Pastoring Ministry Volunteers, Part 3

selfie

 

A selfie culture can radically mis-shape the way American Christians think about using their gifts and volunteering in local churches.

Let’s look at three selfie influences that damage volunteer teams and ministries.  Continue reading “Pastoring Ministry Volunteers, Part 3”

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The Decision-Making Triangle

bermuda triangleWhen I was a boy, the dangerous mystery surrounding the Bermuda Triangle captured my attention. Sometimes a plane or boat would enter the Triangle only to barely and frightfully get through or to disappear altogether. The riddle of the Triangle remains illusive.

As a Pastor, (and a parent) I’ve become painfully aware of what we might call “The Decision Making Triangle.”  Many of our decision-making journeys have ended with just as many riddles. Is there a map that can help us?  Continue reading “The Decision-Making Triangle”

Searching for Greatness in Ministry

Zack Preaching Spurgeon Fellowship 2016
Zack speaking to Pastors and Ministry leaders in Portland Oregon, March 2016.

This two-part audio series “Searching for Greatness in Ministry,” is taken from Zack’s recent visit with pastors and ministry leaders who participate in the Spurgeon Fellowship in Portland, Oregon.  Out of his daily life in local pastoral ministry, Zack seeks to encourage us in our common vocation in Jesus.

Part 1: What do you want Jesus to do for you?  (begins at the 40 minute 20 second mark)

Part 2: What is the greatest thing you can do in ministry?

Why are we Lonely in Ministry?

The Bishop Cover Picture“Ah, look at all the lonely people,” the band sang in the old song. “Where do they all come from?” This question hums with haunted melody, as the song searches out the lonely lives of a priest, his congregant and the church they both serve. Why is it that those who give their days to a vocation charged with the enjoyment, love and glory of God remain so vulnerable to the loneliness and isolation that any human being can feel? Anton Chekhov’s short story, The Bishop, helps us. Without spoiling the story, I’d like to tell you why. Continue reading “Why are we Lonely in Ministry?”

Pastoring Ministry Volunteers, Part 2

 

I want it now! Image

In part one, we talked about how volunteers come with a story. This story shapes their expectations more than they realize. To pastor volunteers begins with managing expectations and helping future volunteers see the beauty as well as the difficulties they may unwittingly bring to a team.

Our next step is to clearly name how the consumer inside each one of us can damage our view regarding how to use our gifts and why we use them. Let’s take a look.  Continue reading “Pastoring Ministry Volunteers, Part 2”

Pastoring Ministry Volunteers, Part 1

Tim Burton Santa Teddy Bear Pic

 

Unwisely, Santa offered a teddy bear to James, unaware that he had been mauled by a grizzly earlier that year.

Receive an email titled, “concerned” or an invitation for dinner in order “to talk,” and a seasoned pastor can suddenly resemble little James in the cartoon above. So it is when someone risks making an appointment with the pastor, risks joining a small group, risks seeking a role to play as a volunteer.

Good words in themselves such as “pastor,” “committee,” “mission,” or “service for God” can dishevel us. A friend or teammate meant something good. We see ghosts instead because of past experiences.
Continue reading “Pastoring Ministry Volunteers, Part 1”

Why We Need Silences, Not Just Sentences

Tunnel Light - 3D Render. Cool Blue Light. The Road to the Light ( Near Death Experience? )

Lingering among silences makes us feel like toddlers entering the nursery on Sunday mornings. When our parent drops us off, we feel abandoned. We either tantrum about, or we cling to anything or anyone that promises to hold us.

Continue reading “Why We Need Silences, Not Just Sentences”

Clarifying Your Calling: Some Questions to Help You

Sometimes when I feel that I’m trying to be something I’m not, or pretending that I’m not something that I am, or when I’m losing a sense of clarity regarding what my identity and calling in Christ actually is, I will revisit questions like these. Not all of them will resonate with me at one time or another. But the ones that do provide a strong clue regarding what to pray about.

Continue reading “Clarifying Your Calling: Some Questions to Help You”

When We Are Worn Out

Fatigue PaintingThe man declares, I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out. (Prov. 30:1)

When you hear someone say that they are tired, or when someone says to you, “wow, you look exhausted,” it is time to ask God, “What kind of fatigue am I experiencing Lord?” Rightly diagnosing our particular brand of exhaustion graciously get us more truly and quickly onto recovery’s road.  Continue reading “When We Are Worn Out”