielding to those voices. Have you been listening to people God has been sending your way?

    What would daddy or mama do? What do the morals you were raised with say you should do? If you were raised with good principles go with them. Many times we actually know the right thing to do, but our question is whether we want to do what we know is right.

    Do nothing. Don’t be afraid to not make a decision if you don’t have to. Sometimes it’s okay just to be still. In fact, sometimes that’s the best decision.

    Follow your gut. If, that is, your gut is good. And it’s very important that your gut be good. But if you are in a good place in life, and you know you are making wise decisions in other situations, then you can often trust the voice within you.

    Take a risk. Now may be the time to put all safety concerns aside and go for it. Most risks come with an element of the unknown. You will often have to pull the trigger on moving forward without all the answers to your questions. Don’t be surprised about that. Or afraid to do it. If it is something you feel strongly about, it isn’t sinful, and it doesn’t go against some of these other principles, then GO FOR IT!

    Stop worrying. It won’t help. It won’t solve the problem. And it’s probably distracting you from making a good decision.

    Walk by faith. Hopefully you have a faith in God. If not, we need to talk. But if you are a believer, then you have access to a power greater than your ability to make a good decision. The Spirit of God lives within you. Take full advantage of that privilege.

    Those are just a few suggestions when you don’t know what to do.

    Do you have any you would add?


    Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about

  • 12 Words of Encouragement for Pastors

    I love pastors. Each week, through this blog and my personal ministry, God allows me to partner with dozens of pastors, helping them think through life and ministry issues. I’ve learned that many pastors struggle to find people who will invest in them and help them grow as individuals, leaders and pastors.

    Recently I had a pastor ask me for my “best advice” for other pastors. Wow! That’s hard to say. I’ve learned so much through the pastors who have invested in me and by experience. It’s hard to summarize all that I’ve learned. It could probably fill a book or two…but at least more than one blog post!

    I put some thought into the question and decided to come up with a list of encouragement, one that I would give to all pastors, to answer his question. I’m sure there’s more (and you can help by adding yours), but this post is at least a start. Of course, wisdom is transferable to other fields, so change a few words around and I’d give this advice to any leader…some of them perhaps to any person.

    Here are 12 words of encouragement for pastors:

    Choose your friends wisely… but choose friends. Don’t attempt to lead alone. Too many pastors avoid close friendships because they’ve been hurt. They trusted someone with information who used it against them. Finding friends you can trust and be real with means you’ll sometimes get injured, but the reward is worth it.

    The church can never love your family as much as you do. Your family needs you more than the church does. They can get another pastor. Your family doesn’t want another you. You’ll have to learn to say “no,” learn how to balance and prioritize your time, and be willing to delegate to others in the church....

    If you protect your Sabbath day, your Sabbath day can better protect you. You’ll wear out quickly without a day a week to rejuvenate. God designed us this way. Take advantage of His provision. Take time to rest. You may not rest like everyone else… for me rest doesn’t mean doing nothing… but you need time away from the demands of ministry regularly. Lead your church to understand you can’t be everywhere every time. You owe it to yourself, your family, your church and your God.

    You have influence… use it well. The pastorate comes with tremendous power and responsibility. It’s easy to abuse or take for granted. Don’t. Humility welcomes the hand of God on your ministry.

    No amount of accountability or structure will keep you from temptation if you’re heart is impure. Above all else, guard your heart. (Proverbs 4:23) Avoid any hint of temptation. Look for the warning signs your heart is drifting. Keep your heart saturated with God’s Word and in prayer.

    Let God lead. You can do some things well. God can do the impossible. Whom do you think should ultimately be leading the church? You’ll be surprised how much more effective your leadership will be when it’s according to His will and not yours.

    If you can dream it, God can dream it bigger. Don’t dismiss the seemingly ridiculous things God calls you to do. They won’t always make sense to others or meet their immediate approval, but God’s ways will prove best every time.

    Keep Jesus the center of focus in the church. You’ll never have a money problem, a people problem, or a growth problem if people are one with Jesus.

    Your personal health affects the health of the church. Take care of yourself relationally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This, too, requires discipline, balance, and prioritizing, but if, to the best of your ability, you strive to be healthy in every area of your life, as a good shepherd, your people will be more likely to follow your example.

    The people in your church deserve authenticity. Not only will be honest about who you are help keep you from trying to meet unreal expectations, but it will help the people in your church be transparent with you and others. Don’t be someone you’re not. Be someone worthy to follow, but make sure you’re living it… not just teaching it.

    You’ll never make everyone happy. If you try, you’ll be very unhappy… and very unproductive.

    Your calling is to a person… Jesus. That means you are working for Jesus. You ultimately report to Jesus. It is the pleasure of Jesus you are seeking. There will be days your calling is challenged by others. You’ll be tempted to cave in to the pressure of those with the loudest voices. Don’t forget who holds the title to your life.

    What word of encouragement do you have for pastors (or other leaders)?

  • 10 Indications a Church is Making Disciples

    I’ve often heard people say you can’t measure discipleship. I don’t know if that’s true.

    It is true that you can’t necessarily put a number or percentage on discipleship growth, but you can tell—over time—if it has happened or is happening.

    Here are 10 indications a church is making disciples:

    Those who have been in the church the longest complain the least. – Do everything without complaining or arguing. Philippians 2:14

    The leaders of the church are most likely to give up “their” seats, park farther from the building, or do whatever is necessary to help the Body. – The greatest among you must be a servant. Matthew 23:11

    The church celebrates most when those far from faith come to faith. In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away! Luke 15:7

    Members care that others needs are met more than their own. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:4

    The church is willing to make sacrifices to attract the lost – And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Acts 15:19

    There is joy even during suffering – Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds. James 1:2

    The teaching is a balance of truth and grace. Jesus came full of grace and truth. John 1:17

    The financial needs of the church are funded, with people willingly sacrificing. No one begs for money. Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not reluctantly or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

    There are no petty disputes and grudges among the people of the church. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

    The church takes care of each other well. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. Acts 4:34

    Let’s keep this going. These are a few that come to my mind. There are others. Prayer. Forgiveness. I’d love to post again — maybe “21 Indications a Church is Making Disciples”. Add one of your own in the comments. (And, give your Bible reference.)


    Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about

  • 7 Examples of Lazy Leadership Practices

    Laziness is a sin.

    Whoever is lazy regarding his work is also a brother to the master of destruction. Proverbs 18:9

    It’s also annoying. And ineffective in leadership.

    The fact is, however, that many of us have some lazy tendencies when it comes to leadership. I do at times. This is as much an inward reflecting post as an outward teaching.

    Please understand I’m not calling a leader lazy who defaults to any of these leadership practices listed. The leader may be extremely hard working, but the practice itself—I’m contending—is lazy leadership.

    Here are a 7 examples of lazy leadership practices.

    See if any of them apply to your leadership.

    Assuming the answer without asking hard questions. Or not asking enough questions. It’s easier just to move forward sometimes—and sometimes it’s even necessary to move quickly—but many times we just didn’t put enough energy into making the best decision. Often it’s because we don’t want to know or are afraid to know the real answer. That’s the lazy way of making decisions.

    Not delegating. Again, I’m not saying the leader is lazy. But this part of their leadership is. It’s easier many times just to “do it myself” than to go through the process of delegating. Good delegating takes hard work. You can’t just “dump and run.” You have to help people know the vision, understand a win, and stay close enough in case they need you again. New leaders are developed, loyalty is gained, and teams are made more effective through delegation.

    Giving up after the first try. No one likes to fail. Sometimes it’s easier to scrap a dream and start over rather than fight through the messiness and even embarrassment of picking up the pieces of a broken dream, but if the dream was valid the first time, it probably has some validity today.

    Not investing in younger leaders. There’s the whole generational gap—differences in values, communication styles, expectations, etc. It would be easier to surround ourselves with all like-minded people, but who wins with that approach—especially long-term?

    Settling for mediocre performance. It’s more difficult to push for excellence. Average results come with average efforts. It’s the hard work and the final efforts that produce the best results. But the experience of celebrating when you’ve done your best work is always worth the extra energy.

    Not explaining why. “Just do what I say” leadership saves a lot of the leader’s time. If I don’t have to explain what’s in my head—just tell people what to do—I get to do more of what I want to do. But I’d have a bunch of pawns on my team and one disrespected, ineffective, and unprotected king (leader). (And being “king” is not a good leadership style, by the way.) Continual vision-casting is often the harder work, but necessary for the best results in leadership.

    Avoiding conflict. No one likes conflict. Not even those of us who don’t run from it. But you can’t lead effectively without experiencing conflict. Every decision a leader makes is subject to agreement and disagreement. It’s why we need leadership. If there was only one direction who needs a leader? To achieve best—the very best—we have to lead people beyond a simple compromise that makes everyone happy.

    If you’ve been practicing lazy leadership, the best response—as to any sin—is to repent—turn away—and do the hard work of leadership. You and your team will benefit greatly.

    Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Proverbs 6:6


    Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about

  • About Ron Edmondson

    Ron Edmondson serves as the senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky, and has an impressive history of church planting and church growth. A nationally known Christian leader, he was raised in a Christian home and active in his home church, First Baptist Church of Clarksville, Tennessee, serving as a lay leader, deacon, Sunday School director, and teacher. After twenty years in business, including time owning an insurance agency and a small manufacturing company, Ron heard God’s call to ministry.

    A lifelong student of the Bible, Ron’s strong theological background guides him to teach faithfully from Scripture. Ron identifies himself as a wisdom seeker and a teacher.

    Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about