Connecting the Dots in an Unconnected World

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pray for a Lost Soul

For whom are you praying? Possibly for a friend’s personal need. Possibly for a loved one’s physical need. Possibly for your own personal need. While these are worthy objects of your prayer life allow me to propose a better way.

Take time each day in you prayer time to pray for the soul of a lost friend, neighbor, family member, or co-worker. The greatest need in any individual’s life is to know Jesus and His free pardon from sin. To pray for the temporal need and ignore the eternal need is to place value in the wrong place. While we must not ignore the temporal needs of others, somehow in the grace of God, we must prioritize the eternal need of forgiveness, a personal relationship with Jesus, and a home in heaven.

Think of someone you know that needs Jesus and call their name before the heavenly throne. It will make an eternal difference.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

“The average Christian sends more time praying people out of heaven than they spend praying people into heaven.”
~ Leon Kilbreth

Thursday, February 18, 2010

How Much is Too Much?

Recently a prominent Mega-Church ministry in Texas has come under scrutiny for perceived excesses in ministerial support. Whether the scrutiny has revealed genuine excesses is another matter. However, allow me to address and issue that seems to be overlooked in the discussions.

It would seem that many of our modern mega-churches have adopted a practice of selecting a board of directors from outside of the congregation. Often these directors are “personal friends” of the pastor. Often this “Board of Directors” wields unilateral power and decision making for the congregation. While this may be a model that is followed by the world, while this model may be perceived to be more efficient, this is not a model historically followed by Baptists.

The historic Baptist model is that of congregational government. That is the congregation is involved through trustees, committees, and/or teams selected from her own congregation in the decision making processes. Congregational meetings, sometimes called business meetings, are conducted on a regular basis. The purpose of these meetings is to provide information to the congregation and to involve the congregation in the more significant decision making processes, such as adopting an annual budget, establishing compensation guidelines and/or specific salary items, leadership benefits, employing leadership, and setting priorities for the congregation. While this process may seem cumbersome to many it provides for genuine transparency and accountability to the congregation (the people who provide the time, talent, and treasure) for the work of ministry in that local congregation.

Each local Baptist congregation should and does determine her own decision making processes. This is also the historic Baptist model. While I am well aware of the abuses of congregational government in Baptist life, I believe it serves as a good protection both for Pastors and other leaders as well as the congregation.

What should a pastor be paid and what benefits should be provided to him are decisions best made by the congregation the pastor serves. Further, it is my belief that they will make that decision either with good, accurate, and verified information or with speculation and innuendo. Whether we like it or not Baptist and all other churches still vote on decisions that are made. They vote with their attendance and their giving. If they attend and give they are voting “YES”. If they cease to attend and give they are voting “NO”. This, also, is the Baptist way.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

Ps 78:72

72 So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.

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