I was recently thumbing through a couple of old Bibles I used early in ministry, and I noticed a theme in several of them. I was drawn repeatedly to read, underline, and annotate the pastoral epistles heavily – particularly 2 Timothy.
(The picture below is from one of my early preaching Bibles and I’m still bummed that I decided to use some blue ink at some point because I’m weird that way.)
Strangely, I consider the reality of my heart being drawn to these passages about ministry leadership as further evidence of a calling to ministry leadership. There’s something about the way the Spirit draws us back, again and again, to soak up the words that instruct us in how to shepherd the flock well.
Out of one of these passages (2 Timothy 1:5-14), I once preached an ordination “charge” (That’s Baptist-speak for a sermon to a young leader about how to do ministry with excellence and passion) and wanted to pass along the eight instructions I drew out of those words for pastors and leaders.
I’ve also just added a page of resources for preaching through Advent and Christmas this year and will be adding more to it in the next week or two.
I hope and pray, as we enter into this season of celebration of the first coming of Jesus Christ as Savior of the world, that our hearts will be drawn to him, our minds will be challenged, and our lives will be filled with the joy of knowing Christ and making Christ known!
Enjoy this coming weekend!
PS – I just recently launched my new flagship coaching program, Burnout to Breakthrough, for leaders experiencing discouragement, depletion, and disillusionment. The world needs strong Christian leadership like never before, but the forces of sin, culture, and spiritual darkness seem to have aligned to take good leaders out of the equation.
Having walked through burnout and recovery myself, I want to do something about it! If you or your team are walking through a hard season, feel free to hit me up for help. You can…
- Download the free burnout checklist.
- Take the free burnout assessment (same list, but scored to help you know where you stand).
- Book a free half-hour coaching call to help get clarity on how to move forward.
- Enroll in the one-on-one, twelve-session coaching program for 30% off if you do so before the end of the year.
This Week’s Big Sermon Idea
The signs of the world’s lostness and brokenness will only become more apparent as time goes on, but Jesus has promised to complete his work of saving that which is lost and establishing lasting, eternal peace for all who wish to be part of his Kingdom – his forever family.
Creative Sermon Series Ideas from MinistryPass
My favorite resource for sermon series and message ideas, complete series graphics, and video bumpers (but NOT full notes) to get you started is MinistryPass! Each week, I’ll feature a series I would recommend checking out for the upcoming season of the church year. This week:
From the Description:
This Advent sermon series helps us imagine the longing the Israelites felt as they waited for Jesus the Messiah to come, and it helps us to grapple with the longing we feel now as we wait for his return.
Links for Leaders
- ARTICLE: Ron Edmonson, one of the most encouraging pastors I know, has a MUST-read with his piece on 5 Ways To Battle Insecurity as a Pastor.
- FACT: According to the Relevant staff, Way Too Many People Believe They Could Successfully Land an Airplane, and I find this both funny and concerning at the same time, but it really reminds me of how many conversations pastors have to have with people who believe they could successfully lead the church better than their pastor.
- ARTICLE: Yolanda Pierce’s article, Settling Into the Joy of Vocation, is challenging the way I’ve traditionally thought about the words “vocation” and “calling” and I’m turning it over in my mind.
- ARTICLE: Scot McKnight happens to touch on Paul’s pastoral letters this week in his newsletter about The Real Paul, The Real Christian, and it’s worth a look.
- BLOG POST: In a kind of personal and random post on my blog, I’m reflecting on the value of family holiday traditions, including making my kids listen to two albums I used to hear on vynil and 8-track!
Events for Church Leaders
February 26-28, 2024
San Antonio, Texas
Convening and recruiting people who repair local economies – Join us as we facilitate ongoing conversations across geographies that help people build the economic architecture so everyone will thrive.
March 4 – 7, 2024
Although making disciples is the clear mission of the Church, when asked, most churches say that making disciples who make disciples is still their biggest weakness.
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