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The Cross-Shaped Purpose of Life

This video filmed in downtown Bologna, Italy, examines the cruciform pattern to which God actively conforms our lives.

Posted in Christian Living, Video | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Awesome Church

This approach certainly swims against the stream of an increasingly self-referential, self-promoting culture. But I think it has the ring of Christ to it.

Posted in Ministry | Tagged , , | 32 Comments

Don’t Worry, No One Will Remember You

As we fight pride and embrace obscurity, we can then shift our focus on going hard for Christ.

Posted in Sanctification, Testimony | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

5 More Signs You Glorify Self

Self-glory turns those who have been chosen and called to be ambassadors into self-appointed kings.

Posted in Ministry | Tagged , | 16 Comments

5 Signs You Glorify Self

Self-glory will cause you to speak too much when you should listen and to feel no need to speak when you surely should.

Posted in Holiness, Ministry | Tagged , , | 40 Comments

Pride in the Pulpit

When I hear an essentially law-driven sermon, asking the law to do what only the grace of Jesus Christ can accomplish, I am immediately concerned about the preacher

Posted in Ministry | Tagged , , | 33 Comments

Worship Leaders, We Are Not Rock Stars

We don’t have to be rock stars. We have Jesus. And Jesus is more than enough.

Posted in Articles of Interest, Commentary, Featured, Ministry, Opinion | Tagged , , | 56 Comments

Celebrity Pastors: Top of the Heap or Overexposed?

May the Lord give us more who are celebrities for the right reasons—their focus, character, and hard work—and fewer pastoral Kardashians.

Posted in Ministry | Tagged , , | 48 Comments

A Prayer About Loving to be First

Thank you Scotty Smith for this much needed prayer today (from today’s entry at Scotty’s blog “Heavenward“).

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I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church. 3 John 9-10

Dear Lord Jesus, to have one’s name recorded in the Bible is one thing. But to be chronicled there as someone who loved to be first isn’t a very attractive proposition at all. I have no clue what was going on in Diotrephes’ life that made him disrespectful of the apostle John and so divisive in the community. But his story certainly invites me to look at mine.

Jesus, please free me from the ways I, too, love to be first.

In my marriage—when being right and winning the argument is more important than listening and understanding my spouse… when I angle for the biggest cookie or control of the TV remote… when my obsession to be on time outweighs my commitment to kindness and patience.

In my friendships—when my delight in being remembered and appreciated is more pronounced than my record of staying in touch and serving my friends.

In my vocation—when the people with whom I work experience me as someone more preoccupied with my reputation and success than knowing and …

Posted in Noteworthy | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Pastor’s Worst Enemy

The pastor’s worst enemy is pride, and it is a special danger for young pastors (1 Tim. 3:6).

The Particular Causes of Pride

    Public gifts. As your gifts are exercised in public (unlike those with more private and unseen gifts and ministries), they are more likely to be recognized, admired, and praised.
    Official status. As many of God’s people respect and honor the “office” of pastor (sometimes regardless of who fills it), you may be inclined to think it is you they respect and honor.
    Man-centeredness. When people are blessed under your ministry, they will often attribute it to you rather than to God.
    Worldly ideas of leadership. You see yourself as “in charge of all these people,” rather than their servant.
    Inexperience. The Church is quite unique in how it places untested and inexperienced young men into positions of the highest responsibility without going through the “humbling school of hard knocks.” Having never been led, they sometimes do not know how to lead.
    Misunderstanding of call to the ministry. Paul did not see the pastoral ministry as a prize he had earned. For Paul, it was as much a grace, an unearned gift, as salvation (Eph. 3:8).

The Pastoral Consequences of Pride

If you fall into pride there will be serious consequences in your ministry.

    You will start depending on your gifts rather than on God.
    You will become impatient with your less gifted brethren in the ministry or eldership.
    You will become thoughtlessly insensitive to the traditions and customs of the past.
    You will resist personal criticism and mature …

Posted in Opinion | Tagged , , | 20 Comments