Daniel Darling on the power of being consistent and faithful with the little things:
If there is anything that marks my generation of leaders, it’s the desire to be “radical”—to violently overthrow old paradigms. We want to shake up the status quo in the church, in government, in business, in philanthropy. And this is good.
By and large millennial Christians want offer lives in service to God and others by offering new and creative solutions. This is good.
But if I could speak a word of caution, from one rabble-rouser to another, I would say that sometimes the most radical thing you can do with your life is to simply be faithful.
Yes, you heard that right. By consistently doing the same thing every single day you might be more radical than you think. I know that doesn’t sound very sexy, but it’s the stuff that gives weight to significant social movements.
Paul Tripp on the dangers of “the dynamic of familiarity” (with a Warfield quote that’s right on the money) in ministry:
What powerful words of warning to everyone in ministry of any type: “the great danger lies precisely in his constant contact with divine things.” What is the danger? Familiarity with the things of God will cause you to lose your awe. You’ve spend so much time in Scripture that the grand redemptive narrative, with its expansive wisdom, doesn’t excite you anymore. You’ve spent so much time exegeting the atonement that you stand at the foot of the cross with little weeping and scant rejoicing. You’ve spent so much time discipling others that you are no longer amazed at the reality of having been chosen to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. You’ve spent so much time unpacking the theology of Scripture that you’ve forgotten the end game of personal holiness. You’ve spent so much time in strategic local church ministry planning that you’ve lost your wonder at the sovereign Planner who guides your every moment. You’ve spent so much time meditating on what it means to lead others in worship, but you have little private awe. It’s all become so regular and normal that it fails to move you anymore; in fact, there are sad moments when the wonder of grace can barely get your attention in the midst of your busy ministry schedule.
10 Rules to Reverse the Email Spiral – An email charter that lays out a list of etiquettes that strives to make emailing a lot more efficient and intentional. Once you graduate from college, I’ve noticed that email threads become more and more important for keeping in touch with high school/college friends. Because it’s become that much more important, I think it’s just as important that it be done right.
Pastor Jonathan Martin’s powerful reflections on the harm that’s done to the church when the current generation of leaders crush rather than encourage the next generation of rising leaders:
But at this point, I’m 34, which is on one hand not old at all. But I often think my 34 is like an NBA 34–guys like Kobe Bryant and my beloved aging Boston Celtics (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen) who might be still young in broader culture, but 82-game seasons made their bodies age very quickly. I have often said the Church has aged me in dog years. The point is I am not quite so young of a son anymore, and feel comfortable to speak about these matters more so as a peer.
I see a pronounced Saul streak among a lot of pastors and leaders. If they see a young man or woman with a call and anointing on their life, instead of celebrating and cultivating those gifts, they feel threatened by them. They are afraid the day might come when the crowd sings, “Saul has slain his thousands, David has slain his ten thousands.” Because of their insecurity, they eat their young.
When their sons and daughters come asking legitimate questions–if they see the world differently–they are judged, labeled, discarded. Many sons feel like people are rooting for them to fail rather than succeed. They can tell when they walk into the room and feel not the tenderness of spiritual fathers but the hostile gaze of competitors. Any open weakness is blood in the water. Any question is a challenge to authority. Any way they do ministry different is a perceived indictment against the fathers’ way of doing things. Because they are threatened by their sons, the fathers will believe anything negative they hear about the sons, because believing the worst rather than the best about your sons is what insecure leaders do. You don’t give the benefit of the doubt to “the competition.”
Many of my little brothers and sisters don’t hold up well under these experiences. To the extent that I have little brothers and sisters, because the self-protective streak among some of my peers is so pronounced that their anointing and gifts are often aborted. This of course by men who would unilaterally agree that abortion is murder in the created order, but have no problem aborting spiritual sons.
Thom Rainer on the reality that Pastors carry secrets that they are unable to share themselves in most cases:
By their very nature, pastors are a confidential lot. They counsel numbers of people who share their deepest secrets and problems. They know things about families that could hurt and embarrass them if they shared information freely. So pastors tend to keep secrets and confidential information well. In most cases, you can feel comfortable that your confidence will not be breached when you talk to a pastor.
But most people don’t realize pastors have their own secrets. These spiritual leaders refuse to share their thoughts or pains for fear that their own ministries will be damaged.
So they keep the secrets.
And they hold the pain to themselves.