ministry

Sermon Preparation Time

Thom Rainer:

These numbers represent total sermon preparation time per week, and the increase from a decade ago is dramatic. Of the pastors we surveyed, nearly seven out of ten spend eight or more hours in sermon preparation. More than four out of ten spend eleven or more hours; and more than one out of five spend 15 hours or more preparing sermons each week.

I am encouraged. In past studies, I have found a correlative relationship between time in sermon preparation and church health metrics. The greater the time in sermon preparation, the more likely the church is to be evangelistically effective, have a higher retention rate of members, and have a higher weekly per capita giving.

Simply stated, when the pastor spends more time in the Word, the church tends to be healthier.

Desire and Calling

Jeremy Writebol offers a wise word of caution regarding desire and calling to ministry:

Desire can be a tricky thing, mainly because the real objects of our desire can be hidden behind something else. For example, I may desire the respect and adoration and accolades that come with preaching heart-hitting, Biblically sound messages. But that doesn't mean I desire to be engaged in the work of the ministry. It just means I want people to respect and affirm me. We have to drill down deep within our motives to find what sits and the root of why we long for what we do.

Though desire should accompany one's calling to eldership, to have desire doesn't necessarily mean that one has been called.

Psalm 139:23–24 was a helpful passage to memorize, pray through, and meditate upon as I wrestled with my own desire and calling:

Search me, O God, and know my heart!

Try me and know my thoughts!

And see if there be any grievous way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting!

Tim Keller on Pastors and Writing

Josh Blount posted an interview with Tim Keller on the topic of pastors, writing, and ministry on the Gospel Coalition blog today. The short interview is packed full of wise words, especially for young pastors who desire to be published writers:

I do get approached often on this subject. And I say this: write essays and chapters, not books yet. Hone your craft through short pieces and occasional writing. But don't tackle books yet. Writing a whole book takes an enormous amount of energy and time, especially the first one(s). But as a younger man you aren't being fair to your family or your church if you are giving the book the time it warrants. And you aren't being fair to the reading public if you don't. This way you can prepare for writing your first book later.

Keller also discusses his own writing practices. For example, which disciplines have helped him to become a better writer:

Reading. That is far and away the most important discipline. You must read widely in general for years before you become capable of recognizing good writing. And then before you write a book on a subject, you should read 20 or 30 good books on the subject carefully and skim another 20 or 30. If you just read three or four (and refer to another three or four), your book will be largely a rehash and will offer few fresh insights.

Take a few minutes and read the entire post here.

Link List for October 22, 2013

OS X 10.9 Mavericks: The Ars Technica Review | Ars Technica Apple made OS X Mavericks available today as a free upgrade. Read John Siracusa's comprehensive review.

Mac Power Users 160: Getting Ready for Mavericks

While we're talking about Mavericks, consider giving this episode of Mac Power Users a listen before you pull the trigger on the upgrade.

7 Arrows for Bible Reading | Trevin Wax

A helpful tool for understanding the Bible and knowing how to apply it to your life.

10 Productivity Experiments for Pastors | Pastoralized

Lots of great suggestions here. Not just for pastors.

The Art and Science of the Humblebrag | Tim Challies

"Have you managed to get thousands of people to follow you on Twitter or friend you on Facebook? Do you need to keep reminding them why you are worthy of their attention? Let me offer you some ways you can grow in the art and science of the humblebrag."

So good.

Your Pastor Needs YOU!

David Kraft suggests six ways you can support your church's pastors and leaders.

Tim Challies on Discernment Bloggers

Tim Challies wrote some passionate words about so–called discernment bloggers today. His conclusion:

But I will not read any more shocking exposes built on nothing more than one sides accusations and angry conjectures. I am not going to read about this persons finances and that persons leadership style. I am not going to allow people with so little integrity, with so little concern for truth and love, to violate my conscience, pollute my mind, and disrupt my love for others. And I'd encourage you to join me.

Well said. I'm in.

Read his entire post here.

Leaders Who Last in Lincoln

One of the great blessings that has come from these past eight months in the Resurgence Training Center (Re:Train) Missional Leadership Program has been the opportunity to spend time with my cohort leader, Pastor Dave Kraft. Dave is, without a doubt, one of the wisest men I have ever met. He has decades of leadership and ministry experience under his belt, has a heart for investing in and developing young leaders, and continues to humbly learn and grow in Christlikeness himself, even to this day.

Dave recently began traveling around the country, speaking at seminars that bear the name of his book, Leaders Who Last. His travels will soon bring him to Lincoln, NE as 2 Pillars Church will be sponsoring a Leaders Who Last Seminar. Here is a brief description from the 2PC blog:

Dave Kraft, Pastor at Mars Hill Church, Director of Leadership Development and Coaching at The Resurgence, and author of #1 Christian Leadership book Leaders Who Last, is traveling around the country with the goal of helping develop leaders. 2 Pillars Church is proud to announce that he will be making a stop in Lincoln, NE on April 30.

Join us as Pastor Dave leads a one-day seminar based upon his book. The seminar will include large group presentations, Q&A, small group discussions and application.

The event is for any ministry or church leader – from volunteers to pastors. If you are a leader or a leader of leaders then consider joining us on April 30th.

For further details and event registration information, read the entire post HERE.

If you are a ministry leader and live within a driving distance of Lincoln, then I encourage you to consider spending April 30 with Dave Kraft and other area leaders. It will surely be a value investment of your time.

 

Are you planning to attend the Leaders Who Last Seminar in Lincoln or elsewhere? Have you read the book? Comment below.




© 2019 Adam Stahr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯