Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Advent’

Have you ever noticed God likes shepherds?  Over and over again, He shares his heart with them.  First, there’s Abraham.  Then Moses.  Then David.  Then the shepherding prophets.  And finally a group keeping watch over their sheep on a hillside over 2,000 years ago.

Ever wondered why God seems to favor this occupation when He’s looking for someone to reveal His plans and thoughts to?  Maybe it’s because their heart looks a lot like His.  He is, after all, a very good shepherd.  And if you’re wanting to “be about your Father’s business,” then He’s called you to be one, too.

Here’s a few shepherd pointers:

  1. Shepherds protect.  At all costs, they are ready to lay down their life for the sheep.  Are there sheep in your life you need to protect?  Maybe you need to evaluate the state of your flock and see if an enemy has come into the fold that needs to be expelled.
  2. Shepherds pursue.  No matter what the lost sheep has done or not done, the shepherd goes after it.  It’s unconditional love, and it can hurt to give, but sometimes it’s the only way to see sheep returned to the fold.  Have you written someone off as a lost cause?  Go after them with the love of a shepherd.  Even if the only way to pursue them is with prayer, it will be worth it.
  3. Shepherds proclaim.  Yep, they spread the good news.  And what good news you have for those around you!  When’s the last time you shared with someone the love God has for them?  The Great Shepherd is counting on you to share his heart with the “sheep” he brings into your life.

Don’t fall asleep on your watch.  Just like some shepherds 2,000 years ago, there’s joy in the Heavens when you hear the word of the Lord and obey it.

Read Full Post »

The thought of a pastor having a pastor can be hard for some people to grasp, but it seems like the most natural and appropriate relationship in the world to me.  It was a joy to host Pastor Scott as our guest yesterday.  For more than 13 years, I have looked to Scott as a pastor, mentor, and friend.  I am thankful for his leadership and wisdom, and I was excited by his message from yesterday.

As you are aware, Emmanuel Fellowship is a non-denominational church.  But, that does not mean we are un-connected, anti-relational, or non-dependent upon the influence of others.  Our local congregation is autonomous in that decisions affecting our church are made by our local leadership, but we have chosen to live by the Biblical principles we teach.  In a practical sense, this means that we as a congregation tithe ten percent of our income into ministries and missions around the world, and our leadership seeks out godly relationships and accountability.  I hope it is encouraging for you to know that your pastor has a pastor, and your pastor’s pastor has a pastor as well!

The primary framework for our church’s relationships comes through an organization called Summit Ministries International.  SMI is a connection of churches and ministries who have banded together to tend to the basic needs of ministers and ministries.  SMI provides an avenue for fellowship, vision sharing, cooperative mission endeavors, continuing education, and church assessments.

The point that I want you to consider is that no man and no church is an island.  Though each of us carries the final accountability for our actions, we were designed to live in relationship.  Each of us, pastors included, needs the benefit and the blessing of connecting with a spiritual vision larger than our own.  It is my sincere prayer that Emmanuel Fellowship Church is more than a place for you to attend.  I pray it is a ministry you can connect with.  I pray it is a place where fellowship, vision sharing, mission endeavors, education, and personal growth can occur in your life.  I know it is occurring in mine!

Read Full Post »