The word "calling" rings familiar for almost every person in ministry. It is typically used in a sentence similar to this: "I feel called to full-time ministry" or "At the altar I felt the call to youth ministry". While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, at times we as the church present our calling as some ambiguous target that is floating in the cosmos. We have people in our congregations that think the word "calling" only applies to ministers and that their job in the marketplace hinders them from receiving a calling for their life. Recently I came across a definition that has revolutionized the way that I approach the idea of calling. Allow me to share it with you:
Calling is the place where your talents and passions intersect. Think about it and let it sink in. If we are honest with ourselves, our calling is exactly that! We instinctively are passionate about a specific purpose: leading the next generation, preaching the truth of God's word, growing healthy Godly children, etc. Then we evaluated our skills and the skills needed to accomplish that goal: great communicator, strong organizer, wise counselor, overly optimistic, etc. These two areas intersected
Is there anything harder for a pastor than gauging the success of a worship set in a service? It’s a relative grade based on personal feeling, and for most of us, success is probably determined by whether or not there was energy in the room, or whether or not we felt God. We’ve probably never been able to explain to ourselves or our team what defines success for a worship set.
I grew up leading worship in churches and camps and spent a few years at my church leading worship. A few years ago, I transitioned out of that role and handed it off to our worship leader, Chris. Chris had been in the band for a while, so he was familiar with how we did it, but I wanted to be able to explain to him what I wanted, and we had to be able to set a goal so we would know whether we reached it or not.
We decided a successful worship set would be defined by crowd participation. I know you’re already thinking of all the reasons crowd participation doesn’t necessarily encompass everything important about worship. And I agree with you, but I can’t gauge all the private experiences that happen in peoples’ hearts during worship, so for me, if there is great crowd participation, then worship is...read more
I’m ashamed to admit this but the dustpan in our house is held together by duct tape. I’m even more ashamed to admit that it’s been that way for over a year.
One day I needed to use the dust pan and realized it was broken, so I just flattened it out and added a couple pieces of duct tape, and voila…good as new…kind of.
The sad thing is we’ve used the dustpan tons of times since I added the tape, but always seem to forget we need one when it’s time to go shopping. It just doesn’t bother us anymore. Then a few days ago my mother-in-law was at our house and went to get the dustpan and started laughing. She said, “You know these things are only a couple bucks to replace.” It wasn’t that we didn’t know, we just got used to it, and didn’t think about changing it until an outside set of eyes noticed something we had long overlooked.
It’s the same reason potential buyers and real estate agents can spot a crack or water spot in a house they walk into for the first time, or you don’t notice how bad your car smokes until you go to sell it. We get comfortable with how things are, and don’t notice potential issues until we look at it through a different set of eyes, or...read more
I recently visited my kid’s school to have lunch with them. While sitting with my Kindergartener Branson we were talking about his day and I asked him what “special” he had that day. (“Specials” fill a slot everyday with a rotating schedule of art, music, science, counseling, and P.E.) He couldn’t remember what special they had so he asked his friend sitting beside him who said “P.E.” I asked Branson if he enjoyed P.E. and he replied “I didn’t go”. Over the next few minutes I peppered him with questions about why he didn’t attend. “Did you get in trouble?” “Were you not finished with all your work in time?” Every question was met with a reply from Branson that went something like this: “no, I just didn’t get to go I guess.”
Later that night at home my wife Corrie said to Branson, “hey buddy, dad said you didn’t get to go to gym today. Why not?” He said, “I went to gym.”
I was more confused than ever. So I said to Branson “when I asked if you went to P.E. you said ‘no’”.
He responded “well I didn’t know P.E. was the same thing as gym.”
Language is important. Words matter.
It’s not as big a deal when the confusion is over whether or not your 5 year old attended...read more
Have you ever been in a meeting where the boss/pastor/supervisor said “Did you finish the ______?” only to have the person to whom the question was addressed sit stone faced and say “No, I didn’t know you were ready for me to start on that yet.”
The supervisor thought the project should have been completed by now. The employee didn’t even know the decision had been made to move into the action phase.
How does this happen?
It happens when there is a misunderstanding about whether the previous conversation was a discussion or a decision.
This is a phrase I learned from my mom and dad’s marriage. They had a great marriage before she passed away, and I NEVER saw them fight or argue. As I got older I learned that they discussed “the budget” and other things intentionally away from me and my brother to protect us. All it did for me is make me think I was headed for divorce the first time my wife and I had an argument...but I digress.
Mom used to describe the early days of their marriage when she would think they were discussing something and dad assumed it had been decided. She told examples of other times where she was sure they had decided on an issue only to see it...read more
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