Weekly Thought – August 18, 2020
Fred believed life’s changes were built around what a person reads, where they travel, and their associations. He spent his life desiring to stretch others, but also being stretched. This excerpt from a speech to a pastors’ conference displays Fred’s ability to distill key principles, delivering them in a manner which motivated much note-taking. This week we cover points eight and nine.
As our friends in Christian higher education prepare to return to school, please pray with them. They face challenges beyond the normal ones of semester transition. The students are working on their education during a time of cultural upheaval and social disarray. The administrators, faculty, and staff are joined together to provide excellence in academics and faith development.
A Layman Looks To His Pastor, part three
8) I want my pastor to lead the development of community within the local church. Ray Stedman, pastor of Peninsula Bible Church in California introduced the policy of unanimity for elder decisions. When he first told me I thought it wasn’t necessary, but the closer I got to the situation I understood the wisdom of his policy. This was a solid way to build community within the elder board and the congregation.
We live in such a fractured world. Our cities are not friendly, oftentimes our workplaces are unfriendly (and even toxic), and sadly our homes are not safe haven but seriously dysfunctional. The fellowship of believers should provide a harmonious environment where no one has to play politics or join cliques. I am convinced churches which operate like this will attract people who see the Gospel creates a group who accept and bless.
In my experience each organization needs someone who serves as the glue and the leader of community building. I want my pastor to consider community a high priority.
9) I would like for my pastor to be a resource to the membership… and not just a resource to rehash current reading materials, TV shows, or movies. I don’t go to church to be caught up on cultural trends. I want my pastor to be a resource for spiritual refueling. I want to be responsible for using my gifts and look to my pastor to enable me to maximize my effectiveness. A pastor friend who is very mechanical identifies his role as knowing his congregation and the tools necessary for them to live out their callings. He verbalizes his role as knowing the tools in the garage well enough to put them in the hands of each congregant for each particular job that needs to be done. He calls himself an equipper.
These points demonstrate a key principle: I want my pastor to be in the “hope business.” The world is desperately in need of our pastors to preach the light and life of Christ. We hear from commentators about how lost the world is and how subject we are to disillusionment and depression. I want my pastor to know the reality of faith and transmit that to the congregation week by week. I want the God he serves to be bigger than any world government, or malevolent regime.
This week think carefully about: 1) How can I participate in building community within my church? 2) What can I do this week to speak hope to others? 3) Who can I join with to bring growth to my church?
Words of Wisdom: “In my experience each organization needs someone who serves as the glue and the leader of community building. I want my pastor to consider community a high priority.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well.” (Philippians 2:4 NET Bible)