Looking back, one of the most glaring (and I would add scandalous) omissions is that my church never taught me how to live. I knew how to do a ton of religious things, but when it came to living out my faith as a disciple of Jesus, I really had no clue.
So, how do we break into the lives of people who are immersed in this postmodern reality? How do we reach them for the gospel? Do we offer therapeutic entertainment to draw them in? Nope. Instead, we do the unthinkable in our modern age. We preach.
As those who will give an account for the way that we handle God’s Word and shepherd His flock, we must guard against allowing opinion polls to shape the way that we preach the Word. Consequently, one does best to steer clear of any approach or preaching method that hinders or clouds or confuses the message of God’s Word.
God has decided to reveal His plans to people. He usually selects a leader and fills his head with lots of ideas. But rarely do his plans involve only one person. God designed us to collaborate with others while we fulfill His plans.
Like farmers, pastors must know the purpose of their work, and we must be willing to do whatever it takes to produce disciples. Fulfilling the Great Commission is not an option for today’s church leader!
Christians affirm that salvation comes from God alone, but too often our daily walk suggests his gift is incomplete until we step in. This is an old problem, which the letter of Galatians dealt with a long time ago.
Having planted two churches and after helping numerous non-profit ministries see their start, I’ve learned a few things, many of which I write about here. I’ve also learned there are a few common steps in a successful launch.
While I was in Zambia, I missed a very important funeral and a sudden open heart surgery of one of our elderly members. Because of this, my time in Zambia reminded me of the importance of my “motto” for pastoral ministry: