Ask Pastor Roger Barrier - Church Leadership

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1-Line Lessons on Spirituality, Ministry, and Family

1-Line Lessons on Spirituality, Ministry, and Family

Editor's Note: Pastor Roger Barrier's "Ask Roger" column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at

Dear Roger,

I’ve noticed in your preaching that you constantly refer to certain themes, principles and sayings, like, “Be kind to everyone you meet, because everyone you meet is fighting a battle” or, “The greatest hindrance to intimacy in marriage is the failure to leave mom and dad.” Do you have them written down somewhere and if so, could you send me a copy?
Sincerely, Rachael
Dear Rachael,
I was intrigued by your request. I sat down with Julie and came up with the following list. I realize that much of my life and ministry are based on these sayings. While many of these relate to pastoring, there is a bit of wisdom in each of them for all of us.
Love, Roger
Everyone is just as spiritual as he/she wants to be.
God never reveals the deep things of the spirit to the Christian who just stops by for a little chat.
The greatest tragedy in the Christian church is the Christian who refuses to grow up.
Dear Lord, please make me a spiritual father/mother at any price.
God uses everything that happens in our lives for the good purpose of molding us to look like Jesus. 
Confession is the lost art of the Christian church. Like dirty laundry, dirty sins need individual attention.
Church Ministry
If you have a vision to help hurting people, you will always have a ministry.
Be kind to everyone you meet, because everyone you meet is fighting a battle.
The only way to heal hurts is by the process of mourning and comforting.
When you see hurt, comfort it.
A shepherd’s best work is done on the backside of the mountain when no one is looking.
There are three levels of friends: acquaintances, close friends, and intimate friends. You need some of each.
If you love people and work hard, you will always do well.
Always be preparing the next generation of leaders to step in and take over.
There are two kinds of church members: the pillars who give 80% of the money, support and time, and the caterpillars who crawl in and out around the pillars.
Life is tough: huddle up.
Historically, the first generation fights the battles; the second generation enjoys the spoils; and the third generation gives it all back.
Win at parish poker by knowing how many chips you have and the cost of using them!
You can never get back the time that you miss with your kids.
You are most blessed if you and your spouse are intimate friends.
Set your spouse free to be the person God wants her/him to be. 
The greatest hindrance to intimacy in marriage is the failure to leave mom and dad.
Protect your children by letting them know that relevant expectations come from you, and not from the church members.
Take time to savor the little victories.
Don’t ask for a pint’s worth of forgiveness if you’ve inflicted a gallon’s worth of hurt.
Church Finances
Don’t be shy about raising money. Pastors who raise money have the resources to help fulfill their dreams for the kingdom.
Sometimes, the most important job that the pastor has is to raise money.
Be sure you take care of home base. If you lose home base you have essentially lost the church.
It is a sin for pastor to tip-toe around the issues of materialism, money and stewardship.
Have a team of expert leaders in place to ensure that church funds are handled honestly and effectively.
Ask permission if you use your spouse or kids in a sermon illustration. Pay them money if need be.
The worst sin a preacher can commit is to be boring.
Put the cookies on the lower shelf where everyone can reach them.
Never be longer than five minutes away from a good story or illustration.
Take courses or classes in public speaking in order to become a master communicator, if necessary.
Over time, expository preaching is best. Preaching the Bible paragraph by paragraph is the most effective sermon style for teaching the congregation and for laying the groundwork for spiritual maturity.
Simple, biblical hermeneutics (interpretation) are accomplished by utilizing the accuracy principle, the background principle, and the common sense principle.
Be certain that you pray; gather your notes and check your fly before you step up to preach!
My Dad’s Words of Wisdom
He who whispers down the well about the goods he has to sell will not have as many dollars as he who climbs a tree and hollers.
Don’t sell your peanuts at the end of the parade.
The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price has been forgotten.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Life by the yard is hard, but by the inch it’s a cinch.
Don’t quit when your golf swing falters; find the pro and take a lesson.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 

Ask RogerDr. Roger Barrier retired as senior teaching pastor from Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to being an author and sought-after conference speaker, Roger has mentored or taught thousands of pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders worldwide. Casas Church, where Roger served throughout his thirty-five-year career, is a megachurch known for a well-integrated, multi-generational ministry. The value of including new generations is deeply ingrained throughout Casas to help the church move strongly right through the twenty-first century and beyond. Dr. Barrier holds degrees from Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Golden Gate Seminary in Greek, religion, theology, and pastoral care. His popular book, Listening to the Voice of God, published by Bethany House, is in its second printing and is available in Thai and Portuguese. His latest work is, Got Guts? Get Godly! Pray the Prayer God Guarantees to Answer, from Xulon Press. Roger can be found blogging at Preach It, Teach It, the pastoral teaching site founded with his wife, Dr. Julie Barrier.

Publication date: February 18, 2016