Recently, my wife and I had the great privilege of gathering with pastors from across the country for the Faith Wins national pastors’ summit. Beyond the amazing, talented speakers that presented and the enthusiastic leadership of Chad Connelly, the night tour of the United States Capital building was the highlight! We were led by historian David Barton, United States Representative Mike Johnson (Louisiana), Former Congressman Bob McEwen (Ohio) and Senator Tim Scott (South Carolina). It was a truly inspiring evening. After being reminded of our rich history as a nation, being prayed over by Senator Tim Scott on the floor of the House of Representatives, and realizing God’s rich and undeniable blessings upon our country, we sang Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art in the Rotunda. What a moment of worship!
While we have strayed so far from God as a nation, I am thankful for God allowing me to be a citizen of this great nation. I firmly believe that the answer to our present situation as a nation is returning to God. Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD…” We cannot persist in our denial of God’s Truth and our national accountability to Him and expect to experience the blessings that were once so abundant.
The words of Senator Tim Scott on the floor of the House of Representatives continue to ring in my ears. “Pastors, you are the last line of defense for our nation. You hold the highest office in our land.” He exhorted us to stand for truth and then prayed over us. That was a surreal moment for me as a pastor. Many pastors have become so isolated from what is going on all around them that they have little to no influence on the leaders of society. I pray for a spiritual revival of the watchmen across our land.
“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.”
Throughout Scripture, you will find that the kings had prophets that God assigned to them to be ambassadors of His truth. David had Nathan. Ahab had Elijah. Herod had John. The list goes on! Today should be no different. How can we expect elected officials to make good and godly decisions if the only voices they hear are that of the ungodly. I implore pastors to reach out and build relationships with your city, state and national elected officials. Do this with humility and compassion. They are people with much weight on their shoulders. They have struggles, fears and burdens just like everyone else. Pray for them. Lead your congregation to pray for them. Let them know you are praying for them and also seek opportunities to pray with them. Don’t forget, they need your witness of Jesus Christ like everyone else in your community.
Let’s be salt and light in every arena of our lives including in our government for the glory of God.
Those who garden know that growth requires a plan along with consistent care and effort. Spiritual growth is no different. As you prepare for 2020, may I encourage you to plan for spiritual growth. Remember, growth will not come easy. However, with some care and effort, it will come! Let me suggest some resources that you might find helpful for your spiritual growth in the New Year.
I really enjoyed Men’s Leadership Night! I am so thankful for the group of godly men at Grace Baptist Church. I rejoice in their responsive hearts to be Biblical leaders. There is so much to discourage Christian men today from accepting and exercising their God-given role as a loving, servant leader in the home. God is able to more than compensate every discouragement and challenge men face with His abundant grace.
What happens when God points out an area of our leadership that we need to correct? How do we go forward? Remember the promise of 1 John 1:9 given for believers, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If we have not accepted and exercised and leadership role that God has given, we have disobeyed Him. We must confess it to Him and seek His forgiveness. Furthermore, we should get it right with the people our disobedience affected—wife, children, ect. Receiving forgiveness for not taking the lead both from God and others will give the fresh start that is needed to begin doing the will of God. While it may be hard to admit, it will be worth it! God will give you grace in your humility.
As men, we must seek to invest in our leadership on a daily basis. However, even with the investment, often we will struggle to find the confidence to lead. You are not alone! Moses, Joshua and many of the Old Testament prophets experience this. Ask any godly leader that you admire if they always have confidence. You might just be amazed at what they say. God was constantly encouraging those He called by saying, “Fear not, for I am with thee.” He often said, “Be of good courage.” God cares about you and He wants to enable you to fulfill the calling He has given you.
We have been learning to invest various characteristics and virtues into our influence. We cannot expect to have leadership in the lives of those God has given us to lead if we are not investing in it daily. In this post, I want us to focus on investing patience, modeling and consistency. Each of these will be important if we will lead at home, at work or at church.
Patience—Most guys are not very patient and the fact is, our impatience can rob us of our influence. Each of these will be important if we will lead at home, at work or at church.
Modeling—People will do what people see and we cannot expect them to do differently. Each of these will be important if we will lead at home, at work or at church.
Consistency—It is difficult to follow a leader who is something different every day of the week. Worse yet is the leader who changes based who is around him. Those we lead deserve a leader who remains consistent by the grace of God.
Let’s take the time this week to invest in our leadership.
The work of the ministry calls for frequent sharpening. One of the ways I sharpen myself each year is by attending the Outreach Conference at Faith Baptist Church in Avon, Indiana. Here are some reasons I make this conference a priority.
Solid Preaching—As pastors, we need to hear preaching. I have enjoyed hearing men like R.B. Oullette, Mark Monte, Kurt Skelly, Doug Jackson and Cary Schmidt. God has used these men to challenge me to keep growing spiritually.
Meaningful Fellowship—I enjoy reconnecting with pastors that I don’t get to see throughout the year. Whether it is sharing ideas or just talking about the ministry, I am encouraged by the fellowship we have together.
Genuine Motivation—Sometimes you get the sense that conferences are hosted in order to show off rather than to give sincere help. This conference is born out a genuine desire to just be a blessing. I have observed this over and over again.
Encouragement for My Wife—Some conferences focus so much on the pastor that they forget the pastor’s wife. Every year my wife has been encouraged and leaves refreshed and charged.
Helpful Workshops—Practical workshops give an opportunity for pastors and ministry leaders to sharpen themselves on multiple subjects. The workshops are about a half hour in length so that you can get more information in a short amount of time. No doubt you will leave with useful material.
Would you take the time to participate in the Outreach Conference March 6-7, 2017? You will be glad you did!