On May 14, 2015, Chuck Lawless wrote an article called “Five Reason Some Pastors Are Loners – and Why That’s Not Good.” For the past seven years I’ve had the privilege of seeking to strengthen the ministry of pastors and count myself among their number. I believe loneliness and friendlessness is a threat to our wellness and to finishing well. So, I’d like to offer ten suggestions for making friends as a pastor.
SBC of Virginia is blessed to have churches that are less than 200 days old in our family and churches more than 200 years old in this Gospel partnership. I am thankful for the leadership lessons pastors of some of Virginia’s oldest churches have modeled. Here are some principles learned from their ministries…
Over the past few weeks I have shared highlights from some reading and study I am doing regarding church revitalization. I have had the privilege of serving on pastoral staff, planting and pastoring a church, and working with churches in times of transition and change. SBC of Virginia has been committed to church planting since our founding and we are now seeking to learn more and grow in our commitment to church revitalization.
LOVE. What is true love? We say I love you in regard to our most sacred relationships and also in regard to our favorite flavor of ice cream. “I love you.” “I love baby back ribs.” “I love my wife.” “I love basketball.” “I love my kids.” “I love Krispy Kreme Donuts.” (Can I get a witness?) It’s like the words “thank you.” You don't have a stronger word. English language is limited in many ways compared to others.
And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:35–38
Happy New Year. On behalf of the SBC of Virginia, thank you for your partnership in the Gospel. I’d like to share with you a few thoughts from one of my favorite examples of a leader praying in the Bible. There are a number of exemplary prayers in Scripture, but the one I am referring to is in 2 Chronicles 20, The Prayer of Jehoshaphat.
Few Americans today say they know their neighbors' names, and far fewer report interacting with them on a daily basis. Pulling data from the General Social Survey, a recent report found that a third said they've never interacted with their neighbors. And only about 20 percent of Americans spent time regularly with the people living next to them.
n 1973, Spielberg was hired to make a movie based on Peter Benchley's novel about shark attacks called Jaws. The movie was so scary that even to this day millions of Americans panic when they get wind that a shark might be present in their beach area. A persistent shark phobia keeps people away from the beach.
Christmas is probably not on your mind today. With the heat and humidity, with kids out of school and trips to the beach, Christmas seems a long way off. However, SBC of Virginia churches are to celebrate Christ and share His Gospel all year long. Every season, every day is an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ in a lost world.