Pastors: How much (confidential) information do you share with your spouse?

How much ‘confidential’ church information do you share with you spouse?

You know… board meeting stuff… who says what… who you’re counseling and what the issues are.

Do you share stuff like that with your wife or not?

It seems that most of the time, there are two different types of people… those that share everything, and those that share nothing.

I’m one of the ‘I share almost everything’ types of guys.  My wife is my confidant.  She encourages me, and she talks me off the cliff at times.

But I couldn’t keep a sane head if I couldn’t confide in her.

Others I know are the opposite, and tell their wives next to nothing.

Megan Hill writes on this subject in a guest post at ChristianPost.com.  She writes:

In this post-HIPPA world, in a world where a tweak to Facebook’s privacy policy causes a cyber-stir, confidentiality is seen as a standardized procedure, an invisible but ever-present right.

And that expectation gets imposed on the church.

But pastors and their wives often don’t see it like that. The reality is, the church is something altogether different than a doctor’s office. And your relationship with your pastor is not your relationship with a therapist.

The church is a body. An organic being in which each part is affected by the other.

And this is why pastors and their wives share with one another.

The problems and sins and needs that people bring to their pastor are not isolated letters to a remote advice columnist. (Nor are they unusual or inherently interesting, as some might suppose. We’ve all dealt with the same things. The root of murder is anger, says Jesus, and of adultery, lust.) Instead, the issues people have are part of their whole, eternal self. And their self is part of the body. And that body is the responsibility of the pastor, its under-shepherd.

Pastoring is a long-term commitment to a comprehensive relationship. A pastor tells his wife because what happens to the church happens to him. And what happens to him, happens to her. (That’s the way marriage works.)

Here’s the thing I wish people knew: when your pastor tells his wife something about you, it’s not really about you.

This is what I heard from the pastors’ wives I interviewed:

“If [my husband] is sad, I’ll notice. So he tells me.”

“If I could give any advice to a pastor, I would say keep sharing your heart with your wife. She loves you and is there for you. She does not need all the details, but she needs your heart and your vulnerability.”

“[My husband] is very open with his life. He tells me everything pertaining to his ministry. He tells me details of counseling sessions and personal information of those he ministers to and with. He processes through talking and he feels connected to me when he can share his life with me.”

“I need to be a listening ear. We have had situations where [my husband] felt betrayed in the church. . . I am glad he shared those things with me. It was hard to hear, but I am called to bear his burdens as he is mine.”

For pastors and their wives, it’s not about the secret information. It’s about the fact that having certain secrets can burden an individual and damage a marriage.

// Read more here…

What do you think?  How much do YOU share with your wife (spouse)?  Are there things that you don’t tell her… EVER?

Do you think there are issues of confidentiality that are ever breached during a husband/wife discussion?

Leave a comment…

Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube

 

 

What would God say to Pastor Ed Young?

pastor ed youngPastor Ed Young has started a new sermon series this year called “What Would Jesus Say to…”

Here’s part of the press release:

Beginning January 5 and 6, Pastor Ed Young of the multi-state Fellowship Church will begin a new series entitled, “What Would Jesus Say To…” In this new series, Ed Young will take an in-depth look at some conversations Jesus would have if he sat down one-on-one with celebrities like Kim Kardashian, LeBron James, Ellen DeGeneres and more.

While Pastor Ed Young recognizes that it may seem presumptuous to claim to know what Jesus’ conversations would be, he said in a recent article with ChristianPost.com, “if you look at the Gospel to see Jesus’ interaction with people 2,000 years ago, it can be paralleled with the celebrities that we admire today.”

Celebrities are the center of so much of today’s culture, and that has been the case since the time of Christ. Because of that reality, Ed Young and Fellowship Church are confident this series will strike a chord with everyone attending.

OK… let’s turn things around a little bit on Ed.

// Read more here…

If you were preaching the sermon this week “What Jesus would say to Pastor Ed Young”, what would you say?

Ready?  Set?  Go!

Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube

 

 

One pastor shares his leadership mistakes (so you don’t have to make the same ones)

Carey Nieuwhof is a Canadian pastor that is putting out some GREAT leadership stuff.  You should really check out his blog (link to follow).  Here are five mistakes that Carey said he made in the area of leadership.  He tells you these mistakes so you’re not wasting your time learning the hard way:

Carey writes: Here are five leadership mistakes I’ve made:

1. Pointing out what’s wrong – not what’s right. Many leaders share a trait: they immediately notice what’s right and wrong, and gravitate toward fixing what’s wrong. I’m king of this. And ironically, it motivates me to get better. But it can end up being de-motivating to the people around you. I’ve had to learn to celebrate the wins (there are a ton of them when you look), point out what’s right and high five the team. Only then should you move to what’s wrong. Otherwise you knock the wind out of people. Honestly, this is still a daily discipline with me.

2. Thinking a leader needs to have all the answers. As a young leader, I was afraid people would notice that I was young and didn’t know as much as I should. I took me a few years to become comfortable with saying “I don’t know”. Wish I’d learned that right off the bat. Ironically, people already know that you don’t know. And when you say you don’t know, it actually creates empathy and a better sense of team.  Now more than ever, I fully realize how much I have left to learn.

3. Trying to be too original. This characterized my first 7 or 8 years of leadership. I didn’t know you could take what others have done and simply implement it (I’m not talking about plagiarizing sermons or stealing proprietary ideas here – but about ministry models and strategies that you’re free to use). I’d go to a conference and feel I’d need to change something enough to put ‘my spin’ or ‘our spin’ on it. Well, sometimes your spin makes it worse. If you really have an original idea that’s going to change things – use it. But there are smarter people who are further along than you who you can borrow from. And sometimes you just need to give yourself permission to borrow.

4.  Using people to accomplish tasks. I’m a task guy. Early on, sometimes I saw people as a means to an end, not an end in themselves. It’s a goal of mine to do what great managers do – not use people to get tasks done, but to get ‘people done’ through tasks.

5. Depending too much on my own strength. Being an A-type personality has strengths and weaknesses. Looking back, I wish I had developed a better sense of team earlier and I wished I had sought out mentors earlier. I’m still also trying to figure out the balance between Jesus’ teaching that human effort accomplishes nothing and that we need to serve and lead with all diligence. I’ll get back to you on that one. Maybe in heaven.

Read more of Carey’s thoughts here…

Jesus was a Dirty, Dirty God

Johnnie Moore is the author of Dirty God (#DirtyGod). He is a professor of religion and vice president at Liberty University. Keep track of him @johnnieM .

Johnnie thinks that Jesus was a lot more like you than you think, and a lot less clean cut than this iconic image of him that floats around culture.

He thinks that despite the Christian belief that Jesus was both fully God and fully man, Jesus was a rather dirty God.

Matt Steen and I discuss the book and the concept in this short video.

dirty dirty god

Watch Jesus was a Dirty, Dirty God now…

From the CNN article:

Jesus was a lot more like you than you think, and a lot less clean cut than this iconic image of him that floats around culture.

You know the image. It’s the one where Jesus is walking like he’s floating in robes of pristine white followed by birds singing some holy little ditty. He’s polished, manicured, and clearly – God.

But despite the Christian belief that Jesus was both fully God and fully man, Jesus was a rather dirty God.

He was the “earthly” son of a carpenter, and life in the first-century was both more lurid and unfinished than our collective religious memory seems to recall.

To that end, I suggested recently to several astounded colleagues of mine that Jesus actually had to go to the bathroom, perhaps even on the side of the road between Capernaum and Jerusalem.

What tipped them over the edge was when I insinuated that Jesus, like almost every other human being living in the rural world in that time, might have even had dysentery on an occasion or two.

Someone said, “You mean that Jesus might have had severe diarrhea?”

“Yep,” I replied, “That’s exactly what I mean.”

It seems like an obvious statement if you believe that Jesus was “fully God” and “fully man” (as most evangelicals believe and call the Incarnation), but to some of us it seems in the least, inappropriate, and at the most, sacrilege, to imagine Jesus in this way. We might believe that God was also man, but we picture him with an ever-present halo over his head.

But, actually, the Jesus of the Bible was more human than most people are conditioned to think.

I call this the dirty side of Jesus. He was grittier, and a lot more like us than maybe we believe, and that’s one of the reasons why so many thousands of people followed him so quickly.

They could relate to him.

 

Title vs. Influence

Title vs. Influence

Tony Myles writes:  I once worked in a job where I feared for my job… everyday. And I wasn’t alone. It wasn’t because of the economy, and it wasn’t because we were all bad employees. It was because our boss was insecure and came across like a lion to everyone. He was someone who only cared about the idea of success than in creating the environment for it. I’ve been in the exact opposite situation, though. I’ve served in church staff teams where we were so inspired by the character and direction of our main leader that we climbed over ourselves to be a part of what he was up to. It’s the difference between transactional relationships versus transformational relationships:

  • Transactional relationships:
    • You focus on what needs to happen.
    • You’re concerned with the appearance of non-failure.
    • You spend your time one-upping each other.
  • Transformational relationships:
    • You focus on who each person is becoming.
    • You’re concerned with the health of people.
    • You spend your time sacrificing for each other.

Every relationship, organization, classroom and work environment tends to run with one of these two models dominating. You can influence that, whether you’re at the top or bottom of the totem pole.

  • T: Take the initiative in your own life first – become the person you want others to be.
  • R: Raise your eyes – set your focus on things above versus things of the earth (Col 3:1-4)
  • A: Ask others questions – find out who they are and what they’re most concerned about in life.
  • N: Nurture conversation – set up regular lunch times where everyone gets together to chat.
  • S: Say the mission – don’t just nod your head at what’s on the wall, but use it in conversation.
  • F: Face people – don’t multitask during conversations (close the laptop and turn off your phone).
  • O: Own mistakes – if you know you did something wrong, apologize right away.
  • R: Raise standards – stop using the phrase “That was good enough.”
  • M: Mind your mind – introduce people to new thoughts and ideas that can lead to change.

In the end, you will influence others either out of your:

  • Title: Parent, spouse, employer, employee, customer, teacher, student, pastor, tither, guest, regular, etc
  • Influence: Your integrity, your passion, your relationship with God, etc

So… what is your next step to create healthy people instead of yet another power play?

The most important [commandment], answered Jesus, is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)

By: Tony Myles

We now know the reason for Noah’s flood: wedding songs for homosexuals

During a radio interview with Sandy Rios of the American Family Association yesterday, Pastor Scott Lively said that homosexuality “is the issue of the end times” and that God brought on Noah’s flood “when they started writing wedding songs to homosexual marriage,” reports RightWingWatch.org (audio below).

Pastor Lively said: “The last straw for God before He brought the flood was when they started writing wedding songs to homosexual marriage and Jesus said that you’ll know the end times because it will be like the days of Noah. There’s never been a time in the history of the world since before the flood when homosexual marriage has been open and celebrated, and that’s another sign that I believe that we’re close to the end.”

Audio here:

// Read more here…

I’m not quite sure what to say here…

Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube

 

 

Watch out people: Louie Giglio is ‘antigay’

I’m not sure that Louie wanted all this publicity after being chosen to pray at the inaugural.

He’s now being lamblasted as antigay.  From the Advocate:

The most LGBT-friendly president in U.S. history will once again have a minister with a history of antigay statements deliver a prayer at his inauguration ceremony.

Pastor Louie Giglio of the Passion City Church in Atlanta, chosen to give the benediction, or closing prayer, January 21 at President Obama’s second inauguration, gave a sermon in the mid 1990s in which he said being gay is a choice and a sin that merits eternal damnation and that Christianity can help gays can become straight,ThinkProgress reports.

In the sermon, available on a Christian website, Giglio says the Bible clearly teaches that “homosexuality is not just a sexual preference, homosexuality is not gay, but homosexuality is sin,” and it is among the factors that “prevent people from entering the Kingdom of God.” He also says, “The only way out of a homosexual lifestyle, the only way out of a relationship that has been ingrained over years of time, is through the healing power of Jesus.”

When the item was posted, Giglio had yet to respond to a ThinkProgress inquiry about whether the sermon represents his current thinking. The Advocate has also asked the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which plans the ceremony, for comment on the choice of Giglio, but there has been no response so far. A “Beliefs” section on Passion City Church’s website describes the church as “conservative and evangelical,” apparently with a literal view of the Bible, as it says, “We believe in the accuracy, truth, authority and power of the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God.”

// Read more here…

Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube

 

 

 

Driscoll: 16 Things I look for in a Preacher

At Mars Hill Church they have what they call a preacher’s “Qualifying Day”.  This year they have about 50 elders at Mars Hill, and about that many more in training.

So they thought it would be fun to give them all a different text to preach a week ahead of time, then have a ‘preach off’ of sorts… They’ll show up to preach and be evaluated.

Well… only 3 will preach in the first round (date) of competition.

Mark Driscoll wrote on his blog:

This will be fun…for some of us. For our Mars Hill version of American Idol for preachers, I’ll play the part of Simon Cowell, minus the deep v-neck and British accent. Joining me on the judging panel will be Dr. Justin Holcomb who runsResurgence, Pastor Scott Thomas who runs Acts 29, and Pastor Dave Bruskas, the executive elder who oversees all our churches.

In anticipation of this event, I made a list of 16 things that I’m looking for in a preacher or teacher’s sermon:

1.    Tell me about Jesus. Connect it all to Jesus. If you don’t mention Jesus a lot, you need to do something other than preach. And tell me that Jesus is a person, not just an idea. Help me to not only know him but to also like him.

2.    Have one big idea. Hang all your other ideas on the one big idea. Otherwise, you will lose me or bore me.

3.    Get my attention in the first 30 seconds without being gimmicky. Get to work. Don’t “blah blah blah” around, chitchat, or do announcements. That will make me start checking my phone. Get my attention, and let’s get to work.

4.    Bring me along theologically and emotionally. Preaching is not a commentary. Commentaries are boring for even nerds to read. Your job is to do the nerd work and bring it to life. Raise your voice, grab my affections, and bring the living Word.

5.    Make me like you, trust you, and respect you so that I can’t dismiss you. If you want me to follow you, you have to get me to that point.

6.    Avoid Christian jargon and explain your terms. The average person has no idea what fellowship means, or even God for that matter. So, tell us what you’re talking about and don’t assume we have your vocabulary.

7.    Don’t have points as much as a direction and destination. Take me somewhere. Take me to a place of conviction, compassion, conversion, etc.

8.    Don’t show me how smart you are, because it makes me feel dumb. I assume you’re smart since you’re standing up talking and we’re all sitting down listening. If you quote words in some language I don’t know, or quote dead guys to show you’re a genius, that makes me feel dumb, which doesn’t serve me well. Don’t come off like that kid in school that the rest of us wanted to give a wedgie to every time they raised their hand.

9.    Invite lost people to salvation. Some people in the seats aren’t Christians. So, tell them how to become one. Talk about sin, Jesus, and repentance. At some point in every sermon just do that. If you do, people will bring lost friends. Don’t be a coward.

10.  Whether it feels like a wedding or a funeral, be emotionally engaging and compelling. Some sermons are a funeral—convicting, deep, hard hitting, and life shattering. Other sermons are a wedding—exciting, compelling, encouraging, and motivating. Pick an emotional path. Have an emotional trajectory to the sermon, not just a theological point. If you pass the audition and get to preach publicly, have the entire service flow emotionally. If we do wedding songs after a funeral sermon, I’m emotionally confused. Likewise, if we’re singing melancholy hymns after a big motivational sermon, I’m also emotionally confused. So, you and the guy in skinny jeans with the guitar have got to get this figured out together.

You can find the last 6 here: 16 Things I look for in a Preacher | Pastor Mark.

Thoughts?

Do you have what it takes to be a 21st Century Pastor?

Do you have what it takes to be a pastor in the 21st century?  Pastor Bob Robert writes:

So . . . . what kind of pastor are you?  I was on a phone call with 15 exceptional pastors of large congregations across the U.S. this week.  Each had grown their church, each has been “successful” in the traditional ways of defining that – but each felt uneasy about where the church is and where things are going.  It’s as if there is this “church” cliff – that everyone acknowledges but not for sure what to do.  For the most part it’s addressed by “style” of church and “where & how” the church meets and “what” the church does, etc.,  I do not believe these are the right questions – or at least not the ones to start with.  I don’t think we’re asking the right questions.  If our answers don’t connect with our context – our answers won’t matter.

Here are some things that pastors will need to concentrate on to be effective leaders:

1.  A 21st century pastor must be a globalist.  The world is all of our “parish” – and we must understand it.  To try to show up and preach, yet know nothing of global culture, traditions, history, economics, the society we are working in, is “religion abuse” – it’s not about us doing our thing – but being the hands and heart of Jesus to people.  I’ve seen it first hand, we Christians has actually done damage to the spread of the Gospel by how we connect.  BUT NOT JUST IN A “GO GLOBAL” perspective – also to acknowledge and do ministry in light of the fact that the whole world is listening on the internet to you – that global migration, trends, culture is now impacting us.  Our 20 somethings are being called the 1st American global generation. Like modernity, postmodernity, etc., globalization is the syncristic philosophy impacting the church everywhere.  (This was in my book “Glocalization.”)

2.  A 21st century pastor has to be a community developer.  It was Robert Lewis who asked the question years ago, “If the church were absent from the community would it be missed?”  Most of the time it wouldn’t except for the worship service for the people who attend it.  I’ve seen several movies lately and all the churches do adds in the theatre.  Most were all the same, “We care about you” and a selling of the Sunday event.  With the “global” “justice” generation – they want to hear about a church that “cares about the city” as well.  (I wrote about this in my book Realtime Connections.)

3.  A 21t century pastor has to be a discipler.  There are global templates of what this looks like – many of us have stumbled onto the same one.  It involves three things simultaneously:  interactive relationship with God, transparent connections with one another, and glocal impact or people using their jobs to serve.  (This was in Transformation that I wrote about.)

4.  A 21st century pastor has to be a diplomat.  Anyone who works globally will have to interact with gatekeepers regardless of their rank.  Protocol is no longer something just for diplomats – but for businessmen, educators, medical – and yes – the pastorate – especially the pastorate.  How do you relate to others?  How do you communicate?  How do you put your best foot forward? (Bold as Love)

5.  A 21st century pastor has to be an opportunity seizer.  The greatest things that will happen in the 21st century will not be from purpose statements like the 20th century.  Instead, they will come from leaves blowing everywhere from everywhere and the pastor will have to seize what comes in front of them.  There are no rules for how the world is operating – we are in a new era and phase.  We need to go back to the book of ACTS of the HOLY SPIRIT and stay in step with the Spirit. I am living proof of this – I would not have even known how to have planned to be involved in the things I am today – neither did my background prepare me.  (Bold as Love)

// Bob also thinks that the 21st century pastor must be a people releaser, a communication specialist, and a bridge builder… Read more now:  WHAT KIND OF PASTOR ARE YOU IN THE 21ST CENTURY.

Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube

 

 

John Piper’s Last Sermon: Woe to the prosperity preachers and playful worshipers

John Piper spoke for the last time (as Senior Pastor) at Bethlehem Baptist Church last Sunday.  Here are some quotes from Piper from his last sermon (as reported by the Christian Post):

“If you entice people with wealth, … ease, health, chipper, bouncy, light-hearted, playful, superficial banter in your worship service posing as joy in Christ, you will attract people, oh yeah, you can grow a huge church that way. But Christ will not be seen in his glory and the Christian life will not be seen as the calvary road that it is.”

“I turn with dismay from church services that are treated like radio talk shows where everything sounds chipper and frisky and high-spirited and chattering and designed evidently to make people feel light-hearted and playful and bouncy,” he said. “I say, don’t you know there are people dying of cancer in this room? Don’t you know some are barely making it financially? … And you’re going to create an atmosphere that’s bouncy …? I just don’t get it. It’s not who we are.”

More from the Christian Post article:

So many pastors today try to attract people to Jesus with their lavish houses, cars and clothes, Piper lamented. But that’s not the way the Apostle Paul did it as recorded in the New Testament.

“You shouldn’t ever attract anybody to Jesus like that because if they get attracted they’re not coming to Jesus. They’re coming to the stuff and the one who can provide it. Thank you very much Jesus for giving me what my fallen, selfish heart always lived for anyway,” he said.

The Apostle Paul made it clear that the Christian life is not without suffering such as beatings, hunger, imprisonment and sleepless nights. But in the midst of those hardships, Paul’s spirit was never broken and all he could do was rejoice because he had Jesus.

“We’re commending the value of Christ and we’re doing it exactly the opposite of the way that prosperity preachers do it,” Piper noted, preaching from 2 Corinthians 6.

What Paul does is show that knowing Christ and having eternal life with Christ “is better than all the worldly wealth and prosperity and health that there is.”

“We commend our life in ministry by afflictions, … calamities … It means that Christ is real to us, more precious than sleep, health, money, life … Wouldn’t you want a Christ that precious?

“If not, Christianity is not for you.”

// Read more here…

Thoughts?

Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube

 

 

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