My last surviving grandparent crossed over the river into the other side of eternity yesterday afternoon. Granddad Stephens was 97. When I think of the legacy that my grandfather left, I almost always think of the song, “Leader of the Band” by Dan Fogelberg. Granddad Stephens had a natural talent for music and he pursued that as his career in life retiring as a High School band director not far from where I grew up. Maybe more importantly though, along with my grandmother, he brought music into the lives of his children and even down into my own soul today. Granddad, I know that like King David of old, is now playing and dancing in HIS presence. For the rest of our family who are left behind, we are thanking God and remembering the good things that have been built into our lives by granddad hands. He left a legacy.
The reality in this situation is that we all have an opportunity to leave a legacy. Whether we like it or not, unless we move to the desert by ourselves, we’re going to leave some kind of imprint, good or bad, on those around us. The question is what kind of legacy will we leave. (more…)
We’re just a few days away from Superbowl XLVII and I’ll probably watch the match even though neither my favorite team nor quarter back is in the game. If nothing else, I’m sure there’ll be at least one good million dollar commercial in the mix. But in thinking about these and other great teams, I’m reminded of another great leadership pointer we can learn from this spectacular sport. The lesson being that it’s really not all about the quarterback. Both Flacco and Kaepernick are great players, but the thing about them and other leaders on the gridiron is that the QB rarely makes the touchdown. Rather, they hand off or pass the ball to someone else. It’s that person who takes the ball across the line and puts the points up on the board. The truth about authentic Christianity and the true CHURCH is that we are all involved in a team effort. In the CHURCH, leaders are not to “do the work of ministry” but to equip the Saints for “doing the work of ministry.” The immediate context of Ephesians 4 refers to apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, but the principal is the same in every leadership situation. So whatever your leadership responsibility is, make sure your hand offs and passes are right. Get the ball into the hands of others so that the team can advance the ball. Let them carry the ball across the line and put the points up. Let them celebrate the victories and simply be excited that they and the team won the day.
So, who are you pulling for in this game? More importantly, who are you equipping in your life to carry the ball across the line?
Today we are hearing from our second main author on “Healthy Pastors.” Todd Owen has had a wide verity of ministry experience and can easily speak to the need for spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health for long term and full-time Christian Service. My partnership in the work with Todd goes back to the early 90s when I think he went by “Spike” at Ozark Christian College. Todd works with New Mission Systems International and also blogs here. So for now, enjoy, comment, and look for more to come.
I’ve been writing newsletters for over twenty years, mostly as a missionary but also the church newsletter when I was a pastor. One consistent piece of advice I’ve had over the years is that every newsletter should have wide margins and lots of white space. When the page is uncluttered it is easier for the reader to follow what’s being written rather than being distracted by the noise and visual dissonance on the page. As often as possible, even when I was tempted to write too many words and cram too much into a given space, I cut the verbiage down, simplified, and kept the message straightforward. (more…)
Welcome to our new page for ministers. I’ve been in some form of professional ministry for quite a while now and I’d be the first to tell you that it’s a hard gig at times. By professional ministry, I’m not talking about a mere career path that one takes, but a calling on one’s life. For me it means that I am called to what I do the same way a surgeon is called to Medicine. I don’t do it for a pay check, though it’s nice when I get one, I do it because it is who I am. There are many joys in this calling. But there are many heart aches and trials as well. So the purpose of this page on Kingdomology is to support those with a full-time ministry calling in their lives. Our main author for Healthy Pastors is a guy named Tom Salter from California. I met Tom when we did a church plant in the Nor Cal a few years ago. Tom has a huge heart for pastors and he is actually the brain child for this page. Another author is a very good friend of mine going all the way back to my college days. Todd Owen has had experience on the foreign mission field, the located church ministry, and is presently directing discipleship and care for missionaries with New Mission Systems International. Our first post on this page is coming from Tom. So if you’re involved in full-time Christian ministry; be encouraged. If you’re not a “Pastor” or “Missionary” you can still feel free to enter into discussion and learn more about ministry in the 21st century. For now . . . Here’s Tom: (more…)