Friday, February 27, 2009

Surviving the Recessions of Ministry

"It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job, its a depression when you lose yours."

Recession is the buzz word of the hour- economic recession! Downturn in stock market, banks, jobs, personal income and investments and on and on.

But these are not the only areas of recession- we can experience recession in our ministries that are just as debilitating as the economic recessions.

Recession- the act of becoming more distant; act or action of receding; withdrawal-(1): social or emotional detachment (2): a pathological retreat from objective reality.

There is great danger in the recession that a pastor might experience. If it is not stopped it can lead to depression, detachment, and then to ultimate destruction!

Pastoral Recession occurs:
1. When your dreams and vision are slow in being realized!
2. When your finances are down or misuse of them.
3. When people disappoint you and abandon you.
4. When you experience a moral failure.
5. Feelings of being unappreciated.

If one is going to re-engage during a pastoral recession, one must:
(a) Adapt to what has happened.
(b) Appreciate what you can learn from it.
(c) Accept the opportunities it presents.
(d) Acquire support.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV ""But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."

Pastor friend, let's guard our lives during ministry recessions so that we stay the course of God's calling on our lives and maintain our care of the God's flock!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Top Of My Wishlist! For Your Consideration--

This is at the top of my wishlist- actually the model I want is the DeLonghi Magnifica EAM3500 Super Auto Espresso Machine. (The title on the YouTube video is wrong- this is the EAM3500 machine they are demonstrating in the video).

You can buy it for me new or refurbished (at a significant reduction)!

I am really not lazy, but this is a way too cool machine. A member in our church has one-- I am not coveting!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Group Sessions for Bloggers and Twitters

New way to communicate- no need of social or communication skills!
Oooops, I think I see me in this pic!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

LOL!!!- the electronic cigarette?

The e-cigarette! After watching this clip and the 'Facts' aspect of it- it will make one not want to smoke nor buy this product!

el stupido!!!

disclaimer- by presenting this product on my blog 1)it is not an endorsement for smoking (I don't) 2)not an endorsement of this product (I didn't buy it) 3)I disclaim anything else I might be accused of!

Monday, February 16, 2009


The Cherish Sisters have a great song called Unappreciated. Click here to see the video. The chorus reads:
I'm feeling really unappreciated.
You takin` my love for granted, babe.
I don't know how much more,
I can take from you.
You don't do the things you use to do.
You don't even say I love you too.
and lately I've been feeling,
Feeling unappreciated.

The the song captures the cry of the human heart to feel appreciated. The lyrics are of a woman feeling spurned and unloved.

We all experience these same emotions in life. Spouses can take each other for granted. Children can be so unappreciative of their parents and parents can treat the children the same. At work, you toil and labor but yet there is no 'Thank You.' Even Pastors who pour their hearts and lives out day in and day out can struggle with the thanklessness. It is as though one is performing before a packed house and there is no response from the audience!

So, if one is unappreciated (as the song suggests) it begins to eat at the very core of your being. One feels unloved, separated, insecure, and rejected!

You do so much for so many, now you just want a little appreciation in return. Right? A 'thank you' or 'I appreciate you' would be refreshing water to your brittle soul. But, where do you turn when those words are not forthcoming?

Obviously to God! Your Heavenly Father appreciates you for all you do, and all you are. He has put you exactly where He needs you and you are fulfilling His purpose every day! When you understand that, you'll begin to find meaning in everything you do. He is the reason - others are just the (unappreciative at times) beneficiaries!

"He will not forget your work and the love you have shown…" Hebrews 6:10 NIV
"Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord" Colossians 3:17 NIV

Don't let somebody's response or lack thereof decide the level of your joy! They may not notice, but God does.

He records and He rewards. Count on it! He appreciates you today... and, by the way, so do I!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Raising Money or Raising People?

I preached on 'Rebuking the Devourer' this past Sunday. In light of the hard economic times the one area we can't cut back on is the tithe. By staying faithful with the tithe, God said He would reward one with 2 things: provision and protection! Mal 3:10-11.

This is a very humorous video of a very serious matter to God and to us. Hope you enjoy it.

God's plan for the tithe is not to raise money for a budget, but to raise His people for Provision and Protection.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Pastoral Landmines

In a day when church is so much about technique, bells and whistles, and the like I chose to teach at our staff retreat on Pastoral Care. Bottom line for the church is what takes place after Sunday! How are God's people treated and cared for. Are they left to fend for themselves or are there those that care for them in their times of need, which by the way, most often happen at other times than Sunday?

1 Peter 5:2-3 ...not bossily telling others what to do, but tenderly showing them the way. TMB

My teaching points:
1. Don't Lord it over them.
2. Treat them as you want to be treated.
3. Don't do anything to hurt them.
4. If you must confront, do it with tears.
5. Don't abuse them. How?
a. by yelling at them
b. by threatening them
c. by belittling and demeaning them
d. by speaking down to them
e. by criticizing them
f. by reconciling with them when you offend them
g. if they offend you, suck it up, forgive them, seek God's restoration and healing of your hurts. Don't retaliate!
6. Beware of Pastoral Landmines:
a. Talking about their children
b. Criticizing parenting skills and decisions
c. Criticizing their spouse.
d. Challenging their 'perceived' God's direction for their lives.
e. Talking openly and negatively about the church, church people, church staff, or the Pastor.
Can you add other 'landmines' to the list?

Friday, February 06, 2009

Blessed Man I Am!

Back to blog land after trip to Costa Rica for my son Jason's wedding to Lina. It was a great trip and a wonderful wedding ceremony. Here are a few pics of Costa Rica and of the Wedding.

Ryan, Charity, Lina, Jason

I was just meditating this morning on how blessed I am in this life. This scripture below speaks of my delight in my sons and their wives.

Ps 127:3-5 TMB
Don't you see that children are God's best gift? the fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior's fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don't stand a chance against you; you'll sweep them right off your doorstep.

Thank you to all my family and friends that have had input into my children's lives. Thank you Debi for being the world's greatest mother to our sons and now their wives!