Friday, April 25, 2008


As the Senior Pastor of a great congregation-I have been privileged to see great people join our ranks and some who have gone. There are those who have left for their own reasons and many whose lives are enhanced that remain. Interestingly-many a pastor have a proclivity to allow the departure of some to get to them in a personal way. There are even times when there are pastors who allow these times to discourage them to the point that they, too, desire to walk away. The reality of all of this is--we can not quit!!! Through the years, I have actually run into people who have even professed, '....I 'used' to be a preacher!'. There are many people who come to church with their 'own' agendas; those who come to church looking to be seen; some who come out of ritual and habit; even those who come for business connections and to pass out their cards; there are even some who come to church because they want the "look" of leadership or to complete their "look" of success. After all--it would look good on your resume to say you are a 'Deacon', etc. For some--the church has equated to the kiddie league--it just seems like the right thing to do...and makes you look like a good guy/woman. I pray to be an encouragement to some minister, staff person, layperson--somewhere....that YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP GOING. Galatians 6:9 teaches us to 'be not weary in well doing'. In John 16:33 Christ states that we will have tribulation in this world....but He has overcome the world. Isn't that good news?

Bottom Line--it's too soon to quit!!! And never allow any person to altar your divine perspective of the goal. There are some people in your life that are there for a season; others that are there for a lifetime. Celebrate who you are in Christ! Meditate on God's Word! Stay the course!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


We have a young man at our church--(because I haven't spoken with him I will not give his name)--I saw him at church this past Sunday and really gained a new level of inspiration. He is my workout partner. Well, lets just say that MOST Wednesdays he and I work out. This young man is passionate about reaching his goal physically. For the past 8 weeks he has been even more intense in his workout habits--at his job they've been kind of on some type of weight-loss contest. Needless to say--HE WON. He lost a total of 37 or 38 pounds! Surprisingly, though I see him every week, when I saw him Sunday, I really could visibly see the results of his diligence.

Then I thought about myself as a student/steward of God's Word and as a Christian Leader. I thought about the many times he would go the extra mile in his workout when I said, 'this is enough'. Though I worked out with him once a week, he was in the gym every day--sometimes 2 times a day. He changed his diet, while mine remained pretty much the same. He was consistent, I was inconsistent.

This guy had resolve, determination, and stick-to-itness.

Those who acheive are those who exemplify certain characteristics--
- They are willing to continue when others desire to quit
- They are willing to go where others refuse to go
- They are willing to show up when others decide to stay home
- They are willing to press their way through the discomfort when others retreat

I thank this brother for the inspiration. There are spiritual princples in this analogy. We are MORE than overcomers!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

3 Years - Time Flies

We had an awesome day of Worship today! Today we celebrated 3 years of ministry as a local church (Cornerstone) and also Family and Friends Day. 3 years ago, my wife and I along with 6 others stepped out on faith and trusted God that He would lead people to the place where we worshpped. There has been much adversity; and MANY lessons that I've learned. I am taking all of these lessons and see how God has tested our faith. I am learning that a faith that is 'tested' is a faith that can be 'trusted.' This year is going to be a year like NONE other. I anticipate God doing some amazing things in the life of our church that will literally devastate the Devil. Thank God for 3 years!!! I was a little displeased with some of our members who were out. However, I am not at all mad at the members who were not there. As far as I am aware--the members who were out had legitimate reasons for being out. AND...we changed the date from the 2nd Sunday to the 3rd Sunday a couple of weeks ago. I understand when things must be done. Of course as Pastor and the designated/ordained leader, I will ALWAYS be a little more critical and insist upon more participation. So it is nothing personal with any one person. Of course, attendance was still good with our guest church being Friendship Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, as they accompanied my eldest brother, Rev. Kevin Lanier Pullam. This young man did an awesome job in delivering the Word of God. He is in a series at His church going through Psalm 119. He shared a portion of that series with our church and our people were tremendously blessed. I can honestly see some of the people of our church really growing in the Word and really passionate about God's Word.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Leadership Prowess, Part One (1)

I have 2 questions.

Question #1: Are empty churches on Sundays and Mid-weeks a result of poor leadership??? This is a question I have asked myself from time to time--though I know the answer.

It seems to me--that many parishioners are apt to conclude that the leader is to blame for the progress in any given church, OR the lack thereof.

I don't have any long, drawn out dissertation or scriptures--it is just a thought. If I only get a response from one, then it will help me to gain some additional insight.

Just off of the cuff, let me give a few facts I believe involve good leadership--by this I mean Good Pastoral Leadership:
1. Preaching and Teaching the WORD of God withough compromise (through expositional preaching)
2. Visionary Leadership
3. Being able to clearly communicate and outline the vision and mission of Christ and His church.
4. Being able to select, train, and grow leaders into committed disciples of Jesus Christ.
5. Having a business mind-set that is able to adjust through adversity, survive difficult seasons of change, and to continue the course.
6. A life saturated in prayer and private devotion.
7. Being the emdodiment of Servant Leadership.

Question #2: What if a Pastor does all of the above things (not perfectly, but improving each and every day and week in those 7 areas), and there is no numeric growth--does that make this leader a poor or weak leader?

Here is what we must understand--there ARE some poor leaders. There are pastors who aren't diligent in their study of God's Word, they have no vision (not one member can even quote the mission statement of their church) or any course or plan of action for growth or their future; there are pastors who are not in any process of selecting or training their leaders; who don't have any kind of organizational or business mind-set; and who spend very little time in prayer and private devotion; and sadly, there are Pastoral leaders who just aren't servant leaders.

HOWEVER--I run into far too many Pastors who embody those 7 characteristics (and more) who don't pastor mega-churches; and who have never written a book or have a website with their name or picture on it. Does that make them (or us) failures? Certainly not!!!

I have studied MANY churches and pastors; and here is my feeble conclusion. I say feeble; but I believe this with all of my heart through all of my study, reading and over 10 years studying almost EVERY mega-church in the US of A.

Here is the very thing that makes the difference: FOLLOWSHIP!!!!

Nothing more; nothing less. I have studied extensively the 100 largest churches in the past 5 years for my personal Pastoral growth; visited their websites, studied their history; and looked at their leadership paradigm. Without exception--that church's growth was contingent upon a group of people who SERVED!!! AND FOLLOWED!!! I am afraid that that is what is missing in far too many empty churches.

Mind you--I am NOT suggesting that every church needs to be a mega-church. NO!!! I am also not suggesting that there is anything wrong with a small church, if there is such a thing. What I am suggesting is that there should be no church building (large or small) that is predominantly empty (Mind you--the church where I pastor is predominantly empty so this is not a put down; I just believe it may start out that way; but it SHOULD NOT be our desire for it to STAY that way). It is clear when reading the parable that is centered around Luke 14:23 that Christ wants His church full. (Now this is only my interpretation of the parable)

I do wish I were able to give all Pastors who are frustrated with not seeing the vision and mission that God has given them come to fruition--if I could give them 5 people who were as passionate about seeing the mission and vision for their churches come forth as much as that pastor is. They were at every service, bible study, leadership training, Sunday school, leading and serving AND giving. I would then be able to GUARANTEE that within a year--IF those 5 people didn't stop, waver--the pastor of that church would see amazing progress within 6 to 12 months--even if that pastor is not operating 100% on those 7 principles listed above.

My conclusion: Empty churches are typically not AS MUCH of a reflection upon the LEADERSHIP as it is the FOLLOWSHIP. I will continue this thought at a later time and title this blog as part 1. I would love to hear the responses of those who read.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


It seems that we live in a culture predominantly disloyal. At the first sign of trouble, challenge, or testing--we are apt to abandon our relationships, friendships, churches, groups, families, beliefs, and our ultimate faith in God.

Plato originally said that only a man who is just can be loyal, and that loyalty is a condition of genuine philosophy. The philosopher Josiah Royce said it was the supreme moral good, and that one's devotion to an object mattered more than the merits of the object itself. Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other." (Matthew 6:24 NIV) Attempting to serve two masters leads to "double-mindedness" (James 4:8), undermining loyalty to a cause.

I remember a time when marriage was for a lifetime; people didn't leave their church simply because they needed a "vacation" or somebody said something that they didn't like; or people were best friends 50 or 60 years. It is terrible and tragic that we've become so enamored and stuck on ourselves that longevity, stick-to-it-ness, and perseverance rarely crosses our minds here in this 21st century.

Strangely--the Italian Mafia gets it. The 'gangsters' get it. Even some unsaved people groups and societies get it. Unfortunately, it disturbs me that a vast majority of the people group who matters most (Christians) don't seem to get it, loyalty that is. If we do, I think it needs to manifest through our actions.

This is why I treasure those persons who, despite the inclement weather and hardships--are still LOYAL and true.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My week thus far!

Sunday I had the opportunity to attend Holman Street Church for their annual Woman's day celebration--to my surprise and delight, one of my childhood/teen mentors in ministry, Pastor Earl Jackson--was the guest speaker for this special day. God used Pastor Jackson to open some doors for me very early in my ministry. He allowed me the opportunity to share in his pulpit several times as a teenage minister; and also had a large part to play in my preaching at some great churches--Antioch in downtown Houston, Pleasant Mt. Gilead in Fort Worth--just to name a few. I love this man and he is an awesome preacher. I was immensely blessed by the entire message, from start to finish. He spoke from I Kings 17, 'When you reach the end of the barrel'. Worship at our church was good; but I was NOT pleased with attendance. I speak to pastors all over the country and this is, of course, a universal problem. However, we will continue to pray, teach, plan, work, and instruct--that consistency and growth in our commitment to church attendance and responsible church membership is of utmost importance.

Last night I had the opportunity to be a part of a forum (rountable) with a group of Senior Pastors. I REALLY enjoyed this time together with these pastors. Our primary reason for meeting was to dialogue and see how we can come together as Pastors and moreover how to effect men in our community and churches for positive life change. We endeavored to get to the source and all agreed that something must change. IF our churches are going to go to the 'next level' in every aspect, I am just convinced that men are going to play a very important part in the accomplishment of these great endeavor.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Honor's Reward

It has been an extremely long day and I am completely tired. But I have to mention this awesome new book that I have been unable to put down. The book is entitled, 'Honor's Reward', by John Bevere, of Messenger International. Admittedly, I have been searching everything on my shelf with his name on it; for I have discovered richness through the communication of his insights, ideals, and how he handles scripture. I strongly recommend this book for church laity, and ordained leaders. My plan is to take our key leaders into this actual reading. This 240 page volume unveils the power and truth of an often-overlooked principle-the spiritual law of honor. Bevere explains that understanding the vital role of this virtue will enable readers to attract blessing both now and for eternity. I can not put this book down!

Monday, April 07, 2008


It is hard to believe--14 years ago on March 20, 1994 at St. John First Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, Texas--the Lord allowed me to preach for the first time publicly behind the pulpit. I was so young, naive, not knowing what in the world I was getting myself into--but God has been extremely kind. I haven't had the opportunity to preach for some of the Pastors and Preachers that I've admired through the years, like Ralph West, Joe Samuel Ratliff, E.K. Bailey or John Bevere, to name a few. But I have never tired of invitations and places to preach the Word of God. God has been so gracious! He has allowed me to preach in pulpits around the country and around this world--and I am so grateful. Last Sunday our church honored me and recognized my preaching anniversary. It was nothing big; but for some reason I appreciated it so much. First--I didn't think anyone even knew. Back in February, one of the brothers made it a point to ensure that myself and my family had a special envelope aside from the regular tithe and offering envelopes. Since then, people have been even more of a blessing to me and my family. For my preaching anniversary, everyone who didn't normally give me a special offering was asked to do so. I was astonished by the blessing! God is good!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sunday, March 6, 2008

We had a good worship celebration today. However, I was very tired and physically fatigued. Of course, it is completely my fault. The fishing fellowship is not the cause. It was actually a long week, Friday I not only did quite a bit of work, but also spend hours trying to locate a Wii (Nintendo) for my family...THEN consumed with setting it up, controlling Kai, etc. Rising at 6am Saturday morning, etc. was probably a factor. THEN I came home after the fishing time and immediately cut our yard, which is a little larger than the old house, to say the least. I had plans to do it Friday but it rained. THEN, I tried to get some rest; but after spending time with D'Ani and the boys, thinking I had my message all together and prepared, I felt impulsed to go in another direction in Haggai 2:1-9. Needless to say, I finished preparing this message at about 3am Sunday morning. When I arose at 7am, I thought I had all of my energy. However, midways through our service, I realized I was VERY fatigued and could feel it all rushing toward me at once. Add to this, I was displeased with church attendance for a first Sunday and our main musician having to leave to take his little son to the ER. Understandable!!! But it did effect the worship service. It wouldn't have if I had been more alert and less fatigued. I have learned a valuable lesson yet again in ministry--GET YOUR REST!!! This wasn't always the case--starting out as a preacher at age 15, this was my typical routine--yardwork, hanging out, etc. and then take a shower and go preach (be not mistaken, I have always prepared my message. Usually beginning on my sermonic preparation on Monday so that Saturday is just review). But I am 29 now; and I am just not a teenager anymore. I have to make some changes, and I need my rest. God blessed the message by His grace and amid my fatigue. BUT I KNOW more than anyone, it could have gone far better if I had taken Psalm 22 to heart and got some rest. ENOUGHT SAID. :-)

Fishing Fellowship

Yesterday some of the men from our church went on a fishing expidition. We didn't catch any fish!!! But we had wonderful fellowship. Psalm 133 came alive!!! I do wish that more men would have come with us; but Saturdays can be hectic and in this case fewer people may have been the ideal thing for us. I have come to the point in my life where I not only treasure family more than ever; but also where I love (and need) to have fellowship with brothers of like-minded faith, purpose, and passion.