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Archive for the ‘pastors’ Category

This November 4th marks a profound opportunity in American history regardless of who takes office to the Presidency. And this focus on leadership got me thinking.  What if we got together and had a Synchroblog on leadership. There’s already a group on board but I wanted to open this up and ask if anyone else wanted to participate.  If you are interested let me know.

The focus is not on the Presidency but on leadership.  This is your opportunity to speak to those who leads and let them know what you are looking for.  The context can be in politics, family, the church or to any leader you want.

Please join us.  Leave your name in the comments and I’ll add you to the list.  The post will be due on November 4th and will include a list of those participating.

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“And yet those at the center of the church are burning out and leaving ministry at a rate of 1,500 per month. If that’s what’s occurring at the heart of the church, why would anyone on the fringe want to move in closer?” – Skye Jethani, Out of Ur

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When was the last time you heard your pastor repent?

Let me start by saying that I love pastors.  I have a lot of good friends who are pastors.  And this is not a rant against pastors but against the culture pastors live in.  Pastors, in the current congregational model of church, enjoy and are responsible for the position they hold.  They are they guys up front that all eyes are on watching every Sunday.

But with that said, one of the central practices in the kingdom of God is repentance.  And repentance is not simply a one time event of confessing a sin.  It’s radically deeper than that.  It’s the constant process of getting honest with the self about our brokenness.  It’s a day by day process of wrestling our own restoration and being honest with how we break ourselves.  And the answer is always a return to relationship, to the arms of the Father.

But if pastors aren’t teaching that by example, how can they expect those who follow them to learn it or practice it.  Instead we’ve created a culture that crucifies pastors when they do. And this culture seems to feed on itself, constantly reinforcing that pastors can’t be honest.

One of the most significant moments in my life came at a pastors conference I attended.  The speaker asked how many people in the audience of 2,000 were beyond burnt from the culture they pastored in.  1,500 people raised their hands. And then the speaker invited those 1,500 people to repent, to shed that baggage at the cross.  This image has always stuck with me.  It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life, seeing pastors repent.  It too fed on itself, giving permission to those in the audience to weep…and loudly.

When pastors practice getting honest over time it creates a culture of honesty that invites forgiveness and humility.  My hope is that in the future we can begin to create a culture that allows pastors to be the first ones to seek repentance.  And instead of a pedastal to fall from, they can see the arms of those who follow ready to catch him when he/she falls.

A really good example of repentance is this. (ht) These guys traded in what they wanted for what God wanted to give them.  May we do more of that.

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Do you know your pastor?  I mean really, really know him (or her for progressive churches).  Chances are you don’t.  In an era of larger and even mega-churches, the answer is likely “no”.

The central role of pastor when I was young was to take care of his “flock”.  I grew up in a small Baptist church in East San Jose.  There were on average 175 people in attendance in our one room cathedral, with its plush, red seating and it’s stained glass windows.  At the end of every service we would roll out the center aisle and shake the pastor’s hand.  At every church picnic I can remember my pastor sitting with us and talking to my mom.  She knew the pastor. (It didn’t hurt that my mom served at women’s functions).

But times have changed.  How we do church has changed.  And so has the technology.  Virtual sites are the new rage in church planting, where a pastor is pumped in to a remote location. And in response, Chris Salzman writes,

“One of the big criticisms of churches that pump in video for their sermons is how distant the congregation can feel from the pastor.”

And I would ask if the pastor needs to be virtual or multi-site to even reach this point? Has the role of pastor changed in the era that we currently live in?  Has the role morphed from essentially shepherds of a flock to presenters of spiritual information?

Interested how you feel on this.  Speak your piece.

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If you are a pastor, or someone who is in ministry, you need to watch this right now. I’ll let you discover what I’m talking about.

FYI: You need to click the arrow to reveal the video.

Postscript: Unfortunately if you didn’t get to watch this it was taken down. Sorry. I’ll look for it elsewhere.

Final postscript: Okay I got a copy of it.  It’s too big to post or send, so I’m breaking it down to smaller files.  If you want to be notified when its done, let me know in the comments.

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This is just getting sad. Steve Pickett BRYAN (CBS 11 News)

Prestonwood Minister Arrested In Online Sex Bust

A minister at one of the largest churches in North Texas has been arrested in a sex sting operation in Bryan.

Police confirm that Joe Barron was taken into custody after driving more than three hours to have sex with what he thought was a 13-year-old girl.

Barron serves as a minister at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. The 52-year-old is a senior minister who works with adults at the church that has some 26,000 members. Barron had only been with the church for the past 18 months.”

How many pastors are going to have to go down before we recognize there is a significant problem with the pedestal we place pastors on and expect them to be perfect. The culture that creates this is as broken as what he’s done.

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Pastor John Frye shares his move from social scientist to Jesus Pastor. His insight into what it is like to be a traditional pastor are worth gold.

“In my early years a lingering value still suggested that pastors shouldn’t get too close to people because the pastor might not be able to maintain his “objectivity.” All of this created a low church liturgy where the Sunday sermon was what mattered most. Preaching was the big thing in the service. Getting to know the Book was more important than getting to know God. Mistakenly in the minds of most, the one equaled the other. I became a theological technician, not a pastor. Put me in a white lab coat and I would have been mistaken for a social scientist.” (ht)

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“Today, I am more convinced of inerrancy than at any time in my Christian life, but the charge of bibliolatry, or at least a near, if not kissing cousin, is one I fear is hard to rebut. To be more specific, in the actual practices of the Evangelical community in North America, there is an over-commitment to Scripture in a way that is false, irrational, and harmful to the cause of Christ.” Apologist JP Moreland (ht)

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