Monday, March 2, 2009

Pastor Fred Price Steps Aside

Pastor Fred Price, founder of one of the nation’s first black megachurches and an icon of the faith movement, will step aside on March 15 to install his son, Fred Price Jr., as senior pastor of Crenshaw Christian Center (CCC) in Los Angeles.

“The formal succession of my son will take place on his 30th birthday, the same day Jesus began his ministry,” said the elder Price, who still plans to teach periodically. “This wasn’t planned, it just happened that way. I believe that it’s a sign from God that after six years of training as an assistant pastor, Freddie is ready to sit in the driver’s seat and I will be there to help him along his way.”

According to a statement released by the church, Price, 77, will not completely retire from ministry, but only from daily church duties and his weekly television and radio broadcast titled “Ever Increasing Faith.”

The younger Price is a gospel rap artist and accomplished musician whose appreciation for hip-hop culture inspired him years ago to create “Hip Hop Sunday,” later renamed “The Blue Print,” which were CCC services that mixed faith, music and “Krump” dancing.

“The Bible says a good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children,” said the younger Price. “My father left me a powerful inheritance to teach the word and to be a man of integrity. He’s been an awesome father and a great role model. I look forward to continuing his legacy.”

Creflo Dollar of World Changers Church International will deliver the keynote address at the ceremony. The younger Price reportedly realized his ministry calling while attending a service Dollar led years ago.

The public can see the installation ceremony by watching it online Sunday, March 15, at 9:30 a.m. P.S.T.

[Source: Charisma on-line]

Resource for Pastors

The newest edition of Pastor to Pastor® is now available in online audio format for you to listen to or download to your computer, CD or mobile device.

"Transitions in the Pastor's Life" features informal, intimate conversations between H.B. London and his expert guests. You will enjoy hearing Brady Boyd, senior pastor of New Life Church, senior director of Focus on the Family's Pastoral Ministries division, Wade Brown, and Dan Chaverin of Westside Family Church.

To review this newest edition, listen to it or download it to your computer, please visit our Web site, The Parsonage®, CLICK HERE.

We trust you will enjoy these interviews and that they will encourage and inspire you. God bless you, your family and your congregation.


H.B. London Jr.
Vice President
Pastoral Ministries
Focus on the Family

Cry Out America 2009

Seven months from now tens of thousands of believers across America will gather at their county courthouses on Friday, September 11 for Cry Out America 2009 to reflect on the terrible attacks of 9/11/01 and more importantly to cry out to God to send a Christ awakening in their community and across the nation. The first Cry Out America gathering took place last year with gatherings in more than 400 counties in all 50 states. Since that time our nation has been through an historic election and a terrible economic downturn. The people of America continue to be in great need of an encounter with Jesus Christ. The United States needs another Great Awakening.

Are we on the verge of such an Awakening? The Cry Out America, September 11, prayer gatherings are one of the things propelling us toward a move of God in our nation. If you believe that America needs to experience a national outpouring of God’s Spirit we’d like to invite you to participate in Cry Out America 2009. Our goal this year is to cover all 3,141 counties in the United States with prayer gatherings on September 11. You can sign-up today to either serve as a coordinator in your county or let us know that you’d like more information about local gatherings.

Also, don’t forget to check out the Cry Out America prayer resources section of our website for prayer calendars and materials that will help you facilitate a COA gathering in your county.

[CLICK HERE for more information.]

Evaluating Your Pastoral Team

Does your team encourage direct communication between members? Are you getting in the way or making a way for your team to be successful?

Are you defining what quality means for your team? Defining quality ensures that everyone is focused on delivering the best solutions in the time given and challenges them to give their best every time.

Are you providing authority with the responsiblity that you delegate? Delegating responsibility without authority prevents people from being effective.

Does your team have a roadmap that provides the big idea or big picture of the next several months? Communicate your team roadmap early and often. Keep it up-to-date.

Are you depending upon your whole team rather than a few heroes? Depending on a few heroes prevents allowing everyone to participate. It also makes you vulnerable to losing your team’s effectiveness if those heroes leave your team.

Are you sacrificing your family on the altar of ministry? Family comes first, for both the leader and the team. Never expect others, or yourself, to give up family for ministry. It is isn’t healthy and never ends well.

[from Agile Ministry by James Higginbotham]

Pastors and Problem People

No pastor likes to have problem people in the church. They can irritate, often become time-consuming, block progress and, among other things, stir up trouble with others. How should he relate to them? That’s always the question that a shepherd faces while tending his recalcitrant sheep. Sheep wander and get lost; they may be stubborn and obstinate. They do foolish things, and are vulnerable to animals of prey. Good shepherds feed their sheep, leading them to lush pastures. They use their staffs to pull them away from dangerous precipices, and their rods to beat off the wolf that would snatch them from the fold. Clearly, when you think of how Moses and Aaron complained again and again about the people of Israel as “obstinate” and “stiff-necked” it is easy to understand that the difficulty you experience is in no way new or unique. So, that’s the first thing: you must reckon on having problem people in your church just as a shepherd reckons with his flock. That is the nature of the ministry. It goes with the turf.

There are some ministers of the Word who lose patience with such people — they want to “get them out of the way.” The back door in their churches is always unlocked — sometimes standing wide open! They are always ready to show problem people where it is. Other pastors become discouraged; they wonder if there is something wrong with their ministry, and whether they ought rather to be selling insurance. Still others give up on their churches, anxious to move on to some place where they will find the people more “spiritual” — or, at the least, more convivial. Only to discover, of course, that such churches rarely exist. I suppose there are a dozen or more other reactions that might be mentioned, but surely these are sufficient to set the scene for what I am about to say.

And that is — difficulties with problem people is what ministry is all about! You aren’t really ministering unless you are helping such people to change. “HA!” you say. “I’d like you to see my bunch. Maybe you’d change your mind about that if you did. Change them? That’s nearly impossible.”

Well, perhaps it is. But probably it isn’t. Naturally, there are times to give up on a particular group of people. God finally did when He sent His people off into exile. But, of course, even then He worked with them for 70 years and at length brought them back to Palestine. Finally, there came a time when the cup of His patience was filled to overflowing, and there was a final end (Matthew 23:32; Luke 21:22). But that was only after God showed amazing patience and longsuffering. Very few pastors ever need come to that place with their congregations — and even if they might, how would they know when such a time has arrived. It is the place of a faithful steward of the grace of God to continue patiently working with problem people. Let the One Who holds the churches in His hand determine when to remove a lampstand. God has shown us great patience in His dealings with His people (indeed, and in his dealing with each of us as well!).

Paul has a clear word on the subject in I Thessalonians 5:11, 14: "Therefore encourage one another and continue to build each other up, as indeed you have been doing . . . We urge you, brothers, counsel the idle, encourage the timid, support the weak, be patient with everyone."
That, of course, isn’t the only passage that might be quoted. When you think of the amazing patience that Paul exhibited with the Corinthian church, you can see what patient forbearing means. But, for now, simply think about this passage alone. You will note, when Paul wrote these words to the church at Thessalonica, he wasn’t even writing to pastors in particular, but to all the members of the congregation (his words make that clear: “one another . . . brothers”). What were they (and certainly their pastors as well) to do about problem people? The answer? “Build them up.” “Counsel them.” “Encourage them.” “Support them” and “be patient with everyone.”

Now, of course, we are not speaking of schismatic persons — those who would split your church. Paul wants you to discipline them immediately before it’s too late (see Titus 3:10). After confronting them once or twice, if there is no change in their attitude and behavior, they must be subject to church discipline.

But we are talking about the run-of-the-mill problem person. The reason why God put you there is to minister to such people. There would be no work for an undertaker if no one ever died. Similarly, there would be no place for your ministry if there were no problem people for you to help. Indeed, helping such persons solve problems and grow in their faith is a major part of your work. “If you can’t stand the heat,” they say, “then get out of the kitchen.” You may have to. But better still, why not learn how to take it. Someone must do the cooking. And when you resolve to do so - to minister as fully as possible to problem people - you will soon discover that the changes that do take place are worth the effort. Soon you’ll learn to stand the heat like every good cook!

God’s servants have never had a good time of it (Read again Hebrews 11). But they served — in all sorts of situations, most of which were probably far worse than yours. And God blessed them. Sometimes it was only a few, but never as Elijah thought, none, who had not bowed the knee to Baal. Often, a minister of the word was himself ejected from his place of ministry (John to Patmos, Paul to Jail). But even there God used them to continue to minister in different ways.

Come on now, discouraged, disheartened pastor: the church is a hospital for the spiritually sick, and you are a physician of the soul. What good would a physician be in a hospital of well people? It is the sick and needy that Jesus helped. It is the sinner and the troublemaker that you are called to minister to. Remember what the word "minister" means — "servant." You are called to serve God by serving His people. Ask God to forgive you for your discouragement, pick up your Bible once again, and go to work with patience and zeal!

[from the Journal of Modern Ministry, by Jay Adams]