Taking The Higher Road

The walk we have is a uphill climb at all times. Not that walking on easy trails are not there, those trails, just many times are the wrong journey to becoming more like Christ. The higher road is to leave the award shows of life and find ways to give glory to others. The higher road is to resist the opportunity to provoke others who have abused you with their actions. You might get the best of those characters but that is not the best ways to build your character. The higher road is to be happy with the provisions you have and to be pleased with the success of others. I find as I get older, wiser and more experienced that I am not as Sprit-led as in the earlier days of faith. I have allowed my growth to become my dependency. It is easier to see the faults and shortcomings of others. I want to turn my attention back to dependency on the leading of the Holy Spirit. I am concerned that what I know is keeping me away from what I could know. Today I want to know Christ and His will. To know Him is to take the higher road.

Galations 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. [26] Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

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Leadership Challenges

I read a statement recently that leadership today can be challenged by anyone who has a blog or a Facebook account. I have thought a lot about that statement and find it true but not correct. Just because one can challenge leadership does not mean that leadership is poor. It is so easy to throw shots at those in leadership when you do not have the responsibility the leader has to carry. Sadly many leaders today are crafting their message and mission to appease the digital voices from these sources. Leadership should determine what is right and do what is right. What is right may even get you unseated from your positions. Better it is to positioned with truth than to be postured as a politician.

Board Duties During Pastoral Transition

How does a board handle the transition of a pastor?

1. Start as soon as the present pastor has announced their retirement or move.

2. The exit strategy should include clear and open communication between the pastor and board and the board and congregation.

3. Realize that as a board you become the covering for the church. It is now your responsibility to protect and provide for the church.

4. Work on the dates of departure with the pastor.

5. Consider the severance package and be generous. This should include any unused vacation and sick time accrued.

6. Plan a special day and a good send off. This is important to show respect for the pastor and his family. But also to express that all is well between leadership and pastor.

7. Agree as to what the pastor can take as far as tapes, manuscripts or other intellectual items that could be an issue.

8. Contact the district leadership for prayer and consultation. These men can guide you at this time.

9. Respond appropriately and respectfully to resumes sent from other possible pastors.

10. I would consider looking for a candidate who was doing a good job where he was.

11. If you visit a church to view a pastor you should give the pastor a courtesy call of your visit. You should not talk about your visit in the church city. Just because you visited does not mean the pastor would be interested. If you leak your reason for visiting and it gets out in that community you cause the pastor and congregation difficulty.

Character

When people attack your reputation with mistruths, innuendos and mischaracterizations don’t charge back. The truth is that for a person to attack you reputations is like a fool attacking your shadow. Your character will always be above reproach and is never ultimately hurt by the attacks on your reputation. Show respect even to those who don’t deserve it. This is not an approval of their character but a reflection of yours.”

Tell the Truth without the Spin

An old mentor would say to me, ” you can prove anything by testimonies!” Just because someone spins a story is not a reason to embrace a statement. I am suspicious and Leary of those who try to magnify their worth and value by two things. By stretching the truth and dynamics of a moment to make themselves the hero of a drama. Second, those who use numbers and highlight the negatives or the outlandish to magnify the shortcomings of others. Usually the reason for the second one is again to make themselves look larger and better than the other.

If you are that good we will all know it soon enough. If not then best to be humble and hope people will be kind to you.

Suggestions To Pastors From Missionaries

Suggestions to pastors and missionary support.

Please return the phone call from the missionary.

It is okay to say you cannot put them in your budget.

Have the missionary for a window in your service.

Interview the missionary in front of your audience. This way you can control the time and information your church receives.

Don’t shift responsibility to the board for missionary support. If your church is board driven know those limitations and you be the decision maker to the missionary.

Let the missionary address a small group or a Sunday School class.

Give him a off night and announce for those who would like to attend of the opportunity.

If the budget will not allow for monthly support then consider giving the congregation opportunity to give a one time offering.

Remember you are the doorway to missions in your church. If your heart is open then God will open the hearts of your people.

Consider bringing Greene & Raley in to help you move your missions forward and enlarge the missions awareness of your church.

A Wise Ruling

A Wise Ruling

1Kings 3: [16] Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. [17] One of them said, “My lord, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was there with me. [18] The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.
[19] “During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. [20] So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. [21] The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.”
[22] The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.”
But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.
[23] The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’”
[24] Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. [25] He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”
[26] The woman whose son was alive was filled with compassion for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”
But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”
[27] Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”
[28] When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.

1. What was the lady who lied thinking?

Her loss was softened by a replacement she did not birth.

Her lies were formed to protect her position. (Mother)

Her agreement for half a dead son was based on her happiness rather than the boys life. She would rather him be dead than someone else to be happier than her.

She represented selfishness!

2. What was the lady whose son was stolen thinking?

She was robbed of that which she loved the most.

She was willing to fight for the possession that was hers.

She was willing to allow her son to go to the home of the evil woman to give him the opportunity to live.

She represents selflessness!

3. What was King Solomon thinking with his decision?

How do you decide what is right when all sides make a good argument?

In leadership some of the hardest decisions can appear to be the cruelest ones.

Courage is needed to trust that truth and righteousness will prevail in the darkest of moments.

He represents the Holy Spirits wisdom in leadership.

Suggestions to Missionaries to Pastors

Suggestions from pastors to missionaries

1. Sometimes we cannot schedule you to speak.

2. If we don’t get to the phone we are not avoiding you. We really are busy, real busy.

3. Scolding or chiding us because we were difficult to connect with will not make us very receptive to helping you.

4. If we cannot schedule you to speak are there other options?

5. When you speak please plan to tell us about your call, your country and the need. We really do not want you to preach just tell stories that connect.

6. The longer you talk after 20 minutes the less our people will give.

7. Don’t forget to say thank you to the children for BGMC, youth for STL and men for LFTL.

8. Spend some time with our children and learn their names. They need ministry hero’s. Those stories you tell as you share a meal are never forgotten.

9. Don’t speak negatively about other missionaries, programs, pastors or leaders. You will only hurt yourself.

10. Be filled with enthusiasm about the work of the Kingdom. People who are challenged by an exciting message are liberal in their giving.

Helping the Missionary

Best ways to assist missionaries in funding their support to get to the field.

Our prayers are being answered as hundreds of young men and women are answering the call to missions. The scriptures says in Matthew 9: 37 *Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; [38] therefore *pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to *send out laborers into his harvest.” We are seeing the fruit of our prayers. Now we must go further than prayer! We must fund and release those God has sent to us to send. The harvest waits for the workers and the workers are waiting on the ability to go.

The Ten best ways to fund our missionaries to get them to the field!

1. Pray specifically for those missionaries in your state or district.

Pray for their safety in travel. Pray for their preparation for the chosen field. Pray for their families. Pray for their children. Pray for favor with people of means. Pray for favor in the country they will work in. Pray for miracles in their work.

2. Post their names and pictures somewhere in the church as unfunded missionaries so the church can pray for them. A spot on a wall, a place in the church bulletin or on the video announcements.

3. Give recognition of their call and financial challenges publicly when praying for the other needs of the church.

4. Use your influence to open a door for them to present their vision to a friends church.

5. At sectional or district meetings have the missionary to accompany you and when you greet your friends introduce them to your friends.

6. Consider dropping a budget item in your church that you could do without and give that amount to the missions budget for the missionary support.

7. Have one fund raiser, one special offering designated as a Senders Fund to get the missionary some help for funding. (AGWM has a senders fund designated to help funding for missionaries who need a Little extra help.)

8. Do one less missions project and designate it for the boots on the ground rather than the special project.

9. Send the missionary a monthly card, text or email letting them know you are standing with them in prayer.

10. Don’t judge their difficulty in raising their support as an indication that God may not have called them. It could be that the enemy is fighting because they will shake the powers of darkness once they get in the harvest God has called them to work. Believe in them- believe with them- believe for them!

A Time to be quiet

There are days it is easy to compliment or criticize others. There are many days it is very difficult to give a compliment and easier to criticize others. On those days I choose to compliment what I know is good. But I also choose to be silent on what I feel critical about. This is a quiet day!