discipleship

When They Just Don’t Get It

imagesWhat do you do when people don’t get it? You’ve prayed, visioned, planned, packaged and promoted it as a team, but still people aren’t getting the message, let alone getting on board. What’s your next move?

Here are 7 Questions to ask when they don’t get it…

1 – Did we say it simply enough? We may have gathered next-level leaders and detailed a strategic plan for whatever our next big thing is. However, if we can’t communicate it in simple terms, people won’t get behind it. How can they? Complicated is not what people need more of. Less is more when it comes to most visions, messages, and the best-laid plans. Don’t dumb it down. Just keep it simple.

2 – Did we say it long enough? Just because we said it once, doesn’t mean everyone heard it, won’t make it go viral, and won’t automatically spark mass revival. It takes time for most visions and messages to sink in. They may not have gotten the message… yet!

3 – Did we say it often enough? Sometimes even when we know where the fish are, we still have to cast and recast to get them to bite. People are busy and, believe it or not, aren’t focused solely on your agenda. Shocking, I know. Communicate what’s important to your organization through multiple platforms on a consistent basis for greater impact.

4 – Did we say it creative enough? Keep your bait fresh, maybe change the color of your lure or depth of your line? Let others join you in saying it with you or even say it for you. Gather creative people and draw from the successful strategies of others as you seek to motivate people to get the same message, at the same time and move towards a shared goal.

5 – Our we leading by example? Sometimes people can’t hear our message because our actions (or inactions) are speaking too loud. If we aren’t living it, we can forget it. No one can join us in something we are merely talking about. Actions speak louder than words. Lead it by living it.

6 – Is it the right thing? Could we have gotten to this point and, yet, overlooked this little detail? Yes. We simply don’t always get it right. Perhaps we put on blinders and we are the ones not getting the message? Sometimes we “swing and miss” when it comes to everything from a point in a message or speech, a principle for leadership practice, an event or initiative, maybe our methodology or even target audience? Consider that, from time to time, we need to be the one to change not merely what is said and how we say it, but what we are doing or where we are going with it. Maybe it was the right thing at one time, but here and now, it isn’t? Be as willing to change as you challenge others to be.

7 – Maybe they simply don’t want it? We should never jump to this conclusion quickly. Still, after patiently and passionately attempting all of the above, only to find that the fish just aren’t biting and your fellow anglers aren’t really into fishing with you… it may be time to change locations. Please, whatever you do, don’t stop fishing! Perhaps you may need to find another spot, fish a different way and/or go after a different kind of fish? You won’t know until you try. However, make sure you have “fished out” the hole you are in first and that the One who called you to be “fishers of men” is leading the way.

The most important message is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. More than “getting it,” people need to give up and be gotten by it, by Him. Above all, let’s make sure we live and lead this message as Christian leaders.

 

4 “Non-Sin” Sermon Practices

images-7This perspective on preaching is meant to help a few pastors out there breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to effective preaching. Given the amount of attention given and training dedicated to some of these and other preaching methodologies, you would think it was a sin to not practice them. Call it a little mild push-back… here are 4 “Non-Sin” Sermon Practices:

1) Preaching with notes. It’s hard not to sound whiney & pathetic on this one. Here it goes… having 20+ uninterrupted office hours per week, a book allowance, team of researchers, graphic designers, teaching screen, green room & amazing worship team to help prepare, memorize and position you to deliver a 20-30 minute message with solid, relevant content are all very good things! The reality is most pastors, especially marketplace, bi-vocational and small church leaders, don’t have resources like these at their disposal on a weekly basis.

If this is you, stop comparing yourself to those who do (and stop resenting them while you’re at it). Develop a great team of talented volunteers. Use some notes and don’t feel inadequate about it. Don’t preach to your notes, either. Prepare well. There is no excuse not to… none. Know the audience you are trying to reach, connect with them in intentional ways and be true to God’s Word.

2) Not using “buzz” words. I remember about 10 years ago the word “paradigm” was the word of the day. Preachers and speakers seemed to fall all over themselves looking for ways to use it without appearing to try. Today, words and phrases like, “community,” “journey” and “track with me” are favorites as we sit down to preach at a cafe table, sipping coffee so as to be “real, relaxed and relevant.”

Don’t try so hard. People can usually see right through this. Avoid using and abusing terminology simply to sound folksy, professional, country, gospel, hipster, gangster, intellectual or any other way other than you… sharing Jesus with real people.

3) Not showing a video. “Check this out…” we say, as the lights fade and a touching, inspiring, hilarious or otherwise gut-wrenching movie clip or you-tube video seamlessly rolls. (I actually used the phrase, “Roll that beautiful bean footage…” one time. Sad, I know.) While people learn more visually than ever, and videos can help drive some points home, it really is okay if people don’t see a video during every sermon.

4) Getting emotional! The spiritualized “Ted Talk” style of preaching became the “norm,” maybe even the unspoken benchmark for preaching the Gospel to the 21st century audience about ten years ago. I get it… frothing at the mouth and yelling at people for an hour has long since proven less than effective.

Still, if the fate of lost souls, the hope of heaven, and the amazing grace of Jesus isn’t enough to move us a little emotionally, how can we expect others to be moved to any kind of action? (I know, Jonathan Edwards didn’t need emotional hype…) While stopping well short of winning an Oscar for Best Dramatic Performance, we shouldn’t be afraid to display some genuine emotion in the course of a message. 

Bonus material: Don’t get me started on anyone over 30 wearing, let alone preaching in “skinny” anything. 

Preaching has become more of an “art” than ever. This is a good thing. By all means, glean from the latest and most ancient sermon prep training and instruction. After all, the greatest story ever told is worth the effort. At the end of the day, being true to Jesus and His Gospel should be among our top preaching priorities as we seek to warn the lost (and the found) and awaken hope in this age of uncertainty.

What are your thoughts and suggestions when it comes to effective preaching?

Jesus is the Subject

imgres-1“Be BOLD!” is the theme of this year’s Church of God North American Convention and it has been a powerful week in worship and the Word! Tonight’s service features Francis Chan speaking and Larnelle Harris and Sandi Patty leading worship along with the Crossings Community Church worship band.

Praying for a mighty move of God’s Spirit! Check out the live stream at 7pm (CST) http://www.jesusisthesubject.org/church-of-god-convention-2015/

4 Questions for Solving Problems

imgres-5Face it, you and your lead team will face problems as you work to realize the vision God has given you. You are probably in the middle of solving one right now. The greater the vision, the larger the challenge. How do you address these problems in a way that positions you to be even more effective for Christ and His cause?

Here are 4 Questions to ask to help solve the problems you will face…

1) What’s Who’s the problem? The problem is rarely something. Someone is usually behind the problem. It may very well be the one bringing the problem to your attention. Or, you may be the problem and not know it.

Most problems are relational. How can you as a leader set the example? How can you hold yourself and others accountable and foster better relationships while solving the problem together? Don’t rush in to “fix it.” Take the time to discover who is involved, what is involved and how you can partner in making it right.

2) “How long have you felt this way?” The person with the problem (yourself included) may have stewed and brood over it so long they have turned something simple into something serious. In other words, they have turned a “mole-hill into a mountain.” Deal with the felt needs and then learn to process problems in a more timely manner, in the moments that matter.

The Apostle Paul gave some strong advice concerning timing and problem people to the church in Ephesus, Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin.” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesians 4:25-27, NIV)

 3) “What do you suggest?” Don’t enable people by allowing them to complain, criticize or even critique without bringing something of value to the table. Create a culture in your church or organization that holds everyone responsible for being part of the solution. Don’t focus on problem people. Focus on solving problems with people. 

4) “What does Scripture say?” People can and will argue with you. Don’t get caught up in the blame game. Instead, appeal to the Word of God as your guide as you seek the most redemptive option. Find a relevant passage and discover how it applies to the very real situation you are in. I have yet to face a problem (or a problem person) that the Word of God was not able to address with clarity and bring harmony, if minds were teachable and hearts were pliable. See Matthew 18 for a refresher on relational problem solving procedures.

One final thought… don’t internalize. We often take things too personal as leaders. This only complicates things. You and your lead team very well may be to blame. If so, own it, deal with it, and move on. However, when you aren’t directly at fault, don’t get caught up in the emotion. Stay in a humble posture as you hold others accountable. Refuse to either internalize or enable as you face the problem and problem people with ample grace and firm intent.

How do you handle problems and the problem people who come with them? Share your suggestions in the Reply section below!

9 Things Healthy Churches DO

images-2What is it that healthy churches do that distinguishes them from less effective ministries? Reflect on snapshots of the first century church in passages like Acts 2:42-47 and consider these 9 Things Healthy Churches DO to become more effective in gathering and growing followers of Jesus Christ…

1) Healthy Churches DO less. “What?” That’s right. Healthy churches do less than habitually busy churches. Their vision is focused and guided by values motivated by a passion for making and being followers of Jesus in their communities. They don’t give in to the pressure of following trend or perpetuating tradition. They are brave enough to do what they have been called to do. No apologies. They often choose greater impact while supporting fewer causes or offering fewer ministries. However, when they do what they do for who they do it for… it is a game and life changer! Ask yourself and your team, “Could less really be more?”

2) Healthy Churches Pray. Most of us have overlooked or just plain missed this one. God said through Isaiah, And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to minister to him, to love the name of the Lordand to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant— these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” The Sovereign Lord declares— he who gathers the exiles of Israel: “I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.” (Isaiah 56:6-8, NIV).

Jesus would quote this passage (Matthew 21:13, Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46) when He cleansed the temple. He seemed to be saying, “You are robbing God and yourselves when you make this thing called church about you.”

DL Moody has reminded us, “Prayer does not mean that I am to bring God down to my thoughts and my purposes, and bend his government according to my foolish, silly, and sometimes sinful notions. Prayer means that I am to be raised up into feeling, into union and design with him; that I am to enter into his counsel and carry out his purpose fully.”

How do you make prayer a priority? Here’s a simple phrase that pays… “Every meeting a prayer meeting.” We’ll break this down in another post soon! (Hint: We will debunk the “attitude of prayer” myth!)

3) Healthy Churches Give (a lot!). There is a generous spirit that marks a healthy church. They give time, talent, and treasure with a sense of excitement and expectation, not obligation. They communicate the impact of their giving creatively and consistently. They challenge still more support of their vision and values to share Christ from the local neighborhood to the shrinking global community. Generosity is celebrated and God is given the glory as tangible needs are met and both lives and destinies are changed, forever. Speaking of celebration…

4) Healthy Churches Celebrate. They celebrate people! They celebrate and recognize “wins” in their community outside their walls and the volunteers, staff and pastors within. Most of all, they lift up Jesus! The worship experience itself is seen as a celebration of God where people are active participants in His praise, in giving and interactive teaching of His Word. These churches have a “buzz” about them as they make much of Jesus.

Let’s face it, people love a party where guests are not only invited, but expected. There is no greater reason to party than joining all of heaven in celebrating these guests coming to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

5) Healthy Churches Connect. They connect with the community outside and create connecting environments and opportunities to build relationships inside. I would suggest we give much more effort to creating connections in our neighborhoods and cities than within our own congregations. Why? Because few saints need to be reminded to hang out with those that are like them and are already “in.” It’s reaching out to those not like us and not “in” that must be purposed with the passion that motivated Jesus to include us at all in the first place.

The Apostle Paul challenged, For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” (2 Corinthians 5;14-15, NIV)

6) Healthy Churches Equip. Volunteers and staff alike know what they are responsible for and, more importantly, get the training and resources they need to serve and lead with excellence. From conferences to retreats, to on-line simulcasts, podcast subscriptions, to ongoing coaching relationships and so much more, equipping is never seen as an expense to be avoided. Rather, it is an investment in kingdom expansion through well-prepared servant leaders.

7) Healthy Churches practice “Double-honor.” Unhealthy churches and organizations see their leaders like a utility player just called up from the minor leagues. They fill a role (or many roles!) and serve their purpose as long as the team needs them. Far too many churches secretly see their pastoral staff and their families this way. However, healthy (and biblical) churches see them as called of God to serve and lead. They do their very best to invest in them as the “franchise players” or “team captains.” Is it coincidence that these churches often have leaders that serve long term?

Healthy churches fully embrace the reality that John Maxwell described years ago, “As go the leaders, so goes the church.” They encourage, equip, pray for, pay, protect, train and resource in such a way that they can give themselves fully to having healthy personal and family lives and the work of the Lord through the local church… and in that order. This is a joy and a privilege knowing that as God’s people honor His servants, He will honor His people.

8) Healthy Churches Make Disciples who make disciples. There is a simple and purposed process for growing people in the image and knowledge of Jesus. Environments (small groups) and experiences (outreach) are created as part of a step-by-step process. These opportunities encourage individuals and families in their personal walk with Jesus, deep and experiential study of His Word, and their shared responsibilities with the greater family of God. If you have never read “Simple Church,” get it today! If you have, read it again and get back on track. Here’s the Amazon link… http://www.amazon.com/Simple-Church-Returning-Process-Disciples/dp/0805447997 

From the first “Welcome to the Family” or “New Beginnings” lunch, “What we believe” class to “Leadership 101, 201, 301” and personal evangelism training… growing in the Lord isn’t taken for granted. Ask yourself and your team, “Yeah, but are we really making disciples?” If not, what needs undone so you can do this?

9) Healthy Churches love well. No church gets it all right all of the time. We are prone to excess and omission. However, if we love God and love people with a passionate and patient grace, then we will be who we are called to be. The doing of whatever we do will then find it’s proper place. Love is what we should be best known for since the One we represent is love and grace incarnate in Jesus Christ. This is what we are to be known for… not our worship, not our our outreach. Rather, how we love while doing whatever we do.

Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35, NIV)

This is by far not a definitive list. What would you add that describes what it means to be a healthy church?

5 Ways to Pray Over Your Message

imgres-8What difference can prayer make as you prepare for your next sermon, teaching session or presentation? EM Bounds has challenged, “We have emphasized sermon-preparation until we have lost sight of the important thing to be prepared—the heart. A prepared heart is much better than a prepared sermon. A prepared heart will make a prepared sermon.” – E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer

Here are 5 ways to pray over your next message…

1) Pray to be true to God’s Word. Our words are forgettable and sometimes regrettable. It is the Word of God that souls crave. Satisfy that craving by sticking close to the script for life that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Resist the temptation to weave the Bible into your story, illustration or object lesson. Instead, prop up God’s Word and point people to the Savior with purposed passion.

We are reminded by the Prophet Isaiah, As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11, NIV)

2) Pray to stay out of the way. Pride can creep in when we are hoping and working for that “amen,” laugh, cry, gasp, stone-cold silence or any other emotional response we know we can illicit from a crowd. We need saved from our tendency to manipulate a group, just because we can. Instead, we need an acute and humble sense of Holy Spirit awareness. What is God wanting to say and accomplish by His Word in the lives of the audience He has seen fit to assemble?

3) Pray to connect with your audience. It is a sobering thought to consider that people are there by the invite of God. They have been gently drawn, lovingly wooed, consistently coxed or stubbornly pressured into coming, often through a friend or family member. Now, how will you honor that invitation? What shared reality, event, experience, pain or joy can connect you at the vital and vulnerable, “felt” level. This can be scary and challenges us at the core of our need to be, or at least be seen, as in control. See Prayer #2 and do what it takes to connect in such a way that they might take the risk, trust you, and the message you are bringing.

4) Pray for brevity. This one is as overlooked as it is underestimated.

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” (William Shakespeare, Hamlet)

Most pastors and leaders have little trouble filling the allotted time, and then some. The question is, with what? People’s time is precious to them. Take advantage of it and most won’t be back. Sure, the Apostle Paul was know to preach all night. Note: You aren’t Paul. Remember, the Spirit of God can move just as powerfully in 20-30 minutes as He can in an hour. If you are going long, you better be going deep and the Spirit better be the One keeping there. Otherwise, stop circling the runway, as it were, and just land the plane.

5) Pray to challenge well. Deep down people want to count for something and someone greater than themselves. What they don’t need is more mere information. They need challenged to be and do better. This can only be accomplished as you courageously bring them to a place of decision and lead them in clear application of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Don’t “let them off the hook” and settle for closing in a way that makes them merely feel bette about themselvesr. If your message doesn’t challenge people to live transformed lives, than it wasn’t worth anyone’s time.

Never underestimate the power of prayer. And, never over-estimate your best preparations without it.

Share your insights in the Reply section below…

This post is part of PEAK Pastors ministry! Email me at tompelt1@gmail.com to partner in a PEAK Pastors retreat, conference or ongoing coaching relationship. Check out the PEAK Pastors link on this site!

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Ministry Values

images-11How do your values guide and guard your ministry vision? Don’t have a set of ministry values? Every leader and ministry organization does whether they are written down or not.

Here is a sample set of Ministry Values that can help you get started in developing your own set… (free pdf here – MinistryValues)

Ministry Values

A set of values guide and guard a ministry vision to reach the lost and grow them into healthy, devoted followers of Jesus.

Consider the following example of values vital to healthy and effective ministry…

Christ-centered: Jesus Christ is exalted through Bible-based preaching, teaching, worship arts and ministry experiences. His example of both “grace and truth” is the model to strive for.

Excellence: Think “Guest Ready” and “Opening Day” when it comes to ministry teams, environments and experiences. Everyone is a VIP in God’s eyes, so only our very best will do.

Grace-filled: People are messy. This makes the family of God the perfect place for imperfect people. Accepting people as they are and helping them to know Jesus and grow in Him through accountable relationships (small groups, counseling and/or recovery ministry) is essential.

Leadership Development: Investing in staff and lay-leadership training & resourcing at the highest levels possible is essential to the health and growth of a congregation or organization. “As go the leaders, so goes the church.” – John Maxwell

Leader-led: The pastoral staff is empowered to acquire and equip gifted leaders (paid & volunteer) in key areas of ministry vital to health and growth. These leaders then gather, train and deploy great teams for ministry. (Staff-led/Governance Model)

Others-focussed: From local to global connections, a healthy ministry is passionately focussed on serving others by reaching out through targeted and strategic partnerships and initiatives.

Relevant Environments: People thrive in environments intentionally designed to connect with them and maximize their experience. Purposed emphasis is placed on creating environments that reach the lost, especially young people and families (“Target Group”). This includes the purposed design of facilities, the worship experience and outreach efforts.

Step-oriented: “Go make disciples…” is the commission Jesus has given us. A simple process for welcoming, informing, equipping and plugging in people to vital small groups and experiences is how we grow in the Word and share life as Christ-followers.

Unity: Our witness for Jesus is tied to our unity in Him (See John 17). This means a willingness to unite behind the ministry vision and move forward regardless of personal preference. Not everyone will agree nor choose to go forward, regardless of the pace of change. The ministry must, and the sooner the better. The church’s unity in this understanding and direction is fundamental to effectiveness in reaching people not yet part of the family of God, especially a generation more removed from the Gospel of Jesus Christ than our nation has ever known.   

*Used by permission. Covenant Church Coaching & PEAK Pastors

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www.tompelt.com

5 Lessons from Jesus’ Mom

images-3What can we learn from the life of Jesus’ Mother? Mary was truly one of the most extraordinary women of all time. Adapted from my sermon notes for this Mother’s Day weekend, here are 5 Lessons from Jesus’ Mom, the Blessed Virgin Mary…

Motherhood is a high calling. It began with the call to Motherhood. The call to Motherhood includes an uncertainty of the future that we all share. It also includes the certainty that only the One who called her can give her what she needs to fulfill His will for her life. See Luke 1:26-38.

Still, Mary chose joy in her calling. See Luke 1:46-56. To choose Motherhood is to choose joy through a lot of heartache as only a mother can feel. She knew the prophecies such as those found in Isaiah 53… and pondered all of the possibilities.

Lesson 1: A good Mom’s joy is found (but not bound) in the success of her children. Everyone must make their own decisions and choose who and what they will follow. In other words, we are all followers! Mary’s joy was found in the life of her Son, Jesus. Of course, she had a slight advantage in that her son happened to be God the Son.

“Your greatest legacy may not be something you do, but rather, someone you raise.” (Andy Stanley)

Lesson 2: Mary chose to follow Jesus (discipleship). Maybe she was just being a “helicopter Mom?” Can you blame her? We would, too, if we were tasked with raising God, the Savior of the world. However, when it comes down to it, the joy of a Disciple is found in pointing others to Jesus and compelling them to follow (obey) Him! See John 2:1-5, 11. This is just what Mary did. 

Lesson 3: Mary gave Jesus the spotlight! Matthew 12:46-50. This is not only the task of a good Mother, but of the disciple of Jesus Christ. John summarized it this way in John 3:30, “He must become greater, I must become less.”

Lesson 4: Mary endured her cross. For her, it was THE cross, upon which her son and our Savior was crucified. See Matthew 19:25-27. Jesus had already challenged His followers concerning the cost of being one of His disciples. See Matthew 16: 24-25. For Mary, this meant giving her Son over to the will of God, the Cross of Calvary for you and for me. It also meant giving over her own will to try and somehow selfishly change the plan for the sake of her Son. 

But it didn’t end there. Scholars debate if Mary, the mother of Jesus, was present at the resurrection. She may have been “the other Mary” or among the “other women” recorded in the Gospels. But these women were likely one of the other followers as she was almost always identified distinctly as “Mary, the mother of Jesus.”

Nevertheless, here’s what we do know… 

Lesson 5: Mary’s life was a launching pad. See Acts 1:14. Like a good Mom, Mary was there, from start to finish. Now, she was helping to launch the ministry of her Son through the first century apostles. She was there, paving the way through prayer and was present at Pentecost!

Great moms do this and great followers of Jesus do this… they help launch the lives of others as they find their place in Him!

Here is the applicable question from the life of Mary, “Is my joy found in following Jesus?”

Share your own take-a-ways from the amazing life of Jesus’ Mom, the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the Reply section below…

Leading Change Through Prayer

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Are you a ministry leader planning on some BIG changes? Start the process right by engaging in personal, family and team prayer. Then, don’t stop! Make prayer central to your leadership and congregational DNA as the Holy Spirit leads the every season.

Not sure where to begin? Here are 12 Names for God you can call on to go deeper in your understanding of who He is and what He is capable of through you and your team. (Consider teaching through these attributes as well!)

Yahweh is the promised name of God in the Old Testament. This name for God, which (by Jewish tradition) is too holy to voice, is actually spelled “YHWH,” without vowels. The modern spelling as “Yahweh” includes vowels to assist in pronunciation. Many pronounce YHWH as “Yahweh” or “Jehovah.” Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah, meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known” — this describes a God who wants to reveal Himself. It is to this sovereign yet eternally accessible Lord that we go to in prayer and trust with transforming our lives, families and ministries.

As you pray, speak the Name of God specific for each need, knowing that He will hear and answer as you call on His Name! A few of those names include…

Jehovah: Lord… One and only! Exodus 3

Jehovah-Elohim: Lord Sovereign… in control! Genesis 1:1

Jehovah-Jireh: Lord that provides… all our needs! Isaiah 61:1

Jehovah-Mekoddishkem: Lord that sanctifies you… sets you apart! Exodus 31:13

Jehovah-Nissi: Lord my banner… we are victors and not victims! Exodus 17:15

Jehovah-Rapha: Lord that heals… broken souls, minds & body! Jeremiah 30:17

Jehovah-Raah: Lord that shepherds me… our guide and guard! Psalm 23:1

Jehovah-Sabaoth: Lord of hosts or armies… He is supreme! Psalm 24:9-10

Jehovah-Shalom: Lord of peace… flowing in me and through us! Judges 6:24

Jehovah-Shamma: Lord that is present… anywhere, anytime! Ezekiel 48:35

Jehovah-Tsikednu: Lord of righteousness…clothed in holiness! Jeremiah 23:6

The Name of JESUS.

While all of these names describe the attributes of Jehovah, Jesus is God the Son and is all of the above in One!

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11, NIV)

Go ahead, speak out loud the Name of Jehovah God in Christ Jesus as you praise His Holy Name and cry out for His sovereign wisdom and power. As our spiritual fathers and mothers before us, we can call on the Name of the Lord our God who is still mighty to save! Stay tuned for a Prayer Strategy post coming soon!

Click here for a free PDF copy – Prayer Names of God

Reference: Blue Letter Bible at www.blueletterbible.org

Used by permission, www.tompelt.com, Covenant Church Coaching & Peak Pastors

Contact Tom at tompelt1@gmail.com to partner in a PEAK Pastor Conference, Retreat or ongoing coaching relationship! 

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What Makes a Pastor Great

images-2No multi-site network, live streaming services, large staff, graphic design team, book deals, speaking tour, or even a pair of cool jeans? While all the above can be good things, you don’t have to have any of them to be a great pastor.

Here are 5 Things that Make a Pastor Great!

1) Love for family. Great pastors date their spouses, play with their kids and make the health of their family a priority. They don’t sacrifice their families on the altar of the church or any other earthly pursuit.

2) Passion for the lost. Great pastors are soul-winners. They share their journey in Jesus with others and don’t necessarily have to let them know they are “the pastor.”

3) Hunger for the Word. From their personal devotional lives to their preparation for preaching and teaching, great pastors go deep in Truth and long in grace. They pride themselves in being prepared while at the same time staying vigilant against any amount or form of pride that can and will lead to ruin.

4) Compassion for the broken. Great pastors know that the church is the perfect place for imperfect people. They create safe environments and experiences for messy people and aren’t afraid to show their own struggles and scars.

5) Creators of community. From the macro-culture of their neighborhood or city, to the micro-culture of their own flock, great pastors focus their teams on gathering groups that share the real stuff of life as Christ-followers.

The overwhelming majority of pastors out there won’t lead congregations of much more than 100. While there is no inherent virtue in being small, and discipling more and more and more people in the ways of Jesus is always the goal, you don’t have to be “mega” anything to matter to Christ and for His kingdom.

No weekly podcast and few “followers,” “shares” or “retweets” to your credit? No problem. Keep being you in Christ and lead great in the ways that truly matter.

What other traits make a pastor great? Share your thoughts in the Reply section…