Be a Good Pastor!

 

Get it Right, be a Good Pastor! PI           

Into Thy Word Ministries, www.intothyword.org ; www.pastortraining.org ; www.churchleadership.org 

Psalm 34:8; Gal. 1:15-16; 2:20; Phil. 3:1-14; Col. 1:10-18, 27; 2:9; 3:11;Heb. 1:1-4 

This series are the basic essentials to align our heart, mind, will, attitude and gifts to be a better servant for our Lord Jesus Christ, as we lead His people in His Church. This is for beginning pastoral training and a refresh for veterans.  

What are the key ingredients that make a good healthy Pastor?  

We must be in prayer! Ask this question God and examine His Word and yourself! Because it is our call is to shepherd His flock right. We are to carryout our pastoral and leadership lives with the right mindset of what is really important in life and ministry that is Biblical, that pleases and glorifies our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! 

Building Your Pastoral Foundation with the Right Biblical Mindset 

The primary goal—from building an exceptional minister, marriage to building a “purpose driven” church—is to live in undivided surrender and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. That means His purpose not yours! That means your life and ministry must reflect the supremacy, centrality and glory of God, and serve as an example in a world of temptation and evil. Since He represented us in life and death and imparts to us His grace, this is our driving force, our number one reason in life and in eternity to come. Because of what He has done for us, we should have the desire to assemble our lives with gratitude to glorify Him. That means to also strive toward our best in fullness of relationships with church and family. We have to be willing to take to heart that His will supersedes ours; His is the best, whereas our will and desires are limited in understanding and knowledge. By surrendering our will to His will, we can build a foundation of trust, reliance, and obedience. These actions become the foundation upon which to build the rest of the house of character, values, and fortitude, and where a Christ-centered church can live and grow.  

  • Christ is Lord; He is in charge of all areas of our lives and church. It is not your church, it is His, and we are the stewards of it! He is to be our first and primary love! 
  • You will then be able to lead others and make healthy and wise decisions because the Lord, through His Word and the Spirit, is your Guide. 
  • By seeking His truth, you will be able to discern how to see to your church and family life, your direction and plan.  
  • By following timeless, biblical precepts will help you make the right decisions, and avoid making the wrong ones.  

Four primary attitudes need to be learned that form the foundation for building effective pastoral life and an effectual church. They all interlock together to form us into the person God has called us to be. These will form the character, maturity, and the willingness to make right decisions and glorify our Lord. They will continue to assemble those relationships in the right direction, as they become the foundation for understanding God’s will for our lives and church.  

Understanding the Kingdom of God, Matthew 3:2 

By understanding Christ and who we are in Him, we will come alive as He helps sustain us and direct us, as Christians and as pastors, in the right direction; and in turn, we can direct His Church in the right direction. As a result, we will center our motivations and directions on Him, on what is perfect and pleasing, and not only on what we think. Our answers will only serve to get us lost. You have the answer sheet—His Word, the Bible, so be in it daily. We have no excuse not to know. We have to know from whence our direction in life comes before we can direct others. This is foundational for all aspects of who we are and what we do for Him. What motivates us and creates in us our actions and behaviors will translate into our relationship with God and how we lead and manage His Church. If you do not get this, that God has a plan for you, that you serve Him, you will have tremendous problems and obstacles that you may never climb over in becoming the person and pastor that God calls you to be.  

The word Kingdom, in the Kingdom of God or Heaven, means government; it is the need to be organized for purpose and direction. Some people lead, others strive to obey; still others seek to destroy. We need good leadership and direction for success in building a healthy church and society. Biblically, we are called to have a civil/church government and obey it—there is actually only one true government and leader—and that is God. We are to yield to the exercise and implementation of our God’s “Lordship,” that He is our King, hence the name, “Kingdom of God.” He is sovereign; He is the absolute monarch of the universe and “your” church. His rule is irrevocable. Thus, it is our responsibility to obey God and the others who have responsibility over us (Matt. 4:23; Eph. 2:18; 2 Pet. 3:13-14). 

  • This means God is supreme, sovereign, and Lord over all, including our lives, in the real world and the spiritual world.  
  • God reaches out to us; we, as citizens of His Kingdom, are to reach out to others. This is the dynamics of the Gospel that first must be lived out in our lives before we minister (Titus 3).  
  • The term, the Kingdom of Heaven, means the same, refers to God’s rule and sovereignty. They point to both the church today and our eternal future.  
  •  The Kingdom of Heaven will culminate with our Lord’s second coming, bringing in a new heaven and a new earth.  
  • Our task in the church is to proclaim Christ—His Lordship as well as His character, righteousness, peace, and joy, all by the Holy Spirit. This will effectively be the catalyst for building a quality, lasting, and effective church.  
  • The purpose of the Church is not to serve us; rather, we serve Christ, and through this service the church is collectively built.  
  • For us, it means declaring our personal identification and relationship to our Lord and Savior before we communicate Him to others! Our need is to bow to His Lordship for our betterment and growth!  

Applying the Mind-Set of Fullness, Ephesians 5:15-17 

Fullness equals knowing who you are in Christ and realizing what He did for you on the cross. This is paramount, because everything you do as a Christian—as a pastor—is a response to what He has first done in you. With this knowledge, you will have the proper attitude and discernment to lead and manage His church and make correct decisions based on God’s will. With this knowledge, you will seek Christ as you seek your ministerial direction, ask the right questions, and look for fullness—not merely fulfillment! The difference is that fullness comes by seeking Christ as Lord; fulfillment comes through seeking someone or something else such as trends, and the feeding of our pride and other things in an attempt to meet our needs and wishes, or seeking to fill our own desires and agendas! 

  • Fulfillment is seeking what we want; often, that is not the best for us and certainly not best for His Church! It is filling our emptiness with the wrong filler. Like putting gasoline in a diesel-fueled truck; it is fuel, but it will not work, and will damage the engine. 
  •   The pursuit of fulfillment will end up bringing us nothing but emptiness and a dysfunctional church, the very thing we are trying to avoid. Sin will dig at us, causing our thinking to be skewed, and our decisions flawed.  
  • Fullness is the filling we have in Christ. He is the filling to be poor in spirit. This means total dependence on God, and realizing our sinfulness (Matt. 5:3)!   
  • We are sinners without any righteousness of our own. We are saved by the grace and mercy of God alone!  
  • Poor in spirit applies to our daily lives as we strive to be humble and surrendered, where we do not look to ourselves, but to God. 
  • We are to have a Christ-centered drive and not a self-centered drive to life and relationships; this is the “letting go and letting God” concept (John 8:32).  
  • The cure for our preaching ills, our inadequacies, our pride, and our physical and spiritual poverty is the realization of what really is important to our church and us, which is who we are in Christ!  

Principle Scriptures to Preparing our Pastoral Lives with the Right Mindset These Biblical principles are where our focus is to be: Proverbs 12:4; 28:20; 31:10; 2 Corinthians 5:11-21; Colossians 1

1       Right Biblical Mindset: John 3:30; Galatians 2:20-21; Philippians 3:1-21; Colossians 1:3-6, 15-29 

2       Kingdom of God: Isaiah 9:1-7; 24:14-25; 29:18; 31:1-32; 35:4-6; 40:1-11; 42:1f; 61; Matthew 3:2; 4:23; 5:3,10,19-20; 6:10; 33; 7:21; 10:7; 13:24-47; 23:13; Mark 9:42-47; Luke 4:14-21; 16:1-12; Romans 1:21; 13:1-7

3       More Kingdom of God: Psalm 10:16-18; Daniel 2:44; 4:34; Isaiah 9:6-7; Matthew 3:1-12; 4:23; 5:6, 17-20; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 9:1-12; 11:14-20; 16:1-12, 16; 17:21; 22:16-30; John 18:36; Acts 20:25; 28:23-31; Colossians 1:13; 28-29; Galatians 3:16; 26-29; Ephesians 2:11-18; 3:6-15; Hebrews 1:8-14; 2 Peter 3:13-14; Revelation 5:9-10; 7:9; 17:14; 19:16; chaps. 21-22 

4       Fullness: Psalm 9:18; 37:4; 40:17; 86:1; 107:9; 109:22; Jeremiah 22:15-16; 31:14; Joel 2:26; Mark 7:1-13; Matthew 5:3, 6; 6:33-34; 7:13-14; 13:40-43; 16:24-27; 25:31-34; 28:18; John 4:13-14; 6:35; Romans 6: 12, 19-23; 8:32; 9:30-31; Galatians 2:20-21; 5:19-21; Ephesians 5: 15-21; Colossians 1:1-23; 15:23-28; 2 Timothy 1: 12,18; 4:8; 2 Peter 1:10-11; 3:10-13; James 1:22-25; Revelation 1:9; 21:1-22:5 

For more on this series see Preparing for our Pastoral Lives with the Right Mindset at “Articles to help Build our Pastoral and Personal lives for God’s Glory” at www.pastortraining.org

 

© 1999, 2004, 2007, 2010, Rev. R. J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Get it Right, be a Good Pastor! PII              

Matt. 6:33; Luke 18:9-14; Rom. 6:12; Gal, chp 5; Eph. 5:15-21; Col. 1:13; Rev. 3:17-19 

The key to building and leading a healthy church is to be a good and healthy pastor!  

Our faith development prepares ourselves to build His Church! Galatians, chapter five, gives us two sets of fruit that we can choose to produce—what is in our arsenal as we lead people to His pasture. There is the one found in verses 19 to 21 that is the rotten scum of life and that creates division and strife, or the one found in verses 22-23 which will produce goodness as we build one another up and, in turn, build up His Church. In addition, verses 24-25 give us the reason for our motivation and pursuit in pastoral ministry and in life. God’s Word tells us that we choose the ways of anger or goodness. These are what create a church filled with God’s presence or with hostility, quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfish ambitions, and divisions between people and God. These create the strife, factions, and dysfunction in any given church because of prideful and self reliant. Not allowing Christ to work in you, or use you to help others. In so doing, you as the pastor are keeping yourself and others in spiritual and physical poverty, and oppression! So let’s not do this, choose the Fruit of the Spirit 

  • Fullness is first seeking Christ and His work in you, so you are pursuing righteousness and all that is good as a way to glorify Christ as Lord. This is how a healthy church is built; it starts with a spiritually healthy pastor.  
  • Applying fullness into our relationships—from friendships, to family, to church members—all for His glory so we can live above our hurts, feelings and circumstances!  
  • Our identity is fueled from our fullness in Christ. This is the quintessential aspect on earth we are to pursue, after our salvation by what Christ has done, that we in turn model and teach to others through all of our activities and preaching.  
  • This is who we are as representatives of Him on earth. Our fullness must reside in The Kingdom of Heaven for our completeness in Christ. This comes from our comprehension of who Christ is. If we do not get this and apply it, we will fail in all things that are eternally important!  
  • Fullness makes relationships real, fuels our pastoral effectiveness, and is centered upon godly directions. When we are just self-seeking, we are selfish and unconcerned with eternal values or with serving our Lord.  
  • Fullness will seek the love of 1 Corinthians 13, and will compel us with the desire to share that fullness and our self with others. 
  • We can build ourselves up in Christ, casting away what is wrong and replacing it with biblical character and values. This will be the foundation for creating lasting bonds with others as we serve Him and His church to the glory of our Lord.  
  • We are to be careful how we live so we treat our lives and the lives of others with dignity and respect. We are not to be careless with what is precious. We are to make the most of our lives and the opportunities Christ gives us. To waste it away is what a fool would do; so, let us not be fools!   
  • When we understand what the Lord wants us to do—we will do well in life. It is not difficult because God is concerned with our character. We form our character from understanding and putting into practice His principles. 
  • Being filled with the Spirit, means “empowered for ministry,” allowing God to use you to live a life worthy or walk worthy of the Lord in the manner of what we know and believe-and do it consistently. And having great joy from our commitment to God (Neh. 8:10; Matt. 6:33; 1 Cor. 13; Gal. 5:25; Eph. 5:15; Col. 1:13).  
  • Being filled with the Spirit also means we are to seek His power with joy for the overcoming of our sins, and for the courage to witness and do ministry, even to people we do not like (Psalm 119:11; Matt. 13:9; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 1:30; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 3:17; 5:18-19; Phil. 2:16; Col. 3:3, 15-17; 2 Tim. 2:15) 
  • Being filled with the Spirit will flow into radiant joy that fills us up with the joy that flows among the Persons of the Holy Trinity. That very love which God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit have for one another will be in us. And, it will overflow from us to others around us (Micah 3:8; 6:8; Acts 2:4; Acts 13:52; 2 Pet. 1-10) 

This joy spoken of in Ephesians will become sealed in us as we mature in the faith and are filled with His Word so we can communicate it to others effectively, passionately, and in Truth. It is the power to enjoy Him in worship and as a lifestyle that affects all aspects of our life and the lives of others around us. It then empowers us for His service and for His glory. It literally means “music flowing from our hearts!” This is what fuels our friendships and helps us lead, manage and teach in the Church. This is what we are to seek so it can be repeated; we are not to seek it for our betterment or for attention for ourselves, but rather, for Christ’s sake! This translates into joy that comes from being in His Word, and because we are in Christ! This is the extra power He gives us to glorify and serve Him, and the extra power that we need to make sure we are on the right track (Eph. 5:15-21)! 

Will you be controlled by selfish agendas, lust, faulty trends, bad theology, pride and sin, which is any kind of failing that takes you away from God, or will you allow yourself to be controlled by the Spirit?  

Remember, He does not force you; the choice is yours—and so are the consequences and rewards. We can ruin our lives and church or we can grow it in fullness. Also, what you do, does not affect just you, but will touch all those around you, and for many years to come.  

Fullness: Psalm 9:18; 37:4; 40:17; 86:1; 107:9; 109:22; Jeremiah 22:15-16; 31:14; Joel 2:26; Mark 7:1-13; Matthew 5:3, 6; 6:33-34; 7:13-14; 13:40-43; 16:24-27; 25:31-34; 28:18; John 4:13-14; 6:35; Romans 6: 12, 19-23; 8:32; 9:30-31; Galatians 2:20-21; 5:19-21; Ephesians 5: 15-21; Colossians 1:1-23; 15:23-28; 2 Timothy 1: 12,18; 4:8; 2 Peter 1:10-11; 3:10-13; James 1:22-25; Revelation 1:9; 21:1-22:5 

Just like love, being an effectual and effective pastor is our choice. It does not need to depend on our circumstances, but it must depend on our Lord!  

For more on this series see Preparing for our Pastoral Lives with the Right Mindset at “Articles to help Build our Pastoral and Personal lives for God’s Glory” at www.pastortraining.org 

© 1999, 2004, 2007, 2010, Rev. R. J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Get it Right, be a Good Pastor! PIII                       

Matt. 6:33; Col. 1:13-14; 1 Peter 5:6-7 

Are you willing to be a good pastor and leader?  

The key to building and leading a healthy church is to be a good and healthy pastor (and leader)! Yet, so few of us in ministry take this seriously or make this a priority! We tend to chase trends, pride and our personal agendas and not pursue HIM!  

As pastors, our primary purpose in life is to grow in our relationship to our Lord. We need to serve and glorify God, and fulfill the call and the destiny that He gives us. This also translates into who we are, and how we should be in Christ. This is true in the arena of all relationships, even for building a good church. Thus, we need to find out what God’s plan is for His Church that we lead, and then follow it. It seems simple on the surface, and it really is. The problem is that we have clouded God’s plan with our superficial culture, trends, pride, and desires. We seek to gamble on a trend rather than the stability of impacting faith and godly Truth and values from the Bible.   

We must seek and pursue Christ first before we show others His Supremacy and Centrality. His Supremacy and Centrality must be rooted in us deeply, and then we can proclaim Him to those in our care to do so too, even with words! For the reason that we can’t lead where we have not been before ourselves. This comes down to who we seek and what we place first in our personal and professional life.  

  • Is the Spirit and His flow of the Fruit of the Spirit and Character fueling and empowering your ministry? Or is it something else? We all need to seek Christ in be in prayer and ask Him! 
  • Are you willing to carryout your pastoral life or leadership position with the right mindset of what is really important in life and ministry? If not, what is in the way?  
  • What possibly could be more important in God’s universe than pleasing Him as His representatives?!  
  • Are we in leadership seeking what is really important to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? If not, why? What is in the way of His Way?  
  • Do you fully realize you will fail in life, family and ministry? If we do not place Christ first and foremost, what then are we doing in ministry? All we will accomplish is hurt to ourselves and others around us!  
  • If your focus is off Christ, you will end up crafting divisions, creating factions, causing chaos, bringing discord and the result will be the breakdown what we are called to build up.  
  • If your focus is off Christ, Christ and His reputation will be tarnished, His Supremacy and Centrality will be ignored resulting in the churches direction and function and that is dysfunction. 
  • If your focus is off Christ, your church will be in ruin and our people will be so hurting so they keep on hurting others too. All we will have in life personally is loneliness and regret.  
  • If your focus is off Christ, you will be so burned out and angry your family and church may even become more dysfunctional and your ministry may even destroy your family and church that you once loved and sought to shepherd.  
  • Are you focusing on agendas and not on love and Fruit? Do you feel you have good reason? You do not! Even when church people have hurt you.  
  • Are you willing to take a close look under your ministerial hood? Is your pastoral engine “timed” to His call and set precepts?  

Pray, Oh LORD, what is in the way of me seeking you first and pleasing you foremost?  

This prayer should be said in honesty and reverence before your feet hit the ground in the morning. Do not let this ministry and life dysfunction happen to you or anyone around you! You have the power and ability by His lead and empowering to change and grow! The key is simple; seek Him First, Matthew 6:33 applies to us in leadership too! His Sovereign rule must be our priority. Our gratitude for what He has done for me must move me to glorify Him. If not, remove yourself from ministry and leadership until you are right with God!  

Pastors must focus on Christ! 

The answer is not in the latest fad or service; it is in getting our priorities straight, then seeking out mentorship; building our relationship in Christ must be first and foremost! If your call and desire is to have your church people have a committed relationship in Christ and demonstrate that in their lives and community, you will have to make room in your life for one. That means you will need to be willing to prepare yourself, emotionally and mentally, with the right biblical attitude and mindset. If not, then you will be gambling with the second most important decision and choice you will ever make. And, when it comes to your marriage and family, your choices and attitudes will have lasting repercussions for many people, and for many generations to come leaving a regretful and discontented life, family and church.  

Most of us pastors live in the world of stress, loneliness, and personal struggles; we compare ourselves with others, demand respect, and we often carry on in fear, perhaps even manipulating others to get our way. Even in our inadequacy, we think we can continue, or flee when we should not. But, when we are in Christ, we can push our pride away, we can move beyond and live above our hurts and fears and even be content. We do not have to be angry when we do not succeed or get our way. When we are firmly in Christ, when we are pursuing our faith in His Word and Spirit, we are being authentic and capable. Thus, we are succeeding. In so doing, we can be the pastor Christ has called us to be—doing His Church led by His way. We need to learn and apply the fact that life and ministry is about “His Kingdom,” and not ours. It is about “His fullness” not ours; it is about “confessing sin,” and we need to learn about ourselves, face our fears, and get over them. To pastor effectively, you must have a growing relationship in Christ before you communicate and teach others, and to be infused with Christ, not infatuated with self.  

Discipleship: Proverbs 18:24; Matthew 7:18-24; 19:28-30; 10:1-42; Mark 1:1-5; Luke 9:23-25; 48; Luke 14:26-27; John. 8:31; 12:20-26; John 14; 15; 1 John 5:3; 1 Corinthians 3:5-11; 2 Timothy 2:7; 1 Peter 3:15.  

For more on this series see Preparing for our Pastoral Lives with the Right Mindset at “Articles to help Build our Pastoral and Personal lives for God’s Glory” at www.pastortraining.org 

© 1999, 2004, 2007, 2010, Rev. R. J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org 

Get it Right, be a Good Pastor! PIV                         

1 Kings 8:58; Psalm 25; Luke 22:27; Col. 1:18; Phil. 2:8; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:3-5 

Pastors must have Humbleness!  

As pastors we must be aware of our major foe, and it is not just Satan, our biggest enemy to ministry is our own arrogance and pride! These are the opposites of Who are Lord is and who He called us to be and which causes pastors to fall and to tear churches down. These are the attitudes that say one is superior to another, even to the extent of the regarding of others with contempt as if they were unworthy of any relation or interaction with us! It lifts our self-interests and our self-sufficiencies, which seem necessary and good. However, when we are self-sufficient, we will not only fail to see our need for redemption, but also fail to see our need for growth in spiritual matters. Therefore, the self becomes the god, and any work of the One True God is muted and put aside.  

Humility minimizes arrogance and removes pride. It is the understanding of our fallen nature and weaknesses that causes us to think we are better than we are, and that causes us to strive to lift ourselves above others and God. It is admitting that others, and most importantly God, are responsible for our achievements. Humbleness will enable us to be a more effective pastor because we will be a teachable person who is willing to have a good attitude of submission and servant-hood. We become the pastor who confesses sin and remembers how Christ served us! Humility is not self-hatred or having a “poor me” attitude; rather is the fruit that shows fullness has taken hold in our lives. And this is what we communicate to our congregation by our attitude along with authenticity and Fruit—not just with words, but also with whom and how we are!  

  • Do you have a deep dependence upon God for your personal and professional life? Or, do you have a problem with pride? Pride is thinking I have arrived; I do not need God, when we must realize that without Christ, we can do nothing!  
  • We are not to be so focused on being filled that we never bother to fill ourselves with what God calls us to-His Word and being discipled (Matt. 28: 16-20; Rom. 8:1-17; Phil. 2: 12-18) 
  • We must carryout our pastoring years with the right mindset of what is really important in life, what is really important to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  
  • By being a humble pastor, we will not end up in loneliness and regret, or get so burned out and angry we become a mess and perhaps even destroy our family and church that we once loved and sought to shepherd.   
  • Humbleness is how we are to come to the Lord. It shows where our heart is and if we are open to Jesus as Lord and preeminent in our lives, as well as our Savior.  
  • Humbleness allows us to be accountable, and to honestly assess our actions and performance. In contrast, Pride sets us up as a god when there is only One God.  
  • Ask yourself and be in prayer, “Who are you?” “What do you want?” and “Where are you going?” So, what do you want to do in your life? Do they line up to God’s Word and call?  
  • What are your pastoral goals and agendas? Do they correspond to God’s Word? Our call in life is to please God.  
  • Are you willing to seek His Kingdom? If so, then you will you be filled with fullness even as you pastor, counsel, and lead!  
  • The Fall of man defaced everything in this world, including our thinking, relationships, and ability to lead and pastor! So have a plan to deal with it, like an accountability partner.  
  • Know that our sin will block any attempt to seek our Lord; that is why the cross was, and is, so essential. Christ’s atonement means He covered the sin, but it still remains—lurking, destroying, and causing us to replace good thinking with bad. 

God wants our obedience, love, and trust. We cannot do that when we are too full of ourselves! We need to see how harmful and destructive pride and its various forms are in the life of the Christian and the church. We have to take the initiative to remove our Will and allow the Spirit to break us down. If we do not, we will break down and the church will break down. We cannot be afraid to see things from God’s perspective. Neither can we be afraid to allow Him to work in us and grow us for His purpose. However, for this to transpire, we have to be humble! We have to allow the Spirit to use our obedience and diligence of study in the Word to develop our spiritual maturity in the nature of God. Yet, most Christians choose to develop their character on how others around them act and their own presumptions of the Christian life rather than in His nature and Word.   

If you only seek what you can get, you will end up in despair and a broken church! You will not be able to build a family or a church, develop quality relationships, or compliment and help others because you are not seeking Christ. Therefore, you will not bring your faith and maturity into the church relationship as much as you are seeking to take or get from it. What we bring must come out of a life filled with Christ. Whether you are in ministry professionally or not, we all have the same job—to know Christ, to grow in Christ, and to get the word out about the Word. To help you further in this pursuit, seek people who will bring out the best in you, and will be your partners and companions in the exciting, adventurous journey of life and ministry. This is especially important when it comes to your spouse or that special someone who will be your spouse. If you are married, your relationship priority is to make your spouse that special someone!  

Remember; you must ask yourselves, “How do I come to the Lord?” We cannot see the value of nor get a grasp of the promises of God until we humble ourselves. So, surrender your pride and Will to Him. Make the determination to be His, and do not allow your self-will to be in His way! Allow Christ to take you beyond your hopes and dreams (John 3:5). 

Remember this valuable point: Just like love, being an effectual and effective pastor is our choice. It does not need to depend on our circumstances; it must depend on our Lord!  

Heartfelt Worship: Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 139 1-24; Isaiah 40:29; 55:1; Jeremiah 29:11; Matthew 7:7-11; 9:12-13; Mark 9:23-24; John 3:16-18; 5:6; 14:1-3; Romans 6:15-23; 7:7-25; 1 Corinthians 1:24; Galatians 1:6; 2:20-21; Philippians 2:12-13; Revelation 1:17 

For more on this series see Preparing for our Pastoral Lives with the Right Mindset at “Articles to help Build our Pastoral and Personal lives for God’s Glory” at www.pastortraining.org 

© 1999, 2004, 2007, 2010, Rev. R. J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Get it Right, be a Good Pastor! PV               

Prov. 1:5-7; 12:4; 28:20; 2 Cor. 5: 11-21; Rom. 12:1-3; Colossians 1 

The Importance of Reconnection and Confession  

This essential attitude that helps to build a pastors heart will allow us to recognize, and then confess our sins. Confession will motivate us to yield to the work of the Spirit within us. Our confession helps remove the blockage, to allow His work to flow. His work is there; it is done. He can force it, but normally, He will not. Sometimes as pastors, we think we are immune from this. Why, people come to us for confession! But, we have to see this as essential for us to do before we ask it of others. Yes, God did so with the apostle Paul, but who of us is Paul? We still have to respond to it by faith. Sin and confession are not popular subjects. Who wants to be bothered and confronted, let alone be convicted? But, for us to grow and mature, we have to, lest we remain in those sins—and how sad that would be! The sin will cloud everything. It will blind us to truth, and from seeing the will of God for our lives. We will, instead, be lost in the worldliness of despair, and end up making very poor choices for our lives, our family, and especially in our church that we serve! Fullness will be choked off, as well as His Kingdom, making the distance too far for us.  

We have to make a commitment to acknowledge our fallen nature, and be willing and able to confess our sin to God and repent, which means we do not do it again. It also means we need to have someone hold us accountable. 

  • All of humanity is fallen from God, and, we are corrupt in our thinking and actions, even us pastors.  
  • We have to be willing to declare: I, as a follower of Christ, bought and paid for by His shed blood, must acknowledge my own sinful nature 
  • If we do not confess we will fall way short of His plan and possibly even His redemption for us. If this is not in our practice and in our mindset, there is no way we can run a church and lead others to Him!  
  • Unless God’s Grace is not only flowing in us, but is also being emphasized and utilized, we will fail to make the right decisions.  
  • Our sinful nature directly relates to friendships, marriage, and the church. Each of us must commit to ongoing confession in this area, from selecting godly mentoring relationships, to battling lust, and to growing in a marriage. 
  • When we are not accountable to God or to others such as a spouse, another pastor, mentor, or friend, we are free to sin, which will lead to social and physical disaster.  
  • Refusing to deal with your sin will lead to pornography, flirting, inappropriate lust, jealousy, and then sexual encounters, relationship breakdowns, and perhaps the break-up of a marriage that God brought about or the loss of a pastorate. It will lead you to betray your spouse, your future spouse, your Lord, your church—and you will fall and may even acquire a disease and die!  
  • Living a surrendered, redeemed life is about seeking the Lord’s will, and seeking to glorify Him!   

To be willing and able to confess sin will renew your mind and prepare you to be more effective in relationships and in ministry because you will have given yourself to God—both in mind and body. Just think through what He has done for you, the incredible amount of forgiveness you have received, and your response to what He has done. It should be gratitude that leads you to desire to purge yourself of sin. And, it should be your gratitude that compels you to lead others to do so. When we do as we see fit, all we bring on ourselves are strife and confusion that lead to endless hurt to us, to our family, and to our church family. When we have purged the sin, and continue to do so as an ongoing venture, we will have no desire to copy the evil ways of the world. Rather, we will desire to be further transformed and renewed by God. We will be new persons, infused by the Spirit, so that all we think and all we do is pointed in His direction and call. Because of this renewal, we will know what He desires for us, what is best, and what is pleasing and perfect.  

Be Willing to Learn About Yourself 

One of the themes of the book of Proverbs is the contrast between the wise man and the fool. The Word tells us the right and just way, and then, the wrong and irrational way. We need to see the value and importance of being willing to be taught and to learn. Otherwise, we will keep repeating the same patterns of wrong thinking over and over again. By refusing to learn and grow, we place ourselves in the realm of what the Bible calls the fool!   

  • We can get so blinded by our pride we just never look up to see what God has to offer in the areas of growth, healing, and learning. So, why be the fool, and miss out on so much? To do as you see fit?  
  • To make sure we are in command and in control of our church? Remember, that did not work for the Israelites, did it? Have you ever seen it work?  
  • Read through Proverbs, and let God’s Word reveal to you what will happen. By reading just one chapter a day, you work, and so on and so forth. They seem to never learn. They do not strive to make it work.  
  • You must be willing to commit to improving yourself, in your character, values, and ability to relate to others better, especially to your family, are essential before we can relate to a church.  
  • You must be willing to learn about your personality and what you need to improve and work on to building good, quality relationships, and a lifestyle that is pleasing to the Lord (see our “character channel” under Bible Studies that will help you pave the way)   
  • How do you begin to be a person who learns? Be a person who listens! Those of you who are just starting out in ministry—listen to more experienced pastors. Do not rely only on your friends, especially if they are less mature than you.  
  • The classic disciplines of the Christian faith are your keys too, as well as devotions, getting into the Bible, worship, teach God’s Word with power, conviction, clarity, and truth. See our “Disciplines of the Faith” channel under Bible Studies 

Ask yourself,  

  1. Am I really mature enough to share myself with a church for the long run?
  2. Do I spend too much time at work or at church and ignore my family?
  3. Are there other things cluttering my time and attention that are wrong, or need to be cut back?
  4. Are there unresolved issues? Am I clear of my past?
  5. Is my attitude and relationship with Christ employing and empowering me for ministry, or is it my own will and determination?
  6. Are these four attitudes permeating my life and infusing me with the Holy Spirit? If not, what is in the way?  

Once we get ourselves properly lined up with God and His will, a whole new world opens up. We will build the right character, maturity, and mindset as we emulate the Fruit of His Spirit. Then, His plan starts to become clear as we become more comfortable with and able to lead and manage His church for His glory and make the right choices therein. 

God does not call you to do anything that He has not empowered and enabled you to do! The cross is the proof text of how far He will go for you!  

Our God has rescued you from your sin through an event, the depths of which we can never fathom. We are not good enough on our own, but He makes us good enough to lead His church! God Himself, from His immeasurable love, paid our debt and freed us from His wrath. So, we must ask ourselves, what now? What do I do? How will I live? How will I lead and manage my flock? Will I do as I see fit (God may let you),or, do I go His way, the best way? Do we allow Christ’s love to motivate and control us, or do we go it alone? If we really, truly believe in Him with sincere trust and obedience, then results will come. We must allow that result of fruit (Gal. 5:22-25) to reside in us.  

The Love He has demonstrated for us is the stimulant of life and ministry, the prime directive for us to live out, our model to follow, and what we are to show to others in our life and preaching. We are secured in eternity; our life here is a learning experience, molding us for our life to come. What we do here will echo throughout eternity, so, let us make the most of it! By focusing on what is important, we are motivated to be much more than we could ever be on our own. What is it?  

Giving God the Glory and being surrendered to Him as LORD build our relationships and church!  

Principle Scriptures to Preparing our Pastoral Lives with the Right Mindset: Proverbs 12:4; 28:20; 31:10; 2 Corinthians 5:11-21; Colossians 1

  1. Work of Jesus Christ: Luke 17:20-21; John 18:36; Acts 2:36; Romans 14:17; Ephesians 1:20-23
  2. Saved By the Grace: Isaiah 57: 15; 66:1-2; Luke 18:13; Galatians 2:20-21; Ephesians 2:8-9
  3. Joy: John 14:16-26; 16:12-15; 17:17; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; Colossians 3:15-16
  4. Reconnection and Confession: Judges 17:6; 1 Samuel 7: 2-10; Romans 12:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:9-21; Colossians 1: 9-14; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
  5. Confess Your Sins to God: Romans 14:12-13; Galatians 6:1-5; Ephesians 6:21; 1 Peter 4:10-11
  6. Learn About Yourself: Proverbs 1:5-7; 3:11-12
  7. Missed Opportunities: Luke 9:23-24; 14:25-35
  8. Putting It All Together: 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Galatians 5:22-25 

For more on this series see Preparing for our Pastoral Lives with the Right Mindset at “Articles to help Build our Pastoral and Personal lives for God’s Glory” at www.pastortraining.org 

© 1999, 2004, 2007, 2010, Rev. R. J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org 

Get it Right, be a Good Pastor! PVI               

Job 1-2; Psalm 31:9, 15; 62; 103; 119:50; Isa. 26:3; 41:10; Jer. 27:11; Luke 10: 2-3; 20; John 5:8; 14:1; Rom. 8:28-29; 35-37; 12; 1 Cor. 10:31; Eph. 5:21; Phil. 1:6; 1 Thess. 5:12; James 1:2-3; 1 Peter 4:12-19; Rev. 21:4  

Learning to Focus on Christ 

The call Christ gives us is for us here is to move forward under His produce (Fruit) to produce the goods of “produce” by the Fruit of the Spirit with our faith. So, how can we do this? Form our committed and continual faith formation. This is about the basics on how to grow closer to Christ and deeper in our walk with Him, and also how to draw near to the heart of God are the essential elements to put the “go” into our pastoral action.  

In practice, the good effective God using pastor is in continual prayer, Bible reading, fellowship with other mature believers, and the exercise of our faith in the daily events of our lives. This means we have our reliance in Christ as LORD, becoming submissive and allowing His lead so we can proceed forward where He provides opportunities. We can better have the intention and motivation to get up and get under Him. This works for a new pastor who may have no idea of what to do or where to begin, as well as with the experienced pastor who has walked with God intimately for decades.    

  • How do you know if Christ is your focus? Look at your life. Do you confess God with your lips yet deny Him in your daily life?  
  • How do you define faith? Remember, faith without action is a contradiction, and love without obedience is impossible.  
  • We must be careful that in our strategies and struggles in the pastorate, we do not lose sight of God and His purpose. Try not to come up with some type of shortcut for success.  
  • In Christ , there are no shortcuts. Maturity and discipleship are lifelong pursuits, and we are to always be growing and bettering ourselves through the Word, prayer, spiritual disciplines, and our godly relationships. These are the tools for life and ministry. He is the means. 
  • Our total dependence upon God will produce a better attitude that creates a better church!   
  • Do you realize that our dependence on God helps remove our frustrations, prevents disillusionment, and keeps us centered on what is important in life and ministry, which is Christ?  
  • We can depend on God’s grace because God will provide a way out, in His time. We are to submit as we are called because Christ did.  
  • Without a life-approach of submission, we will reveal that our foundation for life is not spiritual maturity. Hence, we and our churches will be hindered in growth, as will our outreach.  
  • We cannot be a caring community if we are not submissive and humble in our relationship to God and then to one another. 

If you think this is just too much and you are feeling overwhelmed, remember, it does not happen overnight; it takes a lifetime. If you are still unsure, then consider this. One of the main reasons people leave their church is they have no real relationships there. Discipleship is the means for relationship building.  We are designed for something more in life than just pursuing wants and pleasures. That is why people who “have it all” still feel empty. God created us to be in community and in relationship with one another; discipleship is the key to that community. God calls us to lift one another up. There should not be a single person in the church that does not have at least one person they can call a friend and have a relationship with outside the church. 

  • Being His disciple means going His way to His purpose. It means following His plans, not our own; obeying His will, not our own.   
  • Jesus is saying, Look; if you want to be a disciple, you will have to choose to whom you will be loyal.  Will it be God the Creator and Savior, or your own limited ideas and things?  
  • As leaders, we are called to be discipled first and then make disciples. Consider, what does Jesus want me to do? or If Jesus led my life, how would He be and what would He do with my gifts and opportunities?  

There are only two kinds of people who cannot disciple, and they are ones either who are not followers of Christ or who disobey God’s command and refuse to disciple. We must respond with the attitude of Isaiah: Here I am God, ready to be used by you.  He desires the best for us, He has a plan and purpose for us in the kingdom of God, and He wants us to spend eternity with Him. There is no better way. We must learn to yield to the Lordship of our God and not to the desires of our will. When we do this, the discipleship process can begin.  

Now consider these points; how can you add them to your spiritual walk?  

  • One of the themes of the Gospels and Acts 11-16 is that in discipling people, we walk them through the phases and experiences of life. We come along side them and we do not let them go off on their own.   
  • Discipleship is a lifestyle. As we become a part of the lives of others, the purpose for loving them is simply because He first loved us; then, we become instruments of His grace.  
  • In John 15, the goal is intimacy with Christ—being surrendered to biblical priorities and not to our own. Then, we become tools that Christ can use to reach and equip others. We are to be equipped so that we can enable others to know and grow in Christ.  
  • In Mark 8:34-38, Jesus said we are to “deny ourselves.” This means we are to surrender ourselves completely to Him. We are to identify with His character and with what He did on our behalf on the cross. Then, out of gratitude, we are to follow Him wherever He leads us.   

Have these precepts become realities in your walk with Christ? What is in the way of this happening fully in your life?   

© 1992, revised 2004, 2007, Richard Krejcir, Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries (Taken partly from chapter of 6 of Network) www.intothyword.org 

Get it Right, be a Good Pastor! PVII                 

Psalm 77; Isa. 42:7; 69:1-2; 88:7; Luke 9:23-26, 62; 10:2-3; John 2:3, 5; Acts 16:30-31; 1 Pet. 5:6; 1 John 3:23

We “Pastor” Best from Our Growth in Devotional Times!   

The Book of First Peter talks about humbleness, which is characterized by the willingness to follow Christ, receive learning, and experience growth. Two of the best ways I have found to do this are personal devotional time and being a part of a Bible Study. The more we grow in Him, the more humble and useful we become, better able to connect with others and thus be a good pastor. Humbleness does not mean being weak. It means being strong enough to yield to God rather than to ourselves or anything outside of God’s call. We ought to be humble toward one another so that we can know the grace of God, and not be in opposition to God. Be humble, not only toward one another, but toward God. This is so essential in order to be a blessed and growing Christian and church, not necessarily in numbers, but in what is most important—discipleship, which is leaning, learning, and growing in Christ, leading to a lifestyle of worship.   

The key to the success of finding and developing faith is simple; it is obedience. We must be ready to serve God rather than our needs, even before we know what the call may be, and take this mindset into life and to others. This means that faith goes beyond self to grow. This happens when we allow the impacting work of Christ to continually renew and build us. To grow even further, we can be more contemplative in His Word and in prayer. God’s will for our lives is for us to totally surrender and trust in His power and authority, and to abide in Him. He will shape our destiny if we allow it. He will teach us His ways if we will walk in His ways. Trust yourself to our LORD and receive His call in order to build yourself, as well as others, up.  

How can this be done? Ask yourself, “How do I…” and “How can I…” to the following:  

  1. …make a profession/acceptance of faith in who Christ is and what He did on my behalf? 1 John 3:23; Acts 16:30-31  
  2. …make sure Jesus is Lord of all? 1 Corinthians 3:2; Romans 8:9-17  
  3. …be a pastor who is willing to grow in Christ?  2 Peter 1:5-7   
  4. …realize that discipling is not an option—it is a command? Matthew 28:19-20 
  5. …be a pastor who has surrendered himself to His Lordship? John 3:30; Romans 8:28-32, 12; Galatians 2:20-21; Philippians 3:1-10; 1 Peter 4:2 
  6. Matthew 28:16-20; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 2:10; and 2 Timothy 2:2 all tell us that faith and discipleship are lifestyles that move us deeper into prayer and into worshipping Christ.   
  7. …be a pastor who makes good decisions and is focused on God’s will?  
  8. …be a pastor who is honest with God and others? 1 John 1:9  
  9. …be a pastor who walks with the precepts of Psalm 15?   
  10. …be a pastor who knows his abilities, gifts, and talents? Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14; 1 Peter 4:10 
  11. …be a pastor who is willing to submit to His authority?  1 Peter 2:13-15 
  12. …be a pastor who is infused with humility? Psalm 149:4; Proverbs 3:34; Matthew 18:4; Ephesians 4:2-3; Colossians 3:12-14; Philippians 2:3-4; 1 Peter 5:6; James 4:10 
  13. …be a pastor who will not be critical or have a bad attitude? Romans 6:14; 1 Corinthians 13:4-5; Ephesians 4:29-32 
  14. …be a pastor who is not greedy? Luke 12:15; Romans 12:14-15 
  15. …be a pastor who is willing to wait on God’s timing? (Saul versus David)
  16. …be a pastor who is a listener? James 1:19 
  17. …be a pastor who confesses sin and repents of it? Psalm 51; 2 Corinthians 12:9 
  18. …be a pastor who will not have even a trace of pride in him or her? Job 35:12; Proverbs 6:16-19; 16:5; 18; 29:23; Obadiah 3; Galatians 5:26  
  19. …be a pastor who is discerning? Proverbs 20:25; Ephesians 6:10-20; 1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7 
  20. …be a pastor who loves people, especially the lost?  Micah 6:8; Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 10:24-25; 2 Peter 3:9 
  21. God calls us to motivate and teach others to move toward more prayer and care for others. Mark 1:35-2:12; Galatians 6:1-10 
  22. John 1:36-52, and Acts, chapters 10 through 16, tell us that discipling grows from a web of relationships. 
  23. …be a pastor who is a person who forgives? Matthew 5:46; John 17:20-23; Ephesians 4:1-2; 4:32 
  24. …be a pastor who is willing to endure hardships, considering them to be growth opportunities? James 1:2-4; 4:1-11 
  25. …be a pastor who is faithful? Matthew 25:29; Luke 16:10-12 
  26. …be a pastor who has a servant heart and who leads by servanthood? Ephesians 2:10

Bear in mind, Christ loves you and wants the best for you. His way is the best way, and we need to have Him and the perspective of eternity in mind, not our limited feelings and desires. Jesus lived and died on our behalf. He willingly gave up His life and paid the penalty for our sin. He allows us not only to escape the fires of hell, but also gives us eternal life. What is your response?  

Being a true disciple means having a willingness to trust Him completely in all aspects of life from the highest highs to the lowest lows. It means we are not only willing to trust Him to provide for our salvation, but also for the future. Remember, we are to trust Him even when we do not know, like, or understand, and also when He is leading through unpopular territory. 

Jesus invites you to Discipleship!  

But, He lets you know up front that it is a commitment that will cost you something. It is not going to be easy. You cannot just say you love the Lord. You must show it as your heart’s devotion transcends to your hands and feet. We must be Christians more than just when we lead on Sunday mornings. We are first called to be Christians both spiritually and as a lifestyle 24/7, that is twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week this leads us to pastor. Then, we will truly be Jesus’ disciples and be a good pastor! Discipleship is costly because Jesus must have priority over our will, ideas, plans, and presumptions. Discipleship is dynamic, not static. Jesus desires us to understand that being a Christian is not just about sitting in a pew or saying a prayer. It is about a life committed, a life changed, a heart and will surrendered, and a new direction and worldview with His precepts and character for living as our example. Discipleship is not a one-time act. It is a change of heart, a change of direction for a lifetime. A disciple is willing to grow in Christ; are you!? Are you willing to GO? Remember, what we give up is of no comparison to what we gain. We are at the winning, beneficial end of this relationship with God.  

Take this to heart: Jesus never asked anyone to do anything without enabling them with the power to do it. Let this be your encouraging motive!   

Questions to Ponder 

  1. How much does discipleship cost? Does it scare you? If so, why? What can you do to abandon your fears? How would this make you a better pastor?
  1. Read Luke 9:23 and Luke 14:25-35: Ask yourself, “Am I willing to pay the cost?”
  1. What will be the rewards in your life and ministry when you are adhering to His commands?
  1. Now go over the “How do I do this” list again, in prayer, and ask Christ to help you in each bullet point’s implantation in you and implementation into the world.  (For more see article “How to Build your Faith.”)   

Some passages to consider: Psalm 119:130; Isaiah 42:16; Luke 10:2-3; John 4: 23-24; 15; 1 Corinthians 2:14-15; Philippians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:5-7 

How Can I Do This? Psalm 15; 51; 149:4; Proverbs 3:34; 6:16-19; 16:5; 18; 20:25; 29:23; Job 35:12; Obadiah 3; Matthew 5:46; 28:19-20; Mark 1:35-2:12; 8:34-38; Luke 9:62; 12:15; John 1:36-52; 3:30; 15; 17:20-23; Acts, 10-16; 1 Corinthians 3:2; Romans 6:14; 8:9-17; 8:28-32, 12; 1 Corinthians 12; 13:4-5; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Galatians 2:20-21; 5:26; 6:1-10; Ephesians 2:10; 4:1-3, 29-32; 6:10-20; Philippians 2:3-4; 3:1-10; Colossians 3:12-14; 2 Timothy 2:2; James 1:2-4,19; 4:7, 10; 1 Peter 2:13-15; 4:2,10; 5:6-9; 2 Peter 1:5-7; 1 John 1:9  

Determination: Psalms 33:15; 119:29-30; Galatians 5:19-21; 2 Timothy 4:7, 8; Hebrews 12: 2, 12-13 

It is my prayer that we can carry out our pastoral lives with the right mindset of what is really important in life, what is really important to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In so doing, we will not end up in loneliness and regret, or get so burned out and angry we become a mess and perhaps even destroy our family and church that we once loved and sought to shepherd.   

© 1992, revised 2004, 2007, Richard Krejcir, Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries (Taken partly from chapter of 6 of Network) www.intothyword.org

 

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