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Peter Drucker offers insightful guidance to the church when he calls leadership a peak performance by one who is "the trumpet that sounds a clear sound of the organizations’ goals." His five requirements for this task are amazingly reliable and useful for those who dare to lead churches:
(1) a leader works;
(2) a leader sees his assignment as responsibility rather than rank or privilege;
(3) a leader wants strong, capable, self-assured, independent associates;
(4) a leader creates human energies and vision;
(5) a leader develops followers’ trust by his own consistency and integrity.
H.B. London, Jr. and Neil B. Wiseman, Pastors at Risk, Victor Books, 1993, pp. 227-228.
Patriotic men do not shrink from danger when conscience points the path.
The optimist says, the cup is half full. The pessimist says, the cup is half empty. The child of God says; My cup runneth over.
The next time you feel like GOD can’t use you, just remember...
Noah was a drunk
Abraham was too old
Isaac was a daydreamer
Jacob was a liar
Leah was ugly
Joseph was abused
Moses had a stuttering problem
Gideon was afraid
Sampson had long hair and was a womanizer
Rahab was a prostitute
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
David had an affair and was a murderer
Elijah was suicidal
Isaiah preached naked
Jonah ran from God
Naomi was a widow
Job went bankrupt
John the Baptist ate bugs
Peter denied Christ
The Disciples fell asleep while praying
Martha worried about everything
The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once
Zaccheus was too small
One of the most disturbing and powerful films I have seen over the
last couple of years is Steven Spielberg’s movie, Saving Private
Ryan. The movie tells the story of an Army captain named John
Miller who having survived the carnage of the D-Day invasion at
Normandy Beach, portrayed in 28 minutes of intense, graphic and
gory detail, is ordered to find a solitary private among thousands of
displaced soldiers. He must return Private James F. Ryan home to
his mother, whose other three sons have just been killed in action.
However, due to some confusion in the invasion, it is not certain
where he is to be found; Private Ryan is a “needle in a stack of
needles”. The soldiers reluctantly set out on their daunting
mission. Almost immediately, they begin questioning the worth of
risking eight men’s lives in order to save one.
Captain Miller rationalises that each life lost in combat is supposed
to save 10 lives. Within that paradigm, how can their current
mission make any sense? The soldiers begin to detest their
mission to save Private Ryan, even hoping to find his name on one
of the dog tags taken from some dead soldiers.
Captain Miller and the small group of men assigned to him
successfully locate Ryan, but then are forced to defend a strategic
bridge against enemy tanks and troops. Captain Miller is fatally
wounded. In his dying moments, he reaches out to Private Ryan,
and with great emotion says, “Earn this! Earn this!”
Many years later as an old man, James Ryan stands in a military
cemetery tearfully looking at the small white cross that stands
where the man who saved his life is buried. He wonders aloud if he
has indeed earned the great gift he received.
*Bob Russell shared that several months before they moved into their new church building in 1998, their ministry staff met at the new site for a special staff meeting. Most of the building still wasn’t carpeted, and some of the rooms still had no drywall. They handed out hard hats, magic markers, and a few Bibles. They instructed the staff members to go to the classrooms and offices in the building where they would be working and write Scripture verses on the concrete floors. Bob told them, “Someday soon the Scriptures will be covered with carpet. But I hope you will always remember what you have written today. And what we do today will be a visible reminder that we are always to stand on God’s Word.”
*He said the staff really got into it. Some of them used cans of spray paint they had brought so the words would show up better. It bothered him a little because some of them acted as if they had experience at doing that. He said those in the children’s ministry wrote things like, “Let the little children come to me…for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” In the education wing, the adult education ministers wrote things like, “Study to show yourself approved unto God,” and “Your Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
*In the music practice rooms, the music ministers wrote, “Sing and make music unto the Lord,” and “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” In the offices of the preaching team, they wrote passages like, “Preach the Word in season and out of season,” and “Watch your life and doctrine closely…if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
*He said the Scriptures on the floor idea caught on, and soon hundreds of church members followed suit. In a matter of weeks, there were Scriptures all over the concrete floors – down hallways, on stairways, on the steps leading up to the pulpit. He saw moms and dads bring their children to the building just to write their favorite Scriptures on the concrete floors. They actually considered asking people to stop because they started writing in places they hadn’t planned to cover with carpet! But they decided it wasn’t a good idea to make people quit writing Scriptures.
*He told of one of the small groups that had volunteered to help clean the building one afternoon. As they were preparing to leave, Marty Rice, prayer leader of the group, said, “Why don’t we write down a Scripture reference in one of the rooms before we leave?” So they found a small room that didn’t have any Scriptures yet. Rick Nally, one of the group members, said, “How about the passage where Jesus said, ‘Where two or three of you are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of you’?” Marty asked what the reference was. “I think it’s Matthew 18:28,” Rick said. Marty stooped and wrote, “Matthew 18:28” and the group’s name on the floor in permanent marker. Later that evening at a restaurant, Rick brought in his Bible from the car to double-check the reference. He said, “Oh no. It’s Matthew 18:20, not 18:28.” Someone asked the obvious question: “What’s verse 28 say?” Rick read, “When that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.”
*Russell said, “I suppose if you are ever in our building and, while standing in certain classroom, suddenly have the urge to choke someone, you’ll know why!”
*But aside from that the building became a dramatic reminder to all of them that the church has been called to stand upon the Word of God.
“As soon as children are old enough to speak, one of the first questions parents ask is, “How big are you?” Children seem to always give the same answer, “I’m soooo big!” They generally raise their hands to get additional stature, as if to say, “I’m huge. I’m enormous. There’s no telling how big I may be.” This is not a scientific answer. You can’t use it in every context. For example, if your spouse were to ask, “How big do my hips look to you?” you might not want to throw your hands high over your head and exclaim, “Your hips are soooo big.” You teach your children to say this because you want them to realize they are growing. We know that the way they think of themselves matters. You don’t want them to think of themselves as small, weak, and lacking adequate strength to handle the challenges of life.” But now I have a more important question: How big is your God? How big is Christ in your life? (John Ortberg. “If You Want To Walk On Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat” p. 191)
A. Todd Coget
[Worship in Spirit and in Truth, by Leann Gabel of Amarillo, TX]
In Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman, it didn’t take long before their conversation turned to worship.
I would guess that was as hot a topic then as it is today.
The woman’s question was sincere, "I know there are two ways to worship…the Samaritan way and the Jewish way…but which is the right way?"
Jesus dealt with that question once and for all as he explained that the true God is seeking after worshippers to worship in spirit and in truth.
The Samaritan religion was characterized by enthusiastic, lively, and highly emotional worship.
Although this kind of worship was stimulating and left the worshippers feeling good, they were missing something.
They did not have information about God and the Messiah that had come.
They lacked the basic truths of God that should motivate us to worship Him in the first place.
The Jews had the opposite problem.
They believed the truth as revealed to them by God and literally built their entire culture around this truth.
Unfortunately, this kind of belief became as routine as lacing their sandals or washing their hands.
They lacked a spiritual, emotional experience that should accompany knowledge of such great truth.
The same kind of thing is happening today in worship.
Some people worship totally in the spirit.
It’s true that worship happens from the inside out.
Sincere worship begins within the depths of a person’s heart and overflows into every area of life, bringing blessing and joy to those around.
But with all this emotional charge, it’s easy to set our emotions above God.
That places us in danger of making an idol out of worship.
On the other hand are people who worship primarily in truth.
They know God as revealed in His Word and cannot be swayed in their beliefs.
People like this live with purpose and confidence.
Their faith is a rock for them in times of trouble and they provide strength for those around them.
In Readers Digest, Alexander Saul writes: "I have spent well nigh fifty years working on the history of the Russian Revolution. In the process I’ve collected hundreds of personal testimonies, read hundreds of books, and contributed eight volumes of my own. But if I were asked today to formulate as precisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some sixty million Russians, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat the phrase, `Men have forgotten God.’ What is more if I were called upon to identify the principle trait of the entire Twentieth Century I would be unable to reflect anything more precise than this statement, `Men have forgotten God.’"