Today's Word for Pastors...
O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Today's Preaching Insight...
What if you're a leader...who's not a visionary? I used to believe that a visionary was by definition one who stayed on the cutting edge of society, alert and ready to catch the next cultural wave. I've always had a problem, however, seeing the wave, let alone catching it! Let me give you an example.
A couple of years ago, Mel Gibson made a movie, "The Passion of The Christ." Chances are, your congregation bought rolls of tickets, climbed aboard a bus (or a fleet of buses), and went to see the movie. Why? Christian leaders considered the excursion to be a fresh means of deepening faith and a culturally savvy tool of evangelism. After all, our generation is visually oriented, having grown up on a steady diet of TV and movies. It was the visionary thing to do.
But I didn't have the vision. Somebody else thought of it, not me. How depressing!
Then there was the time our church bought another building. We definitely needed it. The benefits of having another building were obvious. But I didn't suggest that we buy it. I hadn't even thought of us buying more property.
Then there was the M.O.P.S (Mothers of Pre-schoolers) ministry. Wonderful program. It's not only been a big help to the young mothers of our community; it's exposed them to the Gospel. Sure wish I'd thought of it!
About now you're wondering whether this is the church custodian writing. Nope. This is the preaching minister writing. And now you're asking, "What in the world are you, Mr. No Vision, doing in such an important position of church leadership?" Believe me, I've asked myself that question many times!
What is "vision," really? If it's being able to see where you're going, I must confess that often I can't. Neither do bats, I'm told. Yet somehow they manage to get where they're going—even in the dark. God gave them the ability to do so. He's done the same for all the people He's chosen to lead. "Blind as a bat" is but one way to describe many of them!
Take Moses, for example. Was this a man with a vision of liberty, aching for a chance to tell old Pharoah, "Let my people go?" As a matter of fact, he argued with God over his qualifications for the job (Exodus 4:1)!
(To read the entire article, "So You're Not a Visionary" by Gary Robinson at Preaching.com, click here)
Satchel Paige was a baseball legend. His promotion to the major leagues was delayed because of the infamous color barrier. He came to the majors at the age of 42 and pitched in a game when he was 59. Here were his rules for staying young:
- Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood.
- If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.
- Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.
- Go very lightly on the vices, such as carrying on in society. The social ramble ain't restful.
- Avoid running.
- Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you.
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