During my earlier years of ministry, I rarely asked for feedback and struggled to accept a critique. I wanted only affirmation! I would work for hours to craft a masterful sermon and I was thrilled to be told how amazing it was. However, if one person gave me a critique, I would say “thank you” on the outside, but on the inside I was crushed. I thought, “How dare they?” In reality I was a thin-skinned, insecure leader with a low self-esteem.
I’m convinced that our theology and worldview is on full display in the way that we pray (or don’t pray). I agree with J.I. Packer who said, “I believe that prayer is the measure of the man, spiritually, in a way that nothing else is, so that how we pray is as important a question as we can ever face”. My prayer life lays bare not only the things which are important to me but also how important and self-sufficient I think I am. Prayerlessness reveals a self-sufficient heart.
Christian worship services have always had other goals. The earliest disciples gathered together on the first Sunday morning with the breathless exuberance of eyewitnesses. They came together to bear witness that Jesus Christ accomplished the greatest victory in history. He had risen from the grave, they had seen it, and they gathered to celebrate that victory and contemplate its implications.
Justin Taylor shares an interview with Carl Trueman.
My most influential moments don’t come when I’m the one on stage, or the “wise counselor” with Bible in hand, or the faceless blogger spouting words of parental wisdom. Many people can teach, after all. But Jesus says the pathway to great influence lies not just in teaching, but in behind-the-scenes, sacrificial, “nothing-in-this-for-me” self-donation. Servanthood. Walking in the footsteps of the One who came to give his life away.
While leaders are responsible for future leadership, there is a constant temptation to delay developing others. If you are addicted to short-term results, it will be easy to delay developing others. After all, leadership development is deeply countercultural in an instant gratification culture. And while leaders intuitively know they are responsible to develop others, many leaders often neglect the essential and offer foolish excuses instead. Here are three common ones.
I had promised myself to post more here these days. To be a hunter of beauty and a finder of joy in a season where everywhere we look are reminders of fracturing and fragility. I don’t really believe that, though, I think. Lately I’ve been reminded of how whole and perfect and beautiful things are and are becoming. Staying away from the angry articles and interviews and response blogs and angry response blogs and retweeted tweets is helpful for that though. Eternity really is written on the hearts of men, but I guess sometimes we think hell is eternity and not heaven. I’ve been grateful for heaven this past week.
A favorite from the archives:
If Paul were ministering today, would he use video?
This is an important question, and it’s not one that is as clear cut as you might think. Many who have embraced video venue gatherings point to Paul as their example. Because he was all about becoming all things to all people in the hopes of winning some to the gospel, he would surely use any (non-sinful) means at his disposal to extend the reach of the gospel.
That’s generally how I’ve seen the argument go, anyway. (I realize I’m probably oversimplifying a bit.)
The question of whether or not Paul would use video is an important one, but I wonder if it might also be the wrong one.
Would Paul use video to share the gospel? Probably, sure. But, more importantly, what would he use it for?