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So Pastor, You’re Not Billy Graham…

As I watched the Funeral of Billy Graham I was filled with sincere and heartfelt thanksgiving for all God accomplished through the life of this giant of the Faith, but I wanted to take a few moments to provide some “Pastor Encouragement” while you celebrate the life of this Godly man and again enter the pulpit this Sunday.

I heard the many reminders throughout the week as television news commentators reminded us of the facts that he had personally ministered to 12 Presidents in his lifetime, as well as the Queen of England. He is also only one of 4 non-politicians to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington D.C.

He had ministered the Gospel message in 185 countries of the world and an estimated 78 million people heard the Gospel, with many of those millions giving their lives to Christ. Many of those millions who gave their hearts to Christ have also been instrumental in souls coming to Christ through their witness!


Church Board with Relatives Serving… Good Idea?

One of the issues a church will wrestle with (in a Christian kind of way hopefully), is whether it's a good idea or not to allow members to serve on the church board.   Regardless of what you may call this group, whether it be elders, deacons, or board members, the challenge is still very real in that the desire is to have the most capable, qualified and spirit-led leaders as possible serving.

Below are a few of the issues to consider as your church possibly decides if this is a practice to be avoided or embraced.

  • Update Constitution and Bylaws

Of course, as a church, you will want to make sure you have an updated Constitution and Bylaws in place.  This goes far beyond the requirements of the State and Federal Government as a 501c3 organization that provides giving reports for your donors.  You will find it of great value to take a look at your Constitution and Bylaws on at least an annual basis with a Revisions Committee for any recommended changes.  We meet at the end of each year.  When you meet on a regular basis, it won't ever be portrayed that “they met just to put in changes to deal with a situation”.  The steps we take are:

1. Meet as a Committee to give recommendations to the Board.

2. Meet as a Board to act upon those recommendations to decide if it should proceed to the Congregation.

3. Meet as a Congregation to decide on the recommendations of the Committee and Board.  It takes a 2/3 vote to change the C&B.


3 Reasons Why Giving Someone a Ministry Position Because They are Persistent is a Bad Idea

As Pastors, we've all been there at one time or another. There's that one person who has asked over and over again to be part of a ministry that we know would be a bad idea. However, their persistence has turned into insistence and word is starting to filter out into the congregation about the situation. While you know the “back story” of why you would rather they don't serve in that particular ministry, others have not been filled in, and of course, you're not going to do that either.

Let's face it… there are ministry opportunities that exist within the church that you have been attempting to fill for a long time, but it seems that to find a person passionate about a particular ministry, who is also gifted to serve can seem like an impossible task.

So we relent and give them what they've been asking for, or more to the point… demanding.

Here are 3 reasons why that's a bad idea, AND you should leave ministry positions unfilled until you are sure you have the passionate person serving in the proper ministry.


8 Reasons Why Pastors Leave


I always used to wonder why pastors leave. If you have attended church for any amount of time, you will probably have experienced this event at least once. There was a stretch, when I was younger, that we had 4 different pastors in a 5 year period. It's also possible that you have never experienced a pastor resigning and may be asking why.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are 8 reasons I have encountered myself or seen in others:

1. Burn-out

Although you may feel that a pastor has an easy job, there is much more to it than meets the eye. Preaching, teaching, counselling, praying, fasting, visiting, leading, training, and organizing can take a tremendous amount of time and effort. If a pastor doesn't have a strong ministry team and/or volunteer team then he may find himself in a state of burn-out. Burn-out is when you just hit that brick wall where you have nothing left to give and you realize you have been leading on empty. The book below describes this in great detail from a pastor's perspective.

2. Discouragement

Pastors take on new works or churches with the goal of succeeding in winning people to Jesus. Any pastor wants to win souls. That goes without saying, but everybody has a different tolerance for timelines for that growth. One man may be working on a 10 year plan while another may expect immediate results. Either way, once they reach the end of that timeline, or even before, if the results aren't what they expect, discouragement sets in.

Another type of discouragement is not number related. Pastors invest time training, counselling, and working with people to grow their walk with God or their ministry. Sometimes many years are invested and if somebody decides to give up or turns their back on the pastor, it can be very demoralizing.


Pastoral Care – More Than Just Help for the Hurting


Pastoral care is more than simply help for the hurting. It is much more a holistic way of applying the discipleship process. And, indeed, pastoral care is globally the pastoral method integrating diverse aspects of prayerful action through fellowship within the activities of the life of a church. The church, from an interactional viewpoint, might exist to serve the community, but the pastor exists to “to shepherd… to take on the role of guiding, watching over, and protecting the entire flock.”

The church, as a community espousing community for the healing of the individual and the whole, understands that fellowship will deliver more than just help for the hurting. It develops something richer. Similarly, the pastor starts from where people are at. But, like Christ, the pastor is not content to leave them there. The pastor wants to take a person on toward Christ, and to that actual destination – the acquisition of the Holy Spirit through transformation of soul.