It has been six month since I finished my last role as Pastor of a small to medium sized country church. In this time I have been reflecting on what my ideal role going forward might look like.
My heart has always been teaching the Bible, reaching people for Christ and seeing them grow in their relationship with Christ. I guess you could say reach, disciple, teach.
So how does that translate to my current situation working part time in a secular role ordering medical supplies for a hospital?
One thing I am reflecting on is staying in my part time role at the hospital and being an non paid asscoiate Pastor who preaches once a month, and oversees of evangelism and discipleship.
I think this fits with my heart and giftings from God and being non paid, it would not take finances from the church which can be used for outreach and discipleship materials. And I would still be in contact with a lot of people through my secular role.
Time will tell is this is just prayerful reflections or it is something from God. As I have said before on this blog many times, time is always a great measure if things are from God or not.
Have you ever reflected on your ideal church role?
I just read an interesting article on OutReach.com. Here is a few paragraphs and the link to the rest of the article…
If you look at almost any growing church led by younger leaders, it definitely tends toward the charismatic—expressive worship, more emotional delivery in preaching, an openness to the work and activity of the Holy Spirit, and generally a warmer, more enthusiastic and expressive gathering.
And a lot of the churches that lean toward a more charismatic expression of their faith are filled with young adults and millennial’s.
Meanwhile, many leaders in attractional churches are finding it harder and harder to reach new people over the last few years. While not universally true, some have stopped growing, or at least seen a slower growth rate than say five or 10 years ago.
Please hear me. This is not “We’re right, you’re wrong”. This is a learning together post. Actually, both the charismatic and attractional movements have contributed massively to reaching millions of people. There is much to learn from each other.
The article goes on to list five reasons why charismatic churches are growing. It seems churches that include learning about God and an experience of God are growing. You can find the rest of the article here.
Today I want to share my sermon I preached the first week of being Pastor at my last church.
I remember in the week leading up to the first Sunday, God kept on saying, “I want you to be a living sacrifice”.
This took me to Romans 12. In the message I shared 5 points…
- Renew our minds (v2)
- Use our gifts well (v6-8)
- Really love on another (v9-10)
- Live in harmony with each other (14-18)
- Overcome evil with good (v21)
I really wanted to let the church know I would lead with a sacrifical servant heart.
If you would like to read the full text you can find it here. It also has the audio and a pdf of the powerpoint.
I really like this explanation of what happens in some house churches.
Who God says we are is a subject that as Christians we need to be reminded of every so often.
For many of us we hold a picture of ourselves that has been generated by what others have said about us over the years. It might be a teacher at school, a former boss or maybe a family member. Some of the pictures might not be that good.
For others the person who has been saying the wrong things has been ourselves. Sometimes our self talk is very negative and quite condemning. For some the things we think or say about ourselves is very wrong.
For this reason I want to look at who God says we are from the Bible. God as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe has so many positive things He says about us in the Bible, so this week I am going to let Scripture speak.
I believe that when we have a right picture of ourselves, through God’s eyes, we truly become alive to our potential and we are able to step out and be all God has created us to be.
I am hoping that we will be reminded of who we are in Christ. You can find the full text here.
I really like this blessing. It is one of my favourites to say at the end of my prayer when I finish a sermon.
I want people to be completely full of joy and peace as they trust in Christ. I want them to know what it is to overflow with a confident hope in the power of the Holy Spirit.
It is one of those blessings like Numbers 6:22-27 when God tells Aaron that when the Priests say the words, God Himself will bless them.
Being a Pastor/preacher is a blessing. It is also nice to bless others by your words and prayers.
Have you got a favourite blessing?
Hi all, my latest sermon is online now. It looked at Ephesians 1:15-23 and Paul’s heartfelt prayer for the Ephesians.
We saw that not only was it Paul’s heart for the Ephesians, but it is God’s heart for us today. We looked at six main points…
- Paul prayed for Spiritual Insight and Wisdom
- Paul prayed they would understand the confident hope
- Paul prayed they would understand the greatness of God’s power
- Paul prayed they would understand that Christ is above all things
- Paul prayed that they would understand that Christ is the head of the church
- Paul prayed that they would understand that we are Christ’s body
If you would like to see the full message, you can find it here.
In Acts 4:32-37 there is a great passage that shows real Christian community in the early church. It says…
32 All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. 33 The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. 34 There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them 35 and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need. 36 For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. 37 He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles.
There are several things that jumped out at me when I read this.
1. They were one heart and mind, so much so that they shared their possessions. As a result, nobody was in need.
2. The Apostles were able to focus on preaching the message of Christ and His resurrection. And blessing followed them all.
3. When they sold land or property they brought it to the Apostles to distribute to those in need. They didn’t decide themselves.
These are three really good things we can think about. I wonder how different our lives and churches would be if we lived more like the early church?
In Acts 2 there is a section of Scripture that talks about a new community of believers that formed after Christ returned to heaven and the Holy Spirit came. It talks about the things they focused on and the results.
Acts 2:42-47 – All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity– 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
What are the four things they focused on as a new community?
- The Apostles teaching – this would have been the Old Testament, the teachings of Christ that they had heard, and the way they believe the new community of believers should live.
- Fellowship – this is about doing life together as a new community of believers. It would include helping each other, worshiping and praying together, getting to know each other, and being one in Christ.
- Sharing meals – this means everyday fellowship and sharing meals with one another including sharing communion. This is about deeper relationship more than just seeing people in church once a week.
- Prayer – prayer is our lifeline to God. When we pray alone we become closer to God. When we pray with others we get closer to each other and seek God’s blessings, help and direction together.
As a result of doing these four things, we see a number of results or blessings.
- Sense of awe – they were in awe of what God was doing in their midst.
- Signs and wonders – the Apostle performed miraculous signs, wonders and miracles.
- Regular meetings – the new community met together regularly in homes and at the Temple.
- Shared – they shared money and possessions and regularly shared meals.
- Worship – they worshiped together daily in the Temple.
- Favour – they enjoyed the goodwill and favour of the people around them.
- Saved – more people got saved and were added to the church.
The thing I find interesting is when we as Christians focus on the right things and are fully devoted to them, great things happen. Devotion to God and His Kingdom, brings blessings and all types of Divine favour.
Let us purpose in our hearts to devote ourselves to the things of God. Things like the Bible, fellowship, sharing and prayer.
Hello all, my sermon from today is now online. It was titled, “Chosen, Redeemed and Sealed by God”. It looked at some of the blessings in Christ from Ephesians 1:3-14. The main points were.
- God chose us and adopted us
- We are redeemed by God
- We are sealed by the Holy Spirit
- Our salvation is all about God
You can find the full text here.