This week I had the privilege of speaking for my dad’s revival services at Promised Land Baptist Church in Gastonia. We love their church! I was thinking this week during the meeting just how much I appreciate my mom and dad. Their example and instruction has prepared me for a life of ministry greater than any college class or ministry resource. So, I just want to say “THANKS!”
I’ve talked with several pastor-friends recently who seem to be a little more discouraged than normal. I wouldn’t be completely honest with you if I told you I haven’t, myself, felt a little discouragement recently. It’s interesting how the devil will often use things that most people would never notice to get a pastor down. Of course, we expect major sins in the church or division among the congregation to bring discouragement. But it’s the little things, at times, that can really cause him to lose sleep at night. For instance, you may not know it, but it discourages your pastor…
➔ WHEN YOUR SEAT IS EMPTY
Every week I fight the battle hard. I’m thankful for who’s there, but I’m discouraged by who’s not. It’s not absent seats due to vacations, illnesses, or even work schedules that distract me, but it’s those who neglect to make God’s house the priority to later discover they chose a hobby, sleep, or yard work over worship. That’s discouraging!
➔ WHEN THERE ARE LACK OF VOLUNTEERS
It’s a continual cycle for us here in Charlotte when it comes to certain ministries. It seems like multiple times a year we are scrambling for nursery workers. I’ll be honest, I get low when there are lack of volunteers to help serve in needed areas of our ministry. Comments like “I’ve paid my time,” or “Let the younger ones do it” are difficult to understand and accept. If there are needs in ministry at your church, volunteer. If you’re already serving, don’t quit! It’s discouraging!
Being a parent is one of the greatest blessings of my life. The joy that Kate and Keegan bring to me and Kathleen is indescribable. I can’t imagine life without them. However, parenting is equally one of the greatest challenges of my life. It requires patience, humility, and sacrifice. I am also convinced that it’s a method by which God conforms us into His image. In other words, parenting is not just about one person maturing (my child), it’s about two people maturing. And God brings both parent and child through that growth together. One author said this,
“Through parenting I’ve learned things about myself I never knew and have seen things in my heart that I never wanted to see. I’ve come face to face with sins I didn’t know were buried deep inside, sins like impatience, selfishness, irritability, and discontent. While uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful, the sanctifying work of parenthood has been necessary and good.” – Christina Fox
According to Proverbs 22:6, I have a non-negotiable responsibility as a parent: train my child! It’s a difficult task to be sure, but a necessary one. In order to do that to the glory of God, I have personally set five goals for my life as a parent every day. Not necessarily goals for them, but goals for me. Here they are…