Kevin DeYoung presents a helpful post on how you can care for your pastor. I would agree with his conclusions on how this helps the body. And, am blessed to have a body and leadership team that provides for me in such ways. If you wonder why such things are so important, read DeYoung on Give Your Pastor A Break.
There were a couple of great posts that got my attention this AM:
Brian Croft offers suggestions for how he shepherds his family. This includes, in his case, letting one child stay up 30 minutes longer one night a week to read Scripture, books, and pray with their father. Any encouragement and practicality on this issues seems to be helpful to me.
On DeYoung’s blog, Jason Helopoulos gives some tips on listening well. He pegged me from the outset, speaking of how pastors tend to be assertive and “know where this conversation is headed.” Rather than rushing to give our opinion we should strive to listen by taking the following tips:
* Remember that sermons are for the pulpit
* Remember that the person before you is the person you are to be ministering to
* Be teachable
* Show honor to all
* Silence is golden
* Maintain eye contact
* Ask questions
* Don’t always feel the need to lead
* Don’t be “super-spiritual”
* Think through questions
* Care tenderly
Check out both of these posts and be helped.
For my pastoral friends…
Check out Brian Croft’s book Visit the Sick for practical help in hospital time. We used this for an Elder’s/Deacon’s Meeting last year and found it practical and helpful.
Was a full day at the conference, but I am finally back in the hotel and done with the conference. It was a full day, but so rich with such amazing content, challenging us to be better pastors.
Ray Van Neste got us rolling this AM. After dispensing with some common questions about how we go about shepherding and overseeing, this session got at some practical things including, among other things: praying systematically for people, teaching them our duty as pastors and having a plurality of leadership committed to caring for people. Doing this makes us more human and actually helps our sanctification.
Session 5 was Phil Newton doing an exposition of Acts 20:28-31. We have a need we can’t dismiss, with external attacks upon the body and deceit within the body. We also have a duty we cannot neglect, being on guard, shepherding the church of God and being alert to the schemes of our enemy. We are to do what God has called us to do so that God’s purposes are worked out in the body.
Tom Ascol returned after our lunch break encouraging a Gospel-Shaped Ministry. His outline was 4 ways Christ and ministry work together to shape Christian ministry:
1) The Lordship of Christ establishes the nature of ministry.
2) The sufficiency of Christ liberates us from self-consciousness in ministry.
3) The example of Christ calls us to self-denying consecration in ministry.
4) The glory of Christ delivers us from small-minded superficial success in ministry.
This sermon really functioned to get at how our modern ministry ethic is faulty and how we need to turn to the Lord. We must shape our ministry in Him.
Ray Van Neste returned with an exposition of Exodus 32 on the title “Shepherding A Rebellious People”. This sermon showed how people (including us) are rebellious, how we should not function as leaders (looking at Aaron) and how we should function (looking at Moses). I loved how Ray ended this ministry pointing us to the Chief Shepherd Himself, how we need Him to atone. This sermon really helped codify the content and bring it to focus. It was a great historical example of the principles we have observed.
Finally, Tom Ascol returned with a talk on Colossians 1:28. Jesus Christ is the Pastor’s message. The goal of preaching is the perfection of our people (in Christ). The content of our preaching is simply HIM. And the manner of our preaching includes warning, teaching and wisdom. We must preach and have Christ work in our hearts to pass this on to others.
All is all, this conference was a huge blessing and a reminder of some great things. I was encouraged that there are some things that we do well and humbled by things we don’t do well. If you are able to, I would try and access the Twitter feed and check out additional content. And, if you are reading this, pray that I would be the shepherd that God would have me be.
If you follow the blog, you know I’m in STL for a Shepherding Conference. The men I am here with and I got up and headed out for some lunch before registration, visiting historic downtown St. Charles, which was the First State Capital of Missouri, down on the Missouri River. After lunch, we headed to FBC St. Peters, MO for the conference.
The first session was by Phil Newton on 2 Corinthians 6:1 and following. It was entitled Pastoral Ministry, Part 1. Among other things, we were called to synchronization in ministry and dependability in ministry. It was one of the best messages I’ve heard on the list of afflictions in 2 Corinthians 6 and they were brought with great clarity to bear on pastoral ministry.
After a short break, Ray Van Neste (who blogs at Oversight of Souls) spoke on Oversight of Souls, Part 1. After highlighting how this practice of shepherding has waned in our day, Ray pointed us back to the Scriptures where we are told to shepherd the flock of God, give oversight. This talk was covered with Scriptural and historical examples. To put it simply: oversight of souls is the heart of pastoral ministry was the point of this talk.
Then, after dinner, Tom Ascol came and preached on how we should exemplify Gospel-Saturated Preaching. My heart resonated with this talk: I was convicted, I was encouraged and really benefitted from it. Ascol encouraged 3 aspects of Gospel proclamation: Who Jesus is, what He’s done and Why it matters. I found this helpful. His outline was: 1) We are to preach Christ exclusively — this is the one and only message we need to proclaim to everyone. 2) We are to preach Christ inclusively — both in evangelistic ways and in our most practical of preaching.
This was followed up by a Q & A, in which all men were humbly honest and excellent in answering questions prepared for them.
I’m full from a good day of teaching, and anticipating more good things tomorrow.
Today, I leave for St. Louis with some guys for the conference Pastoral Ministry: Shepherding God’s Flock at FBC St. Peters, MO (a church I was on staff at from 94-96, during my college days). It looks to be a good time. Here’s the updated schedule:
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
1:30 “Pastoral Ministry” Dr. Phil Newton
3:30 “Oversight of Souls: The Heart of Pastoral Ministry” Part 1 Dr. Ray Van Neste
6:30 “Gospel Saturated Preaching” Dr. Tom Ascol
Q & A Panel Discussion after Tuesday Evening session
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
9:00 “Oversight of Souls: The Heart of Pastoral Ministry” Part 2 Dr. Ray Van Neste
10:30 “Pastoral Ministry” Dr. Phil Newton
1:30 “Gospel Shaped Ministry” Dr. Tom Ascol
3:30 “Shepherding a Rebellious People” Dr. Ray Van Neste
6:30 “Jesus Christ: The Pastor’s Message” Dr. Tom Ascol
Pray for humility for all the pastors present (since we tend to think we are doing better than we are) and for good fellowship among those present.
Back in August an interview on shepherding online prompted my good friend Joe Braden to organize a conference related to the topic. I’m happy to announce the conference will be held February 23-24 at FBC St. Peters.
Here’s the rundown from Ray Van Neste’s blog…
Tuesday, February 23
12 noon- Registration
1:30 p.m. Joseph Braden -“Our Shepherd God”
3:30 p.m. John Thornbury- “The World’s Greatest Job”
5:00 p.m. Dinner
6:30 p.m. Tom Ascol- “Gospel Saturated Preaching”
Wednesday, February 24
9:00 a.m. Ray Van Neste- “Oversight of Souls: The Heart of Pastoral Ministry”
10:30 a.m. John Thornbury- “Pastoral Pitfalls”
12 noon- Lunch
1:30 p.m. Tom Ascol- “Gospel Shaped Ministry”
3:30 p.m. Ray Van Neste- “Shepherding a Rebellious People”
5:00 p.m. Dinner
6:30 p.m. John Thornbury- “Jesus Christ, the Pastor’s Message”
This should be great content for your leadership teams as you seek to pastor your people to the glory of God. Here’s the brochure and at $50, how big of a bargain is this? (I would recommend you add the meal plan from the church so that you don’t have to leave. The church does an AMAZING job at hosting this conference.)
I plan on going and hope to see you there.
Sent to my from one of the elders…
What to do when you’ve got a bunch of sheep, a lot of space and too much time on your hands…
My life really resonated with Thabiti’s recent post on Pride and Preaching. Here’s an excerpt…
oh! how often the heart craves to hear that good report, that positive appraisal of “our” sermon and preaching. And, oh! how often we want to preach for God’s glory and all the while “be known” for preaching for God’s glory. Pride is sneaky, and the preacher is as vulnerable to it as everyone else.
These are great words and counsel. Too often we can forget that before we can boldly thunder God’s Word, we must humbly receive the correction that Word thunders in us. Pray that I would model this kind of humility for the people God’s entrusted to me.