Archive for September, 2016
Discouragement in ministry is real. When you are down, how do you get back up?
It does not matter if plans you had are now unfulfilled, you are surrounded by small-mindedness, people leave your church, you hear unending criticism, or you are just facing a season of barren and grind, discouragement is difficult. But it is not terminal in ministry.
Now is the time to embrace the battle and move through it.
4 Ways to Get Through Discouragement
1. Share with God about where you are.
Pastors tend to talk about their discouragement with other people more than we talk about it with God. Pastor, the moment you sense you are discouraged, begin with God. Talk to Him about it.
If you do not, the very thing or things that have led you to this place in your life will lead to even greater discouragement. Failing to unpack where you are with God is a major mistake in ministry.
2. Set your eyes on Jesus.
Jesus does not disappoint, but people do. Looking at others will lead you to major disappointment. Get your eyes off leaders in your life and members of your church.
Set your eyes on Jesus. He is with you.
3. Settle forgiveness now.
In ministry, you will face all kinds of things and encounter all kinds of people. This will challenge you greatly, especially when you are disappointed in some way.
Ministry is hard enough, but to carry resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness is like walking on a treadmill carrying a 100-pound backpack. You will not go far or last long.
Remember: Never let anyone outside of your circle of love. Settle now, whatever or whoever I encounter, I will forgive.
4. Surge forward
You will never overcome discouragement by ignoring it or letting it paralyze you. You cannot surge forward in your life and ministry while looking backward.
People who hurt you are people who have been hurt in their life. You have to know this or their hurt toward you will transcend to the way you treat other people.
It does not matter who did what to you and when they did it. What matters is how you will respond to it. This is why we must surge forward in forgiveness.
This is what leaders do.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd
4 Reasons I Believe Churches Should Give Through the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention
I believe Jesus died for every person in the world. I believe each follower of Christ, the Church, is commanded to make disciples of all the nations of the world.
None of us can do this alone, and no church can do this alone. Jesus’ call to each of us is overwhelming, but not impossible.
Each of us must answer the question: How will we accomplish what Jesus calls us to do?
How to Get This Done
I believe giving through the Cooperative Program is the most effective way to accomplish the unfinished task given to us by Jesus. For the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Cooperative Program is our unified strategy to be part of finishing the task of reaching the world for Jesus Christ.
In 1925, our churches came together and adopted a strategy that would eliminate the need for ministry leaders and missionaries to make endless financial appeals to keep them on the field and their gospel ministry going. Since the Cooperative Program became our unified strategy, each church has the opportunity to make a monthly gift through this avenue to take the gospel to every person in the world.
While the Cooperative Program may not be perfect, it is effective. It is much more effective than any way I know to accomplish the big picture and overwhelming call Jesus gave to us: Making disciples of all the nations.
While leaders or ministries may disappoint you or your church periodically, our calling to take the gospel to the world is more important than all of us. Rise above the fray, keep your eyes on Jesus, and the convictional call of Jesus as your goal: Making disciples of all the nations.
4 Reasons I Believe
There are four reasons I believe churches should give through the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention:
1. It is more about mission than money.
The compelling mission of Jesus Christ to be His witnesses regionally, statewide, nationally, and internationally is what the Cooperative Program has been built upon, is built upon, and must be built upon in the future. Mission, not money, is the end goal. An SBC leader, pastor, layperson, national entity, state convention, association, or church that forgets this will soon reap a result that is not going to forward our common call and mission together.
2. It is more about unifying us than dividing us.
Keeping the convictional call before our churches to take the gospel to every person in our communities, states, nation, and the world will unify each church within their own fellowship. This is the very same way churches must work together in their own association or state convention and ultimately through the 51,000 churches and congregations in our convention.
When mission does not precede men and ministries, unity is impossible. We will never agree with everyone and everything in our church, state convention, and national Southern Baptist Convention.
3. It is more about working together than working alone.
Working together is more difficult than working alone. Working alone may allow you to feel better about yourself personally, but it will never complete our mission. Working within your own church may get you somewhere faster, but it will never take you further.
Your ministry and mission are not about you. It is to be about Jesus and His name and message being taken to the world.
4. It is more about your church than our convention.
Giving through the Cooperative Program is not to sustain our state conventions and convention work nationally and internationally. God has not called a convention to take the gospel to the world. God has called each of us personally and the church we call family to finish this task.
It is about our church cooperating with other churches to reach the world for Christ.
We Can Do It
Yes, Jesus died for the entire world. Because He did, we must now tell the entire world what He has done for them.
We can do this together. The urgency is upon us.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church
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