Three strategies for freeing you up to develop your ‘tent-making’ skills
One of my favorite quotes on bi-vocationalism comes from renowned Southern writer and economist Wendell Berry. He spoke at a 2007 seminary convocation saying: “It seems to me that one of the most important things in ministerial training would be to teach them to do something besides be a preacher. Because ... it’s a bad thing to be professionally trapped.”
Those last two words really sting: “professionally trapped.” I dare say it, but there are likely thousands of pastors—young and old, men and women—across the country who feel like they have no place to turn but the church. In other words, they’re stuck.
As great as soul-winning ‘power encounters’ are, there’s more to the story.
There’s nothing more exciting than leading someone to Christ through a “power encounter” hosted by the Holy Spirit. I’ve seen a waitress come to Christ because a group of us out for lunch simply showed Christ’s love and talked to her and gave her words of knowledge—even one about her cat! I’ve also experienced times in which the Spirit of God is so tangible during ministry or a personal interaction that people have asked me, “What is this, and how do I come to know this Jesus you are talking about?”
Are you helping teens move beyond content into active obedience?
Blah. Blah. Blah.
Youth ministry has morphed into a never-ending conversation. Let’s face it. Those of us in youth ministry run from one meeting to the next planning, sharing, envisioning, describing—talking. If we got paid by the word, we would all be rich.
And now we have all sorts of seminars, workshops and conferences where we pay to hear others talk.
Too much talk and not enough action. I don’t think the early church was immune to this problem. First John 3:18 says, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (NIV).
Women by the thousands are flocking to conferences, seeking a fresh touch from God and answers to practical questions affecting their lives and ministries. Are they finding what they need?
My footsteps resounded as I walked down the long, concrete corridor toward the office of the founder and president of Crossroads Christian Communications. With each step came a reason to turn from my mission, but my heart would not allow my feet to stop. This meeting could not be delayed or omitted because of any personal anxiety, for it was fueled with a passion that came from the depth of my spirit.
My passion was to reach women with the good news of the gospel, unite them in their faith, motivate them to rise above an enemy called “average,” and spiritually fuel them to return to their daily lives with new vigor and excitement.
Create a system that frees and empowers leaders to do what they do best
I constantly remind our leaders, The sermon begins in the parking lot. By the time I stand up to deliverwhat is traditionally considered the message, everybodyin our audience has already received a dozen or moremessages. Many have already made up their minds as towhether they will come back the following week.
Thesame is true for your church. The quality, consistencyand personal impact of your ministry environments defineyour church. Whether you refer to them as classes, programs, ministries or services, at their core they are environments that involve a physical setting combined with some type of presentation.