Monday, September 2, 2013

All Around the Web - September 2, 2013

Thom Rainer - Nine Steps for a Pastor’s First 90 Days
  1. Spend significant time in the Word for your sermons. All preaching is important, but your first few sermons are critical. That’s where most members will hear and see you. And that’s where many first impressions are formed.
  2. Listen. Take time to listen to the stories and concerns of your members. Unless you must speak, allow them uninterrupted time to share with you. As a consequence, you will learn much about the church, and you will win the trust of those to whom you listened.
  3. Be visible. I know. I just said to spend significant time in the Word. It’s hard to do that if you are constantly visible. As I indicated, you should be prepared for some long workweeks your first 90 days.
  4. Be accessible. Again, you can overdo it here. You need time to carry out the other steps. But early in your ministry you should not be hidden away in a secret study at the church.
  5. Find low-hanging fruit. In almost every church there are some actions you can take that will cost little and please most members. One pastor knew that the members really wanted to paint the worship center, but the church didn’t have the funds. So he challenged them to an all-day paint day. Some members committed to buy paint. Several agreed to do the painting. And others cooked meals and served the workers. The young pastor became an instant hero.
  6. Learn the powerbrokers. No one is asking you to compromise your principles or play dirty politics. It’s just a good idea to know who the true decision makers are in the church. You need to get to know them and befriend them if possible.
  7. Go into the community. Make a statement to the church members and the community that you are determined to serve and love the community where your church is located. Eat in local restaurants. Join a civic organization. Go meet some of the community leaders.
  8. Express your enthusiasm about being their pastor. If you don’t have enthusiasm for the church when you first arrive, you are in trouble. Let the members know how excited and honored you are to serve them as pastor.
  9. Don’t speak badly about your previous church. I have eight “thou shalts,” so I’ll add just one “thou shalt not.” If you start speaking negatively about your former church, many members will assume you’ll do the same for your present church. There is nothing to gain in such negative talk.

Justin Taylor - A Rare Interview with Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Christianity Today - Should Pastors Rebuke Parishioners from the Pulpit? | Here are Doug Wilson's, Carl Truman's, and Albert Mohler's answer.

"Preaching is personal, but it is to the entire congregation. So it is completely out of line to go after congregants by name. A preacher should focus on relevant sins. If I came across three angry husbands in my pastoral counseling, it would show up in the sermons—but anonymously." Douglas Wilson, minister, Christ Church

"A pastor should not call out congregants in a direct manner during the normal, regular preaching of the Word. They should not use the pulpit to browbeat, humiliate, and bully individuals in their congregations. That is unbiblical and unacceptable." Carl Trueman, professor, Westminster Theological Seminary

"I can't imagine a situation in which it is healthy or wise to attempt individual church discipline or exhortation in the context of preaching in a worship service. Such an approach easily becomes performance art and hardly brings stature or biblical weight to the pulpit." R. Albert Mohler Jr., president, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Tullian Tchividjian - How Much Does Your Life Weigh?

Every single one of us is plagued by performanicism. Performancism is the mindset that equates our identity and value directly with our performance. Performancism sees achievement not as something we do or don’t do but something we are or aren’t. The colleges we attended are more than the places where we were educated – they’re labels that define our value. The money we earn and the car we drive aren’t simply a reflection of the job we have – they’re a reflection of us. How I look, how intelligent I am, how my kids turn out, what people think of me…these things are synonymous with my worth. In the world of performancism, success equals life and failure equals death.

In other words, we’re exhausted because we’re trying to rescue ourselves from a meaningless, valueless, worthless existence by what we do and by who we can become. We’re weary because we feel the burden to make it, to get it done, to impress, to earn, to succeed, to be validated. After all, we conclude, our very identity is at stake.

So if the real cause of our exhaustion is the drive to save ourselves, what’s the cure

In short — it’s the Gospel.

Trevin Wax - A Brief Podcast Interview on Clear Winter Nights | I really enjoyed Trevin Wax's book and was blessed with a pre-release copy of it. This is a good interview with the author. You can read my review of the book here.

Here is a compilation of every TV appearance that Johnny Cash made between 1955 and 1959

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