mgpcpastor's blog


Leave a comment

Relentlessly Driving Vision or Compassionately Shepherding Revelation? (via Michael Milton)

Michael Milton asks whether pastors see themselves as a CEO or a shepherd.
The answer will impact not just on a style of leadership, but on the nature of the body being led.

He contrasts a purpose statement from a chief executive officer with one of his own creation about pastoral ministry:

CEO Leadership
First, Mr. Welch, the CEO, and leadership:
“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately on the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion” (Jack Welsh, CEO General Electric, 1981 – 2001).
Now, let me compose a summary statement of the Christian Shepherd according to the scripture that follows:
Christian Pastoral Service
Steadfast and wise pastoral leaders follow Jesus the Lord and most faithfully fulfill His mission in the world as they locate God‘s vision, connect His vision to God’s Burden for the lives of His people, help others to see and embrace God’s vision, and pray without ceasing” (MAM).

Milton’s observation:

One of the sad things about western culture today is that many congregations have bought into the vision statement of Jack Welch, dismissing the scriptural teaching on pastoral servanthood as possibly “helpful” for a pastoral “temperament,” but ineffective for (what seems to be the priority) an organizational mission. This is not only to be regretted, but it is also to be decried.

And his conclusion:

I wish the General Electric Company the very best. And I pray for the mission of Jesus Christ in our world today. The former may, indeed, need to “relentlessly drive” vision to achieve their goal, though I question the wisdom of “driving” concepts onto human beings in any setting. But it is indisputably certain that the latter will only realize the vision of Christ by imitating His life.

Read the whole post here.


Leave a comment

Pastor By Seeing Through God’s Eyes (via Gavin Ortlund)

Gavin Ortlund offers seven areas in which pastors manifest affection (in contrast to love) for those the congregations they serve.

He finishes by writing:

See them through God’s eyes
These people are the sheep of the shepherd. God loves them with a jealous, yearning, husband-like love:
“Love is strong as death,
jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the Lord” (Songs of Songs 8:6).
If all else fails, remember how much the Lord loves your people. Jesus, the One before whom you stand, is affectionate for your people. He was thinking of them, also, as he slowly died on the cross. He now intercedes for them as His precious, blood bought people. That is the measure of their worth in His eyes.
If Jesus gave us blood for them, we can give our hearts to them.

Read the whole post here.


Leave a comment

Thick-Skinned And Tender-Hearted Pastors (via Aaron Menikoff)

At the 9Marks blog, Aaron Menikoff commends a model of pastoral presence which he calls thick-skinned and tender-hearted.
It speaks of resiliently and patiently bearing with people with loving character.
This guards against the burnout that can come from impatient over-sensitivity.
His conclusion:

Let’s work hard to avoid such pitfalls. The members of our church are precious in God’s sight, even when they bite. If we’re too thin-skinned, we’ll cave under the weight of their disappointment in us. If we’re too thick-skinned, we’ll push away the brothers and sisters God has called us to serve and lead. Therefore, be sure to be tender-hearted. The thick-skinned and tender-hearted pastor is best positioned to minister for the long haul.

Read the whole post here.


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

Pastoral Anxiety (via Kevin DeYoung)

Kevin DeYoung reflects on Second Corinthians 11:28 “apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.”
Pastoral life brings what Paul characterises as “anxiety,” and DeYoung is at pains (as is Paul) not to be seeking pity, or to make out that this anxiety is worse that concerns that so many have as part of their daily lives.
Being a pastor is a wonderful calling.
But this anxiety is a constant companion. It doesn’t get left on a desk or worksite at the end of the day. It’s never completed.
This though, is normal.
And if you’ve got a disposition that gets a bit blue at times then it weighs a bit heavier sometimes than others.
Sometimes black dog Monday lasts through till Wednesday.

DeYoung wants to simply “encourage pastors to keep fighting the good fight and encourage congregations to keep encouraging their pastors.”

Read more at Ligonier.


Leave a comment

Benefits Of A Long Term Pastorate (via 9Marks)

9Marks has an article written by Ron Pracht, who has served one church for 45 years, 25 years of those as pastor.
In the article Pracht lists the benefits and negatives of a long-term pastorate.
Here are a few of the ‘benefit’ points that resonated with my experience:

  • Trust grows stronger every year you stay.
  • You learn to be open and confessional, personally and in your preaching, because you have failed, sought forgiveness, and displayed to the people you pastor what it means to intentionally follow Jesus.
  • You learn the importance of relationships and keeping them right before God. You have fought through difficulties and walked with people in success and failure—both yours and theirs.
  • You earn the right to lead significant change because of the relational investments you have made.
  • There is a depth of relationship with people with whom you have shared joys and sorrows, disappointments and successes.

Read the rest here.


Leave a comment

Pastors Must Be What They Want To See (via Jared Wilson)

Jared Wilson points out that pastors must model the pattern of life they long to see in the Christians they serve.
A plurality of elders in a congregation helps provide a broader balance of these qualities.
From Wilson’s article:

If we want our churches to be of one mind, to be of one heart, to assassinate their idols and feast on Christ, to be wise and winsome with the world they have forsaken, to be gentle of spirit but full of confidence and boldness, to be blossoming with the fruit of the Spirit, we must lead the way.
A pastor goes first. In groups where transparency is expected, a pastor goes first. In the humility of service, a pastor goes first. In the sharing of the gospel with the lost, a pastor goes first. In the discipleship of new believers, a pastor goes first. In the singing of spiritual songs with joy and exuberance, a pastor goes first. In living generously, a pastor goes first. In the following of Christ by the taking up of one’s cross, a pastor goes first. All I am saying is that one who talks the talk ought to walk the walk. Don’t lead your flock through domineering; lead by example.
The pastor ought to be able to say with integrity to others, as Paul says to Timothy, “Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 1:13). It is not arrogant to instruct others to follow you, so long as you are following Christ and showing them Christ and giving them Christ. “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ,” Paul says again (1 Cor. 11:1).

Read the whole post here.