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I don’t know Pastor Robert Earl Houston, but he has some interesting advice for “Angry Pastors” #1 – FIND SOMEONE TO TALK TO QUICKLY. Anger within a preacher can be a dangerous thing – especially when you don’t utilize wise counsel. I have found out that the mistakes I’ve made were due to the fact that I reacted without talking with someone who could have given me another way of looking at an issue. In San Diego, that person was Dr. Willie James Smith, pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church, who is now in Glory. Willie (please forgive the informality) was great because he was a Mississippian with a heavy southern drawl and he had pastoral experience, a summa cum laude from Bishop College and had a doctoral degree in dealing with church conflicts. He would remind me “Houston, that ain’t worth a hill of beans” or “Houston, slow your roll,” or “Houston, stand your ground.” A pastor needs another pastor – not a person who would sign off on everything that comes to your mind – but someone who will be objective enough to say “NO” or, when needed, “HELL NO” without risking losing the relationship. Sometimes, that person has to be found from without your immediate ranks. But find someone to talk to before you say something you will regret for the rest of your ministry. keep reading

The average pay of a senior pastor serving a Southern Baptist church in America for 2012 was $60,774.  That’s for pastors that live in church housing.  For those who don’t, the average is more like $72,840.  That doesn’t include cash payments that most pastors get as reimbursements (like for mileage, conference reimbursements, books, etc. That’s the synopsis from SBC Voices. LifeWay and GuideStone collaborate on the compensation survey. The  latest is available here. Thoughts? Does this strike you as high, low, or just right?
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A respected Southern Baptist pastor and author says “wimpy” pastors and laypersons are the reason Christians are losing the culture war. Why are many Christian leaders silent when religious freedom comes under attack? That question was raised Tuesday evening by Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly and posed to Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas and author of How Can I Know: Answers to Life’s 7 Most Important Questions. “I think one reason is a lot of Christian leaders have the wrong idea about Jesus,” Jeffress replied when asked the question. “They see Jesus as this little, wimpy guy who walked around plucking daisies and eating birdseed and saying nice things, but never doing anything controversial. The fact is, Jesus did confront his culture with truth — and he ended up being crucified because of it.” The Dallas pastor chastised pastors who shy away from controversy. “Wimpy pastors produce wimpy Christians — and that is why we are losing this culture war,” he emphasized. “I believe it’s time for pastors to say, You know, I don’t care about controversy, I don’t care whether I’m going to lose church members, I don’t care about building a big church. I’m going to stand for truth regardless of what happens.” Jeffress — who also reprimanded school districts and elected officials for caving in — contends secularists are going to take over if pastors and Christians continue to refuse to stand up and wage the necessary battle to secure their constitutional rights. via Pastor: ‘Wimpy’ won’t cut it in culture war. Thoughts? Todd

According to the Charlotte Observer, Elevation Church is planning on an expansion that could cost around $30 million: Elevation, one of the country’s fastest-growing evangelical congregations, plans to build a $20 million facility in Ballantyne to house its administrative staff, along with a 1,500-seat sanctuary. Elevation also is considering two sites in Huntersville for a campus there. In all, the projects will cost more than $30 million. This month, Elevation hopes its new “Banner Years” campaign will raise the up-front money needed so the church can pay cash for the sites – $3.5 million for 20 acres off U.S. 521 in Ballantyne, and another $2.5 million for the Huntersville tract of its choice. “We are not building a church for our own benefit. We are designing a movement for the glory of God,” Pastor Steven Furtick said in announcing the campaign. “Which means we can’t stop or back down … We want to be available and ready to launch new Elevation locations anytime and anywhere God leads.” Elevation, a Southern Baptist congregation that is only 7 years old, already has seven Charlotte-area campuses plus an extension church in Toronto. In 2008-09, the congregation raised $4.6 million to build Elevation Matthews. Its 2010 “Kingdom Come” campaign funneled $5.1 million toward its Blakeney location. Church leaders say they have pre-approval for a loan to pay the estimated $25 million needed to build and equip the Ballantyne and Huntersville projects. Plans call for the work be completed by 2014. As of Saturday night, and a little more than a week into its “Banner Years” campaign, Elevation had already raised $5 million, most of which will go toward buying the land, spokeswoman Tonia Bendickson said. // Read more here…