Today's Word for Pastors...

How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
Luke 1:34-35

Today's Preaching Insight...

10 Reasons You're Probably Going to Fail

In a recent blog posting, Tony Morgan talks about reasons why leaders fail:

It's not your passion. If it doesn't make your heart beat fast or cause your mind to race when you're trying to sleep, you're probably doing the wrong thing.

You don't have a plan. You need a vision, and you need to identify specific steps to make that vision become reality. That includes a financial plan. (I happen to believe you need direction from God on this.)

You're waiting for it to be perfect. Test-drive it. Beta-test that new idea. You'll fall into the trap of inaction if you think it has to be absolutely right from day one.

You're not willing to work hard. Everything worth pursuing in my life has involved discipline and perseverance.

It'll outgrow you. Keep learning. Keep growing. But more importantly, build a team of people including leaders who can be who you're not.

You've had success in the past. I've watched organizations hang on to a good idea for too long. Time passes. Momentum fades. It's risky to let go of the past and jump on the next wave.

You're unwilling to stop doing something else. Complexity is easy. Simplicity takes discipline. You can't build a healthy marriage if you're unwilling to give up dating other women. Who/what do you need to stop dating?

You won't build a team of friends. Anyone can hire from a resume. You need to find people you want to share life with. In the long run, great relationships will get you out of bed in the morning.

You won't have the tough conversations. When breakdown happens (and it always does), someone needs to put on their big-boy pants and initiate the difficult conversation that leads to relational healing.

You're afraid of failure. When fear consumes you, it will cause you to do stupid things. You'll let negativity distract you. You'll embrace the known and grow comfortable with mediocrity. The more often you fail, though, the more often you'll find success.

Today's Extra...

Emmanuel - God with Us

Max Lucado tells about his neighbor who was trying to teach his 6-year-old son how to shoot a basketball. They were out in the backyard. The father shot a couple of times, saying, "Do it just like that, son; it's real easy." The little boy tried very hard but he couldn't get the ball 10 feet into the air. The little fellow got more and more frustrated. Finally, after hearing his father talk about how easy it was for the 10th time, the boy said, "It's easy for you up there. You don't know how hard it is from down here."

You and I never can say that about God. When Jesus became man and lived among us, He walked where we walk; He suffered what we suffer; He was tempted as we are tempted. He was Emmanuel, which means, "God is with us."
(Bill Bouknight, Collected Sermons)

Preaching magazine is the premier resource for those who proclaim the Word. To begin your own subscription, go to http://magazine.preaching.com/subscribe/.