Tag Archives: Sticky Notes

The Place of Ministry

This week has been slightly discouraging.  I can’t put a name to why, but I’ve been forcing myself from falling into a kind of despair.  Yesterday, I finally got back to some devotional reading. As you may remember, I usually augment my Bible study with Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost For His Highest.  This is the devotion from yesterday:

The Place of Ministry

He said to them, ’This kind [of unclean spirit] can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting’ —Mark 9:29

His disciples asked Him privately, ’Why could we not cast it out?’ ” ( Mark 9:28 ). The answer lies in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. “This kind can come out by nothing but” concentrating on Him, and then doubling and redoubling that concentration on Him. We can remain powerless forever, as the disciples were in this situation, by trying to do God’s work without concentrating on His power, and by following instead the ideas that we draw from our own nature. We actually slander and dishonor God by our very eagerness to serve Him without knowing Him.When you are brought face to face with a difficult situation and nothing happens externally, you can still know that freedom and release will be given because of your continued concentration on Jesus Christ. Your duty in service and ministry is to see that there is nothing between Jesus and yourself. Is there anything between you and Jesus even now? If there is, you must get through it, not by ignoring it as an irritation, or by going up and over it, but by facing it and getting through it into the presence of Jesus Christ. Then that very problem itself, and all that you have been through in connection with it, will glorify Jesus Christ in a way that you will never know until you see Him face to face.

We must be able to “mount up with wings like eagles” ( Isaiah 40:31 ), but we must also know how to come down. The power of the saint lies in the coming down and in the living that is done in the valley. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” ( Philippians 4:13 ) and what he was referring to were mostly humiliating things. And yet it is in our power to refuse to be humiliated and to say, “No, thank you, I much prefer to be on the mountaintop with God.” Can I face things as they actually are in the light of the reality of Jesus Christ, or do things as they really are destroy my faith in Him, and put me into a panic?

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Evaluation–Teaching to the Test

This might be the educator in me, but:

You’d better come up with a way of evaluating your work because everyone else around you already has.

Evaluation requires a purpose, vision, or some standard.  This will also require you to gear your work towards a purpose, vision, or standard.  Are you teaching to the test?  In a sense, but really you are teaching/working toward the desired result.

Education.  Ministry.  Marketing.  Church.  They can learn so much from each other…

Updates

I’m off to Tampa for a Disciple I training seminar. I’m interested to see what it’s like. It’s a 4 hr drive, though!

I now officially have my candidacy mentor, so I’m gearing up to move through the candidacy process for ordained ministry. That is very exciting and very humbling at the same time.

We bought our house and then our car broke down! Haha! All’s well, though.

My posts about Phil Amato (the Jacksonville WTLV 12 news caster) still get alot of traffic and people do Google searches for him every day.

This is the first time I’ve been on the computer in 1.5 days. Its a record!

Cheers.

**UPDATE**

Now my computer is broken.

My wife and I still have our joy, though.  We are just standing on the promises of God.  It feels very nice.

I am a first time home buyer…

This is a very stressful experience.  My life is kind of uprooted as I have to rearrange my work/personal schedules to have home inspections, termite inspections, appraisals, get documents, and the like.  I’ve spent virtually no money as my wife and I have been trying to make a down payment.  I know in the long run this will be cool, but right now I want a nap. 🙂  Thanks for listening.

The Spiritual Life of Ministry (heart or mind)

Heart or MindMinistry can be done as a system of actions and logic or as a response to our Savior. One is naturally more effective than the other. As people in ministry, how do you care for your spiritual life?

What interesting things do you do to make sure that your ministry is a response and not a routine?

(I’m particularly interested to hear from Dave, Brian, and Jay.)

Music and Worship

What are your thoughts on music and worship?

Institutionalized

I have great dreams, wonderful visions and great hope. I get scared now because sometimes I see them fade slightly behind the institution of “church.” Pray that I can hear the pure voice of God and not the call of the institution…

Update: I’ve been posting different questions about people’s opinions on church, worship, etc. The responses that I have gotten, as well as some of the posts that I have seen across the blogsphere have been really interesting. Young adult issues and music/worship style issues are very common in local churches. Aren’t they often divisive issues? I know I get caught up in them. I know that I forget the simplistic faith that I had when I first saw God. When I’ve focused on these issues, I’ve fostered division among the people of God. Do we need to change our style of worship or do we need to capture a spirit of worship? Do we need a young adult group or do we need to recapture a spirit of honest fellowship and evangelism?

The simplest truths are the easiest to forget. I heard these truths from my blog friends this week:

“I asked God, “What do you want me to do…I heard love me. Spend time with me. Spend time getting to know me. Everything else will follow.” –Elizabeth Ruff. She blogs Reflections in Walking With God

“Worship means to “give worth” to something or to “express worth.” So to worship God means that we express how much He is worth to us. Music is a great way to do that, but certainly not the only way. I myself feel most worshipful in sharing Christ with someone else (or a whole group of people), whether it be by music or some other means” –Dave Herndon. He is the worship leader at The Chapel (you’ve seen him at the GP). He blogs at daveherndon.wordpress.com

“As a worship leader (as my profession) I view my role not to simply lead people in songs, but to direct people to God’s greatness, make them aware of their ability to personally encounter Him, and then create an environment for them to have a personal encounter with Him. This happens through prayer, through solitude and silence, through studying His word, and, yes, through song. As Christians, our whole life is worship (Romans 12).”–Dave Herndon again, daveherndon.wordpress.com&

“I think the UMC needs to hear the heart beat of worship…We too often confine “worship” to mean a Sunday service and we have wars over what style it should be. But the style of worship is not traditional or contemporary it is life. Worship is a lifestyle. Too much of what we do in the name of worship is fake and comes across simply as a production or show. What the world needs is real. People being loved like they are by people who are being who they truly are. That is what changes lives.”–Jay Hanson. He is the pastor at The Chapel. He blogs at A Spiritual Cup of Coffee

Please, before you start thinking of ways to change the church or “fix” it, spend some time studying your Bible, praying, meditating on God in solitude, and just simply loving people. Be a child of God, not a child of an institution.