Avoiding the accusation of being just another “lazy preacher!”

A dear Facebook friend and former students responded with this comment: “Very intriguing… I would love to hear your wisdom on how a 1st time pastor can avoid falling into this trap.”

Here is my response to him: Your question was an excellent one… I remember (although it’s been a long time ago ) what it was like to work out my own cycle and expression of pastoral ministry… Sometimes I felt like I was “flying solo for the first time” – completely on my own! So I took a little while this morning and did “Bartel’s 7 + 1 guidelines of how to avoid becoming a lazy preacher.” Hope you find this helpful… “From an ol’ guy”…

1. Identify a Spiritually healthy, effective ministry mentor and be accountable to them.

2. Be faithful in prayer.

3. Be diligent in preparation and proclamation of God’s Word.

4. Be careful to serve the spiritual and nurture needs of your congregation.

5. Involve yourself personally in evangelism and discipleship.

6. Keep your Spiritual “reservoir” full through your devotional life.

7. Don’t neglect the care of your body.

8. Don’t avoid what might be considered menial tasks because “you’re too important to do them”– pitch in and fulfill the “role of a servant.”

Seeking “security?” Where you gonna find it? Big issue, don’t you think?

Seeking wealthSecurity… How to get it – where to find it – how to maintain and sustain it… A big issue in the uncertainties of our world!

This morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord” I read a passage of Scripture that puts that issue in stark contrast:

“The Name of the Lord is a strong tower!  The righteous person runs to it and is safe!  A rich man’s wealth is his strong city – like a high wall in his imagination!” (Proverbs 18:10-11)

I know what side of that issue I want to be on!  The Lord is faithful – He is enduring – He exists beyond the uncertainties of the market, currency fluctuations, capital investments, or property values.  All of those things are subject to change, decay and destruction… He is not!  Treasure in heaven is where I want to put my effort and investment (check out Matthew 6:19-20).  How about you?

So many Gospel ministries and wonderful servants of the Lord depending on our prayers!

DCIM100GOPROThis morning was in-service at SAGU during Fall break. I was reluctant to go because of Sharon’s recovery needs after our car accident, but she insisted… She said, “You need to go! I’ll be OK!” And I’m really glad I attended! It was uplifting to be with old friends and colleagues!
 
Dr. Paul Brooks, vice president for academics, led a wonderful prayer time and focused on Prayer Station #8 of the Road to Emmaus Prayer Walk at SAGU! This prayer station focuses upon “Open Doors and Effective Ministries.” I commend its prayer focus to you today and urge you to embrace it and make its various aspects your own as you pray today…
 
“Just pray for us” – The cry of Christ’s ministers everywhere! (In this case an apostle requesting the prayer of God’s people). 1 Thessalonians 5:25, Romans 15:30-31
 
“That a door for effective ministry of the Word would open wide!” Colossians 4:3, 1 Corinthians 16:9
 
“That the word of the Lord would spread rapidly and be glorified!” 2 Thessalonians 3:2
 
“That Christ’s ministries would be delivered from people of ill will!!” 2 Thessalonians 3:2
 
“That the faith of God’s leaders would not fail!” Luke 22:32
 
My response? Oh Lord, do it! So many worthy Christ-centered, Gospel focused ministries! So many faithful servants of the Lord seeking to fulfill “The Great Commission” (Matthew 28:18-20)! So many wonderful servants of the Lord depending on our prayers! I made these ministries and ministers my prayer focus today and commend it to you for your fervent, faith-filled prayer!
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