Saturday, March 15, 2008

What Should You Know About Your Pastor?

[From Mark Beeson by Mark Beeson]

I'm pondering the perceptions of people in the Church.

When faithful followers of Christ listen to their pastors, watch their lives and see their examples, they expose themselves to massive doses of spiritual radiation. The searing example emitted by our spiritual leaders transmits more than a tinge of fissionable material into our psyches. Our leaders mark us.

After watching your pastor for years, and listening to hundreds of heartfelt sermons, do you have a sense of your pastor's core values? Have you gained a sense for your pastor's convictions? Would you say you know the general direction your pastor is headed?

Such knowledge requires defacto context and background. Freeze-frame any moment in time and we'll be incapacitated; we'll be unable to properly speak of that pastor's direction, velocity or momentum. (Listening to one isolated sermon, on one weekend, makes it virtually impossible to adjudicate the pastor's beliefs, opinions or values. Experiencing one message, in one moment, limits your understanding and is demonstrably inadequate for comprehensive assessment.)

Assuming you've listened to your pastor for years (whether you relate to your pastor on a personal level or not) do you have a sense of your pastor's principles, ethics and priorities? Whether you agree or not, do you know your pastor's position on core issues?

The question is not, "Do you agree?" The question is, "Should you know?"

Every Christian will not agree with their pastor on every issue. I'm sure many people at GCC disagree with me on a number of ancillary topics. That's both positive and strengthening to our ministry. Complementary viewpoints enable congruency and alignment if we value each other enough to listen, learn and work together.

God created different members of One Body and every component Christian cooperates for the glory of God's story.

We're not the same.

We collaborate with people holding divergent views and opinions.We sometimes partner with leaders looking for consequences we don't prioritize. We often gain ground as we learn from people holding different values, religious convictions and political positions.

We're better together.

Since the day God gave Adam and Eve a team and partnership, humanity has enjoyed the strength and progress enabled by complementary gifting. Different roles and divergent views make rich the journey of life. Differences offer opportunities unknown in the homogeneous puree of communities pounded into conformity.

We don't have to agree on everything to make progress on important things.

The question is, "Have you the requisite contextual information to know what your pastor thinks about important things?" If not, hold your tongue. You don't know enough to speak.

Salacious lies, spin, and scandalous innuendo may diminish more ministries and undermine more pastors than we imagine. The rumormonger verbalizing snap judgments based on partial information is a bane on our existence and anathema in the Church. The scriptures condemn gossip.

Be judicious; think before you speak about someone, especially someone leading a church.

What do you think?
  • Can people learn the mission, vision and values of their pastor?
  • How long does that take?
  • Does it matter?
  • Do you care?

A pastor's direction and core values, manifest in their life-mission and evidenced in their ministry record, are important to me. How about you?

Taking a Shot at the Pulpit

[By: Jake Jost, Investigative Producer, WBIR, Knoxville, TN]

A woman accused of storming her former church and shooting a pulpit is out of the hospital and headed to jail.

Cocke County Sheriff's deputies escorted Janet Compton out of the hospital Friday afternoon.

Compton is accused of firing a shot inside the Hilltop Church in Newport last Wednesday night. A bullet ricocheted off the floor and lodged in the pulpit her husband stood behind. The couple is going through a divorce.

A wreck while fleeing the church sent Compton to the hospital in critical condition. She faces charges of attempted first degree murder, reckless endangerment, and possession of a firearm to go armed.

Armed Guards at Church are Recommended

[By Mike Conneen - Fox 21, Colorado Springs]

Colorado Springs Police and New Life Church Pastor Brady Boyd hosted a church security forum Thursday.

Organizers said they wanted to share information with local churches to help them in their efforts to provide security.

A C.S.P.D. Crime Prevention Officer touched on emergency planning, including the role of greeters and ushers and how to interpret suspicious activity.

More than 100 churches and other religious organizations registered to participate. They are from communities across the Pikes Peak region, and as far as Canon City, Castle Rock and Denver.

Boyd said he does not want to see another attack on another church.

"We're not calling ourselves experts but we have some contemporary experience that could be helpful to to others," he said.

Boyd said the church made immediate changes ... mainly, more visibility of police officers and security guards.

He said he absolutely recommends churches use armed guards. He said, in today's culture, it is the wise thing to do.

"If we had not had someone on our campus with a gun, we'd be doing funerals for three weeks," he said.

President Bush Addressed the NRB

President George W. Bush addressed the National Religious Broadcasters convention Tuesday, March 11, 2008 in Nashville, Tenn.

He said, "Evil in some form will always be with us, and we must never be afraid to face it. I know you understand that. I also know that you understand that for those who are on the front lines, and for those who struggle against evil, they could be helped through prayer. And I appreciate your prayers. I appreciate your prayers to help comfort millions of people. I appreciate the fact that you pray for our troops and their families. And I appreciate the prayers that you have directed my way. I feel your prayer. I can't tell you how meaningful they have been, to help Laura and me deal with -- do our job. And I can report to you this: that the prayers of the people have affected us, and that being the President has been a joyous experience."

(Photo by Chris Greenberg)