Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday Morning Reminders for Pastors

Yesterday’s message wasn’t as bad as you thought it was. Someone in the congregation was spiritually fed, so rejoice in that.

Yesterday’s message wasn’t as good as you thought it was. There were some things that would have made your message more clear and more precise and more connected to the people you spoke to. So work on that.

You get another chance next week, so stop fretting and get busy. Don’t get to Saturday and wish you had started on Monday. Start on Monday, even if it’s only a small start.

All the things you wish you had said yesterday? Say them next week, or trust the sovereignty of God even over our speech.

All the things you wish you hadn’t said yesterday? Forget it because everyone else already has forgotten it. Have more self-control in your speech next, and trust the sovereignty of God even over our speech.

Spiritual growth does not stem from a single incredible meal. It is the result of a lot of ordinary meals over the course of years. So don’t evaluate your ministry on the basis of one message, however good or bad you thought it was. Just get a solid meal ready for next week.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Around the Horn – 6/10/16

At first is an interesting article about how LGBT activism is changing our moral consciousness. It draws out some interesting implications about how things that have been historically considered wrong by virtually everyone suddenly are considered virtuous if connected to LGBT. To leave your wife and children has, historically, been wrong. But now, it is courageous if you are admitting you are gay. To cheat in athletics by using PEDs or hormones is wrong, unless you are transgendered. It is a good article about the world we are now living in.

At second is an article on the same theme, questioning whether Title IX actually matters anymore. Title IX was an act that essentially required men and women to have equal opportunity in sports. If boys are allowed to participate in girls sports, girls will be in the same place they were before Title IX, standing behind boys in athletics.

At third is an article about the funeral of Mohammed Ali that unwittingly highlights the problems of a works-based salvation.  Ali had been on the way to buy some Bibles and Qurans for a project. He picked up a hitchhiker who, when hearing of Ali’s trip to the store, offered him a Bible from his own home. Ali tried to give the man some money for the Bible, but the man refused. The article continues,

Ali says, 'Take the money, man, I'm trying to get into heaven.' And the man replies, 'So am I.'

Ali is not taking 'no' for an answer. He says, 'If you don't take the money, I might not get in.' And the man replies, 'If I do take your money, I might not get in.'

If you have a way of salvation other than Jesus Christ, what you need to do to get into heaven might be the same thing that prevents someone else from getting into heaven. And then what? Do you give up your place for theirs? Wouldn’t it be better to abandon both ways and just lean on Jesus?

Last today is a parody of a TED Talk. It might as well be a parody of a lot of preaching. If you don’t like that one, then try this one. I fear that the art and science of communication, even in its homespun iterations, has taken precedence over the simple act of preaching the Bible. Be wary of presentation. That is not to say ignore it. It is only to say don’t lean more heavily on the method of communication than on the content of the text.