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Comforting (via Lunarbaboon)

A comic strip from Lunarbaboon that conveys some wisdom about the comfort of presence.


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Delegating A Concept, As Well As A Task (via Brian Cosby at The Christward Collective)

In a longer post about leadership Brian Cosby illustrates how delegating tasks simply adds workers; it takes the additional impartation of the concept of how the execution of their task is significant in realising the overall goal or vision of the church to build a team.
Something I need to mull over and implement.

As a leader, it is usually preferable to delegate not only specific tasks, but concepts. By doing this you press home the significance of their work. For example, a janitor doesn’t just clean the church; he provides a welcoming environment for gospel community week in and week out. If you tell him to simply clean “that toilet” or dust “that table,” sure, he will (hopefully) do that and do that well. But if you delegate the concept of Christian hospitality—so that he takes ownership that this is his mission and his church—then he will be on the lookout for other needs that are not specified on your list. Don’t get me wrong, he needs a list—clearly outlined expectations! But if you only provide a list without helping him see the bigger picture of why he’s doing what he’s doing, then you will only get what’s on the list and he won’t be truly a part your team.

Read the whole post at Christward Collective.


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The ‘I’ And ‘We’ Of Leadership Responsibility From George H.W. Bush (via Dan Rockwell)

Dan Rockwell reflects on this quote from the late George H.W. Bush: “I think history will point out some of the things I did wrong and perhaps some of the things we did right.”
He notes that some who refer to the quote overlook Bush’s use of the pronouns ‘I’ and ‘We’, so even misquoting and changing the ‘we’ to another ‘I’.

When it comes to failure, be like President Bush. Use “I.” When it comes to success, use “we.”
“I” reflects personal responsibility.
“We” respects others.
The shift from “I” to “we” is the heart of humble leadership. A side benefit of taking responsibility is trust.

Read the entire post at Leadership Freak.


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Have God-Sized Expectations Of God, And Human-Sized Expectations Of Humans (via Justin Buzzard)

Some helpful thoughts on pastoral leadership and the implementation of leadership vision from Justin Buzzard.

Have God-sized expectations of God, and human-sized expectations of humans.
If you can absorb this principle, then the Bible will make more sense to you, your church (and all other relationships) will make more sense to you, and you will make more sense to you. You’ll discover fresh freedom, and increasingly become a leader whose presence, prayers, dreams, decisions, and sobered disappointments bring new Life and growth to your church and city. You’ll find yourself enjoying God more, enjoying humans more, enjoying yourself more. Great things happen when we expect more from God, and when we expect human-sized outcomes from talented and maturing (but imperfect and moody) humans.

Read the whole post at Justin Buzzard – Risk Or Rust.


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Converting Presbyterian Ministers To Advent

I keep track of Advent without specifically following it.
I think it’s helpful to acknowledge what the majority of Christians have been doing throughout the centuries and do throughout the world today, while affirming our non-conformist ways.
One of my colleagues was throwing a bit of shade about the situation the other night, and wanted to know what Advent was.
I told him it was when we could use one of these.

Imagine it, “Where’s the pastor?” “Just having his daily Advent observance?” “It’s only 9.30 in the morning.”
…I feel like an Advent, I feel like an Advent, I feel like an Advent or two.
…You can get it preparing a sermon, you can get it organising a roster, after a hard day’s pastoring a hard-earned thirst deserves an Advent observance. Advent, matter of fact I’ve got it now.


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Healthy Pastors Are Peacemakers At Heart, Not Pugilists (via David Mathis at Desiring God)

There’s a difference between a peacemaker and a conflict avoider.
David Mathis writes about How Do Pastors Pick Their Fights? and makes some points about the character of pastors, which is meant to be a model for the character of Christians.

Healthy pastors are peacemakers at heart, not pugilists. They don’t fight for sport; they fight to protect and promote peace. They know first and foremost — as a divine representative to their people — that our God is “the God of peace” (Romans 15:33); our message, “the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15); our Lord Jesus himself made peace (Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 1:20) and “is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14), preaching “peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near” (Ephesians 2:17).
And making peace is not unique to Christian leaders. Rather, we insist on it in our leaders so that they model and encourage peacemaking for the whole church. “Blessed are the peacemakers,” said our Lord, “for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). “Let us pursue what makes for peace” (Romans 14:19). “Strive for peace with everyone” (Hebrews 12:14). “If possible, so far as it depends on you” — all of you who are members of the body of Christ — “live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18).
This kind of peacemaking not only means leading our flocks in preserving and enjoying peace, but also in making peace that requires confrontation. Some controversies cannot be avoided — and we engage not because we simply want to fight (or win), but because we want to win those being deceived. God means for leaders in his church to have the kind of spiritual magnanimity to rise above the allure of petty disputes, and to press valiantly for peace and Christ-exalting harmony in the places angels might fear to tread.

Read the whole post at Desiring God.


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Faithful Friendship And A Life Marked By Jesus And Redemption – A Songwriter’s Spirit, A Pastor’s Heart

This is from a review of Everything As It Should Be, a new album by singer/songwriter Andy Gullahorn.
Fellow song-writer Andrew Osenga muses about Gullahorn’s capacity to keep producing album after album of personal and poignant vignettes that resonate with real life.
To keep doing so requires life lived well with others.
It resonates closely with what a pastor does.
From Osenga about Gullahorn’s songs:

Well, you have to live them. That’s how. You have to actually love people. And be the kind of person they turn to when life falls apart. You have to know how to listen more than you speak, and then not try to fix them when you do.
You have to know people for years. You have to forgive them when they let you down. You have to let them forgive you, too (which is, of course, the hardest thing. Until you’ve done it).
You have to walk closely for a long, long time with your spouse, your kids, your friends. With people in your congregation and your neighborhood and your bowling alley and some other church’s basement with old carpet and hard plastic chairs.
You have to ask hard questions without judgment. And ask them again when you’ve been shut down the first dozen times. You have to hold your friends when they’re crying and not look away when it’s uncomfortable.
+++
But beneath all of that wonderfulness there is faithful friendship and a life marked by Jesus and redemption.

Read the review of Everything As It Should Be at the Rabbit Room, where you’ll find more information about the album.