Enjoying the Journey

Church Ministry

Responding To The Critic

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Dr. Mike Edwards served for 37 years as the pastor of the Heritage Baptist Church in Woodbridge, VA. He is a man of wisdom and a great encouragement to those who are serving the Lord. I am very grateful to call him my friend and happy to pass along this helpful article. He and his wife are now traveling in ministry, seeking to encourage other churches and couples in the Lord’s work. You may find more information on their work at sharepointministries.com. As a younger pastor I am not sure I was fully prepared for just how critical some people could be concerning my leadership and my service. After forty-three years of ministry I have now come to understand that criticism is part of the servant leader’s life. Ministry life is truly life in…

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Help For Preachers

Today I have the opportunity to preach to a wonderful group of preachers. My heart is to encourage them. Thank the Lord for faithful ministers! Like their Chief Shepherd they live “not to be ministered unto, but to minister.” Yet in the midst of busy lives and labors ministers must pause long enough to minister to their own inner man. Too often while Christian workers are building the kingdom they are tearing down their own souls. It was for this purpose that Pastor Scott Hooks and I hosted The Preacher’s Rest last year in Hickory, North Carolina. The response was overwhelming. We had a wonderful time of fellowship, study, and prayer with so many preachers and their wives. Our desire…

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The Biggest Need In Every Church

In the world of finance it is referred to as the Pareto Principle. Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist, suggested that 20% of a nation’s people will control 80% of the wealth. This 80/20 rule has been applied to churches, not as it relates to money, but as it relates to manpower. The Lord does not need our money but He is looking for laborers! Frequently I have heard others observe that 20% of the people in a congregation do 80% of the work. It has been my privilege to serve in churches of every size. Size and spirituality are not always parallel realities. Some people are unduly impressed with or intimidated by large congregations. There is even the common misunderstanding…

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A Helpful Article And A Truth We All Need

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Occasionally I enjoy passing along a resource that has been a blessing to me. My friend Dan Cox from New Smyrna Beach, FL has written a thought-provoking article on the difference between seeking goodness from God and greatness in the eyes of men. Just this week I read in Charles Spurgeon’s The Soulwinner these words: “In our beginnings we are too fine to be fit, or too great to be good.” Too great to be good. It is a truth that every generation of God’s servants must learn. I hope you will be challenged by these thoughts shared by permission from Pastor Cox… If the Lord Jesus set before you today the option of being a great man with a great…

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ALL NATURAL???

In our day of cheap facades, strange additives, and generic substitutes it is appealing when anyone offers something that is completely natural. Entire brands are now built on the idea of being “all natural.” But in this fallen world of ours even that which is “natural” is so often tainted by sin and the curse. This was not the case with Christ. He was the most natural person to have ever lived, and yet the most supernatural. The Lord Jesus was all man and all God at the same time – deity clothed with humanity. As surely as His deity was perfect deity, His humanity was perfect humanity. The “second Adam” was the perfect Man. I have been reflecting recently…

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Guest Post: “Reaching Children”

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Twenty five years ago I shared a college dormitory with a friend who would become my brother-in-law. Jason Caldwell and his family have committed themselves to reaching and teaching children for Christ. Their work is being blessed of God and I am happy to share with you the following brief article that he has written on children’s ministry. As we approach the holidays when much is done for children we must never forget that our primary work is to bring boys and girls to Christ. May God raise up an army of children’s workers to reach this generation! Eighty-five percent of all people saved today were saved between the ages of four and fourteen. Therefore, this should be our target…

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Tradition vs. Truth

There is a tremendous debate in Christian work over whether certain practices are rooted in tradition or truth. Such discussion is not new. In fact, both the Lord Jesus and the Apostle Paul addressed this issue with the religious leaders of their day. Case #1: Mark 7:1-13 The Pharisees were consumed with minute details of the ceremonial law. When Christ’s disciples failed to wash their hands before eating bread it raised a serious question among those “holding the tradition of the elders.” The Lord Jesus denounced the religious hypocrisy of caring more for the external than the internal. Quoting the prophet Isaiah (obviously this has been a problem for a long time!) He said, “Howbeit in vain do they worship…

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It’s Family!

Family was God’s idea. It is the perfect expression of the Heavenly Father’s heart. “God setteth the solitary in families” (Psalm 68:6). From the beginning He knew that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). And yet in our sin cursed world, even with the existence of physical families, there are so many abandoned, neglected, and lonely people. One of the miracles of salvation is that through Christ we are placed into a new family – the greatest family in the world! Scripture refers to it as “the whole family in heaven and earth” (Ephesians 3:15). This family has never all met together at one time…but we will one day. In fact, there is going to…

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Thank God For Christian Education

The last two days I have been speaking in Michigan at a wonderful Christian Educator’s Convention. It has been a privilege to spend time with men and women who are giving their lives to help families as they seek to provide their children with a true Christian education. Tammy and I both had the joy of being a part of Christian schools and are grateful for the outstanding Christian academy the Lord has allowed our children to attend. I thank God for Christian education. Christian education is undoubtedly more than Christian schools. It is done in the context of home and through the ministry of local churches. In the words of one of my mentors, Dr. Clarence Sexton, “Christian education…

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Guest Post: Longevity In The Pastorate

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One of my spiritual fathers is my uncle, James Pauley. He has faithfully pastored the same church for nearly half a century. He is a man of prayer and a man who has deeply challenged my walk with the Lord. I recently asked him if he would write something on what he has learned from staying in the same ministry for many years. You will be blessed by these thoughts from the heart of a faithful shepherd… At this juncture of my life I am often asked how I have remained the pastor of the same church for over 46 years. Knowing full well this is not always the will of God for good and godly men, I believe it…

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