by Dustin Boles, a pastor at Mosaic Church in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
I am a happy guy. No, seriously. I am a very happy guy. I am blessed. I love Jesus. I believe the gospel. My marriage is good and my church is good. So, why are there times when I feel despair, self-hatred, hopelessness, and lethargy on a level that seems crippling? That is the question in ministry that is most asked internally and the least verbalized to others. It is embarrassing to admit that we feel this way. It seems ungrateful to feel this way when God has done so much for us. Can a real Christian even feel this way?
Depression in ministry is not the exception but the rule. We all feel it, maybe to different depths and for different durations but we all feel it. The Bible gives us hope, ...
There isn't a lot out there to encourage church planters. Advice? Yes. Correction? Yes. Coaching? Yes. Comparing? Yes. Mocking? Sometimes. Encouragement? Not really. Some may say, "Well, if you're a church planter you shouldn't need kudos to stay the course." There's some truth to that, but that's not what encouragement is about. To en-courage is "to put courage into". Yes, our ultimate source of encouragement is the Chief Planter. Yet, the primary means by which we receive and experience his encouragement is through His people - especially from others who are in the trenches with you. So, to all my fellow church planters, this is my encouragement to you, as one among you.
A SINGULAR, PURE DEVOTION TO JESUS
Brothers, keep going. Love your Jesus well. Stay close to him. Make him ...
By Pastor Scott Thomas
After 46 years, Penn State football’s head coach Joe Paterno was suddenly fired. The once great reign of the NCAA Division I football’s winningest coach had come to an abrupt and tragic end. 83-year-old Joe Paterno (endearingly known as “JoePa”) achieved 409 wins, five undefeated seasons and two national championships. But suddenly, none of that mattered anymore. In one week, after the arrest of a former assistant coach on child sexual abuse charges, everybody's favorite grandpa was removed from the sidelines for the first time since the Lyndon Johnson Administration.
The Apostle Paul said, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (2 Tim. 4:7). Finishing with honor for the glory of God is the goal. It ...
by Scott Thomas, President of Acts 29
Spiritual and church leadership is tough for even the best of leaders. Behind closed doors, every leader will admit being tired, frustrated, angry, depressed, confused and attacked. The Apostle Paul's protégé, Timothy was about to take up his work he needed to be a leader filled with grace. Paul told Timothy, "You therefore, my son, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 2:2). We are only able to lead effectively after grace strengthens us.
"We are only able to lead effectivelyafter grace strengthens us."
Be strengthened by grace, not by your natural talents. Timothy may have certainly been very winsome naturally. He may have been able to articulate naturally. He may have been a fairly good public speaker. ...
Spiritual, Physical and Mental Health of the Planter and Family
Planting a church places a heavy burden on planters and their families. Most planters indicate that planting is one of the hardest things they've ever done. Those who survive are quick to highlight how discouraging and lonely it can be. The result is a fragile foundation for dealing with the discouragement and loneliness of church planting.
Unresolved relationships and weaknesses in the marriage will often surface in the church-planting season. Simmering problems in marriage and family began to boil with the added pressure and stress of planting a church. A planter’s faith and commitment is challenged. God often uses the challenges for good to grow the planter and his family or Satan can use to bring them down.