Ministry is tough. The daily work is a thankless job. You rarely see the progress you desire. Organizational change takes time. People do not mature overnight. Leadership is already hard, but when you add our tendency to compare ourselves with others, it grows more difficult.
Every leader wants to be highly productive and fruitful. It is in our DNA. We want to know we used our time and energy for the maximum results. Yet most of us do not end our day or our week feeling we achieved those goals. That is probably why you are reading this article.
If we make it our aim to help people, which should be the driving force behind our sermon prep, then there are a few benchmarks along the way we need to make sure we cover.
"How much time do you give to sermon prep each week?" I regularly get asked this question by other pastors and ministry leaders. The trouble with this question is that it doesn't have a one-size-fits-all answer. Some pastors preach multiple sermons each week.
Your wake up time shapes your day and success. When do you get out of bed? Do you attack the day or sleep until the last minute? This leaves you playing catch up the rest of the day.
Our adversary the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking to devour people (1 Peter 5:8) who answer the question this way. How so? Because he is halfway from getting you to curse God.
My church is doing something crazy. At least it feels crazy. We are growing rapidly right now. At this time last year we were averaging around 800 people per weekend in our worship gatherings. This year we are pushing 1,200 people per weekend at those same gatherings. The church is growing.
It is that time of the year where our thoughts and focus center on the Incarnation. We highlight how the Second Person of the Trinity came to Earth. The Savior, fully God and full man, stepped out of Heaven and took on flesh. Gregory of Naziansen, an early church father, said of the Incarnation, "Remaining what He was, He became what He was not." We often focus - and rightly - on these amazing aspects. We discuss what happened, how it happened, when it happened, and where is happened. But in this post...
The picture above was taken of me and Katrina in 8th grade. We had been voted "Cutest" for the yearbook superlatives - lay off the helmet-hair jokes - and sat beside each other to take the photo. We knew of each other, but did not know each other. I thought she was cute - I mean, duh, she won the vote - and felt I had no business sitting beside her for this reason.