One of my goals as a church planter and pastor was to get people to follow Jesus. I remember as a young man doing everything possible to get people’s eyes off of me and onto Jesus. To this day, when I pray for people I never ask “How can I pray for you?” I always deflect attention from myself by asking, “What do you need Jesus to do for you?” While this desire to get people to follow Jesus and not me is often good and noble, it is not realistic and may not even be Biblical.
Here is another gem from one of our regulars, Mike Barnes of Gateway Fellowship in Natomas. When I read his thoughts about following, it is sobering to me to realize that what I do (or don't do) affects those around me and those who follow me. I trust it will challenge you in a similarly healthy way. -Ray
My wife and I regularly drive together to church on Sundays but occasionally need to drive separately. Such was the occasion on a recent weekend when, as we walked out of the house, Janet said to me, “I will follow you.” The meaning of her four simple words have become more profound in the days since first spoken.
Some of you might not know this, but I actually have two full-time jobs. My volunteer job (better yet my calling) is to co-lead HOUSE SF alongside my husband Craig Matos. However, on top of that I also work a 9-5 job in the health-tech industry as an Office Manager. In my 9-5 role I look after our office facilities, on-boarding, and oversee our entire culture for the company. The company I work for is a non-profit that helps under-served communities receive better healthcare through technology and education. I’m very thankful I have the opportunity to be in both the workplace and church leadership. It helps me to stay grounded and connected to our city.
From time to time I come across articles in different places that either I identify with, or I have pastors who I know can identify with. The fact of the matter is, we are in the people business. And while most of our people are amazing, there are those who quite frankly are not. They drain us, they discourage us, etc. If this happens to you, I just want you to be encouraged that you are not alone, and it probably isn't your fault. Be encouraged to be the shepherd God is calling you to be.
Who of us isn't overwhelmed by ministry? Or for that matter, life? And just when you think you finally have your head a little bit above water, people are shot and killed in Las Vegas, or a devastating fire breaks out in Santa Rosa. The fact of the matter is, there are always going to be things in life and ministry that are going to try to sideswipe us. What Keith writes here is not the whole answer - but it is a good start. I hope it helps!
Looking out from the top of a mountain in the Shasta-Trinity Wilderness, I am overcome by the amazing horizon. The view from up here is incredible! I keep looking at the map to find the names of valleys, river, hills, and mountains. Is that Castle Crags? I think that is Mt. Burney….am I seeing all the way into Oregon? My curiosity is fully engaged!
At the Central Pacific District we like to share insightful and inspiring content from our members, friends, and influencers. Please read the story below from Associate Pastor Tim Dunfield of South Hills Church in Henderson, Nevada and their recent mission trip to Mexicali.
I heard a story about a child who had a difficult time doing what his parents told him to do. He would say, “I can’t.” His mom asked him to go and pray about it to see if God could help him. His prayer went like this. “God I need your help to make me do the things I should and not do the things I shouldn’t, but if You can’t help me right away it’s OK, I’m having fun the way I am right now.”
I wonder if we aren’t all a little bit like that boy. We enjoy the way we are right now.
At the Central Pacific District we like to share inightful and inspiring content from our members, friends, and influencers. Thank you to Bill Giovannetti at maxgrace.com for sharing his wisdom with us so we can pass it on to you.
Every Christ-centered non-profit organization has the need to move forward with a firm planning foundation, in the right sequence. As the Chinese proverb so aptly states this principle:
“If you take one step forward you can see a little further down the road.”
No one can see around every bend from their present location. But taking well-planned steps, one at a time, will enable you to move forward in a healthy direction, deal with unsuspected obstacles, and discover God’s destination for your church or ministry. Moving forward without wise planning will increase vulnerability to loss of time, money, and perhaps vision. Today’s blog summarizes the tenants of healthy sequential steps towards the successful development of a vision.