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The Pastors Ministry Blog

  • Monday, March 30, 2020 12:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Erick Sanders  Pastor, Bible Baptist Church, Everett, Washington

    The first case of the virus in America was diagnosed when a 35-year-old man on January 19, 2020, entered the emergency room at Providence Hospital in the town were I live and serve. I have ministered dozens of times in that ER over the years.  At that point, there was little concern for public safety and future spread of the virus. However, approximately a month later just 15 miles from our church’s doorstep there were several new cases at the “Life Care Center,” a nursing home southeast of us. I remember hearing the news and getting a lump in my throat. 

    As the cases began to accumulate in our state, I was faced with some tough decisions: Do we assemble, or do we stay home? Do we take everything online, or do we simply offer key services and cancel others? Do we go ahead with our Missions Conference that was scheduled for March 13-15? At this point there were not many churches and ministries thinking about these issues.  We were in new territory and I found it overwhelming and extremely difficult to navigate. 

    On Sunday, March 8th, we only met for morning worship at 11am.  That Wednesday I received a call from one of our members sharing that he tested positive for Covid-19.  To complicate the situation, his wife worked in toddler nursery that previous Sunday.  My mind began to race: what if she was infected and had now spread the virus to our toddlers!  What if the new epicenter becomes Bible Baptist Church! 

    We had a positive case in our church, church families could possibly be exposed, and our Missions Conference was due to begin on March 13.  With all of these situations swirling, decisions needed to be made. 

    So, let me share with you the journey of my decision-making process, so that, if you face similar issues, you can learn from my mistakes and successes.

    1.      Seek the Lord
    I know I am running the risk of sounding cliché. However, it is cliché for a reason…. prayer should be the first activity before any other planning or preparation. Prayer is the preparation for the path ahead.
    2.      Seek wise counsel.
    In our situation, I reached out to the following people: A lead doctor in our church, a police officer, and a good friend that is on the Snohomish County Emergency Task Force.  I presented them with the options I was praying through and they gave the pros and cons of each decision.  This step was invaluable, so don’t skip it.  These men gave insight and knowledge I didn’t possess.  
    3.      Model biblical submission.
    When I needed to make decisions about meeting or not, there was a lot of chatter from pastors about the government “interfering” in religious freedoms. I chose a different take.  I wanted to use this time to help our church understand biblical submission to authority whether those authorities were civil, spiritual, or familial.
    4.      Do what is best for YOUR church.
    We must be careful in looking at what every other church is doing, and not give consideration to the people God has called us to pastor.
    5.      Genuinely care for your church family.
    I believe we must be careful that in the frenzy of reformatting we don’t miss the mark.  Ministry is about people not programs. Ministry is about lives not livestream.  Going back to the man in our church that is diagnosed with the virus, at that time he was scared, worried, and in need of hope.  In those moments, we must choose human hearts over virtual views.
    God has given us a unique opportunity to minister. Let me encourage you to pray, serve and sacrifice for souls in this great time of need.  Our world is looking for hope… we have it, so let’s share it!

    eriksanders@biblebaptistchurch.net


  • Tuesday, March 24, 2020 8:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Tracy Roby  Pastor, Overland Park Baptist Temple

    Throughout the entire span of our ministry it has been about people. To suddenly find ourselves isolated from our congregations is heartbreaking. Together we are all trying to adjust to the new norm. For many of us, livestreaming was a brand new experience. My goal was simply that the Sunday morning video of our service wouldn’t look like an Islamic extremist hostage video. I spent much of the weekend looking at different church services across the nation and some of us succeeded and some didn’t!

    Personally, I wasn’t too excited to change our format. I liked the way things were. I enjoyed our comfortable building and meeting with “our people.” I was comfortable and things were going great. “Don’t mess that up.” I couldn’t believe the changes that suddenly we were all forced to accept and adapt to. It seemed like our freedoms were being taken away. At this point, you might be thinking, “I thought this was a word of encouragement?” Well hold on…

    One thing we all succeeded at last Sunday was getting the gospel out in mass form like never before. We had people tune in online that haven’t come to our church in years. Our people were “sharing” our service to all of their friends, and before we knew it people were watching from all around the country. Multiply that by all the missionaries and pastors that did the same thing online and suddenly the gospel is being spread in an unprecedented way. Way to go God! The gospel is being spread to the ends of the world in these last days. All because God forced us to get out of our comfortable buildings.

    Acts 1:8 is a command that we all know was given to the early church and applies to us today. However, when you begin to read the book of Acts the early church really wasn’t succeeding in the fulfillment of that command. They were doing a great job in Jerusalem, but that wasn’t the mission. The goal was the uttermost parts of the world. Then persecution came (Acts 1:8) and they were scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria. It took persecution to get the church back on track.

    Perhaps we had become too comfortable in our Jerusalem. “Let’s send a little something to help them remember the command” – and in one Sunday it happened! The gospel goes to the world through social media like never before. For a few moments Christians stopped sharing “politics” on Facebook and shared the gospel. Let’s share the good news and encourage our congregations to share their media this Sunday. This is a wonderful opportunity the Lord has provided for all of us. May the Lord bless you as you minister to the world in a brand new way.


  • Friday, March 06, 2020 9:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Thom Rainer Founder and CEO of Church Answers

    I have pretty clear memories of my first visit to a cafeteria. I was five years old, and my parents wanted our family to experience a Morrison’s Cafeteria in Montgomery, Alabama.

    It was amazing. I saw untold numbers of dishes of meats, vegetables, salads, fruits and, of course, desserts. I had never seen anything like it. Mom and Dad had already given my brother and me strict instructions on how much we could choose. But, for a small-town kid who had never seen such a feast, I was amazed.

    The concept was basic. If you paid your money, you could choose whatever you wanted. Your preferences were paramount. It was all about you.

    It sounds like some churches we know.

    Though we don’t have the numbers of cafeterias we once had, the lessons are instructive. Simply stated, your church is not a cafeteria. Here are seven differences.

    1. In a cafeteria, you pay for your preferences. In a church, you should give abundantly and joyfully without expecting anything in return. If you ever hear someone say, “We pay the bills in this church,” you know they act like the church is a cafeteria.

    2. In a cafeteria, the focus is on you. In a church, the focus should be on God first and then others. If you ever hear someone say, “I’m not getting fed in this church,” you know they act like the church is a cafeteria.

    3. In a cafeteria, you demand to have things your way. In a church, you should sacrifice your own needs for others. If you ever hear someone say, “I want the order of service to be like it’s always been,” you know they act like the church is a cafeteria.

    4. In a cafeteria, the business must continue to make things more appealing and attractive for you to return. In a church, you should not expect to be entertained to get you to come back. If you ever hear someone say, “I’m going to a church where the music is more exciting,” you know they act like the church is a cafeteria.

    5. In a cafeteria, if the customer does not get his or her way, the business must make every effort to address and remedy his or her complaint. In a church, we should be so busy doing for others and serving Christ that we don’t have time or the desire to whine or complain. If you ever hear someone say, “People are saying . . .”, you know they act like the church is a cafeteria.

    6. In a cafeteria, you have a full staff serving you behind the glass partitions, indulging your every desire. In a church, you should not expect the staff to do all or most of the ministry or service; instead, the members are to do the work of ministry. If you ever hear someone saying, “Pastor, you should . . .”, you know they act like the church is a cafeteria.

    7. In a cafeteria, you will likely complain to others in person or on social media if you are not fully satisfied. In a church, you should not have a gossiping or complaining spirit; instead, you should be building others up. If you ever see someone complain about their church on social media, you know they act like the church is a cafeteria.

    Cafeterias were fun when I was a kid. But Morrison’s went out of business and the pieces were picked up by Piccadilly Cafeterias. And Piccadilly declared bankruptcy in 2012.

    The big cafeteria chains have not fared well. And neither will churches if they keep acting like cafeterias.

    https://thomrainer.com/2020/02/seven-differences-between-your-church-and-a-cafeteria/


  • Friday, February 28, 2020 8:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Kevin Kolb  Pastor, Grace Baptist Church, St. Charles, MO

    I’ve often been asked, “why does our church emphasize and provide biblical counseling?” And given the current demand on a pastor’s time, “why do I counsel people?” I love helping fellow pastors think through these questions.

    Remember back to your teen years when the church youth group would take its annual float trip. There would inevitably be some unlucky pair who made the river a very dangerous place. They would fall into the water before they even had their life jackets on. They had no experience in a canoe, much less on a river. Halfway down the float they were bloodied, bruised, and hopelessly exhausted. They were discouraged, frustrated and would quit if they could find a way out. It was at that moment a youth counselor would navigate alongside and help them out of the current. In a safe place he would explain the process of steering a canoe, let them practice the strokes and might even put someone in the canoe with them for a while to guide them. He would stay close to them through the rough stretches. He essentially guided them home. That is what loving biblical counselors do.

    Biblical counseling is coming alongside someone who is suffering due to sin, listening carefully in order to discern the problem, then using the Word of God to help the person change for the glory of God and the benefit of the counselee.

    We should counsel members of our church who are affected by sin because restoring fallen and struggling members is consistent with Christ’s current work in His church. Ephesians 5:25-27 tells us that Christ gave himself for the church (referring to His death and resurrection) for the purpose of sanctifying and cleansing it (referring to our holiness and usefulness). The means for that cleansing is clear; we are changed by His Word. The beauty of Christ’s bride progressively develops one sanctified believer at a time. Pastors should see their role as that of a bridesmaid, assisting the bride as she prepares for her groom’s arrival.

    No friend of the bride would ignore the stain on her gown, or let her walk down the aisle with her hair out of place. No loving youth pastor would ignore or make fun of discouraged young people flailing on a float trip. And no biblical pastor would ignore the anxious, depressed, fearful, or afflicted in their church.

    Pastors should embrace the call to biblical counseling because Christ’s goal is lasting change in a person’s life, which is only accomplished through the sufficient scriptures and results in great glory.

    kevin@gracebaptistchurch.info


  • Wednesday, February 26, 2020 10:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Michael Hyatt, Founder and CEO of Michael Hyatt & Company

    Sometimes you learn from positive role models. Often you learn from negative ones. This is one of the reasons I love to read history—you invariably see both.

    Unfortunately, Lincoln’s leadership was not perfect. He occasionally selected men for public service who were unworthy of his trust. One such individual was Gen. George B. McClellan, commander of the Army of the Potomac and, eventually, first general-in-chief of the Union Army.

    McClellan had significant character flaws that can serve as warning signs to anyone in leadership. Ultimately, these cost him dearly: He lost Lincoln’s confidence, his job, and a run for the White House (against Lincoln). Worse, his missteps prolonged the Civil War and cost the lives of tens of thousands of soldiers on both sides of the conflict.

    I want to share five flaws I noted in McClellan as I read Goodwin’s book. These characteristics practically define what it means to be a weak leader. And the list doubles as a convenient self-evaluation tool if you want to avoid becoming one.

    Read More by clicking link below

    https://michaelhyatt.com/5-characteristics-of-weak-leaders/

    About Michael

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 10:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Lewis McClendon, Baptist Church Ministry Network

    It’s one thing to know the right answers to political and social questions, and another thing to have the mind of Christ. In this message, Dr. Melton doesn’t “preach to the choir” about all of wrong thinking in our world. He called us as Biblical, Balanced, Baptists to have the mind of Christ. Enjoy this video of a sermon from Dr. David Melton from the meeting this past October in Canton.

  • Friday, February 14, 2020 11:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Thom Rainer  Founder and CEO of Church Answers

    This Post was originally published on ThomRainer.com on February 3, 2020

    “I can’t believe he resigned.”

    The recent comment to me was from a church member of a seemingly healthy church. The pastor had been at the church seven years and decided to leave the congregation. In this particular example, there was no significant conflict. There was no pressure for him to leave. To the contrary, he was loved by most of the church members.

    But he quit.

    Not only did he quit, he decided to take a break from church leadership and took a job in the secular world.

    “But what was really strange,” the church member commented, “we had just celebrated one of our biggest accomplishments in years with the building of our new worship center. It was really a success in many ways.”

    The church member obviously did not know that her pastor’s resignation was not that uncommon. In fact, we hear from pastors almost every month who decide to leave their churches when things are going very well. Simply stated, pastors sometimes leave in the aftermath of some seemingly big accomplishment, such as the construction of a new building, the adoption of another church, or the meeting of a major financial goal. Why? Why do they leave when things seem to be going so well?

    We asked pastors these questions. They gave us one or more of these four responses:

    1. The pastors were burned out. The accomplishment took every ounce of their energy and then some. They were burned out and worn out. They simply did not have the energy to resume a more normal ministry.

    2. The pastors’ families suffered. Because the pastors spent so much time and energy on the successful project, their families were neglected. One pastor told us he had to resign to save his marriage. He had neglected his wife. “When the building program was over, I went home at a normal time,” he reflected. “We felt like strangers in the same house.”

    3. The pastors lose their zeal for normal ministry. “We took two years to finally adopt a church near us,” a Florida pastor shared with us. “The process was both challenging and exhilarating. I wasn’t burned out, but I lost my motivation to do the things a pastor is supposed to do. Preaching and pastoral care no longer gave me fulfillment.”

    4. The pastors lose their connection with the majority of the congregation. A pastor in Indiana shared with us his neglect of most of the church membership. He was so focused on a major building program that he gave all of his attention to the few members leading the fundraising and providing leadership for the construction of the facility. He felt disconnected from other members once the project was completed and celebrated.

    These four reasons should serve as cautionary tales for pastors leading major efforts in their churches. Don’t burn both ends of the candle to lead the effort. Don’t neglect your family. Don’t neglect “normal” ministry. And don’t forget the rest of the congregation not directly involved in the project.

    Some pastors leave their churches after successes with major projects.

    But most of those pastors could have done things differently and still be at their churches.

    https://thomrainer.com/2020/02/why-pastors-leave-a-church-after-a-major-success/


  • Monday, February 03, 2020 8:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    DR. RICK CARTER, Pastor, Bible Baptist Church, Gulfport, Mississippi

    Because I want to end on a positive note, I will consider The Don’ts of Church Finance first:

    1.    Do not wait until the church is deeply behind financially to preach or to put a financial plan together.

    2.    Do not assume that your people understand tithing and grace giving.  They must be properly taught to have the blessings of God upon their finances.

    3.    Do not just preach on tithing and giving when the offerings are down.  This will potentially come across as a negative.

    4.    Do not condemn or criticize people who do not tithe and give. That will only drive them farther away.  Shepherd them to truth and the blessings of God.

    5.    Do not expect the circumstance to change if you do not have an active on-going plan.


    Now let’s consider the Do’s.

    1.    It is imperative that the Pastor have a God given vision/goal for the church.  People do not necessarily respond to need but they will respond to vision.  It has been said that the poorest man in the world is not the person who has no money, but the person who has no vision.

    2.    Be sure you effectively communicate the vision.

    3.    Do not assume people will buy into the vision just because you tell them.  Present the vision to small groups, deacons, teachers, etc. and then all of you present the vision to the church body.

    4.    Show the people how the vision can be accomplished.  This is imperative.  If they do not believe the vision is possible they will not buy in.

    5.    Maintain the vision with weekly updates and progress reports.

    6.    Regularly thank the congregation for their giving and sacrifices that makes the progress possible.

    7.     Have a time of celebration and giving of glory and praise for what God has allowed to be accomplished.  Always celebrate God’s blessings publicly with the church body.
    Dr. Carter can be contacted via email at: mrstewardship@gmail.com


  • Thursday, February 22, 2018 8:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kevin Kolb, Grace Baptist Church


    “I love to preach.” In my life I’ve heard hundreds of pastors, evangelists and missionaries proclaim their love for the public ministry of the Word.  Sadly what I haven’t heard nearly as often from those same godly men is any expression of love for the private ministry of the word.  Yet Paul made it clear that, as a busy apostle ministering over a three- year span in the city of Ephesus, he was diligent to share the whole counsel of God both privately (house-to-house) and publicly.  (Acts 20:20, 27, 31) 

    I’ve come to appreciate, and yes even love, pastoral counseling as much as, if not more than, preaching each Sunday.  Allow me to explain:

    • 1.     Pastoral Counseling gives insight on the spiritual health of the flock.  Meeting for 8-12 weekly sessions offers Shepherds unique opportunities to really get to know members of their church.  As you gather data in the session you learn about their passions, challenges, struggles, and responses.  You find out how much they really love the Word of God, if their hope really is in Christ, and where they invest the treasures of their life.  This type of information helps pastors better care for the sheep who are hurting and warn the ones who are rebellious (1 Thess. 5:14).  Attending a sporting event or prayer breakfast with men in your church rarely yields such insight.   
    • 2.     Pastoral counseling provides opportunities to share the gospel.  Sharing the message of full salvation (justification, sanctification and glorification) awakens hope in members who are discouraged by guilt and defeated by sin.  I relish the privilege of reminding Christians that the gospel promises not just victory over sin's penalty of death, but that it remains their only source of transforming power and promises freedom from sin's grip.  Applying the gospel specifically to the wounded victims of abuse and neglect assure them that there is healing balm in Gilead (Jer. 8:15).
    • 3.     Pastoral Counseling helps equip future leaders.  Helping men in the church grow through counseling has paid back the time and labor invested a hundred fold.  Almost every man currently in a teaching role in our church or serving as a deacon has sat in my office at one time or another for spiritual counsel.  Other men have come through our counseling ministry that are now serving as pastors and missionaries.  I’m directed by scripture to equip the saints for the work of the ministry and counseling provides direct means for that task (Eph. 4:12).  When church members see men who once struggled spiritually be given opportunities to serve in vital ways rather than ostracized for being tainted goods, they realize they too can be honest about their struggles and can be transparent without fear of reprimand or removal.  Having pastoral interns and trainees sitting in and watching me counsel also provides another real life equipping opportunity.  
    • 4.     Pastoral Counseling ignites sermon preparation.  The depth and breadth of issues faced in a years’ worth of counselling pushes me away from the same ole sermon applications I’m prone to fall into.  I’m careful never to use my counselees as sermon illustrations as that would be a betrayal of trust, but their struggles fuel my study.  I’m reminded that these are real people with real issues who desperately need truth or their marriages and families will fly off the rails. I tend to pray for my own heart and the audience’s response to the word more fervently when I know my counselees will be in attendance and taking notes.  I’m forced to answer the “so what” question of the text rather than simply “share” a few thoughts that someone may find interesting.
    • 5.     Pastoral Counseling encourages personal holiness. My wife always seems to know when I’m doing marital counseling.  When I see first-hand the devastation of neglectful husbanding in a session, I can’t help but step up my own effort when I get in the car and head home.  When I assign other couples a date night, I remember how beneficial they are in my own life.  When I see how deceptive sin is and how it never fulfills or produces anything good, I’m able to wisely recall those lessons when my own heart is tempted.  I remind counselees often that God is changing me in the sessions as much as, and sometimes more than, he is changing them. 

    I love pastoral counseling and I would encourage all my pastor friends to consider these rich rewards the next time they are tempted to complain when wounded or rebellious sheep call for an appointment. 

    Pastor Kolb is available for mentoring in the Biblical/Pastoral counseling area.  For information, contact him at kevin@gracebaptistchurch.info


  • Wednesday, January 24, 2018 5:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Matthew Trill, New Testament Baptist Church, Largo, FL


    “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

    We might expect a statement like that to come from renowned coach, John Wooden. He created a dynasty at UCLA that transcended college basketball. His teams compiled four perfect 30-0 seasons and won ten national championships (including seven in a row). He completed a 29-year college coaching career with an incredible .804 winning percentage (664-162).

    When you can do all of that, it makes it easier not to focus on personal deficiency or weakness.

    One of the difficulties of pastoral ministry is the tendency for comparison, and a sense of insufficiency that often follows. Technology and communication allows us to see and hear firsthand the ministries of many others around the world. We observe the gifts of others and the scope of their ministries and compare them to our own. If we are not careful and wise, we will begin to allow what we cannot do (or think we cannot) to interfere with what we can do. More importantly, it may interfere with what God has called us to do.

    As pastors, we need to be reminded that our glory is not found in personal wisdom, abilities, or resources. Anything we have to offer is found in our relationship with the Lord who exercises “lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

    The resurrected Savior dramatically called Peter to a lifetime of sacrifice, service, and even death for the cause of Christ. The disciple quickly looked over his shoulder at John and asked what his responsibilities would be. Jesus quickly called Peter back into proper focus, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.” (John 21:22)

    God has uniquely gifted and called each of His servants. If we have genuinely responded to His call and followed His leading, we can rejoice that He has precisely placed and uniquely equipped us to do His will.


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