The Importance of Providence in Pastoral Ministry Work

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… and on this rock I will build my Church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:18

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and preach and bring people to Christ” – yet you do not know what your outreach will bring. What is your ministry? For you are an assistant to the Lord that appears for a little time and then gets transferred. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will reach out and do this or that mission. As it is you put supreme confidence in your strategies, and all such confidence is arrogance.”

An admittedly all too free paraphrase of James 4:13-16

 

Providence is the biblical idea that God sees and goes before us in all that we do as Christians. We pastors know this and of course preach it to our flocks. But do we ourselves rest in the reality of it? Not as often as we let on, I suspect. Our activist culture is very impressed with strategies, plans, wealth, wisdom and strength (see Jeremiah 9:23-24). Much “leadership” material, even for pastors, is about what we do, rather than what God does. And the result is harried, hurried, harassed shepherds, leaping frenzied to every perceived need and running on emotional and spiritual “empty” much of the time. But if providence applies to pastoral ministry then at least three convictions follow:

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Top 10 Christian Books of All Time

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The Christian tradition is built on reading books. The Bible, God’s revelation, is itself a collection of books, one which is eternally enduring (Isaiah 40:8). Over the centuries, there have been other books that have encouraged believers, influenced movements, sparked revival, and motivated worldwide change. God has used Christian writers and thinkers to create a huge variety of influential books.

If you want to grow deeper in your relationship with God, learn more about his wonderful love, and be encouraged in your Christian journey, these books in addition to the Bible will feed your soul. Continue reading “Top 10 Christian Books of All Time” »

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10 of the Most Influential Women in Christianity

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This sample of honorable women, across centuries, cultures, and various socio-economic strata, shows that the criteria man uses to measure greatness is often very different from God’s, which values humility, an intimate knowledge of His Word, and willingness to participate in His plan. It is also important to remember some of the lesser known heroines in Christianity. For every one woman of notoriety there are hundreds of other women serving God in anonymity, fighting with the same determination, battling the same enemy, serving others selflessly and laying down their own lives to gain a more perfect one. Below is a list containing 10 of the most influential woman in Christianity: Continue reading “10 of the Most Influential Women in Christianity” »

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Your Biggest Leadership Mistake In Ministry

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Your biggest leadership mistake has nothing to do with your inability to speak to a large audience, or your lack of a goal-driven, mover-and-shaker mentality. Neither is it found in your struggle with multitasking or effectively managing those placed under your authority. You may spend years reading leadership books, talking to leaders, or trying to perfect your own ability to lead, but your biggest leadership mistake comes from neglecting a simple, core, foundational principle. Continue reading “Your Biggest Leadership Mistake In Ministry” »

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Poll Question – Should a teaching or preaching pastor be required to have a seminary degree?

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A couple times per month, we’re going to ask your opinion on a question and ask you to vote! It will probably be a little controversial, it may make you think about where do you stand on the subject and we want to hear from you! What do you think? Should a teaching or preaching pastor be required to have a seminary degree? Vote below and then let us know your reasoning in the comments!

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Reviewing Effectiveness of Your Sunday School Curriculum

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You have the amazing opportunity and a window of time where you can reveal the power of God’s Word and impact tender little lives. Choosing a curriculum that maximizes the time you have with the kids and effectively lays the solid foundation of truth is crucial! You should regularly revisit and refine your teaching materials to ensure they are truly “making the most of every opportunity”, as Paul teaches in Ephesians 5:16. Here are a couple of questions to ask when reviewing the effectiveness of your Sunday school curriculum: Continue reading “Reviewing Effectiveness of Your Sunday School Curriculum” »

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Ten Ways to Engage with Church Members During The Week – The Other Six Days

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Sundays are very special days for believers. We all go to church and leave the building feeling encouraged and with a renewed outlook on life. This positive experience is a result of great teaching as well as the opportunity to fellowship with like-minded people. Many churches have midweek services that help get us through hump day but the struggle for many of us is to maintain that “just churched” feel the rest of the week. A large number of churches are using the many new social media technologies to try and bridge that six day gap. Continue reading “Ten Ways to Engage with Church Members During The Week – The Other Six Days” »

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How To Live In The Joy Of The Lord

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In a day where churches are run like enterprises and pastors carry the titles of “executive”, there is a real threat of being so focused on visionary achievements and expansion that ministry teams can quickly become oblivious to the spiritual needs of their flock and the diminishing presence of the Lord in their own lives. The majority of pastors are not even employed by the church but work a second and third job to provide a steady income. All this brings so much stress and anxiety that one of the first things lost is the presence of joy. The lack of joy happens to be one of Satan’s oldest playbook strategies. Without joy, you are not much of a witness and there is not much evidence of the Lord in your life. Continue reading “How To Live In The Joy Of The Lord” »

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How America’s Millennials View the Bible

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Screens have affected almost every part of modern life, and that includes religious practices. While all Millennials—significantly more than all adults—have, by and large, incorporated other mediums for engaging with the Bible, none of these trump reading a print version of the Bible (81%), or even hearing it read aloud at church (78%). In comparison, two-thirds of Millennials say they use the Internet on a computer to read Bible content (66%) and a little more than half read the Bible on an e-reader (51%). Continue reading “How America’s Millennials View the Bible” »

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10 Guidelines For Discipling New Believers After Easter Is Done

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Easter is over. Now what? Ever wondered how many people dedicate their lives to God on Easter, only to return to their former ways 10 days later. That’s normal if the church misunderstands the importance of ongoing discipleship of new believers. When the conversion happens, we want to make sure that it is sincere and that this decision is fully understood so it can have a lasting impact. We suggest following these 10 essentials in discipling a new believer. Continue reading “10 Guidelines For Discipling New Believers After Easter Is Done” »

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