Ministry leadership is a privilege, but we all face difficult seasons of pruning and even times of fallow ground. Again and again, I have seen tough seasons yield in God’s time to renewed seasons of joy and ministry growth. As we wait by faith for God to move afresh, we wonder if those joyful, fruit-bearing days will ever return.
If you’re facing a dry season today, I want you to know that I have faced them too. Press ahead in faith, believing that God is at work—and soon you will see the evidence of what He has been doing all along. God is on the move in our world today, and we are blessed to have a seat on the kingdom bus.
Take a moment and be encouraged by this recent evidence of God’s continued work through our fellowship. And if you’re currently in a hard place, let these stories stir your faith for more good days of gospel impact just up ahead.
November 13, 2014
Watch this first.
5 Essential Yet Neglected Pastoral Duties
Why did you get into ministry? Why did you become a pastor? For most of us, the answer would be a combination of a calling to preach the Word, love people, and spread the gospel. These are the things that are rooted deep in our hearts. They inspire us to get up every day and serve the church. They are what keeps us on course when ministry gets tough. They are essential to any ministry, but there are also other essential pastoral duties.
So what is meant by “essential”? Essential duties are the things that must be done to grow the organization by achieving its ultimate goals in continually greater ways. The purpose and the end goal of the church is defined by Christ in Matthew 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples . . .” So what duties are essential to making as many disciples as possible? Just as farmers will never grow more crops by painting the barn, mending the fence, or hanging out with the other farmers at the co-op, pastors cannot grow disciples by focusing merely on the things that make the church run well and look nice. As pastors, we must be about making more disciples who will, in turn, generate more resources for the church and make even more disciples.
This blog is dedicated to training pastors who lead vertical churches that glorify God. According to Jesus, one major way this happens is in multiplying disciples. To this end, God has called us into a divine/human cooperative to build His kingdom through the multiplication of disciples. As pastors we cannot let our focus on being a vertical church undermine our fulfillment of our essential horizontal duties.
The first essential duty neglected by pastors is connecting.
Pastors are connectors, and when they are not, their churches struggle. When pastors see potential disciples they must pursue them. Paul did this in Acts 16:13-15 with the group of women praying outside the city. Read More
November 07, 2014
Hey, welcome to our first ‘Fast 5’! In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul exhorts us to entrust what we have learned “to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” And I’m fired up about sharing some practical things I’ve learned through my years of ministry. I pray these insights will help you steward your time more effectively and advance your ministry in the mission of making disciples. Read More
October 31, 2014
What does it look like for God’s men to act like men? Not with some crazy, inflated bravado, but men who are strong in the strength of Christ. Men who are stoked by a renewed passion to love and serve others as an expression of thankfulness for everything God has done for them.
When solid, biblical theology calls men to lives of gratitude for a Savior who loves us and gave Himself for us, it looks like this . . . Read More
October 29, 2014
It’s a famous story in our church’s Elder history. A group of Elders and their wives were enjoying a beautiful meal together and wonderfully edifying conversation around the table, just as desert was served. My first bite of apple pie seemed unusually cold and clammy, but I didn’t want to cut into the discussion, so I picked at it with my fork and waited. A second, smaller bite was weirder still, so I slipped in the words, “Hey what’s wrong with this pie?” Read More
October 21, 2014
Harvest University, our annual ministry training conference, is happening right now. Some 2200 pastors and leaders have gathered from churches around the world for three days of intense training, equipping, and encouragement. I am so grateful for our church planting ministry, Harvest Bible Fellowship, and the awesome work of God that continues in our 15th year of planting reproducing Harvest Bible Chapels. To Him be the glory! Read More