mgpcpastor's blog


Leave a comment

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.


Leave a comment

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.


Leave a comment

Zack Eswine on The Busy Pastor (via Jared C. Wilson)

If you can find time, this podcast featuring Zack Eswine on The Busy Pastor would be worth listening to.
It can be found at For The Church.


Leave a comment

Fighting Pastoral Covetousness (via Darryl Dash)

Darryl Dash offers some counsel by which pastors can not only avoid covetousness, but nurture satisfaction and joy.

We can fight pastoral covetousness in two ways.
Positively: cultivate contentment. Find satisfaction in your work and your place. Pray for joy. Base your identity not on how well your ministry is going, but who you are in Jesus.
After all, one day you’ll long for what you have now. Besides, I hear those who have larger ministries who long for a church like yours. Don’t miss the blessings that are yours that would be absent if your ministry was larger.
Second: love fellow pastors and churches. Pick one you’re tempted to envy, and pray for them. Ask God to give you joy when other ministries succeed. Ask God to free you from coveting their success. See their success as kingdom success, and remind yourself that we all work for the same master.
“Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot” (Ecclesiastes 5:18). What God has given is enough. We can enjoy it and praise God for what he’s given others.

Read the whole post here.


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.