Senin, 24 Juli 2017

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Hai saudara dan suadariku dalam Kristus Yesus,

Terimakasih untuk selama beberapa tahun terakhir ini telah dengan setia mendoakan dan mendukung kami dalam pelayanan yang telah Tuhan percayakan pada kami. Saya secara pribadi sangat menghargai persaudaraan yang telah kita bangun bersama-sama selama ini. Mohon maaf bila ada kekurangan dan hal yang kurang berkenan dalam kehidupan saya maupun keluarga.
Apa yang telah didoakan dan didistribusikan kami pastikan tidak sia-sia. Kami bersyukur, bahwa 1,5 tahun terakhir ini, saya sudah dapat kembali aktif pelayanan dan mengerjakan visi yang telah Tuhan berikan. Saya kini berjejaring dan melayani bersama-sama anggota tubuh Kristus lainnya diantaranya lembaga missi Youth With A Mission Bandung, rekan-rekan sesama pergerakan gereja rumah di Bandung, rekan-rekan pergerakan pemuridan dan penanaman gereja di tengah suku terabaikan (DMM = Discipleship Making Movement), Komunitas We Are Family yaitu kumpulan keluarga besar YWAM baik bagi yang masih aktif maupun sudah tidak pelayanan dalam lembaga YWAM, juga rekan-rekan frontier mission yang melayani khusus orang Muslim dan suku Sunda, gereja denominasi yang menjadi sahabat pergerakan kami seperti GPK, GIAT dan GPKDI selama berada di Bandung.
Saya sangat menyadari bahwa saya tidak dapat bergerak lebih lanjut tanpa doa, masukan, motivasi dan dukungan dari saudara-saudara seiman lainnya. Bila saudara memiliki bahan atau materi atau buku yang baik mengenai pemuridan, missi atau penanaman gereja (dalam konteks suku terabaikan) kami akan sangat senang menerimanya. Entah itu dalam bahasa Indonesia atau pun Bahasa Inggris.
Saya juga sangat menghargai bila ada bahan atau materi bacaan, untuk memperlengkapi sisi enterpreuner dan manajemen keuangan untuk UMKM. Sebab saya merasakan keperluan memperlengkapi hamba-hambaNya yang ingin melakukan pelayanan mandiri (self support ministry) hingga tidak bergantung pada donatur atau pun jemaat yang dilayani.
Seringkali kami terbatas atau terhambat pergerakannya oleh karena terbatasnya dana namun melihat bahwa visi besar Amanat Agung harus dapat tercapai maka kami melakukan segala daya upaya agar hal ini bisa terwujud. Saya percaya bila kita semua bergandeng tangan dan berupaya secara optimal bersama, sesuatu akan terjadi di tengah bangsa ini. Saya percaya kuasa doa... Kuasa ketaatan akan FirmanNya...... Kuasa kesatuan tubuh Kristus. Ada banyak kota dan desa di Indonesia terbuka bahkan negara-negara lain (kami juga melayani para TKI di luar negeri melalui dunia maya). Saya acap kali merasa terbatas sebab tidak dapat melengkapi saudara-saudara saya di daerah maupun luar negeri, sebab saya tidak punya dana. Tetapi saya siap bekerjasama dengan saudara seiman lainnya yang mau dengan tulus untuk pergi melayani mereka. Demi pencapaian Amanat Agung secara optimal, saya siap untuk melayani bersama anggota tubuh Kristus lainnya untuk kemuliaan dan pelebaran Kerajaan Tuhan. Harapan saya sebelum kembali pulang ke Rumah Bapa, melihat setiap anak Tuhan menjadi murid Kristus yang bermultiplikasi.
Terimakasih sudah menyempatkan diri untuk membaca surat saya yang jauh dari sempurna ini. God bless.

Selasa, 11 Juli 2017

5 Ways to Reach More Millennials at Your Church

5 Ways to Reach More Millennials at Your Church

5 Ways to Reach More Millennials at Your Church
Hi, I’m Brandon, and I’m a millennial.
I am one of those “entitled,” “snowflake” babies born between 1980 and 2000.
Being a millennial comes with many unfair stereotypes:
  • We are lazy.
  • We want trophies just for participating.
  • We can’t find stable jobs or move out of our parents’ basements…
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.

1. PUT MILLENNIALS ON STAGE

When we go to church and see a bunch of gray-haired guys on stage and a bunch gray-haired people in the crowd, we wonder if we fit in.
Find ways to get younger people on stage. And let a millennial pastor preach every once in awhile.
If you don’t have one on staff (or at least as an elder or high-capacity volunteer), that may be part of the problem.
Show us that your church isn’t just an old-person club, but a place that we can serve and use our gifts too.
I know from experience how hard it is for millennials to break into ministry. We are starving for someone to give us a chance.
Just look at the churches that are reaching millennials and tell me if any of them don’t have young people on stage.

2. BE REAL WITH US

We crave authenticity.
Don’t pretend like everything in life is rosy when you follow Jesus. If you do, we will know you’re fake.
You aren’t fooling anyone. We all know you aren’t perfect. We loathe impostors, and many of us are skeptical because church leaders can seem fake.
So quit talking to us like we are naive and skipping around sensitive subjects.
Be uncomfortably vulnerable with us about your shortcomings and struggles in your faith. Tell us how you continue to wrestle with your imperfections while trying to follow Christ.
We want the ugly truth about the messy issues in life, even when it stings.

3. EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY

Stop pretending like it’s 1985 and we don’t all have smartphones in our pockets.
Technology has dated many practices of the church.
Stop asking everyone to fill out a physical communication card with a dull pencil when you can just ask us to send you a text, email or fill out a quick form on your website.
Don’t ask us for our “home phone number.” Does anyone still have a landline? Just ask for a phone number and assume it’s a cell phone.
Also, just so you know, most millennials don’t carry cash anymore. Many of us can hardly remember the last time we saw a checkbook. We use debit cards (or even our phones) and pay bills online. So it’s awkward when you pass an offering plate and don’t give us an option to give online.
I could list a hundred more examples.
If nothing else, start here: Update your church website and make it the central hub for all church information, registration and giving.

4. USE VISUALS

Like it or not, we are a visual generation.
It’s harder than ever for a preacher to hold our attention. But we are drawn to pictures and video. Please use them.
If you are talking about a location in the Bible, show us a picture of the area.
If you are preaching about an abstract concept, find a concrete way to demonstrate it.
Take advantage of the excellent video illustrations at your disposal.
Even just painting word pictures and telling stories helps.
In every sermon, ask yourself, “How can I both show and tell?” (I have an entire chapter on this in my book Preach and Deliver).
Use visual elements and imagery to help us see what you say.
Not only will you hold our attention, but you will help us understand in the way that we have been conditioned by our culture to learn.
Preaching isn’t dead to millennials, but it needs to adapt to our culture.

5. BE CLEAR

We like things that are clear and simple.
This goes for everything: your preaching, your theology, your programming, your mission statement…even the church signs.
We don’t like 12-point sermons. Stick with one big point.
We don’t like signs we have to stop to read, just point us in the right direction.
And please, for the love, stop reading every church announcement from the stage. Highlight a thing or two that’s coming up and point us to where we can get more information.
Also, understand that simplicity does not mean stupidity. It takes more intelligence to make the complex simple.
Cut the clutter.

THE POINT

Don’t believe all the stereotypes you hear about millennials. We don’t have to be the generation that leaves the church.
But if you want to reach us, some things in your church will have to change.
These five things alone won’t do all the work for you. But if you want your church to reach millennials, this is a start to creating an environment that will help.
Otherwise, your church might keep fishing with the wrong bait.
This article originally appeared here.

How to Minister to the Fatherless

How to Minister to the Fatherless

How to Minister to the Fatherless
Summer has been hard for my boys since their father died six and a half years ago.
First comes Father’s Day. Watching my kids over the years, I have realized that it’s very easy to dismiss Father’s Day as an irrelevant Hallmark marketing ploy when your own dad is still around. But for my boys, Father’s Day is a big deal. Then comes June 30, which would mark my husband’s 49th birthday, if he were still here for us to celebrate. July 4 used to be a big family occasion for us, and seven years later, we still have not settled on a new tradition to replace the old.
I remember in particular one rainy Fourth. We were stuck indoors, and one son was glued to ESPN. Late that night he came to me crying because all day ESPN had run patriotic stories about military service persons returning home and being reunited with their families. Over and over he saw husbands and wives surprising their families, and he watched their tears of joy and relief after months and sometimes years of painful separation. My son cried because he knew he would never have that joyful reunion this side of heaven, and he cried because he wanted to be happy for those families, but he felt so sad for himself.
There are many ways a child can become fatherless. Death, abandonment, abuse and incarceration remove the dad from a child’s life completely, and divorce can (but does not always) have a similar effect. The loss of a father, no matter how it happens, has profound and lifelong impact.
God takes the plight of the fatherless very seriously, making their welfare an urgent priority for His church.
James 1:27 in the Amplified version reads: “External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and the widows in their affliction and need…
In other words, God is saying, “If you really love Me, take care of the kids who don’t have a dad.”
God declares Himself “a Father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5), and one of the primary ways he expresses this Fatherhood is through His church, the body of Christ whose hands and feet He uses to accomplish His purposes.
Here’s where to start: Build a relationship with a child who doesn’t have his or her dad. This takes time, effort, consistency and patience, but if you want to show a fatherless child the love of their heavenly Father, there’s no other way to do it. Demonstrate commitment and dependability. When you place yourself in God’s hands and ask for His love to flow through you to a hurting child, He will answer that prayer and show you what to do.
One of my husband’s best friends has taken my youngest son out for breakfast on Fridays for nearly seven years now. This man isn’t trying to replace his dad or rescue my son; he just wants to love him. He sometimes gives advice, or attends a school event, or takes my boy jet-skiing, but mostly this friend just listens. He spends time with him, and tells him God loves him. Another of my husband’s closest friends has walked through the college process with my two older sons, taking them on tours and helping them make decisions. Just this past week, yet another friend took my 15-year-old out to practice driving, and when my son expressed interest in his job, he took my boy to work with him for the day.
All these years later, these godly men (and others) are still investing time and attention in my fatherless sons. Together, they have formed a community that loves, protects and provides for my boys. They have become God’s gracious provision to our family.
Some things to keep in mind as you show love to the fatherless:
  • Know what the milestone days are. Dad’s birthday, or the anniversary of his leaving—these dates matter, and the grief can be fresh and raw years later. On my husband’s birthday every year, my brother-in-law comes over and we eat a meal of all my husband’s favorite foods. It’s a way to acknowledge the loss and remember the fun stuff.
  • Help the child do very practical dad things. One time my son angrily kicked a hole in the wall. A friend of my husband’s came to the house and very calmly, without judgment or lecturing, taught him to repair the sheetrock damage. He made my son do the actual work himself, and came back to supervise the repainting a few days later. This friend led my son to take responsibility for his childish behavior, and encouraged him to act with greater maturity in the future, exactly as his father would have done.
  • Don’t try to fix the fatherlessness. You can’t. Losing a parent is a great grief and a deep sadness and nothing anyone does will change or compensate for that fact. You cannot heal a brokenhearted child; that is God’s job. What you CAN do is “comfort those who are in any tribulation with the comfort with which [you yourself] are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:4). A child may be fatherless, but he or she does not have to be a spiritual orphan too.
Finally, whatever you do, don’t give up on a fatherless kid. Children who lose their fathers are often angry and wounded, and this can lead to some long-lasting, unloveable behavior. Don’t quit loving them. Wait on that front porch for the prodigal, and pray for him continually. He desperately needs to know that the love of the Father “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7).
God in his grace must instill in you His love that never fails, because you can’t do it in your own strength.
Though an earthly father may leave or abandon or die, our fatherless children can hear from His body the promise of our perfect heavenly Father: “I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless, nor forsake nor let you down, relax my hold on you. Assuredly not!” (Hebrews 13:5 AMP)
This article originally appeared here.

5 Ways to Lead When You Have No Money or Team

5 Ways to Lead When You Have No Money or Team

5 Ways to Lead When You Have No Money or Team
I recently surveyed over 1,400 pastors of small to mid-sized churches to find out what they struggled with.
I ran the survey to collect input for a new online course I’m releasing this fall called Breaking 200 Without Breaking You, all about breaking the 200 attendance barrier, something 85 percent of churches never do. (You can sign up to get on the inside track for the course release here.)
Man, I learned a ton from that survey.
One of the common refrains leaders voiced was uncertainty about how to lead when they didn’t have much money or the right team.
After all, most of us visit megachurches and think if I only had a tenth of their money and their people, it would instantly solve my problems. And then we go back to our own context and get almost instantly depressed.
So when you have almost no money for ministry and you clearly haven’t got the right kind of people in the room, where do you start?
Believe it or not, neither condition is fatal to your cause. In fact, almost every great movement, church or organization you admire started with no money and no people.
So how can you lead when resources are scarce to nonexistent?
There are at least five things you can do to help you find traction.

1. Cast a Big Vision

Of course you know that one of the principal roles of the leader is to cast vision.
But what do you do when you have almost nothing other than vision?
Well, you cast a big vision.
Vision creates something out of nothing. It turns impossibility into reality.
It startles people out of their complacency, stops them from settling for less and moves them to action they wouldn’t otherwise take except for the vision of what could be.
Too many leaders forget that vision precedes money and people. Why? Because vision always precedes resources. Sometimes all you have is a vision…and that’s enough to get started.
And remember, resources follow vision. They never precede it.
If you want to attract a team and resources, cast a big, clear and compelling vision.

2. Raise Your Passion Level

Does passion really matter? You bet it does. More than you think.
Passion is different than hype. Hype attempts to manufacture something that doesn’t quite ring true.
Passion runs deep. It’s authentic. It resonates. And it’s contagious.
No amount of money can ever substitute for a lack of passion.
Your team will never be more passionate about the mission than you are. If you’re disturbed by the lack of passion in your team, look in the mirror. If you’re not fogging mirrors, they never will.

3. Start With Who You Have

Sure, you don’t have your dream team. Dream teams don’t randomly assemble. They’re built.
But leaders who wait forever for a dream team to appear eventually have nightmares.
So what do you do instead? You start with who you have.
Yes, I know you don’t have the team you want. And yes, everyone else seems to have a better team.
You need to realize, however, that’s where most leaders begin. When I started ministry at three tiny, stagnant churches over 20 years ago, the buildings weren’t exactly teeming with high capacity leaders.
So, start with the best leaders you can find. If you begin by working with the best people you have in the room, eventually higher capacity leaders will fill the room.
Want more on building a high performing team from scratch? Listen to Episode 39 of my leadership podcast with Chris Lema. You can subscribe to my podcast for free here or listen below.

4. Focus on What You CAN Do

It’s so easy to be negative. In fact, it takes zero work. It’s the default of the human condition.
As a result, it’s easy to complain about everything you lack and what seems impossible.
Leaders who focus on what they can’t do always miss what they can do.
Plus, you end up setting a negative tone for the organization when you always talk about what’s not possible.
What CAN you do? Answer that and go do it.
Keep doing it, and eventually you’ll be accomplishing far more than you ever thought.

5. Believe This Is Only the Beginning

Often as a leader you can grow so discouraged that you think of your current lack of whatever as the end.
Your attitude leaks.
When a leader loses confidence, so does the team.
When a leader is bored, the team grows bored.
And when a leader is passionless, well it doesn’t take long for a group to lose any sense of enthusiasm.
We leaders are dealers in hope. And hope in the mission of the local church is never misplaced. After all, the church was Jesus’ idea, not ours.
So don’t look at your current lack of resources as the end, look at it as the beginning.

Want More?

If you want more ideas on how to generate the kind of momentum you need to reach your community, I wrote about it in detail in my latest book, Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Can Help Your Church Grow. In that book, I tackle seven critical issues every church needs to address if it wants to make an impact in today’s culture.
I also created a team edition companion video series so you can work through the ideas with your elder board, key volunteers or staff. You can get that here.
In the meantime, what helps you make progress when you feel like you don’t have the money or the people you’d love to have?
This article originally appeared here.

Eugene Peterson: What Most Pastors Don’t Know about Pastoring

Eugene Peterson: What Most Pastors Don’t Know about Pastoring

Eugene Peterson
Eugene Peterson is a pastor, scholar, author, and poet. He has written over thirty books, including The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. In 1962, Peterson was a founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland, where he served for 29 years before retiring in 1991. He was Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia until retiring in 2006. He now lives in Montana.

https://soundcloud.com/churchleaders/eugene-peterson-what-most

Key Questions:

What do you think most pastors today don’t understand about the role of pastor?
You share about a moment of self-awareness, a lecture, and a poem which had an everlasting impact on your life as a pastor. Can you share those with us?
What advice would you give to the pastor feeling the pressure to grow his or her numbers?

Key Quotes:

“They had no idea what a pastor did, they just wanted to be in on something exciting…It satisfied their desire for being important and being effective, but the people they were doing this with—they didn’t even know their names.”
“I was rescued from the consumer mentality by the beauty of that poetry and by the honesty of the doctor.”
“What we want from God is something to do, something to make me better, something to give me the answers to life. And what we’re really after is to answer God ourselves.”
“My approach to preaching was developed by reversing what was so common in American Protestantism: Trying to treat God as an answer-person. And we don’t know enough about God to know what to ask. So we listen, and we listen, and we listen.”
“There’s not very much good preaching these days. Lot of entertainment, lot of stories.”
“Conversation is one of the most important things pastors need patterns on how to develop—instead of telling people what to do, asking them what they’re doing.”
“We don’t need more words; we need accurate words.”
“The Psalms are all prayers, but they don’t always look like prayers.”
“I think pastors need to be more modest in what they’re doing.”
“I think it’s important, according to me anyway, to have some mentors in the cemeteries. People who did it right, before there were crowds of people to become important.”

Mentioned in the Show:

As Kingfishers Catch Fire
Gerard Manley Hopkins As Kingfishers Catch Fire
The Diary of a Country Priest George Bernanos

The Danger of the Ascent

The Danger of the Ascent

The Danger of The Ascent
A few years ago while in Israel, I climbed Masada on the snake path. To go from the lowest point of the earth, the Dead Sea, to the top of a mountain fortress is, to say the least, a challenge. My guide told me of a pastor who runs that snake path. He can get to the top in less than 30 minutes. For a good hike, at a good pace, it takes about an hour. You have to adjust to changing altitudes and the path is very narrow and there are no rails. If you start to fall, you’re going to roll a long way down the side before you hit the bottom.
It is a fascinating hike. The scenery will take your breath away as your mind races with thoughts about how a massive fortress was built on top of Masada so many years ago. When we got to the top and I joined our group, Terri thought I was about to have a heart attack. My face was blood-red and I was sweating like crazy…but it was worth it to be able to say, in my 60s, that I had climbed Masada.
I’m not the guy who can run up Masada. I had to walk, take a few breaks and keep pushing myself to reach the goal. The danger of the snake path is the loose rocks that can cause you to slip. Last year, our group walked down the ramp side of Masada. It was not nearly as strenuous, but it was still dangerous because of the loose rocks. Whether going up or going down, you need to pay attention.
When I was thinking about that climb this morning, my thoughts went to those in ministry who make a fast ascent but end up at the bottom with a tragic fall. They shoot off like a rocket, but end up like a dud. In any position of leadership, you have to be careful that you don’t go too far too fast or that you don’t outrun your gifts or your integrity. You can’t go any further than your character will take you.
My mentor Vance Havner said, “You don’t have to chase key men if you know the One who holds the keys.” With that in mind, I’ve never sent out a resume, never asked anyone to recommend me to a church or leadership position, and never decided to run for anything.
While I’ve had the privilege of serving both Georgia Baptists, Southern Baptists, the International Mission Board and other ministries, I’ve never sought out or politicked for those opportunities. As someone has said, “The office should seek the man; the man shouldn’t seek the office.” When you avoid politics, you can have a clear conscience and a calm assurance that the Lord put you in that place.
When we are young, we want positions of power and influence. It’s the nature of youthful zeal and passion—but wisdom must prevail. We cannot run ahead of God. He knows where we are and what He can trust us with. When we get older, we must not resent the zeal of youth or their desire to lead. Our role is to guide, counsel, pray and encourage. Our intent should be to equip the next generation to fill our shoes without missing a beat.
Our admonition, if we are serious about investing in the next generation of leaders, should be to climb slowly, think clearly, see the dangers and accept help along the way. The leader who climbs as quickly as possible or who ignores wise counsel will make a dangerous ascent and most likely have a sudden and quick fall.
A few words of warning to the younger ones among us…
1) Don’t accept every invitation to speak or serve. Pace yourself. This race of life is a marathon, not a 100-yard dash.
2) Be patient. Let God open the doors; don’t try to push them open.
3) Listen to wise counsel. Seek counsel from those who are further down the road than you are. Learn from those who made the fast climb and the equally fast fall.
4) Avoid the detours and shortcuts that are really dead-end roads.
The road to where God wants you is unique. Some move at a faster pace, while others take time to surrender to God’s plan, path and pace. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Ministries can be ruined in a day of quick judgments and un-prayed over decisions. Let God order your steps and your starts.
Be available, faithful and teachable. God will take care of your calling and your opportunities. Don’t be a statistic, one of those of whom we ask, “Whatever happened to so-and-so?” The bottom of the mountain is filled with too many corpses of once great men and women who got ahead of God.
This article originally appeared here.

10 Disciplines Of A Godly Pastor

View article 10 Disciplines Of A Godly Pastor

10 Disciplines Of A Godly Pastor

By R. Kent Hughes on Jun 11, 2017
Preaching the Word
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Our ultimate trust is always in God's persevering grace, nevertheless, we are called to cultivate godly action in our lives. Here are 10 disciplines shared by a pastor with over 40 years of experience in faithfully serving the Lord and shepherding God's people.

1. Discipline of Purity

Sensuality is the biggest obstacle to godliness among Christian leaders. The fall of King David should not only instruct us but also scare the sensuality right out of us! Fill yourself with God’s Word—memorize passages like 1 Thessalonians 4:3–8; Job 31:1; Proverbs 6:27; Ephesians 5:3–7; and 2 Timothy 2:22. Find someone who will help you keep your soul faithful to God. Develop the divine awareness that sustained Joseph: “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” (Gen. 39:9).

2. Discipline of Relationships

To be all God wants you to be, put some holy sweat into your relationships! If you are married, you need to live out Ephesians 5:25–31. For those who are fathers, God provides a workout in one pungent sentence: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). Relationships are not optional (Heb. 10:25); they enable us both to develop into what God wants us to be and to most effectively learn and live God’s truth.

3. Discipline of Mind

The potential of possessing the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16) introduces the scandal of today’s church—pastors who do not think Christianly, leaving their minds undisciplined. The apostle Paul understood this well: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil. 4:8). You can never have a Christian mind without reading the Scriptures regularly, for you cannot be influenced by that which you do not know.

4. Discipline of Devotion

Reading God’s Word is essential, but meditation internalizes the Word and responds, “I delight to do your will, O my God” (Ps. 40:8). Beyond obedience to instructions such as those found in Ephesians 6:18–20, there are two additional great reasons to pray. First, the more we expose our lives to the white-hot sun of Christ’s righteous life, the more his image will be burned into our character. Second, prayer bends our wills to God’s will. Many pastors never have an effective devotional life because they never plan for it; they never expose their lives to his pure light.

5. Discipline of Integrity

We can hardly overstate the importance of integrity to a generation of Christian leaders so much like the world in ethical conduct. Integrity’s benefits—character, a clear conscience, deep intimacy with God—argue its importance. We must let God’s Word dictate our conduct. Our speech and actions must be intentionally true (Prov. 12:22; Eph. 4:15), backed by the courage to keep our word and stand up for our convictions (Ps. 15:4).

6. Discipline of Tongue

The true test of a preacher’s spirituality is not his ability to speak but rather his ability to bridle his tongue (James 1:26). Offered to God on the altar, the tongue has awesome power for good. There must be an ongoing prayerfulness and resolve to discipline our tongues.

7. Discipline of Work

We meet God, the Creator, as a worker in Genesis 1:1–2:2. Since “God created man in his own image” (1:27), the way we work will reveal how much we allow the image of God to develop in us. There is no secular/sacred distinction; all honest work ought to be done to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). We must recover the biblical truth that our pastoral vocation is a divine calling and thus be liberated to do it for the glory of God.

8. Discipline of Perseverance

Hebrews 12:1–3 presents a picture of perseverance in four commands.
– Divest! “Lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely” (v. 1a).
– Run! “. . . with endurance the race that is set before us” (v. 1b).
– Focus! “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith” (v. 2).
– Consider! Our life is to be spent considering how Jesus lived (v. 3).

9. Discipline of Church

You do not have to go to church to be a Christian; you do not have to go home to be married. But in both cases, if you do not, you will have a very poor relationship! As pastors we need to remind our flock that they will never attain spiritual maturity without commitment to the local church. We need to encourage Christians to join the church and participate wholeheartedly, giving their time, talent, and treasure to God.

10. Discipline of Giving

We escape the power of materialism by giving from a heart overflowing with God’s grace, like the believers in Macedonia who “gave themselves first to the Lord” (2 Cor. 8:5). Pastor, make sure you are giving to your local church, to missions, and to those in need! Giving disarms the power of money and reaps the spiritual blessings of God. As Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
Only by God’s Grace
As we sweat out the disciplines of a godly pastor, remember, with Paul, what energizes us to live them out: “not I, but the grace of God that is with me” (1 Cor. 15:10).
 R. Kent Hughes was in pastoral ministry for 41 years, the last 27 as senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois. He earned his B.A. from Whittier College (history), an M.Div. from Talbot Seminary and a D.Min. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Kent is the author of numerous books, among them the best-selling Disciplines of a Godly Man. He is also editor of the projected 50-volume Preaching the Word series to which he has made numerous contributions.