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5 Tips for Pastors Moving out of the Pastorate into Denominational Work

Some 15 years ago I transitioned from pastoring (for 42 years) into the office of the Director of Missions for the SBC churches of Metro New Orleans. My experience has me wanting to share ideas with friends such as Louisiana’s Dr. Steve Horn, who left the pastorate of FBC Lafayette to become Executive of that state’s SBC churches. Or, Dr. Shawn Parker, who left FBC Columbus MS for the Executive office in Mississippi. Or, even you, pastor—if you’re in transition. Maybe you’ve been pastoring churches all your adult life. And now the Lord–with the assistance of an executive search committee–is moving you out of the pastorate into a denominational office where your constituency will be churches and pastors instead of deacons and Sunday School teachers and the WMU.I have been there, done that, and have the t-shirt. And maybe a scar or two.Eighteen months into my five-year tenure with the New Orleans Baptist Association, Hurricane Katrina flooded our city, ruining vast neighborhoods and displacing hundreds of thousands of residents while destroying many of our churches. Every day was a challenge. The blessings came in waves, the frustrations never left.I came by these grey hairs honestly.Ideally, in your new position, you will have just enough difficulties to challenge your strengths without crushing you, and enough encouragement and prayer support to compensate for your weaknesses without making you self-satisfied or complacent.Here are 5 tips to make the most of your transition:Photo Credit:©Gettyimages

4 Problems with Celebrity Culture in the Church

We have seen the embrace of celebrity culture in the church, where the pastor is viewed as this extraordinary individual, such as a superstar or a hero to them. Here are four problems with celebrity culture in the church and how churches cannot fall into its influence.

5 Ways to Engage Millennials and Gen Z in the Local Church

Gone are the days when families drove to church in their Sunday best and went to Wednesday night Bible study. While this might have been a priority at one time in our history, it is no more. In an age when Millennials and Gen Z kids are leaving the church in droves, it is more important than ever to engage them in your local ministry.

What Are Some Practical Ways to Handle Stress?

I’m worried that life as we knew it is gone forever. I no longer read the news, because it seems that the same scary things are being repeated over and over. Everything seems to be in crisis. What are some practical ways to handle my stress?

7 Biblical Ways to Prevent Conflict Before it Starts

Conflict is a part of life. It's the less enjoyable part of life but is, nonetheless, part of life. However, we don't have to give ourselves over to it. And it doesn't need to define us or our days. As Christians, we are called to fight the beautiful fight (1 Timothy 6:12). Yet discerningly, leave the ugly, unfruitful conflicts behind, undetonated, as best as we can.Paul tells us to live at peace with all men as far as it is up to us (Romans 12:18). So while I would never want to leave a reader with a sense that Christians are not called to battle for justice and right, we are simultaneously called to live in peace because we belong to the Prince of Peace.Here are seven Scriptural insights to ease unnecessary conflicts out of your life.
Photo credit: © Getty Images/Antonio Guillem

4 Ways to Overcome Insecurities about Being the Spiritual Leader of Your Home

Who is the spiritual leader of my home? Any entity must have a leader for it to survive, progress, and flourish. He or she is entrusted with promoting and instilling the common objective to foster success of the stated goal. Moreover, the head is responsible for the adherence to all of the principles as required for the accomplishment of the mission. The physical church needs a strong spiritual leader as its shepherd. Likewise, every household should have a designated spiritual leader. The familial spiritual leader serves as an example and offers instruction for the further cultivation of the other members’ spiritual walk. When more of our homes inhabit strong spiritual leaders, there will be fewer houses possessed by the lyrics of Cardi B and Lil Nas X.Charles Spurgeon preached, “when fathers are tongue-tied religiously with their offspring, need they wonder if their children’s hearts remain sin tied?” When we instill the core principle of loving the Lord your God with all of our hearts and all of our souls and with all of our strength, Deuteronomy 6:5 becomes a natural way of life for our household. When something becomes instinctive, there is less room for insecurity.Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/digitalskillet

How the Practice of Lament Can Help Churches Heal

Grief always goes somewhere. And we have had plenty to grieve within the last couple of years. Thankfully God has not left us without a way to deal with our grief. This “release valve” is the practice of lament.

5 Things That Steal Your Sabbath

There seems to be a direct correlation between the winding down of the pandemic (in America at least) and the increase of busyness in our lives. Life is starting to feel like a race car revving its engine at the starting line, ready to bolt at the sound of the gun. But before you take your foot off the brake and jam the gas pedal to the floor, it might be a good time to throw it into neutral and take stock of how well you are doing at creating space for rest and reflection in your life.Participating in a regular Sabbath can give us the space we need to keep busyness at bay. Unfortunately, there are many things that can steal God’s gift of the Sabbath. Let’s look at five things that can potentially steal our Sabbath and what we can do to get it back.

7 Warning Signs That Legalism is Sneaking into Your Faith

Legalism is a huge buzzword in churches, to the point it has almost lost its meaning. But as a real concern, there are warning signs legalism is sneaking into your faith.What is legalism? Simply put, legalism is when we act with the belief that what we do saves us. Legalism relies upon the power of self and can express itself through religious duty and behavior.This lie leads to death. The letter of the Law kills, Paul tells us, but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6). The Law itself isn’t the problem; only us trying to adhere to it apart from God. Our own abilities can’t save us or make us righteous. We need God and his grace for both.Here are seven warning signs legalism is sneaking into your faith.Photo Credit:©iStock/Getty Images Plus/SIphotography

7 Sneaky Ways Satan Stops You from Praying

We start our morning with good intentions to have our devotional or quiet time with the Lord, and then somehow, the day slips away before we ever get around to it. We promise ourselves we’ll make time to pray before bed, but then exhaustion or sleepiness overtakes us, and soon we’re sound asleep.Satan doesn’t want us praying and listening to our Father in Heaven, so he will use his emissaries to intervene, interfere, or interrupt our conversations with the Lord. Really, prayer is just that, a simple conversation with God. Talking to Him about praises, requests, concerns, feelings, hopes, dreams... and then listening for His still small voice answering us through the Holy Spirit.The more aware we become of Satan’s sneaky tactics to stop us from praying, the better prepared we’ll be to combat and conquer them. See if any of the following satanic ruses have happened to you, and consider trying some of the solutions offered to victory in praying with your Lord and Savior.You who love the Lord, hate evil! He protects the lives of his godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked. Ps. 97:10 NLTPhoto Credit: ©GettyImages/tommaso79

5 Profound Reasons Why Showing Up Matters in Christianity

A famous adage says, "Half of life is just showing up." Although people may dismiss this statement, there's some truth to it. While technology tries to replace in-person church attendance, small groups, and other in-person communication, connection and intimacy can only be achieved through events that we do in groups or one-on-one. Technology cannot replace the connection and community we receive when we attend something in person. We make friends and receive strength, correction, and grace when we need it the most. Furthermore, when we attend in-person events, we not only receive encouragement from the people around us, but we give encouragement as well. Here are some reasons why showing up matters in Christianity:
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/artplus

What Should a Pastor's Primary Passion Be?

Consultants tell businessmen and pastors alike that to achieve the highest level of success, one must have a passion for growing his business or his church. What is your passion? What drives you? What springs you out of bed in the morning and still has you going late in the evening when normal people would be watching television?


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