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What’s a Great Pastor?

I got asked the question tonight what makes a great pastor… What an awesome question. Here we go…

A great pastor (working definition)…

(1) Has openly declared that Jesus is Lord – He believes his heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, openly declaring He is saved through faith alone. (Romans 10:9-10)

(2) Has not taken lightly the calling from God on his life (Phil. 3:14) but striving to shepherd the flock entrusted to his care by striving (not obtaining perfection) in being blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, hospitable, able to teach, not given to wine (not a drunk), not violent, or greedy for money – but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous but one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence. He is not a novice puffed up with pride but has a good testimony among His fellow man avoiding the snares of the devil. (1 Timothy 3:1-7)

(3) Makes every ambition to preach the Good News (Gospel) of Jesus Christ where it has never been heard. (Romans 15:20) until Christ returns again (Matthew 24:36)

What did I miss…


My Daily Quiet Time

What does it look like to have a daily quiet time with God?

Here’s my usual morning routine…

Something Physical

First thing in the morning when I wake up (4 to 5 am) I head out the door to get the blood flowing. Some people take time in the Word first but I need to clear my head. Running, lifting weights, etc. It doesn’t have to be extremely stressful but at the same time it shouldn’t be something that takes no effort. One thing I have done is been on some sort of workout plan (for walking, running, lifting, biking, etc.). It helps set a goal and stick to it! Most people quit working out because they don’t have a plan. Physical exercise lets me get all the junk out of my head before I kick into the Word. I put a sermon in my ears on the way to the gym, then listen to music while working out, then listen to a rest of the sermon on the way home.

Something Biblical
 Workout’s over, time to hit the book. I’m always going through a 360, 180 or 90 day Bible reading plan depending on the season of ministry. This is not a time of study but more a time to simply read God’s Word to start the day.

Something Prayerful

After reading the word I spend some time in prayer. I pray and journal through the Proverb of the day, a list of our church needs and church family, my wife and our kids, the day and anything else that’s “pressing”.

Something Serving

The saying, “Many hands make light work” is true! There’s house work to be done that I can help with before going out the door. Trash needs taken out, animals need feed, dishes need put away, etc. I want to do my part for our family. Usually my kids are up and rolling by now so while I’m knocking out some chores I can get them fed. I learned a lot about helping my mom from watching my dad. I’m praying my kids are doing the same. Sometimes they even help!

Something Read

With the chores knocked out I can go take a shower, get dressed and get ready for the day. Then I make breakfast and grab a cup of Joe. As I’m eating there is often a book in my hand I’m going through (chapter a day). Then it’s off to the office to work on the to-do-list.

This routine took a long time to work up to and honestly it calls for waking up pretty early. While everyone is different, the content is king. Does this routine happen everyday? Nope. There are variations, but I try to stick to the outline as much as possible even though times can vary. Without time in the Word and prayer, I’m a mess in the day.

Hope this helps.


Sacred Marriage – Week 3 Message

Sacred Marriage – Week 3 from Community Gospel on Vimeo.

Good Books

For Pastors

  • Dangerous Calling – Paul David Tripp // Dangerous Calling reveals the truth that the culture surrounding our pastors is spiritually unhealthy—an environment that actively undermines the wellbeing and efficacy of our church leaders and thus the entire church body.
  • Show Me How to Share the Gospel – Larry Moyer // Drawing upon over thirty-five years of experience in evangelism, Larry moyer introduces readers to the exciting reality that believers can lean how to share the Gospel with others clearly and confidently. If someone introduced you to the most rewarding thing in life, would you take it? of course! and that’s just what we have to offer to others. introducing Jesus Christ to someone is not only the most important thing you could do for them, but also the most personally rewarding thing you could do for yourself. Even if you think evangelism isn’t for you, this step-by-step resource shows you how to start and nurture an evangelistic life-style.
  • Autopsy of a Deceased Church – Thom Rainer // Whether your church is vibrant or dying, whether you are a pastor or a church member, Autopsy of a Deceased Church will walk you through the radical paths necessary to keep your church alive to the glory of God and advancement of Christ’s Kingdom!
  • Biblical Preaching – Haddon W. Robinson // His bestselling text by Haddon Robinson, considered by many to be the “teacher of preachers,” has sold over 300,000 copies and is a contemporary classic in the field. It offers students, pastors, and Bible teachers expert guidance in the development and delivery of expository sermons. This new edition has been updated throughout and includes helpful exercises.

10 Ways to Invite Someone to Church

A few months ago Chuck Lawless wrote a great article on “Why Church Members Don’t Invite Other’s to Church” (Click to read article). It stirred a great burden in my heart to explore why people are apprehensive to invite friends and family to church. Chuck said, “several years ago, more than one study showed large percentages of unchurched people would consider attending a church if someone simply invited them. The problem is not the attitude of the unchurched; rather, it is often the failure of church members to invite others.” With Labor Day behind us and the fall season moving forward with full steam, it’s that time of the year to start thinking about inviting people back to church.  Here are ten ways to invite people to church in the weeks coming up:

  1. Think/Pray about Who to Invite: We need to get in the habit of thinking and praying about people on a daily basis that we can invite to church. Maybe it’s someone you go to school with, work with, or live beside. If you “do life” with these people Monday through Saturday, why not invite them to participate in the most important part of your week? Unchurched people are “sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36), in need of redemption and a church family. Think about inviting these people to church this Sunday using verbal conversations, text messages, or social media. Be creative!
  2. Don’t Fear Rejection: While it’s true nobody likes to be turned down, take the risk to invite somebody to church. Chuck Lawless stated that church members told him there were a few times when people said “no,” but few people could tell of times when they were rudely or unkindly rejected. Don’t fear being rejected, just ask!
  3. Focus on Being a Witness over Worship (Music): A lot of times we are scared to ask people to come to church because we are scared they won’t like the music. We think “it’s too loud,” “it’s too boring,”  “we sing it over and over again,” or “nobody knows the songs.” Remember music is just one part of the service and you never know, they may just love that part! 
  4. Focus on Principles in Preaching: We know the pastor or speaker on Sunday doesn’t always hit home runs with every message. While it’s painful to admit, we often think that people might not like our pastor or his preaching. This can tie into the issues of music. However, having someone come to church, a discussion at/over lunch can be a great way to talk about one or two principles we picked up from the message. Sometimes unchurched people need help understanding what was said and how to apply it to their lives. This is where you can help! After inviting someone to church take them out for lunch to discuss the principles in the morning message.
  5. Focus on People more than Problems: Every church has it’s issues. We know that while us as regular attenders may know all the ins and outs of what’s going on at the church an invited guest isn’t going to see all the issues facing a congregation. If they do see one or two issues this is a great time to ask them how they think that issue can be resolved or even help the local church grow in that weakness. Remember, unconnected people love to get plugged in and help!
  6. Care more than the Crowd: Some people are terrified about going to church due to all the people. We don’t like being cramped, have to search for a parking space, or wonder around. A big way to help a new person cut through the crowd is to bring them with you or meet them at the door, show them around the church, introduce them to new people, and let them sit with you in service. Never leave a new person unattended. Remember, you were “new” once too. Keep in mind how that felt.
  7. Embrace the Challenge: Like number one, some church folk never think about inviting others because no one has challenged them to do so. I challenge you right now to invite someone to church this Sunday! 
  8. Embrace Spiritual Conversations: Many people get sweaty palms even thinking about inviting someone to a local service. Remember, people are all searching for something. If we believe the local church is the hope of the world then we must get past the awkward and invite people to participate in the local congregation that is gathering. Don’t forget how many times Jesus tells us to not be afraid!
  9. Remember it’s our Job: We know you want to let the Holy Spirit work but remember that God wants us to do our part and that involves asking the Holy Spirit to help us ask others,”Would you like to come to church with me this week?”
  10. Go the Distance: We have people coming to our congregation from so many places. Some are close and some are a drive. Don’t be scared to ask someone to drive the distance you drive to come to church. We will drive hours for a good meal, so why drive to go to a great church? 

So we challenge you, invite someone to church this week, and next week, and the weeks after! Think and pray for God to reveal who that is. Embrace that challenge with boldness as a steward of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Don’t give up! Stay after it and know this is not a one time event but a daily discipline we must practice to reach our communities. Remember, some people have to be invited multiple times to come once and even asked again to come back. It persistence that matters as those people in your life will see how much you love and care for them. It’s worth the effort to see people come to know Christ and make Christ known near and far!


Sacred Marriage – Week 1 Message

Sacred Marriage – Week 1 from Community Gospel on Vimeo.

5 Reasons Your Leadership is Struggling

Feel like you’re spinning your wheels?

Not catching any traction in leadership?

Maybe here’s a few reasons…

1. You Don’t Know Yourself: Often times people who lead know their audience but don’t know themselves. Take a few moments and get to know yourself. Self testing like Jung Typology Test, Myers-Briggs and StrengthFinders are just a few personality tests that will help you see where you are gifted and how that ties into leadership. Then contemplate your motivations for leading as well as personal goals to make sure you are really interested in helping people or ultimately just in leadership to help yourself.


2. You’re Not Sensitive to Followers: This is one area I wish I would have learned a lot sooner in ministry and honestly (like all of these) am still working on. Will Schutz said people come into any relationship situation with three questions related to inclusion, control and openness. They ask…

  • Inclusion: Am I in or out?
  • Control: Am I on top or on the bottom?
  • Openness: Am I open or closed?

How much you think about these questions in regards to the person you are trying to lead is essential to gaining traction.

3. You Don’t Listen: Sure you heard what that person said with your ears but did you really listen to what they had to say with your brain? A few ways to listen to people involve…

  • Wait to speak – “The wise listen” Proverbs 12:15
  • Ask good questions – Go for clarity
  • Overcoming the Impulse to become Defensive

Remember, what we say to others, says much about how we view ourselves.

4. You Don’t Accept People for who They Are: Everyone wants to be accepted and feel valued. Are we making people feel a part of the team or simply in this for ourselves. Ask, “How can we work to show the people we are leading more appreciation?” “How can we help motivate instead of manage?”

5. You Run From Difficult Issues: Conflict teaches us much about ourselves. Great leaders run to conflict in order to learn about themselves and better their leadership.

Recognize that you will spend much of your life making mistakes. If you can take action and keep making mistakes, you gain experience.” John Maxwell

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Daily Motivation

  • "For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:4 4 hours ago
  • Palm Sunday service countdown is underway! See you @ 10:10 am! 7 hours ago
  • #morningthought 8 hours ago
  • “A true warrior does not train tirelessly to fight, or to kill. A true warrior trains endlessly that he may return home alive.” R. Calloway 22 hours ago
  • Pointing out sin is not judging... it's pointing out sin! 1 day ago
  • "My brothers... be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." Ephesians 6:10-18 1 day ago
  • “Judging from the main portions of the history of the world, so far, justice is always in jeopardy.” Walt Whitman 2 days ago
  • “Every man should lose a battle in his youth, so he does not lose a war when he is old.” George R.R. Martin 2 days ago

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