My 10/5/14AM sermon, Strong In Grace from Romans 11:11-32, is now online. This sermon teased out how God strengthens His church by grace. Specifically, that middle section highlighted how God calls us to humility as a response to His kindness. It’s difficult to talk about humility because we often don’t prize this as a virtue, but God has a different way of doing things than we might envision. I tweeted out this AM: “How are you demonstrating humility in what you text, post, and say today? (hint: try not using ALL CAPS as a start)”. If you don’t know using all caps online is like screaming. At any rate, it’s easy for me to be prideful in speaking of the pride in others, but often more difficult to recognize the pride in my own heart. Pray for me in this regard that I would model humility in my words and actions. Listen to this sermon and see if it encourages you. Blessings.
…can be done in better and useful ways by taking some of these tips from this recent post from The Blazing Center: How To Listen To A Sermon. Among other things, they encourage us to:
Remember Who Is Speaking
Listen With Humility
Listen With Application in View
I commend the entire post. Think: What is one thing you could do to improve your intake of the Word through sermons you listen to? Well, jump over and get the creative juices flowing.
that’s how I think of humility and leadership in the local church. We all know that it’s important for us to be humble. Many of us (pastors) give ourselves a way too flattering appraisal when it comes to this. This post from Deepak Reju over at 9Marks entitled Humility and Leadership proved helpful for me. Here’s the questions he gave in discerning the nature of our humility:
* Are you willing and open to learning about the Bible from staff or members who don’t have as much preaching or theological training as you do?
* Are you willing to take constructive criticism from staff members, interns, church members, or your wife? (If you are not sure, ask them if they think you are open to constructive critique.)
* In a deacon or elder or committee meeting (or whatever form of leadership you have), are you willing to be voted down by others? Do you hold a grudge against those who would dare vote against you?
* Have you ever considered asking your kids (or your wife) how you are doing at parenting?
* In a deacon or elder or committee meeting (or whatever form of leadership you have), do you always speak early so that everyone follows your direction? Or do you hold your words until the end of your discussions so that other leaders can think through the issues without being quickly swayed by your opinions?
* Have you thought about cultivating humility in your life? If not, consider reading this in 2011.
* Have you thought about cultivating humility in your staff and in your church? What would it mean for your staff to be open to given and receiving godly criticism?
Great stuff, really. So…how about you? Much talk, little action?
In many situations, the best way to resolve a conflict is simply to overlook the personal offenses of others. This approach is highly commended throughout Scripture:
“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense” (Prov. 19:11; cf. 12:16; 15:18; 20:3).
“Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out” (Prov. 17:14; cf. 26:17).
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8; cf. Prov. 10:12; 17:9)
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Eph. 4:2).
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Col. 3:13; cf. Eph. 4:32).
Here’s a great post from Chad Mahaney on Video Games, Idols and Your Child’s Heart. The post highlights a question C.J. was asked at a Pastor’s College gathering about video games and a 12 year old. As is usually the case, C.J.’s answer reflects Biblical wisdom, a genuine understanding of the human heart with its weaknesses as well as the humility we should display toward our children. Read and be encouraged.
Here’s a great clip from Mark Driscoll on what to do when the church doesn’t feel like family. As a pastor, I get to hear critical comments often from people who wish the church could be this or that and often it comes from people who are not involved. Driscoll’s words are really timely for those of us who aren’t involved. Let this challenge you to a deeper commitment.
I recently was skimming through an old book on pastoral ministry that alluded to an article by Tim Keller and David Powlison entitled “The Pastor’s Self-Evaluation Questionnaire“. One of my peeves about typical pastors (and a frustrating thing for myself) is that there aren’t too many people who open themselves up for, let’s call it, constructive criticism. Sure we have critics, but often they want to lob a complaint and not help you be a better pastor down the road. The frustrating thing for myself is that people are almost too kind. I need feedback to see my weaknesses clearly. The Bible has pretty tall standards for ministers. Far too many conduct ministry as if they are in a different social strata than the people to whom they have been called. I worked through this tool yesterday and thought it to be a very helpful exercise. We are going to discuss it at next Elder’s Meeting. Also, I plan to work through it again, this time not allowing my mind to wonder about who I know that these things apply to and focus more on myself. Enjoy.
…so says Proverbs 16:18 (thanks JT)…
The sermons from yesterday are now online.
In the AM, we had a great time seeing spiritual weakness displayed by Jesus from Mark 14:26-31. I found the article by Steve Young in the latest Briefing to be helpful in exposing a particular weakness in my life. I hope God uses His Word to spark serious work in our lives towards humility.
In the PM, it was interesting to see how God continued to woo His people by overwhelming them with love in Hosea 3:1-5. We must be characterized by genuine, costly love is our message is to be one that is God-centered. Hosea learned this lesson and we would do well to do so.
Hope you have a great week. Be watching the church website for our Holy Week Devotional to aid in your worship of this Savior.