mgpcpastor's blog


Leave a comment

Like Nothing Else (via Jeff Robinson)

Ministry is not the hardest thing anyone can do.
But it has a unique character; and a particular aspect of that character needs a particular awareness in order to go the long-term.
From Jeff Robinson at Crossway blog.

Jesus said it best in John 15:5: Apart from me you can do nothing. As a pastor, you either learn early to write that over the door of your heart or you don’t last long in ministry. It’s really just that simple. One of my favorite passages in my first few years of ministry was Mark 4:26-28 where Jesus tells the parable of the seed. It’s very pithy, there are just a couple of verses. The farmer plants the seed and then he goes to bed. When he gets up, lo and behold, the seed has germinated, grown, and he knows not how. Of course, we know how. We know it’s the grace of God.
God has invested this gospel truth in you, but it’s not about you because you can’t do anything to save people or sanctify people.
You realize pretty early that the call to pastoral ministry is not like anything else you’re going to do in life. You’re likely not going to have product at the end of the day. You’re not going to have widgets that you’ve made. You’re not going to have a byline at the top of the page or anything like that.

source


Leave a comment

My Management Plan

I’m attending meetings this week.
It’s sort of soft return to work.
This cartoon is sort of my management plan, explaining why nothing seems to go wrong for me.
(btw, this web cartoon is close to my life an uncomfortably lot of the time)


Leave a comment

Christian Hospitality Is A Reflection Of The Gospel (Nick Kennicott at The Christward Collective)

All Christians are part of the household of God.
All Christians were once welcomed to that household by God’s grace.
All Christians have a role in welcoming visitors to that household as an expression of the grace we’ve received.

From Nick Kennicott at The Christward Collective.

To be hospitable is to welcome a person with open arms, with an open heart, and with an open door; it is an openness to care for and love others, putting their needs before our own to ensure, at the very least, that they feel welcome in our midst. Fulfilling the Bible’s command to be hospitable in the local church is a responsibility of every Christian.
The motivation for Christians to be hospitable is to remember that we are the recipients of God’s hospitality. We were once strangers, wanderers, orphans, and aliens, but by the grace of God, we were made alive together with Christ. Thus, Christian hospitality is a reflection of the gospel. The ultimate hospitality was Jesus Christ dying for sinners to make all who believe, not only visitors, but members of His household.

Read the whole post here.


Leave a comment

Relational Patience (via Ed Stetzer)

In a post about necessary qualities of church revitalisers (those who come be nurture new vitality in an existing church, in contrast with church planters who are starting a new church) Ed Stetzer writes about the need for relational patience, a quality any pastor who is working with an existing church needs.

…church revitalizers must have relational patience
If you’re planting a church, you do not necessarily have to be relationally patient. A church planter can come into an area and do their thing, and if people don’t respond, they can move on. But in church revitalization, it is essential to be relationally patient. Church revitalizers need to take time with people and love people who don’t always agree with them.
They must remember that a church member disagreeing with them is not the same thing as disagreeing with God. There will be people who have different views, approaches, and philosophies. A church revitalizer needs to have the patience to take time to weigh all of those opinions. They have to learn how to love the entire congregation well, including those they disagree with. That takes a great amount of relational patience.

Read the whole post.


Leave a comment

The Challenge Of Sundays In A Smaller Church (via Karl Vaters)

Having come from a meeting today where church attendance figures were submitted, this article by Karl Vaters makes some helpful points.
While there is an average number of people attending a church, in reality attendances can fluctuate between, say, thirty-five an sixty people.
That difference makes a significant change in tone, and, realistically, most weeks those planning worship don’t know which ‘group’ they’re structuring for.

Vaters suggests:

Think relationally not programmatically
Highly programmed people have a hard time in small church leadership. Highly relational people do much better.
When numbers are small, and week-to-week percentage swings are highly variable, you can’t lead with a fill-in-the-boxes mentality.
In small churches, everything is done relationally. Our planning needs to be, too.
*and*
Leave a lot of wiggle room in your plans
Most planning principles are based on exact numbers. But when you don’t have exact numbers, you can’t plan that way.
Instead of saying “we need X number of ushers, greeters or nursery attendants”, talk with the members of your church about the importance of being ready for anything at a moment’s notice.

Read the whole post here.


Leave a comment

Why Starbucks Failed In Australia (via CNBC)

“They thought their business model could just roll out.”
I’ve watched forty years or so of church ministries franchise themselves as the future of the church without having the humility or awareness to realise that they were a lot more dependent on local circumstances and personalities than they thought.
“The company said that it would develop in Italy with humility and respect.”
If only Christian ministries focussed on church growth would do the same.
Interestingly the company’s plans for Australia now seem to be focussed on presenting a familiar presence and product for tourists visiting the country.


Leave a comment

The Aroma Of Memory

A funeral for a Christian man, whose life was the aroma of Jesus.

At the graveside his family were given sprigs of rosemary, the herb of remembrance, to cast in the grave.

Holding the herb, squeezing it gently, breathing in the herbaceous sweet woody aroma provided a pause to collect final memories of this man, and of his wife who had preceded him to heaven.

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, … because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”

Philippians 1:3,5