Your leadership / Shepherding
5 ways elders can shepherd elders (Phil A. Newton)
- Pray daily for one another. Just as you pray daily for your own spiritual needs and those of your family, pray for your fellow elders. You hold closest to your heart those you regularly hold before the throne of grace. That act of daily prayer brings to mind the needs of your fellow elders. You’re praying for what you’ve observed about them and what you’ve learned in conversations with them. You’ve been sharing life together, so you share their needs with the Father.Click below for the remaining ways…
7 principles to lead as Jesus Led (Ed Stetzer)
- Jesus humbled himself and allowed God to exalt him.
- Jesus followed his Father’s will rather than sought a position.
- Jesus defined greatness as being a servant.Click below for other principles and fuller explanations…
10 characteristics of humble leaders I have known (Chuck Lawless)
- They give with few people knowing. I’ve known leaders who give sacrificially to help those in need, but the only persons who know about it are those who must know. Humble people aren’t worried that others see what they do.
- They open doors for others. To be honest, I am where I am because of humble leaders who paved the way for me. They gave me opportunities to serve when they could have kept the opportunities for themselves.
- They evangelize. This one might surprise you, but I’ve seen this correlation. Some of the humblest people I know are also the greatest evangelists I know. Proud people, on the other hand, usually talk about themselves more than about Jesus.
- They are genuinely prayerful. Their obedience in this spiritual discipline is not simply what they know they need to do; it’s an expression of their deep need for God’s help. Link below for other characteristics…
The Top ten sources of discouragement for pastors (Thom Rainer) A list that relates to elders as well.
- Conflict and criticism from church members. “I had no idea the number of critics would be so many. And some of them are really mean.”
- Members leaving the church. “It seems the more I invest in church members, the more likely they are to leave. It really hurts when they tell me they are going to another church that meets their needs better.”
- Church decline. “We have been in gradual decline for eight years. I wish I knew what to do to reverse it.”More to link to…
Church – Biblical knowledge and doctrine
Don’t sacrifice truth on the altar of community (Michael Kelley) It’s an easy path to take when our highest goal in community is politeness, but it’s not the true end. We must not sacrifice truth on the altar of what we suppose to be community. We must move beyond.
7 reasons why our church members don’t know their church’s doctrine (Chuck Lawless)
- We’ve assumed that attendance in our church results in their having biblical theology. Our equation has been as simple as, “Attending our small groups + attending our worship = having a biblical theology.” We assume they will connect the doctrinal dots on their own.
- We haven’t taught them basic doctrine. We might think we have, but we seldom have systematically, intentionally led them in doctrinal studies. Too many churches leave those discussions to seminary campuses.
- We haven’t discipled them in general. We’ve allowed baby believers to remain babies, and we’ve sometimes even elevated them to leadership positions—without ever talking to them about the importance of doctrine.Link below for more…
Church Membership / Commitment
7 Bad reasons to leave the church (Brett McCracken) In our consumer society, where prevailing wisdom says we should be loyal to products or brands only insofar as our needs and tastes are satisfied, it can be easy for churchgoers to have a very low threshold for leaving a church. The slightest mismatch of preferences or the smallest amount of discomfort can lead a churchgoer to become a church shopper, scouring the “market” for the elusive perfect church. There are good reasons to leave a church, but there are also bad reasons. What are some common, but ultimately bad, reasons why we might be tempted to leave our current church? Here are seven:
7 good reasons to leave the church (Brett McCracken) In our consumer society, where prevailing wisdom says we should be loyal to products or brands only insofar as our needs and tastes are satisfied, it can be easy for churchgoers to have a very low threshold for leaving a church. The preaching loses some luster. The children’s ministry isn’t as fun as it could be. The worship leader’s hairstyle becomes bothersome. There are lots of bad reasons for leaving a church. But what are some legitimate reasons for leaving a church? Here are seven:
What if we applied for better or worse to church commitment (Brett McCracken)The church as a bride isn’t just a random, pleasant metaphor in Scripture. It’s of profound theological importance. It’s how God relates to his people. “The church is the beloved bride of Jesus,” writes Sam Allberry in Why Bother With Church? “Church is not his hobby; it is his marriage—and it’s ours too”.
Why churches should have meaningful membership (Erik Raymond) 4 reasons given why churches should have meaningful membership.
Who do you think you are? The Audacious authority of preaching (Chris Castaldo) It happens every week—same time, same place. Just before I preach, I stand at the edge of the platform and look out over the congregation. Then I think: You’re nuts, Chris, if you think your sermon this morning will have a lasting effect—that your words will penetrate souls, lift people from the mire of sin, impart hope, and engender heartfelt worship. Audacious. Presumptuous. Ludicrous. Nevertheless, here goes. In those brief moments before I begin to preach, as the arrows of doubt arrive from every direction, I have a few counterattacks ready. I repeat the words of Spurgeon, echoing the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe in the Holy Spirit,” which is exactly what I need to remember when imagining that the impotence of my words might thwart God’s work.