Pastor's Blog: The Church Your New Pastor Deserves

 |  Pastor's Blog

A primary role of every local church pastor is to cast vision. If the leader is not ahead of the group, trouble, not purpose, will drive its direction. Of course, if the congregation doesn’t follow the pastor, then the pastor is only taking a walk. I’ve been fortunate in the many ways you have supported my sense of God’s leading, even when circumstances have required us to adjust the vision and its timing, but such is how church often goes. After all, we do walk by faith and not by sight, and God sometimes delays a vision’s realization until a more suitable time.

Normally, pastors cast vision at the front end of their ministry, soon after they have spent enough time gaining an understanding of the church’s strengths, weaknesses, assets, and threats. But as I prepare my last sermon series with you, I’d like to reverse that approach a bit. I’d like to cast a bit of vision as I get ready to walk out the door – as my way of helping you to welcome your new pastor and to support him with the commitment he will need from every member of this exemplary congregation. Hence the title of my last series: “The Church Your New Pastor Deserves.”

The concept for this series comes from an article I came across years ago by a Baylor business school professor, Phil Van Auken, who wrote an article on “Spiritual Principles of Church Health” that have guided my appreciation for the priority of church health over church growth. If God’s call is for the church to be more faithful than successful or even effective, then it behooves a congregation to give serious thought to what such spiritual health might look like in its context. This upcoming series will be my take on how this principle applies to MBBC.  Here, then, are the texts, titles, and major takeaways from this upcoming series.


9/5

“More by Its Waiting than Its Working”

Luke 10:38-42

Big Idea: The most important choice we make in church is to spend time with Jesus, a choice that empowers us for the work he gives us to do.

 

9/12

“More by Its Spirit than Its Success”

Luke 11:24-26

Big Idea: The presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst keeps us from having room for other attitudes and emotions that threaten our well-being.

 

9/19

“More by Its Proclamation than Its Programs”

Luke 12:8-9 

Big Idea: The heart of all the church does is its witness to the world that we belong to Jesus.

 

9/26

“More by Its Confidence than Its Competence”

Luke 11:11-13

Big Idea: Our confidence in God’s gracious provisions makes us look to the future with anticipation and promise.

   

10/3

“More by Its Prayerfulness than Its Performance”

Luke 11:1-4 

Big Idea: Prayer is the best way to keep the church aligned with God’s Kingdom purposes.

 

10/10

“More by Its Discernment than Its Decisions”

Luke 12:54-56

Big Idea: The greatest measure of our faithfulness is our ability to tell how God is at work in our midst so that we might join Him in it.

 

10/17

“More by Its Priorities than Its Popularity”

Luke 11:43; 12:49-53

Big Idea: Making God’s purposes our top priority in life won’t win popularity contests but will give us the strength we need to finish strong.

 

10/24

“More by Its Motives than Its Money”

Luke 12:15, 31, 34

Big Idea: What counts most in heaven’s economy is our heart for the Kingdom above all else.

 

10/31

“More by Its Openness than Its Opaqueness”

Luke 11:33-36; 12:2-3

Big Idea: Our commitment to transparency is a welcome sight in a world of deception.  

 

Because this series will begin this Labor Day Sunday, I know many of you will be out, and as the Sundays progress, not all of you will be able to hear all of them in person. But I hope you will take the time to listen to any you might miss through our church’s website, Facebook page, or You Tube channel. My prayer is that God will use my last words as Senior Minister at MBBC to help you see how you might with God’s help make such a vision become reality and set the stage for your next pastor to take the baton, discover the Spirit’s guidance in developing a new vision, and moving this great church forward toward becoming even more the exemplary congregation the cause of Christ needs it to be.