Enjoying the Journey

Posts Tagged ‘Church’

GUEST POST: “The Pastor Is Not Supposed To Cry”

1801-16 Enjoying the Journey Guest Articles Slide

Pastors have their own hurts as they seek to help hurting people. A minister who cannot grieve does not have the heart of the Chief Shepherd. I thank the Lord for faithful pastors and pray that God will continue to encourage and use them. Below is a very personal article written by my friend Pastor Mark Fowler during a recent period of ministry to a hurting family. I am passing it along, by permission, with the prayer that God will use it to help another pastor and perhaps another church member to encourage their own pastor… I kept saying this over and over to myself this week, “The pastor is not supposed to cry. I am supposed to be the…

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Giving Tuesday

Across the U.S. the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has come to be known as “giving Tuesday,” an opportunity to help the needy and invest in charitable causes. There are many ministries that are being used of God to reach and teach people for Christ. Tammy and I are very happy to have a part in supporting others who are making an eternal difference. It is my conviction that Christian giving should begin with paying the tithe and bringing offerings through your local, New Testament church. This is God’s way (1 Corinthians 16:1-2, 2 Corinthians 8). Believers should not take money from the place where God has placed them in order to give somewhere else. At the same time, the Lord prospers…

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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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Cliques & Fraternities In The Church

One of the great stumbling blocks to the gospel and road blocks to revival is the party spirit that exists among many of God’s people. This is more than human nature. This is the devil’s nature – always to divide, to splinter, and to break up. This week I was preaching through the works of the flesh in Galatians 5 and the Holy Spirit dealt with me about this truth. How easy it is to identify another man’s flesh and how difficult it is to see mine! The most deceptive flesh is always my own. It hides. It excuses. It justifies. It parades in religious terms. But it is still flesh. We love to preach against “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,…

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Thank God For Faithful Church Members

American culture has invaded American churches. The desire for novelty, the tendency to boredom, the love for entertainment – all are now very prominent in the average local church. One by-product of this is the frequent migration of church members from one church to another. It is common for churches to “trade” members with some regularity. This concept is foreign to the New Testament. In the first century church believers were just happy to have a local body of believers with which to fellowship. In the midst of a pagan society they were grateful to be part of a church, however imperfect and inconvenient it may have been. Like everything else in our world it is easy to begin to…

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An Epidemic Of Loneliness

Recently NBC aired a special news report on the increase of loneliness in people around the world. The British government has now instituted a “minister for loneliness.” This new undersecretary in England has been commissioned to work on what the prime minister called “the sad reality of modern life.” How is it possible? We have more communication and more connection than ever and yet more people feel disconnected and alone. And it’s not just those living alone. Often those who are surrounded most by people – great crowds of people – feel very much isolated. In our own country medical professionals are now talking about loneliness as a public health issue. The former surgeon general went so far as to say…

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An Encouragement For Assistant Pastors

It was my privilege to serve as an assistant to a wonderful pastor for many years. Eighteen years were spent helping someone else fulfill the work God had put in his heart to do. Yet the great truth is that I was also fulfilling the work God had put in my heart to do! An older, mature pastor was speaking for us many years ago. I was privileged to be his host. As we sat at dinner one evening he leaned across the table and said, “Scott, in church work people talk about men serving as a ‘second man.’ There is no such thing. In God’s plan there is a first place for every man. The man who serves as…

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Praise God For Preachers

Thank the Lord for faithful preachers of God’s Word. We need them more than ever and we need more of them! As I travel my appreciation for the Lord’s servants grows. Most pastors are not well known, many are carrying a load no one knows about. They are shepherds. I am an evangelist, but I am trying to help pastors all that I can. Anyone can come through town and preach a few sermons. It is the faithful pastor feeding the flock that keeps the church strong. Like the Good Shepherd, the pastor stays with the sheep to guide and protect them. Preachers often serve in sacrificial ways that are not considered. For many years my dad served as a…

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How To Make This The Greatest Summer Of Your Life

Today is the official beginning of summer. Students will tell you that summer begins the moment they are out of school. For adults, summer doesn’t seem to begin until you leave work for that first day of vacation. It means something different to everyone but almost everyone (except for pastors!) will tell you they love this time of year. Summer is one of the most anticipated and one of the most wasted seasons of the whole year. The warm months are often a time of sloth and spiritual retreat when they could be an opportunity for growth. The vacation mentality too easily permeates every part of our life and instead of rest we retreat. Fast-forward three months from today…Where do you…

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