Archive for the 'Mentoring' Category
I am one of you. For 39 years I have served as a pastor of a local church. The last 29 of these years I have served the same church. Even though I began when I was very young, God was and has been faithful to protect me all the way.
In the past few weeks, I have felt compelled to write you this letter. These are words that any local church pastor can identify with in life and ministry. Please consider these words, place them before the Lord, and then apply as needed or as He desires.
First, put Jesus first in your day. Start your day early with God and if early is not your deal, at least start your day with God first. Yes, first things first. If we do not begin our day with Jesus, then we forfeit the privilege to lead His people. Please begin your day with God; otherwise, defeat in life and ministry will become normal for you.
Second, renew your belief in the power of God. He can do anything, anytime, anywhere with anyone. He can do this with you and through your church. Refuse to dissect what He can and cannot do. Receive what He is able to do with you and through you. Begin to teach and preach about the power of God to your church. They need to begin to believe again.
Third, bring prayer back into the worship services of your church. Get beyond the, “Bless me prayers”, into appealing to the God of Heaven to manifest His presence to the people of God. Weekly, call out to God before your people. They need to hear you pray with both confidence and conviction. At times, move your people to pray together in groups around the room. At other times, call them to their knees in humility. Pray for revival to come to the people of God and for the next Great Awakening to occur in America. Prayer always precedes great works of God.
Fourth, prioritize evangelism again into the life of your church. Celebrate the reaching of the lost and the baptizing of new followers of Christ. Discover places in your community where the gospel has never been shared. Resolve to take the gospel into these places. Study the demographics of your city. Strategize how to win your city to Jesus Christ. Then, you will not cease evangelizing.
Fifth, call your people to support God’s work financially. Unashamedly, model and teach God’s people about giving the first ten percent of their entire income to their local church. Call them to give beyond this and challenge them to live life in the lane of generosity. Then, as a church, give to advance the gospel across the world exponentially. Give sacrificially and generously to forward the gospel throughout the entire world by planting gospel churches and supporting missionaries globally.
Sixth, stand upon the Word of God courageously. Our biblical Christian worldview is in constant conflict with the culture. Do not coward down to our culture nor cuddle with it. Stand strongly and courageously upon the Word of God. This will call you to be against some issues, when it does, communicate it in love.
Seventh, value each person in the world today. Stand for the dignity of each person and for the sanctity of life. Reject racism in any form. Renounce abortion in every way. Stand for the dignity and the sanctity of human life from the womb all the way to the tomb.
Eighth, learn from criticism. It will come. Count on it. Determine to outlive it. Refuse to become bitter toward any person being critical of you. Do not let anyone outside of your circle of love.
Ninth, lead cross-generationally. Do not be influential with just your generation; develop relationships with the generation before you and the generation behind you. Otherwise, your leadership will be limited and any potential legacy you may have will become short-lived. Invest in all generations. This is biblical.
Tenth, be humble before other people. When you are humble, God will raise you up. The way up is down. When you humble yourself before God, you can more easily humble yourself before others. God is not attracted to pride, but He is to humility. He lifts up those who are humble before Him.
Thank you Pastor for living for Jesus. Fulfill the calling God has given to you in your life. Please know I am with you in this battle and praying for you daily.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd
Twenty-nine years ago this week, following God’s call to our lives, my very young family and I moved to Northwest Arkansas. I would have never imagined that one day I would be writing about my pastoral longevity here or anywhere else.
This past Sunday, I was preaching at the Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida, honoring my dear friend, Dr. Ted Traylor for his twenty-five years of pastoral longevity there. Over dinner, he and Liz remarked to us how fast the years have gone.
Observing and Reflecting
While observing the Traylors this past weekend and hearing them reflect over their ministry, I was reminded of the power of reflection. Obviously, pastors who stay anywhere long enough will reflect on their own journey toward longevity.
3 Secrets to Pastoral Longevity
In my own reflection upon life and ministry, I want to share three secrets to pastoral longevity:
1. Living with the conviction of God’s calling
Staying somewhere a long time can be extremely difficult for a pastor and his family. There are moments when leaving would be much easier than staying. There may be times when you beg God for somewhere to go.
Yet, one of the secrets to pastoral longevity is living with the conviction of God’s calling upon your life and location. This conviction must grip your life and the very essence of who you are. Without it, you will not be able to stay anywhere very long.
2. Learning to surf the seasons of ministry transition
Pastors must understand that ministry is filled with many seasons. Just like a team, there are winning seasons, mediocre seasons, and losing seasons. This is why you cherish the seasons overflowing with fruitfulness and faithfulness.
If you do not cherish the seasons, when the tough times hit, you move to the depth of despair. You get down on ministry as well as the church you are called to serve. This is why it is imperative to learn to surf the seasons of ministry transition. Otherwise, you feel you are drowning. Hang on. Give it time. Keep your head up and soon you will feel the Spirit of God carrying you.
3. Changing your life and ministry practices continually
Pastors promote change within their church, but at times, the greatest need for change is within the pastor himself. Pastors have to experience continual sanctification, becoming more like Jesus continually.
We do this willingly, or the Lord, at times, may do it with us purposefully. This is not always easy to go through for any of us. But if we have a genuine desire to be used of God powerfully, God knows what needs to happen to get us to the point of becoming surrendered and useable.
Therefore, we must be like new wineskins: flexible, filled with elasticity, and conforming to what God is doing within us, through us, and around us. This results in our ministry practices not being something we worship, but something that adjusts to what God is doing at the time.
Cling to 1 Corinthians 15:58
God does not call every pastor to stay somewhere a long time, but He does call every pastor to be faithful and fruitful. What does this mean? Perhaps the following verse will address this question. In fact, if you want pastor longevity, cling to 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Pastor, rise up in this hour. Be willing to give your life to a place God calls you and simultaneously, be willing to leave tomorrow if God so wills. I have and I will. Our allegiance is to God Himself and His calling in our lives.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd