Many of my best friends are pastors. Really. For the most part pastors are fine people. Recently to two such friends of mine I said that they “pray too much.” In my humble opinion, there’s an epidemic proportion of profuse pastoral prayers in public. OK, I exaggerate in order to provoke – I also liked stringing together all those words that begin with “p.” But I do have a point to make. Continue reading
But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at bringing others to Christ. Complete the ministry God has given you. 2 Timothy 4:5 NLT
Undoubtedly due to my Baby Boomer Generation mindset, I prefer lists; you know the kind that delineate six do’s and four don’t’s for choosing a mate, five steps to avoiding joining a cult, three ways to stay out of trouble with God. I like Romans more than Ecclesiastes – the more linear approach than the poetic. This is probably why, over the years, I’ve been drawn to this verse in Paul’s last letter to his young protégé before his beheading. He boiled it down to four things that he thought a young spiritual leader should remember – Don’t lose your head, don’t be afraid, share Christ with as many as possible, and finish what God has called you to! Continue reading
This should be my last offering on this topic, at least for the time being. If you’ve been following the previous three posts, I’m sure you’ve picked up that my motive for sharing these “ministry mantras” of mine is to not so subtly suggest your own musing about how you or your spiritual leader friends might think about spiritual service. All of us who love Jesus are in his service in one way or another, and I hope that you’ll find that some of these ministry values of mine will remotely apply to how you are to go about your own God-mandated assignment. Continue reading
I’m using this word, “mantras” not in the eastern meditation sense like chants, but more as “mottos” that describe the way I feel called to serve God and people. If I were to boil down the things I think I’m supposed to do in this season of my life, the following things convey my heart’s deepest aspirations.
- I’m just trying to make friends with God.
- I’m trying to simply follow and follow simply.
- I am trying to be more of a pacesetter than a superstar.
- I’m trying to impact people without having to impress them, and reach people without having to possess them.
I’m trying to remember that Sunday is practice for the rest of the week.
I’m ashamed to say that dizzying myself and most everyone else in the church on the Monday-to-Sunday cycle was all too common when I was pastoring. Along with all the Sunday teams (the Sunday worship team, the Sunday set up and tear down team, the Sunday School team, the Sunday greeters, ushers, pray-ers, and coffee makers) we worked all week to create an engaging service for whoever was left that wasn’t on one of the teams! And then on Monday the cycle began all over again to as we would prepare for the next Sunday performance. A little overstated you say? Maybe, but what is it we’re trying to do here – make strong disciples or have good services? Continue reading
Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight… 1 Timothy 1:18
I heard about a pastor who had a sign on his pulpit facing him that said, “What are you trying to do to these people?” He wasn’t alone in needing regular reminders of what he was assigned by God to do, to say, how he said it, and to whom he was to say it. Without such reminders we tend to veer off course and begin to talk only to and for ourselves.
I inherited a love for swimming from my dad who won a bronze medal in the 1932 Olympics. Not only did he swim in pools, he also swam and won two Golden Gate competitions out in the frigid and fearsome Pacific! That kind of aquatic experience was most definitely not passed down to me. I hate cold water and swimming where there’s no line at the bottom so I can swim straight! In lakes or in the ocean (of the warmer variety) I absolutely cannot swim in a straight line. Without constant navigational checks (i.e. stopping and looking up) I might find myself either back where I started or out to sea. Continue reading
Even after over 30 years of living a life of service, I’m still learning new things, lots of them actually. Jesus said that teachers of the kingdom should “bring out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” My paper called, “Learning Leadership Lessons From 2 Corinthians” (http://barneywiget.com/files/learning_leadership_lessons_2_cor.pdf) would be my best effort to date on “old treasures.” But the things I share in these brief posts represent more of the “new treasures” that I’ve been blessed to acquire in the last few years. Since three decades of planting and pastoring churches, the forms of service in which God has been merciful enough to include me these days have taught me some things I guess I couldn’t “see” when serving as a shepherd of a local church. Continue reading