There are moments of pain that make praying difficult. The difficulty is not from a lack of faith, but from an abundance of sorrow. Crying out to God in the midst of pain often lacks cogency and clarity. It is hard to keep a train of thought when your thoughts are scattered in so many directions.
Many Christians are unaware of the life and ministry of John Newton. He is often known as "that guy who wrote 'Amazing Grace.'" What many do not know about Newton is that he was a highly influential and effective pastor in England in the 18th century. He wrote many hymns. He provided spiritual direction for many Christians, including William Wilberforce - who Newton helped persuade to fight against the African slave trade.
This is a post on the importance of leadership in ministry, but that lesson will come via the mouth and decisions of a man you have likely never heard of. David Poile is the General Manager for the Nashville Predators. I am a rabid hockey fan. And I especially love the Predators.
I have been pastoring The Journey Church for 11+ years now. I was 25 years old during the preparation and launch phases. I turned 26 years old during our first year. To that point in my life, my only leadership experience was from sports as a teenager, the Army, and a role in a small youth ministry. What in the world was I thinking?
There has been quite the discussion in recent days over the topic of platform building. If the platform conversation is new to you, don't feel bad, it probably means you are too busy doing ministry instead of debating about it on social media. In short, the discussion is around whether or not Christians should actively build a platform for ministry. And if so, what is the Christian way to do it?
Just over thirteen years ago I got a phone call that changed my life. It was my wife. We had been in the hospital for a couple months with our ten week premature baby. He had a bad kidney, filled with cysts, that needed to be removed. That day began as a hopeful day. The day prior his bad kidney was removed. We were supposed to be getting discharged from the hospital. We were finally going home.
I have always been infatuated with the Navy SEALs. I love the movies, documentaries, and books that tell their story. I even trained alongside of SEALs while at Airborne school during my time in the Army. They were incredible. I still enjoy reading about the SEALs, especially on leadership. The armed services as a whole are leadership factories. And the greatest of all those leadership factories are the Navy SEALs.
The Journey Church exists to show Jesus as incomparably glorious, in Lebanon and beyond. We truly desire to see the lost, broken, and hurting of our community come to a saving faith in Jesus. This should lead us to live as witnesses to His grace in our lives. We should willingly share with others why we follow Christ. We should invite people to experience the collective worship of the saints in praise at church services. All these things should be markers of our lives.