Ministry Inside.95

talkWhat is the #1 way many ministers sabotage their ministry?

A loose and undisciplined mouth.

Years ago, I was teaching a Wednesday evening class at our church.  The class was about to begin.  A woman was still talking as I attempted to start this class.  I said something about her to the group, thinking it would be funny.  Everyone laughed.  Well, almost everyone.  She did not laugh.  In fact, the next day she called me and wanted to visit for a few minutes.  My words had hurt her.  They brought up memories of earlier humiliations in her life.  Now, in front of everyone, her minister had embarrassed and humiliated her.

I felt awful.  To get a quick laugh, I spoke without thinking.  I really wished for a do-over.

Trust is everything in ministry.  Ministers are people who have a great opportunity to help someone learn what it means to live as a Christ-follower.  Yet, that trust is diminished when people witness that our speech is undisciplined.  If we are not careful, we can speak in ways that are inappropriate, thoughtless, and even un-Christlike.

4 Assumptions You Can Make About Your Day

assumptionsJohn Dickson tells the story of some young men who got on a bus in the mid-1930s and attempted to pick a fight with one of the riders. This man was sitting in the back of the bus by himself.

At first they tried a few verbal taunts. He said nothing.

Then the insults got more intense. He still said nothing.

Finally, the bus came to a stop.

The man stood.  He was much bigger than what the boys had realized.  He reached into his pocket, handed the boys his card, and quietly walked off the bus.

The boys crowded around the card eager to read it. The card read:

Joe Louis, Professional Boxer

As many of you know, Joe Louis was the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949 and is considered by many to be one of the greatest boxers ever.

These boys had made some assumptions about the man at the back of the bus.  They didn’t realize that the man was actually the great Joe Louis.

Some of us make wrong assumptions about others, about life, and even about God.  For years, I made so many wrong assumptions.  I passively thought that life would finally be very good if I were just given the opportunity I wanted.  At times, I assumed the negative.   Sometimes I started the day thinking that the day’s problems and obstacles would prevent me from having a good day.

I want to share with you four assumptions you can make that will actually help you this week.  These will help you as you live, work, and relate to others, whether co-workers, friends, or family.

Today, let me encourage you to consider the following.

1.  Assume that you will experience interruptions and distractions.  You will need to decide how you will deal with the interruptions.  It could be that the interruptions are more important than what you have planned.

2.  Assume that you will need to extend grace to others.  Sometimes our expectations of people are unrealistic.so unreal!  After all, don’t you need the grace of God on a daily basis?  Instead of being shocked, remember that some people are going to drive rudely.  Some people are going to be too abrupt with you.  Some people are not going to follow through on their commitments.  Wake up each day knowing that if this is a normal day, there will be the opportunity to extend grace.

3.  Assume that you will have opportunities today.  Many people go through their day totally focused on frustrations, obstacles, and barriers.  Why not look for opportunities?  Is there an opportunity for you to grow?  Is there an opportunity for you to stretch?  Is there an opportunity to serve someone?

4.  Assume that you have enough time to do what really needs to be done.  As you think about your time, you may wonder how you could possibly squeeze anything else in.  However, it might be useful to think about how much time you are spending on Facebook, Twitter, your? blog, your website, etc.  How much time do you spend chasing down meaningless information on the Internet?

Question:

What else can you assume about life?

 

Monday Start (Resources for the Week)

Writing

See “Freelance Writers Can Stay Productive Despite Feeling Antsy and Distracted.”  Also be sure to check out “Writers’ Favorite Punctuation Marks.”

In case you missed these

Be sure to read the post: “5 Suggestions for Making Better Decisions.”  Also, you might enjoy the post: “5 People I Need Around Me.

Reflections on ministry

This is a part of a very good series by John Frye.  See “From the Shepherd’s Nook.”  Hear John’s reflections on Eugene Peterson’s book The Contemplative Pastor.

Not sure why I like these kinds of posts

For some reason, I like to read posts like this one occasionally.  See “Five Best Budget Pens.”

Preaching

See this fine piece by Harold Shank (President of Ohio Valley University) entitled “Primer on Inductive Preaching.”  Not only can Harold write about preaching but he can preach also.  Don’t miss his post “Three Pillars of Christian Education.