Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I Pastor a Small Church!

More than I care to admit, there is something in my ministry and life I've tried to avoid for a year or so now. For the most part, my reason for evading and avoiding the issue is the sense that if I 'acknowledge' it, I am 'affirming it', 'accepting' it and ultimately declaring what always will be. I have seen my acknowledging the fact as a final admittance that I am a failure in ministry. When I have spoken with ministerial colleagues, seminary counterparts, and even mentors in the faith--I covered up what I have seen as my present reality and what seemed to be my impending fate. The truth is--I Pastor a SMALL church.

As funny as it sounds, the truth is, I never really wanted to be a pastor. Those close to me can attest to this fact. Somehow...some way--I just FOUND myself with an inner desire to lead God's people. And when God (yes God) gave me the vision--the vision was great!!! Numbers were never a factor; though I did clearly envision numbers eventually being a given addition in time.

I NEVER, in all of my life, knew that pastoring was so tough! Some have proclaimed it to be easy. I was listening to a popular speaker on television whom I enjoy from time to time, Mike Freeman (Oh yes, cowardice is not a part of my disposition--I don't have a problem calling names) stated that, for him, pastoring was a breeze...easy...never had a problem. There was kind of an implication that if one is called to a work, genuinely called to a work, there should be no times when it is difficult, troublesome, etc. NOW--before I get in trouble--this was only my interpretation--I could be on point or extremely wrong regarding what he said. This was MY interpretation. Because I have met Freeman, fellowshipped with him and admire some of the things that he is doing there at his local church--I don't want it to seem as if I am mocking him or ridiculing him.

My point is--this hasn't been MY experience. When I look at our fledgling congregation--juxtaposed to our dynamic worship experiences, teachings, ministry staff, prayer and intercession, etc.--I wonder, at times, what the Lord is doing.

The truth is--it's not my plan. People have literally walked away without my knowing or understanding why. Leaders (regardless of what they say, think or even feel) get on some trip that I didn't even see coming a mile away. Even accusations that can NEVER and have NEVER been substantiated--are all frustrations I am sure many a pastor have encountered.

My point is this--I pastor a small church. The good news is--God is NOT small, God is big; His promises are for real; and He won't stop until He completes what He started (Philippians 1:6) That is my consolation.

I would tell you what I've learned--but I must admit, I'm still learning. One thing I am learning is that God is growing me. Another is how to discern and identify authenticity from those who have come with their own agenda. I have also learned that: YOU LEARN TO PASTOR BY PASTORING!!! Not from a book, pamphlet, being a layperson, being even an associate minister or a deacon. I was as close to being a Pastor from 2001 to 2005, preached every Sunday, led staff meetings, etc. I can say now--I STILL didn't have a clue about the pressure of such a call.

Believe it or not--there is nothing else I'd rather be doing than to be one of God's chosen servants, carry His word and lead his people. It may be years before we grow numerically or financially (though that is not what I am sensing--but let's go there), my prayer is that if we didn't grow in those areas, that we will grow in commitment, love, the word, sharing, and giving. If we do that anyway--the numeric and financial will take care of itself. (Now don't think that this implies our church is about to close down--financially and numerically our church is not the worst I have seen. Not by a long shot)

I'm enjoying this voyage...And I have discovered...starting small is a blessing! When HE grows HIS church when HE gets ready--after I have/we have done our parts--there can be no question of WHO grew our church and who sustained us before the HARVEST came!!! I can think of no greater testimony--and what a worship service THAT will be.

IN THE MEANTIME (While waiting and preparing for our anticipated numeric and financial growth)--one thing I have learned: GOD IS NOT AGAINST SMALL CHURCHES; HE IS AGAINST SMALL-MINDED CHURCHES. My prayer is that our church never becomes midget-MINDED when we serve such a GIANT GOD!

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Pastor's Need for Encouragement

I think it is safe to say that ministers need a cadre of lay leadership to endorse, support, and encourage their ministry. Pastors and Ministers need men and women in the congregation to be advocates of their programs, ideas, and leadership in general. These persons are those who have no ulterior motives or hidden agendas. But members who naturally hold up the arms of their leader(s), as did Aaron and Hur holding up the weakened arms of Moses, eventually securing their victory against the enemy. In every church (including the one I am blessed to Pastor), there are (according to Guy Greenfield) 1) Clergy Killers, 2) Pathological Antogonists and 3) Passive Lay Leaders. (I'll talk about this another time)

I really don't want to focus on the negative aspects of church life and ministry in this blog; I want to celebrate and shine light on the 'faithful few' who are constant encouragements to the Body of Christ! I thank and praise God for the few that are in my life. My wife has been a constant source of encouragement and support. She is the epitome of what it truly means to be a true servant of God. She is the true personification of the Hesed of God. I honestly know no finer Christian. She continues to be an asset to my life and ministry; not a liability! Other sources of encouragement for me have been my family--my father (one of my best friends and the greatest man I know after Jesus!) and mother (who actually explained to me the plan of salvation in a way that my 6 or 7 year old mind could understand...wow!!!) and my grandparents and brothers and a host of other relatives. And then there are my friends. My friends are a constant, consistent source of encouragement--2 of which are Pastors in other states--they are truly a source of encouragement!

But I thank God that he has given me a few people in our fellowship (Cornerstone) who love, support, and encourage their Pastor. Without them, my hands would be tied in more ways than one. I can think of moments and instances where their words of encouragement have been a source of strength. MAKE NO MISTAKE--these encouragers are not my driving motivation or the entire reason I continue this faith walk and call; they just make the journey a little easier and the load a little lighter (Galatians 6:2). I am learning (LEARNING) that any GOOD pastor will be persecuted, criticized, critiqued, ridiculed, misunderstood, LIED ON, talked about, and mistreated. IF YOU ARE A GOOD PASTOR--that comes with the territory! I am discovering that my adversity isn't always a sign of my inability to lead or 'walk worthy' of the vocation; but my adversity just may the milestones (roadsigns) that I am headed in the right direction (that of faithfulness, integrity, servanthood & God's glory); and the development/shaping of my character.

And it starts with me!!! I want to be an encouragement to Pastors, Spiritual Leaders and Christian Servants. I also desire to be a discipler for laypersons who need both encouragement and to be taught how to encourage their leaders. It starts at home; prayerfully I can teach this principle in our home and church until it becomes contagious and we are known as 'The Encouraging Church'--and that others will then query--'What makes this church so strong, vibrant, empowering, and mature?' I pray that the following answer will flow: we're just doing what Scripture (Christ) teaches us to do--to encourage and love one another!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Let's Run!

Today worship was uplifting, empowering and inspiring today at Cornerstone. I have to admit, I may be a little prejudice, that Cornerstone has one of the most awesome weekly worship experiences that I have every been a part of, hands down. The word today came from one of our associate ministers, Rev. Isaac A. Mahoney. The Lord has uniquely gifted us with very gifted preachers. Rev. Mahoney spoke from Hebrews 12:1-2 and shared from the topic, 'Let's Run'. The basic theme of his message was timely for us as a church body--both pastor and people. He shared from the basic premise that we have a job to do; that God has an awesome and amazing gift that He has given. The things that we desire are available--but there is a price that must be paid--there are weights that we must lay aside; to be clear--we must lay aside EVERY sin. His main focus dealt with that of passion, purpose, pursuit and perspective.

Mahoney truly allowed the Holy Spirit to grab a hold of him and the entire message. I was blessed and I believe that our people are blessed. Mahoney's wife went home to be with the Lord about 2 months ago. He truly loved his wife and she is greatly missed. I am elated to have him as a part of our congregation. I anticipate how the Lord will use him at our church. Interestingly, I intented for him to serve as our Minister of Christian Education. For some reason, I am sensing that the Holy Spirit desires to use him in another capacity at Cornerstone. Something along the line of Pastoral Care and Family Ministry.

I have been praying about leading Cornerstone to an Elder system. If this is something the Lord leads us to do, certainly Mahoney will be a part of this paradigm in a significant way.

The main thing that I want to instill in the minds and hearts of the people of Cornerstone is very simple: that they are a great people, God is limitless, that He has a specific plan for Cornerstone, and they are wanted and needed in order for God to START and COMPLETE that plan. My greatest frustration is the fact that I feel that Cornerstone has not even touched the surface. We have come SO far; but we have So far to go.

There are so many PHYSICAL and FINANCIAL goals that I believe God has for our church. What makes this seem so far fetched because I know personally that there are many SPIRITUAL and RELATIONAL goals that we haven't even began to reach. I will talk about this in the near future....

The one reality is this--I love pastoring the flock that God has given me; I know that God called me to both pioneer this movement along with pastor this church; God has been sustaining not only our church; but also sustaining myself and my family.

What I am praying for most is--1) that God will continue to mold me as a spiritual leader 2) that I will continue to grow as a student and proclaimer of His word 3) that God will order and direct each and every one of my steps as a pastor 4) that He will develop and shape the members of our church into passionate disciples of Jesus Christ and 5)that He will connect us with people at Cornerstone who will join, capture and work toward the vision God has for our church--that we all may move toward Christ-like maturity.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Once, every so often, I have the opportunity to fellowship with other Pastors. This is a time that is very enriching, motivating, enlightening, and rewarding for me. Whether black or white, young or old, pastoring small, medium or mega-size congregations--I LOVE to pick their brains and gain new insights on how to do the work of the ministry in this contemporary, modern age. One of the questions I often ask Pastors is this: what is your greatest pet peave in ministry. You may not believe this--many of these pastors have never met, but they typically give the same answer: my greatest pet peave is wanting something for people that want nothing more for themselves.

Wow! Think about that--wanting something for someone who doesn't want anything more for themselves. Do you know what I call that? MEDIOCRITY.

I want to attach an addendum: people who do things that they know will never fly in the secular industry; but they bring it to the church and expect the church to deal with it.

* We give the secular our finest and our first; we give the church our least and our last
* In the secular we never question the boss' decisions or instructions (atleast not to his face); but in the church...everything the Pastor does is suspect and more than likely will be questioned.
* In the secular we show up on time and at our post; in the church, we show up late (if at all) and will likely sit on the sidelines.

I could go on and on--but I think we see the parallels and the imbalance or, should I say, DUPLICITY!

My prayer is that for laity and leadership alike--we will learn how to give God our best and want more for ourselves. That what we will want is what HE desires for us--that is that HE will be first place in our lives (Matthew 6:33). I know that when we get this, it will change the way we come to church, follow the leadership, serve the Lord, study the Word, give as stewards, work as laborers, and surrender as living sacrifices.

My prayer for each of us, starting with myself, is that we will give God more. I am not saying that the secular needs to be discarded or disregarded. After all, they provide a paycheck, etc. But we should always remember that God made the resume, the call, the interview, the call back, the paycheck, the promotion, the car, the house, and everything in between--POSSIBLE and PLAUSIBLE. He wants and desires for each of us to go further, do more, become more, and give more to HIM.

The greatest disease is mediocritis. What makes it even worse--it's infectious and contageous. The contagion of mediocrities should persuade so many of us to maximize our potential and realize our God-given purpose and identity. I pray that I will. I pray that the people who stand with me will. I pray that you will. Let us go on to be all that God has called for us to be. God us truly up to something GREAT!

Friday, September 21, 2007

I Saw God Wash The World

I Saw God Wash The World
I saw God wash the world last night
with His sweet showers on high,
and then, when morning came, I saw
Him hang it out to dry.
He washed each tiny blade of grass
and every trembling tree;
He flung His showers against the hill,
and swept the billowing sea.
The white rose is a cleaner white,
the red rose is more red,
since God washed every fragrant face
and put them all to bed.
There's not a bird, there's not a bee
that wings along the way
but is a cleaner bird and bee
than it was yesterday.
I saw God wash the world last night.
Ah, would he had washed me
As clean of all my dust and dirt
As that old white birch tree.
William L. Stidger
That poem by Stidger is my prayer as a proclaimer of the Word of God. That God would wash us through the cleansing of HIS Word. That when the last line in the final chapter of life is composed and completed--that people will not have heard KRAIG preach, teach or instruct. But--through this broken instrument--they have encountered the REALITY of a RESURRECTED LORD! That they will continually leave with a sense of URGENCY and RESPONSIBILITY to carry the Word that they have heard THROUGH me TO them who need to hear from Jesus Christ our LORD. Wash us, Lord, and cleanse us all through the instruction and infallibility of your Word. This is my prayer!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Preparing for 2008

This is my feeble attempt to start the blog thing again. I don't know much about the blogging world, other than the fact that I have a few friends, co-laborers (ministers) and seminary classmates who are into this blog thing. I have done a horrible job of logging onto the blog, posting, etc. I do love to read the blogs of Kevin L Pullam (my elder brother), H.B. Charles, and Tony Rhone, all pastors and great preachers in their own right. I must admit that I am not even good about reading their posts, mostly because I forget their url's. At this time now-I am praying about the direction our church will take for 2008. Cornerstone is a good church; I think that there is solid, stable, Christ-centered, expositional preaching each and every week. The teaching is sound, relevant and applicable to the lives of the people in our church family. Worship is empowering. Through much prayer, seeking God and observation--we need to do a much better job at assimilation. Yes--we could use more laborers, workers, etc. But the bottom line is that our reaching, retaining and enriching the lives and interests of outsiders--is completely lacking. I will spend time over the next month trying to put together some kind of workable program that will 1) motivate our people to do this 2) clearly show our people (and myself) how to put it into practice 3) execute the plan in a way that we will see it working. Please pray for me--as we seek to do something that I know very little about.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Southwestern Seminary

I graduated from Dallas Baptist University in May of 2001, majoring in Biblical Studies with a minor in English Literature. The follow fall of '01, I began attending what is widely known as the largest seminary in the world, Southwestern. It's main campus is in forth worth, I began attending the campus in Houston. This was a mistake! However--almost irreversable. There have been shortage of classes, miscommunication with the main campus, registration issues because of distance and lack of personel in Houston, etc. Add to this, I began full time ministry a month before beginning Southwestern, so I didn't need to extra complications. My program typically takes the average student 3 years to complete. Because of the pressures of being full-time Minister of Education then, starting a new family, etc., my grades were not as they should have been. Many things contributed to my poor grades and eventual status of being put on probation, limiting me to 6 hours a semester. This continued from 2002 to 2005. Add to this, many of the courses that I had taken by Soutwestern professors at DBU would not transfer. I was devestated at that time. I didn't know that the Lord, even then, was shaping and molding my character. In March of 2005 I started Cornerstone--I continued the semester there. I can't even begin to tell you the trials that I experienced in the Spring of '05. Financial setbacks, hectic schedules, meeting with hundreds of churches. It is shameful to say that I could not continue at Southwestern due to many reasons, including financial, academic, time, etc.

The past two years I have really began to reflect on the importance and value of the integration of faith and learning. According to the first century philosophers, we are all engaged in 'the great conversation', as introduced to me by my College philosophy prof. Dr. Davey Naugle. I have matured, grown and began to value the entire process of education and the pursuit of living the dream of one day teaching on the seminary and Christian college level.

It is my presumption that I have been gifted to preach and teach to persons at every station in life. But I have noticed, particularly when our church was in Pearland (I'll talk more about that later--we are now in Houston) that we attracted (and still do) doctors, lawyers, professors, etc. So not only is my continuing at SWBTS something I enjoy and is needed to 'sharpen my tools', my environment demands it.

I am pursuiing my Master's of Divinity degree, with an emphasis in Biblical Languages. I have accumulated about 50 hours and need 91 to complete my degree. I estimate my expected graduation to be late '08 or early '09. I am praying for a miracle of a transfer of hours for an earlier date. I am in no rush--I just want to raise my GPA so that I can get into a good doctoral program. I am pleased to say that I am more disciplined in my study--and so far I am doing an okay job in New Testament Greek, my joy--also a thorn in my flesh.

IF anyone views this blog some time before 2009, I seriously NEED and solicit your prayers..

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hudson Taylor Biography

Last week I finished a biography on Hudson Taylor, the missionary who is best known for found the China Inland Mission Society; and who initially introduced the Chinese community to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love biographies; however, I have to admit that I probably wouldn't have even picked up this small biography if it had not been for the fact that it was a class assignment at Southwestern, where I attend seminary (I'll blog about my Southwestern experience some other time). It was one of my writing reports for an elective course I am taking entitle 'Life and Ministry of the Pastor', professor Dr. Bob Overton. Our next reading for this couse is John Macarthur's 'Forgiveness.' There is great preaching in autobiographies and biographies. I am posting the blog below, in hopes that in some way it will bless some student at some point.

Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret

After reading Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, it is no surprise to see how millions have been inspired by Taylor’s loyal, dedicated, and committed Christian life. From his commitment as a dedicated and passionate follower of Jesus Christ, and his founding of the China Inland Mission, our world has witnessed the spawning of Christian institutions and mission ventures that have integrated an exceptional model and paradigm that grew out of his missionary statesmanship for over forty years. It is no wonder he has been designated as “the father of world missions”.[1]

In the Introduction of Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, Terry L. Miethe, Ph.D., Ph.D., gives an overview of Taylor’s China mission and also includes an excerpt of his background, education, various ventures, and the present need and charge of Christ’s call to the Great Commission and evangelism. Miethe also footnotes the four very important emphasis of Hudson Taylor’s missions effort, which I found to be most inspiring and useful in speaking of the priority of Taylor’s passionate pursuit of fulfilling God’s purpose for his life.
The book begins with Taylor’s account of his mother praying for the salvation of her son while many miles away. As Hudson looks for something of interest to read in the library of his father, he begins to read a booklet that he had picked up and was arrested by the words: “The finished work of Christ.” This starts a series of questions in Hudson’s mind. There was nothing left to do other than for this young boy to fall on his knees and accept Christ’s finished work and praise Him for His saving grace forever. That day Hudson surrendered to the Lord and committed his life to do His work. He, along with his sister, became committed to winning others to Jesus Christ.
Shortly thereafter he struggled with the temptation of putting God first over against yielding to the ways of the world. However, Taylor understood that the soul that is starved cannot rejoice in the Lord and that there could be no substitute for authentic spiritual blessing. He began to notion that if God would give him the inner strength to renounce the ways of the world, he would dedicate the rest of his life to doing the exact purpose for which God had called, commissioned, and created him for. It was then that he knew that he had been called to China. He became consumed with committing his time to evangelism and missions; along with committing to the study of China. Though he could not afford a dictionary or a lesson on China’s formidable language, he took the Gospel of Luke in Chinese and began to compare its English equivalent, he began to learn and identify more than six hundred characters. He was determined and resourceful in his effort to do God’s will.
From his time at Drainside, and leaving his aunt’s home on Charlotte street, as test came after test, he chose ‘the pathway of self-emptying and the cross’,[2] simply by virtue of the fact that he had been led by the Spirit of God. The book footnotes that during this time that he was hungry for love, alone, living a life of self-denial—this was not easy and left an opportunity for the Devil to find entrance in his life. It was at Drainside that he found love and longed for her presence. Even his love for her, and her unwillingness to join him in China, could not dissuade him from the mission God had given him to reach the people in China and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those people who had virtually no contact with Jesus Christ. This is a true testament of Taylor’s testimony of rejoicing in one’s pain and forging ahead to do the will of our Savior.
The book chronicles his letters to his dear mother regarding his passion for traveling to China and his love for following the Lord’s call for him there. He fathoms the thought of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with over twelve million souls. There were many hindrances in his new journey of faith. He began to question whether or not he had strong enough faith to embark upon the voyage that had been set before him. He knew that the task was great; all in all, he was willing to pay the price. He discovered that God met him at every crossroad and gave him sufficient strength and provision to move forward in continuing his ‘gospel work’ and enlarging his capacity for joy, thanksgiving and fruitful living. He recounts how even when he could not talk, he learned how to pray, intercede and cry out to God for himself and for those who were in need. He reports of how he had given his all to the poor; but he continued to rejoice in his own sacrifice. It is so astonishing to see how, in numerous ways, how the Lord provided in so many ways for Hudson during the early years of his learning how to ‘walk by faith’.
With a view to preparing himself for his life-work, he became an assistant to a physician at Hull, and subsequently studied medicine at the London Hospital. The great interest awakened in China through the Taiping rebellion, which was then erroneously supposed to be a mass movement toward Christianity, together with the glowing but exaggerated reports made by Carl Friedrich August Gutzlaff concerning China's accessibility, led to the founding of the China Evangelization Society, to the service of which Hudson Taylor offered himself and on Sept. 19, 1853, he sailed for China before the completion of his medical studies.
Chapters six through ten, it reports that the six years from 1854 to 1860 were spent in Shanghai, Swatow, and Ningpo, working sometimes in company with older missionaries of other societies and especially with William Chalmers Burns of the English Presbyterian Mission. It is during this period that he retired from the China Evangelization Society, which subsequently ceased to exist, and continued as an independent worker, trusting God to supply his need. His experiences of God's faithfulness in meeting his own personal needs and the needs of a hospital at Ningpo, of which he had taken charge, had much to do with the subsequent step of founding the China Inland Mission. While at Ningpo he married Miss Maria Dyer, daughter of the Rev. Samuel Dyer of the London Missionary Society. Two of their children also worked as missionaries in China.
According to the book, Taylor suffered poor health in his later years. It was poor health that caused him to return to England in 1860 where he spent the next five years. In company with the Rev. Frederick Foster Cough of the Church Missionary Society, he completed the revision of a version of the New Testament in the colloquial of Ningpo for the British and Foreign Bible Society, and also finished his medical course. The constant pressure and increasing strain inseparable from such a work frequently threatened a serious breakdown for him; but the report is that Taylor manifested remarkable recuperative powers. The book points out that in 1900 at the New York Conference that the first serious signs of failing health began to become even greater for him. He slowly resigned his great responsibilities, still seeking to assist the work as consulting director while living quietly in retirement in Switzerland. He married his second wife in 1871, and she died in the summer of 1904. They had two children. Early in 1905 Taylor determined, though extremely ill, to pay another visit to China. After visiting various centers he reached a place called Changsha, the capital of the previously anti-foreign province of Hunan, where he suddenly and peacefully passed from his labors.
After reading this powerful biography by his son and daughter-in-law, I am truly amazed and inspired by Taylor’s life and commitment to his purpose and Christ’s Great Commission. This is a very encouraging missionary history. It is also wonderful because Hudson does not try to bring "Western Culture" along with his presentation of Jesus. He is one of the first who lives as the Chinese lived and enter their culture.

The Ten Best Ideas that I have found for my life and ministry are as follows:
1. Nothing can possibly compare to God’s plan for your life. (Page 30)
2. That nothing should come before your relationship to the Lord and fulfilling His mission.
3. Where God guides, He provides. What God ordains, He sustains. (Pgs 91-103)
4. When God is the source of one’s strength, He will give one the power to forge ahead and never give up. (Page 166)
5. He seemed to be very humble; even denying what rightfully belonged to him—this has taught me the importance of self-surrender in complying to one’s call. (Pages 30-33)
6. He was a man of prayer—that even when he was unable to speak, he prayed. I must say that in my ministry, this biography has re-ignited my faith in the power of prayer.
7. The importance of standing firm in your convictions; and never allowing one’s flesh to deter one from fulfilling God’s purpose. (Page 28)
8. God can use one person to make a difference and impact the world. (Pages 238-240)
9. God’s timing is everything. Taylor had a desire to go to China long before he actually went. He had to wait until God opened that door. This has taught me to reality of waiting on the timing of God. God’s time is always the best time. My time is not always the best ideal. (Pages 16-48)
10. It is important to use what you have and to use what God gave you.
This biography Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret is truly an inspiring story; it has truly enriched my life and ministry.
[1] Pg. vi
[2] Page 27

Monday, September 17, 2007

Kingdom Agenda

It is my desire to blog on a regular basis, though my schedule/time would disagree. My goal is to eventually discuss EVERYTHING. More specifically, I want to focus on some of my greatest struggles in an effort to 1. Chronicle my thoughts and sort of develop a method to the madness, so to speak 2. Possibly catch to eye of someone who may, literally, speak life to some situations and mentor me through a blog, or simply express that I am not alone 3. So that I can look back and prayerfully see either progress or regression--prayerfully the former, not the latter. My MAJOR frustration--the thing that truly irks me to no end, is the pastorate. Let me be clear--I LOVE the church that I pastor, I love the people; and I absolutely love the call. My frustration is the PROCESS of getting to the PROMISE, if that makes any sense. I am dealing with traditionalism, busyness, a settled-mindset, etc.--and it has a tendency to eat away at me. Add to this, my greatest frustration is pastoring a new church--where it is difficult to find a large number of people who desire to 'pay their dues', have a mind to work, and will do WHATEVER it takes to get to the promise. There are a small group who possess this mentality and spirit. My fear and prayer is that this small group will not become weary, frustrated, fatigued by the others who do nothing, want nothing, desire nothing more, and then complain that nothing more is happening as a result of their do-nothing spirit.

When I finally get my thoughts together, I will begin to post blogs on my findings with regard to some of the things I am really exploring, namely evangelism, missions, follow-up, volunteer participation, etc. My brother, Pastor Kevin L. Pullam, has written a blog that really bespeaks how I feel. You can visit his blog by going to: http://www.kevinlpullam.blogspot.com/ I will post his blog here...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Kingdom Building Agenda
Just how easy is it for the church to get sidetracked? I mean, don't most of the parishioners of our congregations have the wrong idea of what we are and are to do? In the midst of a consumer generation, it seems as if there is a greater trend of misdirection and misunderstanding about what the church is and does. Most are now in the mindset to "shop around" for their choice of church and pastor. Therefore, it seems as if the church which most appeals to the sensuality of a person is the church that gains the largest membership. Whatever happened to the premise that the church was a place to serve and not simply be served? We go to church now like it's our favorite restaurant or movie theater. Sometimes the service is good and other times the show gets a thumbs down. Therefore, many church leaders have sought good ratings from the masses rather than a "well done" from the Master. I am challenging the congregation of people where God has blessed me to lead. We must move to another level of commitment to the lost of this world. "Who will go for us" is the subject of tonight's bible study. We do have a charge to keep and a God to glorify. There are people dying and going to hell and this business of the Kingdom is of crucial urgency. I am redirecting my attention away from that of satisfying bench members. The reality is that they will consume the bulk of our time and, if allowed, write the churches "to do list." All while the commitment of this group is slim to none. When the church is in real need and ministry needs to embark, these "pew potatoes" are usually nowhere to be found. We need a ministry that is totally mission minded. I am not satisfied until the Lord is. Therefore, I believe that I have just broken through to the next level of politically incorrectness. Sure, I want to be about the business of edifying saints. Although, the greatest joy for me would be to please God with my efforts to evangelize sinners. Street corners, crack houses and jail cells don't seem all that glorious of a place to the average "saint." However, these are places where the Gospel most needs to be proclaimed. "How can they call on whom they have not believed, how can they believe in whom they have not heard, and how can they hear without a preacher..... Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God." Lord, use me as one of your trumpeters that these in greatest need may hear...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

God's Music


God's music is in our ears everywhere in His beautiful
world. We hear it in hurrying streams, sighing winds,
singing hirds, falling waters, and lapping waves. But
deeper still we hear it in our hearts when we stop to listen.
It comes in martial strains calling us to work and to the
service of our fellow men. It comes in softer melody
calling us to rest and contemplation. Again it comes in
triumphant strains from another world when the gates
openand loved ones enter in . . . .
There is music in a mother's love, a child's trust, a happy
home, a brave man's battle for a better world, an unselfish
act, a kindly deed. There is "a mighty music echoing, far
and near."
Helen R. Emmons