Leader, you are first a child of God (Mike Ayers): Ultimately, I am not a pastor, teacher, or father. I am a child of God (Jn. 1:12; Rom. 8:16-17; Gal. 3:26; 1 Jn. 3:1-2)! Nothing defines me more basically and more accurately. Nothing is more secure. And, nothing yields wholeness, perseverance, courage, grace, and humility in leading than this fact. Read more at For the Church.
18 things to pray for your church (Jonathan Leeman): A solid list for your leaders and church to pray at The Gospel Coalition.
12 ways to build Thanksgiving into your life (Chuck Lawless): Because the Apostle Paul tells us to “give thanks in everything” (1 Thess 5:18), we need to practice thanksgiving. Here are some practical ways to build thanksgiving into your leadership role. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.
Thanksgiving gives us eyes for God (Steve Fuller): So, when God calls us to give thanks, he’s not just calling us to thank him for what he’s done. He’s calling us to rejoice in who he is, as displayed in what he’s done. And that’s why Christian Hedonists love to thank God: thanking God leads to seeing more of God, and seeing more of God is our greatest joy. Read more at Desiring God.
He holds us fast (Madelyn Canada): He didn’t promise us ease or luxury. He promised that whatever came, He was with us. He promised that He would be enough when all else seem to fade or fall or fail. Do not look to this passing world, this fleeting life for happiness or purpose. Do not look to your skills or failures for identity. Do not look to fair weather and ease for security. Look to Christ who died in your place and set you free. Look to the One who knows you and made you and loves you with an unconditional love. For He alone is enough. He always has been. He always will be. Read more at The Corner Shelf.
The soul-shrinking, self-exalting, hell-deserving wickedness of unbelief (Sam Storms): Unbelief is not some harmless state of mind. Unbelief is treasuring everything else in the universe more than the Creator of everything in the universe. Unbelief is the human being saying to the divine being, “You’re a liar. I don’t believe anything you say about yourself. I don’t think you are worthy of my devotion or worship. I don’t regard your immeasurable and limitless glory to be worth a moment of my time or energy. I regard my golf game on Sunday morning to be more enjoyable than spending time in church declaring your greatness. I prefer sex to you. I prefer coffee to you. I prefer money to you. I prefer vacations to you. I prefer my friends to you. I prefer the praise I receive from my peers to the praise that I might otherwise give you. You are nothing to me.” Read more at SamStorms.org.
Pastor, build his platform, not yours (Derek J. Brown): As shepherds, we may be regularly tempted to judge our usefulness by the number of opportunities we receive from outside our church, and grow discontented that we’re only speaking to our own congregation. We may expect others to recognize our teaching abilities and find it strange—even offensive—when we’re not invited to speak at various conferences. Our discontent, if left unchecked, can lead us to indulge in the unfitting practice of self-promotion and self-invitation. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
A tendency arising with such frequency that I suspect a deeper problem (Stephen Kneale): So why are there so many in pastoral ministry who don’t seem to have much time for people? I’m not talking about introverts who would rather be on their own with a book here – not least because many of those guys are excellent with people and love them properly but find the energy they expend doing that part of their work drains them. No, I’m talking about the guys who just don’t have time for people unless they are the kind of people who can do something for them. The kind of ministers who think other ministers are worthy of their time – so they’ll make a beeline to them – but who have no interest in the ordinary folks who (in their view) do nothing for them. Read more at StephenKneale.com.
Prepare the preacher before preparing the sermon (Joe Hoagland): Preparing the message you are going to preach is a hard process. I fall into the temptation every week to just jump right in whether that be on Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. I have learned some important truths though. If I am not personally prepared spiritually, physically, and mentally to start this task then I will end up frustrated, unproductive, and unfulfilled. Here are some things I have learned to do to prepare myself before I prepare a sermon. Read more at Rookie Preacher.