Friday, February 21, 2020

Influence Needs Confluence

“Life’s most persistent & urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” - Martin Luther King Jr.
Life is a process & every process requires commitment. If you have the opportunity to help someone who has committed to process, use your influence to help them achieve their goals.
But also be cautious where you lend your influence. Some people will take from you to benefit themselves with little regard to helping others along the way. INFLUENCE needs CONFLUENCE!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

You're Worth More Than a C+

When I was in Jr. High, at age 14, I made this bread box in Wood Shop Class. I felt a great sense of accomplishment to have made something with my own two hands. However, my teacher felt it was only worth a C+.
Fast Forward: with all the choices & styles available today, My wife, @beverly_hylton, has insisted on using this bread box for nearly 29 years of marriage. I opened the pantry this morning & it just stood out to me that she has stored our bread in this for our entire marriage.
My teacher said it was only worth a C+...but 35 years later, my wife thinks its priceless.
Maybe you feel like your life is a C+. Maybe you feel like you have so much to offer but no one seems to recognize your value.
You may have some age on you, be less than perfect, feel you're not as trendy as others or even feel like you're not the right color or style...but friend, GOD THINKS YOU'RE PRICELESS!
He has a PLAN & a PLACE for you. Even if it's in the pantry...keeping the bread fresh. He thinks you're valuable! He sees you 35 years from now...He has always seen your value!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Double Your Strength (Part 2)

Join me this morning at 6 AM (EST) for "LEAGUERSHIP LIVE" on Facebook LIVE! 

I’m continuing the topic of “How To Double Your Strength” (Part 2)

Share with a leader!


Thursday, February 6, 2020

We Must Combat The Curse Of A Fatherless Generation

We must combat the curse of a fatherless generation!
There are so many sons & daughters who have not had the upbringing of a loving, committed, Christian father. The effects are devastating! It’s an epidemic, in our society!
As a result, there is a vacuum of IDENTITY. Sons & daughters resort to self-teach & self-affirm themselves in an attempt to create identity & find acceptance.
Until fatherlessness is identified & it’s negative effects reversed, through relational healing & acceptance, we will continue to have to contend with the symptoms of rebellion, distrust, pride & unteachability as we attempt to bind up the emotional wounds of this generation.
Having a faithful, faith-filled father in your life is something that should not be taken for granted. I’ve observed that the struggle is real, within the mind of many who are fatherless, to remain submitted to the covering & care of a father/spiritual father. The unfiltered cry of “control” becomes a knee-jerk response because of learned behavior.
I’m thankful for my father(s) in the natural & in the spirit. Their wisdom, correction, guidance & voice in my life has kept me on the right path. At times, like every young man, I thought I knew everything & needed to spread my own wings. But thank God I had people in my life who loved me enough to hold my feet to the fire. Of course, I had to make a listen or learn the hard way.
Some people will learn hard way because they aren’t willing to receive instruction. There must be a CONSECRATION of the flesh before there will be a LIBERATION of the spirit.
“My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” Proverbs‬ ‭23:26‬ ‭- Good wisdom from Solomon.
If you have true fathers in your life - not just positional, but relational, hold tight to them. Sit at their table. Learn from them. Watch them. Stand with them. The reciprocity will be a natural & spiritual inheritance that will overflow into your own seed line.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Not Whining About The Weight (Part 1)

Often, I am in communication with Pastors - listening, praying, understanding & ministering to them as a friend, a mentor or a spiritual father.  It's something I feel God has entrusted to me & a burden I carry with responsibility. 

This past week, I was reading in 2 Corinthians 11:28 concerning the things that Apostle Paul endured as he fulfilled his calling. 

Paul boasted of his weaknesses & even listed the trials he faced. 

  • 39 lashes lashes five times
  • 3 beatings with rods
  • A mob stoned him
  • Shipwrecked 3 times
  • Faced countless dangers
  • Spent nights in cold & hunger
And if that isn't enough, he said, "And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches."

I read this verse probably 15 times. Over and over again. This verse spoke to me about the weight that Pastors carry in caring for their churches. 

Sure, we all have to face difficult tasks.  We live in a world that is tainted with sin. We understand the stress of life & how it can zap our joy, if we aren't watchful.  However, I think that the unique calling of leading a church, proclaiming God's word & caring for souls...Pastoral ministry carries a load that is difficult to explain. 

Every serious Pastor I know...serves with this heavy weight.  I'm not whining here, I'm just explaining the reality of the ministry.  The reality is, the work is serious & the work has eternal demands. Pastors have a burden of walking with people through the most difficult times of their lives. Pastors suffer the pain of sleepless nights because of anxiety over the church, the responsibility of preaching God's Word every week & the gratitude of seeing God get glory through it all. 

Pastors have to learn how to carry the weight of ministry correctly. Because there is a danger of carrying the weight on your own. If you're not a Pastor or have never served in this level of ministry...I hope this will help you understand how to pray for & encourage your Pastor in the calling that God has placed on them. 

Weights of Ministry

1. Godliness

Every believer in Christ must live godly. It's a calling for every Christian...especially for the Pastor who strives to live a godly life without the fanfare of being "liked" or "popular."  The truth is when you live godly, you will suffer persecution. No Pastor is exempt. 

I think one of the things I've had to settle in my own mind is to not blame myself for setbacks in the church. We have a tendency to blame ourselves and say things like, "Well, maybe if I had prayed more or was better educated or was more faithful..."

But I have to remember that I was a Christian before I ever became a Pastor.  As a "son" of identity is found in Jesus' finished work on the cross. He's responsible for the results...I'm responsible for my obedience to Him.

2. Home Life 

Every Pastor lives under a microscope...especially with the way they lead their family. People expect the Pastor to be a committed, loving spouse & a person who faithfully teaches & trains their children.  After all, it's part of the Pastor's Ministry Description. 

This is true & at times it can be difficult. Although our daughter was  obedient & well behaved, that may not be the case for every Pastor.  Sometimes you may wonder how you can lead anyone else if your own children won't mind you.  But then there are those God moments when He shows you that your children are listening to your teaching & you see fruit in their lives.  

I have learned that God will help me in my home life, as I keep my eyes on Him. One snapshot doesn't describe the bigger picture. 

3. Shepherding The Flock

Standing on a platform, every week, preaching is only a small percentage of what a Pastor does.  Sure, the Pastor studies & preaches but they also stand under a divine mandate to care for the flock. 

Often that involves praying with people who are in pain; walking with people who are facing difficulty; counseling people who are dealing with difficult decisions, etc.   I can't tell you the number of times I've been asked theological questions & had to explain over & over again the same basic truths.  It's not glamorous but it is important. 

Leading people, even those who don't want to be led, can be difficult...especially in today's culture.  But lead you must, when you serve the Chief Shepherd.

4. The Weight Itself 

The work of ministry is too great for a person to bear in their own strength & power.  This is where you have to lean on people to help you shoulder the load. Because quite honestly, Pastoring today is dangerous to your health. You must have people in whom you can trust that will help you balance the load. 

It has often been said that if you don't come apart you will come apart. This is definitely true when it comes to taking your rest.  If a Pastor doesn't learn how to rest, the weight of ministry will crush them, their family & those around them.  

Last year, a word was released over Beverly & I that has stuck with me concerning REST!  It has resonated in my spirit & caused me to continue to work diligently but to trust God for the results.  The church doesn't belong to belongs to God. He bought it with His own blood.  I've learned to give responsibilities to other leaders.  The Lead Pastor cannot do it all...nor should they. 

Friend, don't bring problems to your leader...bring solutions. Don't dump "chores" on your leader. Step up & lead so that your Pastor doesn't have to tread through a pile of requests, emails, etc., that could very easily be taken care of by the person passing along the request. 

As I remember the words of Apostle Paul, "And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches." -  I full well understand the weight. I am thankful for so many wonderful people, in our covenant family - BFWC, who help Beverly & I shoulder the load of ministry as we TOGETHER keep running toward the vision!