Confessions of an Insignificant Pastor
- Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Mark: The questions cause us to reflect on the principle with God in prayer, ourselves, and even others in certain settings. Discussing these chapters with fellow pastors helps us to realize we are not alone but even my peers who I respect struggling with feelings of insignificance. Our significance is found in Christ not in our self, success, or how people perceive us on the outside.
Phil: Agree or disagree: Every pastor needs to develop a through-the-day conversation with Jesus and should seek out the fellowship of a pastors' prayer group as an antidote to being sidelined by discouragement.
Mark: AGREE! We must practice the active 24/7 presence of God throughout our day. That's what relationship with Christ and the Holy Spirit in us is all about. God never meant us to go it alone. Jesus had a fellowship of 12, an inner circle of 3, and even a best friend. We need to be regularly involved in open, transparent, authentic, below the surface, face-to-face relationships with our pastoral peers. We need empathetic encouragers, teammates, and cheerleaders in our lives. It can be difficult and even risky at times to try to meet that need with persons in your church. They may not understand or even be able to relate to the needs and challenges unique to pastors. Yet, we can't make it all by ourselves against all that the enemy of our souls and ministry will bring against us.
Phil: Some pastors have wisely recruited a prayer team for support and protection. How can this book assist those who pray diligently for their pastor?
Mark: This book will give intercessors that "whats" to pray about. These pages will give you specific challenges, discouragements, enemies, and destructive thought patterns to pray over your pastor and his family.
Phil: How is "I refuse to quit!" the first step toward strength and freedom?
Mark: God has called us to faithfulness not success. If we will be faithful, hang on to God, and keep doing our best in God's strength then God will take care of any success we may enjoy. Not quitting gives God the chance to show up in times of weakness and display His strength, wisdom, and love in our lives and ministries. Not quitting means God has to show up. We become a trophy of His grace shed abroad in our lives. If you decide to refuse to quit no matter what...then that is a decision you don't even have to entertain unless you get a "thus sayeth the Lord.? That frees you up to keep putting one foot in front of another for another day and to find your source of strength outside yourself. Remember: the battle doesn't belong to you but to the Lord.
Phil: Mark, please write a prayer struggling pastors can pray with you...
Mark: Dear Father God,
I am weak but you are strong. I am inconsistent but you never change. I am a sinner and you are my righteousness. I'm all about the destination but you are all about the journey. You have called me and are faithful to fulfill your ministry call and spiritual development in me. Therefore, I give you my sin, struggles, weaknesses, problems, and fears. I lay them at your feet. I am weary and heavily burdened. I come to you for rest, refreshing, and renewal. Give me a fresh measure of your joy that is my inner strength. I thank you God that your mercies for me are new every morning. I choose today to walk in your renewable strength, powerful presence, and jubilant joy. Thank you Jesus for being my all-in-all whenever I feel so down-and-out. The battle around me belongs to you so each day I gratefully deliver them in prayer to your capable hands. Thanks you for taking such good care of all that could burden me. Amen
Bonus Cut: Dick Hardy Podcast Interview 5/5/2009
Subject: Why in the world did Mark Elliott write Confessions of an Insignificant Pastor: What Pastors Wish They Could Tell You?
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