Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pastoring Related Posts - November 13

Here are the latest blog posts related to pastoring I have come across. If you are serving others or discipling someone you may find some good "food for thought" as well.
Here's a quote from a Christianity Today article on the importance of the gospel for pastors that I read a long time ago but did not keep the link:
There's been a lot of talk about how the gospel is for Christians. Have we forgotten that the gospel is for pastors too?
Yes! I mean it has to be for pastors first. There's absolutely no way that our people will experience the liberating now-power of the gospel if the pastor doesn't even know what the liberating now-power of the gospel looks like. When I speak to pastors I say, "There is only one thing that will enable you to survive, and that's the gospel. It's not whether your church grows or not. It's not having the right leadership principle. All of those things might be helpful, but the gospel is the only thing that will save you in ministry." You inevitably face crises, slander, unfair criticism, pressure to perform in your professional and personal life. You have to have a model marriage. You've got to have the model children. You've got to be the one logging hours of private prayer every day. I mean there is heavy-duty pressure on pastors to be spiritual giants. What I love about the freeing, liberating power of the gospel is I can stand up on a Sunday morning without fear or reservation and be able to identify my own idols in front of my people. I'll say things like, "I hate to admit this, but part of my motivation for preparing the sermon that I am preaching today is because I want you to think I'm a good preacher. It accentuates my sense of worth." Is that embarrassing to admit? Absolutely! But it's incredibly liberating. I don't have to feel like I have to always be on, that I always have to be performing well, that every sermon's got to be a homerun, that I've got to be modeling perfect piety before all of our people. The pressure's off. Jesus measured up so I wouldn't have to live under the enslaving pressure of measuring up for others. And that's good news.

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