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Archive for September, 2009

Tullian Tchividjian recently posted some thoughts on coping with anxiety.  Here they are:

1) Remind yourself that God is in control.

2) Accept confusion.

3) Don’t allow emotions to rule.

4) Distinguish needs from wants.

5) Know your job description (i.e. live the way God has called you to live.)

6) Run to God, not away from Him.

You can read the whole thing here http://www.crpc.org/blog/?p=742 .

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I recently read two posts by Mark Driscoll on the loneliness of pastoral leadership.  While I could not relate to everything which he wrote, I have experienced much of this myself and, to my shame, I have committed many of the errors which Pastor Mark talks about here.  Pastoral ministry is lonely.  There is nothing quite like it.  No one else in the congregation, no matter how committed they might be, truly understands the burden of carrying a local church on one’s heart all the time.  No one else is involved in all the interconnected aspects of the local church like the pastor.  No one is privy to the hardships and sins and joys in the the local church like the pastor.  No one is quite as isolated as the pastor.

These posts are worth reading whether you are a pastor or not.  If you are a pastor, then read these posts, be comforted, convicted and edified.  You are not alone.  There are other men out there facing the same trials which you face.  There are other men out there who have made the same mistakes you have made.  You are not weak simply because you are lonely.

If you are not involved in pastoral ministry, then read these articles and recognize that, on some level, your pastor deals with at least some of these issues.  Pray for him and encourage him in any way you can for he has a humanly impossible task ahead of him.

You can find these posts here http://theresurgence.com/leadership-is-lonely-part-1 and here http://theresurgence.com/leadership-is-lonely-part-2.

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Thabiti Anyabwile posted some excellent thoughts on the importance of pastors being patient with the growth of their people.  I think he hits the nail on the head when he talks about the downward spiral we fall into as pastors when we expect too much growth too quickly as a result of our preaching.  You can find the article over at the Pure Church blog (found here http://purechurch.blogspot.com/2009/09/pastors-heart-and-sermon-applications.html .)

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It is popular among Christians today to claim that commitment to the growth of God’s Kingdom is more important than commitment to the church.  Ray Ortlund disagrees.  He has posted an edifying (convicting???) call for greater commitment to our local church.  Here is his conclusion:

“If you care about the Kingdom, be the kind of person who can be counted on in your own church. Join your church, pray for your church, tithe to your church, participate in your church every Sunday with wholehearted passion.”

This is a brief post, but it is well worth reading and pondering.  You can find it here http://christisdeeperstill.blogspot.com/2009/09/my-church-or-kingdom.html .

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Dr. Derek Thomas has an excellent post on loving the church over at the Reformation 21 blog.  Here is an excerpt:

“Something is terribly wrong when professing Christians do not identify with the church and love being a part of her. Something is wrong when professing Christians fail to be passionate about every aspect of the church and long to invest themselves in her, taking all that the church represents and does to heart. Listen, for example, to the way Paul instructs the Ephesians: “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27).”

Read the whole thing here http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2009/09/falling-in-love-with-the-churc.php .

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Peter Beck recently posted an excellent article on the proper attitude when conducting evangelism.  It is worth reading.  You can find it over at the new Gospel Coalition blog (here http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2009/09/23/the-gun-belt-gospel/.)

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I came across an opinion article submitted by Tullian Tchividjian to the South Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper commenting on recent conflict which has arisen in the church he pastors (i.e. Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.)  His letter is profoundly gospel-centered and literally moved me to tears and prayer.  Read the article (you can find it here http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinion/sfl-opedonlinecoralridgechurch091809,0,1063882,print.story…) and pray for Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church… Pastor Tullian Tchividjian and the people of South Florida.

May God bring glory to His name and may the gospel be exalted even in the midst of conflict.

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