Earlier this week at ThomRainer.com:
- Six Attitudes That Kill Evangelism in the Church
- Why So Many Churches Are Too Busy – Rainer on Leadership #334
- Seven Personality Types of Sick Churches
- Seven Summer Social Media Ideas for Churches
- The Money Challenge featuring Art Rainer – Rainer on Leadership #335
The Bible is not a psychology journal. Most modern psychological terms won’t be found in its pages. But the Bible does speak to the human heart and its many pains. Pastors, if the Bible is to do our people any good, we must know it, live it, and trust it at all times.
While it is impossible to sum up all that goes wrong in the heart of a ministry leader who has been called “exceptional” or “an amazing leader,” here are three dangers “talented” ministry leaders face, three dangers we all must guard our hearts against:
Several years ago I had the privilege of being in a great church service on a trip away from home. The worship was dynamic, the people were friendly, the message was biblical and engaging, the sense of the presence of God was genuine. As I drove away, I thought, “What a great church! I feel filled-up and ready to take on the week! It’s a shame they won’t have any impact on their community – not if they keep doing things the way they’re currently doing them.” Why would I think that if the church was as great as I described?
Have you ever heard a sermon illustration that did more harm than good? I have. In fact, just recently I heard a sermon illustration that was an absolute train wreck. It sent God’s people on an unhelpful diversion, had nothing to do with the passage, and compromised the sermon’s final, concluding thrust. In other words, it was a disaster, and the results were debilitating to the sermon. Yet, a well-chosen illustration can illumine the passage and strengthen the sermon. That is why generations of seminary students have been taught that good sermons include explaining, illustrating, and applying the text. Of the three, illustrating the text is the least important, but it is important nonetheless. Therefore, how should we view sermon illustrations? Consider these five rules.
While some of the stereotypes are true for some millennials, I know a lot of millennials who break the trend. But there is one stereotype about millennials that is scary because it’s true. Millennials are leaving the church in droves. So while I cannot pretend to speak for all millennials, I can tell you what my millennial friends and I want to see in your church.
If a woman in your congregation faced an unplanned pregnancy, to whom could she turn for support? I’ve been a part of the church for my whole life, but I’m not sure I could answer this question. If I don’t know the answer, then a young woman facing an unplanned pregnancy in my church probably doesn’t know either. In the church I’ve learned about the value of pro-life candidates, fundraising for local pregnancy centers, and the national sin of abortion and God’s impending judgment. But I haven’t learned much about positive, practical efforts to cultivate a culture of life within the congregation. And I’m not the only one.