“‘Well done, good and faithful servant… Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matt 25:21 NIV) What’s in the middle of that verse? You know, the ellipsis (…)? Answering this question sums up the content of this post about practicing Biblical stewardship. It isn’t just about the cliché time, talents and treasure.
“You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.”
Stewardship is honoring God and holding ourselves accountable for the human, financial and natural resources entrusted to our care.
God blesses us with authority in His future Kingdom when we are responsible stewards in this life.Read More…
We are back up and running after several months of website challenges and trials.
We apologize for any malware you may have received as a result of some WordPress plugin problems we’ve been having, but the problem has been identified and eliminated. We can honestly say, “Church Leaders Campfire Restored!”
We do not anticipate any problems in the future, but always say things like that with the honest caveat of
May you enjoy favor in God’s eyes tonight and for the rest of this week.
With such a curious title as “Pastoral Posture and Finding Your Voice,” you might ask yourself if I’m discussing a chiropractic lesson or a music performance lessons (hey, I WAS a vocal performance in opera major my first year in college!)
No, I don’t have a key insight into your back’s posture and why you might slouch while preaching a sermon. I COULD give voice lessons, but that’s not the focus of this blog. In fact, what HAS been the focus of this blog? If you’ve been following Church Leaders Campfire for about a year or more, you might find a smorgasbord of content here in the blog. That’s about to change.
I’ve been attending Michael Hyatt’s “Influence and Impact Summit” online and it HAS influenced me! Listening to @LysaTerKeurst, the President of Proverbs 31 Ministries, who shared about how my audience receives my message best. This is what I’m calling “Pastoral Posture and Finding Your Voice.”
Basically, there are three voices a communicator can use toward their audience:
1. “I’m the Expert” – This is the voice that says “You Should…” which is basically a lecture on what to do.
2. “I’m the Front Door” – This is the voice that says “You Could…” this is when I share what I’ve done (usually past-tense) but I’m not really sharing my current experiences (or failures for that matter).
3. “Out in the Field” – This is the voice that says “I May Be Two Steps Ahead of You, But I’m WITH YOU!” This is where you’re putting your arms around your tribe, congregation or family, and make friends with them.
Which one do you use in your family? Which voice do you use with the church you serve? What voice do you use when helping others?
Me? I sense the Lord’s leading to change the tone of Church Leaders Campfire. I’m switching the pastoral posture from an “I’m the Expert” to “Out in the Field” because I’m a multi-vocational minister who seeks to leverage the power of the internet to build friendships and network alongside with other Godly men and women for the sake of His message through me. I’ve found my voice, which is “I may be two steps ahead of you, but I’m WITH YOU!” because I’m a ministry practitioner and fellow traveler in God’s kingdom.
Will you join me? More clarity and re-branding to come…
Question: What’s your pastoral posture and voice?
Living under threat is foreign to me. I ministered to a young Airman yesterday who barely started their elementary school years when this Global War on Terror began in September 2001. Now he’s a part of the nation’s military, serving the USA. He has grown up in an America that is so different than the one I’ve grown up in, in the mid-70’s through 90’s.Read More…
Compelled to Create?
Yes, I said compelled to create. I am compelled to create. I agree with Jeff Goins in this very thought-exploding statement. I grew up very musical. I even attended San Diego State University for a year so I could study Vocal Performance in Opera. I loved every music class. That strenuous training prepared me to take the stage as a speaker as well as a singer. Read More…
Build your platform with Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt. Wow! This is an essential must-have if you’re trying to reach an audience a larger scale.
I wish I had this course in seminary, almost as a Preaching 501 class or a how to communicate that burning message inside you… for church leaders like me who wish to truly influence others with my message.
I wish I had this course as a new business owner, perhaps from the Small Business Administration or some other organization that helps new business owners get their feet under them or at least on how to build your platform, whether through sales, networking, offering free seminars or speeches, SEO/SEM or social media campaigns.
I wish I had this course as a new military officer, seeking to spread a positive influence with those I serve alongside… how to build your platform in that environment is essential because the noise is loud!
May I suggest you pick up a copy of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World in both hardback AND kindle version? Hopefully I won’t sound like a total raving lunatic about this, but I’m a new fan. I’m in need of help in this area. I think I just hit the mother lode!
Here’s an infographic on how to build your platform, called 5 Steps to Building Your Platform:
QUESTION AROUND THE CAMPFIRE: Would you like help in organizing yourself to build your platform by creating a broader and more effective influence on those you are trying to lead?
The Best Defense is a Good Offense
“The best defense is a good offense” is an old proverb that has been applied to many fields of endeavor, including games and military combat. Generally the idea is that offensive action preoccupies the opposition and ultimately its ability to directly harm. Mao Zedong opined that “the only real defense is active defense”, meaning defense for the purpose of counter-attacking and taking the offensive.Often success rests on destroying the enemy’s ability to attack. In reference to fighting terrorists, Matthew Levitt opines, “It’s important to pre-emptively strike at those who intend to do us harm.” The principle is echoed in the writings of Machiavelli and Sun Tzu.
The best defense is a good offense
In some board games, such as Risk, one’s ability to build up armies depends on aggressively attacking so as to acquire territory; however, in Risk, luck in rolling the dice is the ultimate determining factor. Players who fail to do so, and concentrate instead on holding the line against enemy attack, will likely end up in a weak position.
Indepthinfo argues that this adage does not always apply: “When the battle rages between two players one should put every ounce of power in the offense, but when several players are involved, the political element changes this dynamic.” In chess, one’s ability to prevent enemy attacks often depends on maintaining the initiative – i.e., making a series of threats that the opponent must use his turns to parry, rather than launching his own attacks; thus, common tips used in conjunction with this adage are that the best way to upset your opponent’s plans is to become menacing and that the best way to stop an enemy threat to your own king is to attack his.
In sports such as soccer and basketball, the adage “the best defense is a good offense” is used to note that success can hinge on an effective offense that keeps the ball on the other team’s side of the field, thus not only creating scoring opportunities but preventing the opposing team from scoring.
In a culture like ours in modern America, which embraces diversity, to suggest that certain truths apply to everyone is downright offensive. Pointing out sin isn’t popular and many Christians are labeled as “intolerant” for refusing to accept certain behaviors and ideas.
Unfortunately, many people have embraced a distorted Christianity that tries to be “politically correct.” They don’t want to offend anyone, so they accept sin rather than confronting it. Ultimately, their words of “love” ring empty because they accept sins that ruin people’s lives.
Other Christians just try to avoid sinful culture altogether. They have been taught to go on the defense—to hide in their homes, churches and schools to shut the door on the evil influences of culture. This is where we end up having the church of “We Don’t Do That” and Christian schools appear no different than public schools.
But Jesus challenged His followers to be on the offense—to proclaim the truth without shame.
Our households, churches and schools should become staging areas rather than fortresses; training environments that equip God’s people to confront a sinful world instead of hiding from it.Jesus knows that the pagan world will resist, but He dares us to go there anyway, and to be His conduits for HIS building HIS church in those very places that are most morally decayed.
As we listen to Jesus’ challenge today, we as Christians should ask ourselves the important question:
**Question: Are we on defense or offense?**
Gates of Hades: Caesarea Philippi
In first century Israel, the gates of Hades was known to be located in Caesarea Philippi. This city would be an equivalent of Las Vegas – Sin City – but much worse than the modern city in the American West. The location of Caesarea Philippi was especially unique because it stood at the base of a cliff where spring water flowed. At one time, the water ran directly from the mouth of a cave set in the bottom of the cliff.
The common belief of pagans in this era was that their fertility gods lived in the underworld during the winter and returned to earth each spring. Water was a symbol of the underworld and it was commonly thought that their gods traveled to and from that world through caves.
To the pagan mind, then, the cave and spring water at Caesarea Philippi created a gate to the underworld. They believed that their city was literally at the gates of the underworld—the gates of Hades. In order to entice the return of their god, Pan, each year, the people of Caesarea Philippi engaged in horrible behavior, including prostitution and sexual interaction between humans and goats. In the open-air Pan Shrine, next to the cave mouth, there was a large niche, in which a statue of Pan (a half-goat, half-human creature) stood, with a large erect phallus, worshiped for its fertility properties. Surrounding him in the wall were many smaller niches, in which were statues of his attending nymphs. On the shrine in front of these niches, worshipers of Pan would congregate and partake in bizarre sexual rites, including copulation with goats – worshipped for their relationship to Pan.
The Gates of Hades was no place for a good Jew! When Jesus brought his disciples to this awful place, they must have been shocked. Caesarea Philippi was like a red-light district in their world and devout Jews would have avoided any contact with the despicable acts committed there.
This was a city of people eagerly knocking on the doors of hell.