I love when people pray publicly, and actually pray to God. Sometimes preachers finish up their sermons under the guise of prayer, instead of actually praying. Sometimes people explain situations to humans, and call it prayer. Sometimes we make excuses for ourselves and others, or politely but inappropriately consider the people around us too much. Sometimes we do everything BUT actually speak to God, almost as if no one was there. The prayers that impact me the most seem to be spoken in such a way, that the pray-er isn’t even mindful that any other human is in the room. Those kinds of prayers rock me in a good way.
A few of you guys have heard me say this before, but I wish we could reserve the word “awesome” to be used only of God, instead of using it as a common word for everything from lattes to the good eq of a snare drum. Anybody with me?
At the Pastor’s conference at Murietta last June, one particular main speaker was very powerful. A colleague of mine said of this pastor, “It was like he just came out of his prayer closet”. There was a power and authority that flowed forth from his life in a magnificent way. Paul tells Titus in 2:10 that we ought to “adorn the doctrine of God our savior in all things”. The power that flowed forth adorned the doctrine of God, and I had a holy jealousy of it. It reflected a life of quiet discipline and obvious power.
I need to remember to tell people “thank you”.
I need to “follow the peace”.
There is a healthy and holy way to not care what other people think. That is probably a good mindset to maintain, and I think it can only be found from being in deep and regular fellowship with Jesus. I think “freedom from the burden of self awareness” is a great need for pastors. I think I am probably doing my best work when I am totally unaware of myself.
I have found that in foreign missions, focusing on one area year after year can really be rewarding, both on a personal level, and for the kingdom of God. Relationships, trust, love, cultural understanding, learning the nuances of a community….all these things take time and repetition. As a pastor who travels a lot to a certain area, I have been very blessed to limit my travels to one region, as opposed to a more diverse approach (which isn’t wrong, just different).
Jesus is our perfect example in the balance between being people oriented and task oriented. Sometimes it is hard to slow down and love people.
I am more impressed with a man’s heart than with his gifts.
Surprisingly, we are getting more 20 and 30 somethings in our church, and all that without an overly deliberate attempt to do so. That is a pleasant surprise.
Some people in our churches are really intimidated by us pastors, and we feel the emotional and social strain of that. Sometimes it is hard to identify that this is happening, much less believe. I need to continue realizing that by virtue of my position in the Body of Christ, some people will treat me like a school principal, or like a dad, or like a policeman. I don’t want to be seen in those ways, but I am and will be. I need to be OK with the fact that their mindset of me may force me to work harder to have relationship with them, but that is OK.
I am sure that Jesus must be much more pleased with me and our church than I am.