Archive for November, 2016
I would like to challenge you personally and professionally. Here are some challenges I believe will help us all end the year faithfully.
I want to challenge each of us to end the year personally in the highest way possible. How?
1. Evaluate where you are with God.
Draw aside to insure all is right with God. Deal with yourself. Talk to God about your own sinfulness and challenges honestly. Practice repentance. Seek fresh empowerment from the Holy Spirit. This is something I believe everyone should do.
2. Examine your relationship with others.
In our present culture, relationships can often get messy and misunderstood. As Pastors, we frequently run fast, and usually that is not to our advantage. Therefore, we need to use this season to examine all of our relationships again. Do not underestimate the influence of a personal call, email, text message, visit, or even a hand-written personal note. The holiday season is the time of year many are hurting and need a special touch. We can all do more to encourage others around us.
3. Elevate your walk with Christ.
Use this season of the year to elevate your walk with Christ. Read more of God’s Word and spend additional time with Him in prayer. Use your personal time with God to pray about what He has before you in the new year, personally and professionally. Spend extra time with God to concentrate on your personal walk with Christ. Be ready personally to launch into the new year in a powerful way.
Now that I have suggested four steps to take personally to end the year in the highest realm of faithfulness to God, let me do the same professionally.
1. Consider the status of your church spiritually.
Just as you would have your vital signs checked at an annual physical, stop long enough to check the vital signs of your church. Pastor, honestly before God, how is your church doing? Is your church healthy? If it is healthy, how do you know? If your church is not healthy, what will you do about it? Determine to end the year faithfully.
2. Sharpen your leadership for the future.
Once you have considered the status of your church, it should help you know more about how to lead it. Where will you lead it? What will you lead the church to do? Consider having a demographic study done on your community to understand how to better reach people. If you have already done this, is it time for another study? Are you leading strategically to minister to your community compassionately for the purpose of making disciples of all the nations? Sharpen your leadership for the future. If you will do this, you will lead faithfully.
3. Commit yourself to teach the Word of God faithfully.
As the pastor, your highest call is to bring glory to God by teaching and preaching the Word of God accurately and faithfully. This means you must draw aside to consider what you are going to preach in the year ahead and how you are going to preach it. Will you teach through a book of the Bible or several books of the Bible? Are you going to deal with subjects like marriage, family, finances, the future, and do it driven by the text of Scripture, leading people to walk in the depths of God’s riches? Or will you do a combination of the above? Whatever you do, commit yourself to teach the Word of God more faithfully than ever before in your ministry.
4. Challenge your church to finish the year with financial faithfulness.
I am convinced that pastors need to challenge the people of God to finish the year with the highest level of financial faithfulness to God. It is incumbent upon us to do so for the people themselves, but also for the work of the church. A person cannot say they are walking in faithfulness to Jesus without practicing biblical stewardship. As pastors, we need to step up and challenge God’s people to:
- Honor the Lord with the first ten percent of all God has entrusted to them throughout the year.
- Honor the Lord with gifts of generosity above the first ten percent, giving to international missions, church vision specifics, or benevolence.
If we want God’s people to walk with Jesus faithfully, we need to challenge them to be faithful financially.
As the pastor of your fellowship, plan now to finish the year both personally and professionally, with the highest level of faithfulness.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd
Disappointment is not easy to live through. It is real and will visit you from time to time. Learning to live and work through disappointment will save you from a life of resentment and bitterness.
Identifying disappointment will help us know what to expect and perhaps give us some insight on how to live through it.
1. People will disappoint you.
All kinds of people will disappoint you in life. At times, even people you love and admire may disappoint you. No one is perfect. Each of us has disappointed other people. Hopefully, it has never been intentional, but it does happen.
2. Organizations will disappoint you.
When you are involved in organizations, there is potential for them to really disappoint you. Perhaps they will not live up to what they state or they fail to respond in the way you assumed they would. This could be a school, church, business, government, or civic organization.
3. Circumstances will disappoint you.
There are times in life when we work hard to shape something we love or even the future. Then suddenly, something changes, someone leaves, someone fumbles the vision, or resources are not provided. Transition and change can challenge your attitude and lead to disappointment.
4. Unrealistic expectations will lead to disappointment.
Each of us can have unrealistic expectations. We can have unrealistic expectations of the people we love the most, and even of our nation. As a person who has high expectations of myself and others, I have had to moderate some of my expectations.
Living Through Disappointment
Living through disappointment will require us to take a few actions on a regular basis.
Action #1: Realize no one is perfect.
Our unrealistic expectations lead us to assume that people are perfect and operate their lives and leadership perfectly. This is completely unfair and unwise. Personally, I must always remind myself that I am not perfect and I should not expect other people to be perfect.
Action #2: Forgive and let it go.
Forgiving other people who have disappointed us is the key to living with peace and contentment. We cannot hold something against someone else. We have to forgive and let it go.
Action #3: Forget it and drive on.
When we truly forgive and let something go, we also forget about it and drive on. My friend Clebe McClary, who fought courageously in the Vietnam War paying a high price for our freedom, taught me this principle years ago. He called it FIDO: Forget it and drive on. This is outstanding counsel for each of us when we are disappointed.
Action #4: Give it to God.
God knows everything. He knows where you are. He knows what happened. He knows the people, situation, organization, or experience that has disappointed you. Therefore, give it to God. He will take care of you.
The Only Thing You Can Control
There is only one thing you can control in your life: Your response to the situation.
When disappointment comes with people, circumstances, organizations, or with life itself, the only thing you can control is your response to the situation. You cannot control others or their actions.
There is one thing you can control: Your response to the situation.
Choose to accept all people.
Choose to forgive and let it go.
Choose to forget it and drive on.
Choose to give all your disappointments to God.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church
To request an interview with Dr. Ronnie Floyd
contact Gayla Oldham at (479) 751-4523 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.