By: Jeff Patton
#1—EQUIP—Ephesians 4:11-12 is quite clear. The role of the pastor is to equip the saints. So equip, equip, equip. Stop doing all the ministry. Empower the people to live in the fullness of the Holy Spirit by using their gifts, stretching their faith and witness God’s power in their midst’s.
#2—Do something to encourage visitors. Signs aren’t enough. Challenge your people to create a prayer list of ten names of people who don’t attend church or small groups. Pray they would attend your small group (if you don’t have one, start one). Pray for them for two weeks, then call them and invite them to your group. Set that call date now. Tell someone you are doing this to hold you accountable.
#3—Make your marriage a priority. Make your family critically important to you. Love your spouse, respect your spouse. Defend your marriage/family with all your might.
#4—Develop teams to shepherd the community. The pastor or one person can’t do it all, so as you equip people, equip those who can deal with conflict.
#5—Answer all questions when asked. “I don’t know” is a good answer. “I don’t know but I’ll find someone who does” is a better answer. Self-definitional “I” statements go a long way.
#6—Develop a team to make decisions (and lifelong followers of Jesus). Once you have prayerfully discerned a direction, go at it at full speed ahead. Failure, while painful, is not fatal. Learn the lessons of team building and discernment.
#7—Share the Gospel at all times, if necessary use words. Learn to love others. Yes you will get hurt, betrayed and abandoned some times; but it is still worth it.
#8—Make fun of yourself and don’t take life so seriously. After all, you might die today. As the song says it, “Live like you were dying.” Ride the bull, jump out of the plane, take a risk, find life somewhere. You aren’t so important. And soon life will plow on ahead of you with or without you.
#9—Pray. Not “if you pray”, but “when your pray”, trust and keep trusting; ask and keep on asking; knock and keep on knocking. Learn the lesson of consecrated, dedicated prayer. It is hard work for this “I want it now” society in the church
#10—Pray More. At all times, in all places, with all kinds of prayers. Here are my two best prayers. “HELP” and “ARGH”. Eloquent, huh? But God, who knows me and who loves me and you, is already answering even those prayers. Learn to enjoy God. Learn to like being in God’s presence.
Sadly, these are not the traits I have seen from pastors and laity alike. We have the greatest news in the world (God’s love for us in Jesus), but we act like this:
TEN WAYS A PASTOR (or LAITY) CAN KILL A CHURCH
#1 – Have your lay leaders do almost everything.
#2 – Do nothing to encourage visitors to come to your church.
#3 – Fight and argue with your spouse. Make it as public as possible.
#4 – When you see that someone is upset over a situation, do nothing.
#5 – Refuse to answer questions.
#6 – Make a decision. Change it. Change it again. Change it again.
#7 – Don’t share the gospel with the community.
#8 – Make fun of people at every opportunity. Deride anyone you disagree with.
#9 – If you pray for a person and nothing happens, assume there’s something wrong with their faith/their walk with the Lord.
#10 – Treat your prayer and devotional life as an obligation meant to be performed when you start feeling guilty enough.
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