A sizable share of my ministry over the past several years has been to assist churches find pastors. The question that I am often asked regarding prospective candidates is, “What are their strengths and what are their weaknesses?” Strengths have a tendency to be more observable while often weaknesses more imperceptible. Strengths are generally visible while weaknesses are more hidden. Strengths often can be detectable through casual acquaintance, weaknesses, on the other hand, usually only surface when there is a more familiar relationship. It is not uncommon to converse about our strengths while discussing our weaknesses lies outside our comfort zone. [Read more…]
But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. -Acts 16:25
George Morrison (1866-1928) was a Presbyterian pastor and preacher who was born in Scotland. The pastor of Wellington Church, Glasgow, for twenty-six years, his ministry primarily consisted of personal visits, postcards and letters for all those in his care who were sick or in sorrow or in trouble. He chose not to serve on committees, preferring to spend his time in what he considered the most important responsibilities to his church – mornings in study and afternoons in visiting his congregation. Many of his sermons and devotional thoughts have been put in print. In his volume entitled, Wind on the Heath, he has a sermon entitled, “Unconscious Ministries,” wherein he states that all of us exercise unconscious ministries. He references Paul and Silas, who sang at midnight while under adverse circumstances, not particularly paying attention that the prisoners were listening to them. [Read more…]
VI. During times of failure we must not forget the purpose of our call
Note: Times of failure are gentle reminders to reexamine our call, renew our commitment, stop having pity parties and remember that failure is not a person – it is an event! From time to time it is very important for us to truly examine our hearts and be reminded of our call to ministry. In each of the lives of these three men who sensed failure and wanted to quit, “The Word of the Lord came…..” This is why it is so important for us to stay in the Word of God. God’s instruction to Moses was “Go teach….” – to Elijah, “Go touch….” and to Jonah, “Go tell…” This is about as simple as it can be explained. In fact, if I am not mistaken, this is basically, in reverse order, the Great Commission!
V. During Times of Failure We Must Remember The Greatness of God
Note: The greatness of God is the primary factor in ministry – it is not ministry if God is not in it!
– Psalm 145:3: “Great is the Lord…His greatness is unsearchable.”
– Daniel 3:17: “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us.”
– If we do not expect the greatness of God to be exhibited in our ministries, then we
have failed and should quit. We are only weak vessels. [Read more…]
III. Questions To Ponder When Faced With Failure
- Have I been guilty of making comparisons? You are God’s own special person.
- Have I developed a right attitude towards failure and disappointments? No room for bitterness.
- Have I discovered the kind of person that I am? We are all products of our parents, peers, past.
- Have I taken a long term view of my ministry? This is God’s only view.
- Have I caught the PLOM disease (Poor Little Old Me)?
- Have I remembered that God keeps the record books?