Leadership Links 5/02/2019

SPIRITUAL LIFE

Practicing Resurrection. If the resurrection is central to the gospel, then it should be core to our entire lives as disciples. It should affect not just our past justification or future glorification. It should profoundly influence our present sanctification. Every part of the gospel should affect every part of our lives, and to “let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Phil. 1:27), must entail, as Eugene Peterson has put it, “practicing resurrection.” Read more here.

Pray for holy tears. The presence or absence of tears is not an infallible sign of the heart’s sorrow. Nevertheless, holy tears are precious beyond estimation when, unbidden, they add their truth to our words or our silence. And, in spite of all the ambiguity, tear-stained words — tear-stained sermons, conversations, articles, Facebook posts, and tweets — taste different from tearless words. Given what I see in the Bible, seven exhortations seem to me to be needed at the present time. Read more at Desiring God Ministries.Is God enough? Today, if you lost everything you hold dear in this world, would God be enough? Would your heart be peacefully content? Joyful? The only way for you and me to walk through this temporal life with hope that endures is to find our fullest joy and satisfaction in God himself. If our relationship with God is not our highest treasure, then our faith will not endure all the unforeseen troubles that lie in our path. This is the key lesson from Psalm 16. Read more here.


CHURCH

Only Messy People Allowed: Toward a Culture of Grace. No one is too low, too far gone, too needy—too anything—to worry about not fitting in around here. Our testimony is not “I was a mess, then Jesus showed up, and now I’ve got everything together,” but “I was a mess—and I still am—but I’m a mess who belongs to Jesus, a mess he is committed to sorting out. He came to me, has stuck with me, and continues to be my all in all.” Indeed, we can say with John Newton, “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world—but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.” Read more at The Gospel Coalition.

Why we broke from tradition on Good Friday and started a new one. It’s important that you know that I do find it spiritually beneficial to contemplate how the early church experienced the unfolding of Holy Week. It is highly instructive and sheds considerable light on how we interpret the meaning of what Jesus achieved for us in his obedience and suffering. But I find it hard to justify viewing Holy Week and its consummation on Good Friday from any perspective other than that of the empty tomb. You and I will never, ever stand on the front side of the cross. Our entire existence and that of the church for the past 2,000 years has been from the point of view of life conquering death and of the fulfillment of God’s promise to defeat sin through the cross of his Son. So, last week at our Good Friday service we broke from tradition. Read more here.


MINISTRY

What To Do When Your Ministry Passion Doesn’t Match Your Ministry Skill Set. Some ministers seem to be ideally suited for what they do. Their passion, their skill set, their spiritual gifting, and their circumstances all seem to line up in one integral whole. But what about the rest of us? What do you do when you feel divided? When your passion goes in one direction, but your skills are in another? If you ever feel like that, I understand. That’s been the story of my pastoral life, too. Read more here.

Ten priorities of a busy pastor (or Elder). The word of God is sufficient to provide us with an outline of a pastor’s divine calling, and it is sufficient to instruct a pastor in how he should prioritize his daily schedule. God’s Word consistently highlights the priorities of faithful shepherds and affirms that these priorities revolve around the core calling—to “be shepherds of God’s flock under your care.”   God’s Word has the power to cut through the demands, pressures, and expectations that crush a pastor’s spirit. Ten priorities should be the heart of every pastor’s ministry. Read more here.


LEADERSHIP

Three things that may be true if people are constantly complaining to you. If people are always complaining to you, you should evaluate why. It may not be because you are trusted, but it may be because you are divisive. If people are always complaining to you, you may be sending signals. Read more here.


PREACHING

Four ways your whole Bible points to Jesus. We should be willing to learn principles of redemptive interpretation that the New Testament writers employed and exemplified. From these principles, we learn that the more common approach to understanding the redemptive nature of all biblical texts is to identify how God’s Word predicts, prepares for, reflects, or results from the person and/or work of Christ. These four categories of gospel explanation aren’t meant to be exhaustive or kept rigidly separate, but they do help us explain how all of Scripture bears witness to who Christ is and/or what he must do. Read more here.