A few years ago, our church board's annual vision strategy meeting didn't go too well. We talked around a dozen issues but ended up making only one momentuous decision:
Patch the Sidewalk!
Merits of a laying a new sidewalk vs patching the old one were discussed at length. Strong opinions were expressed from both sides. After a long, circular debate, frugality won the day.
Looking back, I sure wish I had led that meeting towards a more inspiring end.
Imagine, standing before the congregation the next Sunday with this important announcement:
"Brothers and sisters, last Thursday our church board discussed how we're going to fight evil, stir revival, win the lost, multiply disciples, transform the community, and change the world. After much deliberation, our first bold step is to patch the sidewalk!"
In the months that followed, I wondered why my board members seemed less than enthusiastic.
Here's a valuable lesson from that experience:
Church boards are meant to tap into God's great adventure -- His mission to bring hope and holiness to the neighbors and nations. Board meetings should major on the majors and minor on the minors.
In the absence of compelling vision, we end up slogging away in trivialities.
Everyone deals with financial setbacks from time to time. Money doesn't buy happiness - -but the lack of it can sure bring a lot of stress. My father, talking about the lean years of the Great Depression, said they pinched pennies so tight, Abe Lincon hollered! George Washington has hollered in my hands a few times!
When facing hard times financially, it pays to remember these are the only times we have. We need to keep a proper perspective. Here are some important reminders as we face adversity:
1. God is far bigger than the problem. If a financial crisis looms like a mountain, remember -- God is the mountain mover! There's no challenge too great for the Almighty. There is not one situation beyond His ability. Instead of telling God how big your problem is, tell your problem how big God is!
2. Hard times teach us wisdom. Difficult days force us to stop and evaluate where we are, what we're doing, and why we're doing it. Nobody becomes wise with ease. It takes trouble t…
I was ordained July 10, 1987, when General Superintendent, Dr. Earle Wilson, laid hands on me, shook my hand, and thundered, "Take thou authority to preach the Word!"
I was thinking about this a while back, and wondered how far back I could go with the succession of my ordination. So, I did a little research.
* I was ordained by Earle Wilson
* Earle Wilson was ordained by Pilgrim Holiness General Superintendent, William Neff.
* William Neff was ordained by the Pilgrim founder, Seth Rees * Seth Rees was ordained by Nazarene founder, Phineas Bresee (Note -- Rees was initally "recorded" as a Quaker, because they did not ordain their ministers. Later, he moved over to the newly formed Church of the Nazarene, and I am taking a leap by assuming that when he became a Nazarene, they ordained him. Rees was certainly worked beside Bresee as his contemporary.)
* Phineas Bresee was ordained by Methodist Bishop, Levi Scott
* Levi Scott was ordained by Elijah Hedding. …