Weekly Newsletter: 8 Instructions for Pastors, New Advent Message Ideas, + More!

by | Nov 30, 2023 | The Reflectionary

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.

READ: 8 Vital Instructions for Every Pastor and Church Leader

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…


This Week’s Big Sermon Idea

We Have HOPE That God Will Fix All the World’s Brokenness

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.

Read and Share the Sermon Idea »

See More Resources for Advent 2023 »


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:

O Come O Come Emmanuel

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.

Check Out This Sermon Series »


Links for Leaders



Events for Church Leaders

Neighborhood Economics: A National Conversation With a Local Impact

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.

Exponential 2024

March 4 – 7, 2024
Orlando, Florida

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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Feeling Burned Out?

Exhausted? Depleted? Disillusioned? You’re not alone! In January of 2021, 29% of pastors had considered quitting. By March of 2022, that number had risen to 42%. (According to Barna Research) And things aren’t getting any easier. So we’ve developed this 20-question free burnout assessment tool to help you know where you stand.

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