Enjoying the Journey

Church Ministry

An Invitation To Preachers & Their Wives

Tammy and I are very grateful for those who have ministered to us through the years. Ministers need ministered to as well! There are moments that the best thing you can do is slow down, refresh your own soul, and prepare for the next season of ministry. It is with this in mind that Pastor Scott Hooks and I began The Preacher’s Rest last year. We were so pleased at the great number of fellow preachers and their wives who joined us and are excited about this year’s gathering, Monday-Wednesday, September 2-4, 2019. What better time than Labor Day to “come apart” and find spiritual, mental, and physical renewal! This year we look forward to discussing the devotional life of…

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A New Generation Of Deacons

A few days ago I had the joy of speaking in a local church to a group of deacons and their wives. It was a wonderful meeting of true servants. At the end of the session a man came to speak to me. He has just been installed as a new deacon in that church and was so excited about the opportunity to serve the Lord and His people. In Scripture deacons are not “called” of God as pastors are, but they are qualified by God and chosen by the church. They are selected carefully and come along side the pastor to help the entire work of the Lord to move forward. The deacon’s office is the office of a…

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7 Things That Are More Important

As we grow older (and hopefully wiser!) we begin to discern more about what is most important, what is more important, what is less important, and what is not important at all! One of the most difficult things to do is to eliminate good things so that you can emphasize better ones. Recently I wrote down seven things in my journal that God is showing me are important to Him. In the end this is what really matters – divinely ordered priorities. Be more concerned with prayer than planning. I am a planner by nature. Yet far too often I find myself making my plans and then asking God to bless them. As we pray we begin to find what…

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Growing, But Not Changing

Growth is essential to life. Throughout the years I have heard countless people say that the only way to grow is to be willing to change. Change has become the contemporary buzzword and measurement of growth. This is very dangerous. Just because a man is changing does not mean he is growing – he may be going backwards! On the other hand, true growth is only possible when one is rooted in those things that never change. In life and ministry the goal must be God and not growth. Remember that it was our God who said, “I am the LORD, I change not” (Malachi 3:6). His standard is not current trends or acceptable methods, His standard is the truth…

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Your Invitation To The Preacher’s Rest 2019

Rest is not a dirty word. It is, in fact, essential to all good work. God instituted rest before the fall of man. It is hardwired into creation and indispensable to man. Rest for spirit, soul, and body is designed to bring us nearer to the God who created us! If Adam needed rest before he sinned, how much more does man need it now. God’s people need the rest that only God can give. The Preacher’s Rest is not designed to merely give men a retreat. It is a meeting to help us find our rest in God – the rest that He gives in the midst of our labor. Preachers who are not tired are probably not working…

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Questions You Can’t Answer

Why did Jesus wait until He was 30 years of age to begin His ministry when He was so full of wisdom at the age of 12? Why did the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus only last three and a half years when He could have lived a long, full life? Why in those three and a half years did He not go everywhere, heal everyone, do everything He could have done? There are many things we do not know and some things we cannot answer. One thing is sure. At the end of His short life He said to His Father, “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4). So often sincere believers…

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The True Church Business Meeting

I arrived a half hour before the evening service was to start. One hundred people were already seated in the auditorium. Why were they early? The church was meeting for important business: it was meeting to pray. There was little talk to one another. The preaching would not take place for another hour. God’s people were there for one reason. To pray. As a kid growing up in church the most dreaded meeting of the year was the church business meeting. Usually it is one of the worst attended or one of the best attended…neither of which is usually a good sign. Pastors and people alike sigh and talk of getting the annual “business meeting” out of the way. While…

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Responding To The Critic

1801-16 Enjoying the Journey Guest Articles Slide

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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