Daily Archives: October 14, 2013

Rob Schluter[A Diocese of South Carolina Youth Minster]'s sermon: Why am I an Anglican?

Several years ago, as I watched our diocese and our church head towards the inevitable break with the national church and as I watched churches struggle with hard decisions on the uniqueness of Christ, the authority of scripture, or any other number of issues I went on a journey to see if I really fit in the Anglican Church. Part of my issue was a fear that there would be no professional home for me in the coming years, and I might as well see if I am truly Anglican or if perhaps I was Baptist or some sort of non-denominational Christian”¦ The other issue I struggled with was reconciling my theology with the theology of the National Episcopal Church (who claimed to be Anglican). So I started searching my heart and mind for what I believed, as well as what scripture says to see what Christianity is supposed to be about. And while I am definitely not the scholar that Father Greg is, and while my understanding of pork products and the sacraments pales in comparison with Father Free’s, I hope you might find what I have to say somewhat helpful”¦ In understanding my journey, and in a brief introduction to what we Anglicans believe.

Now I should start by saying that I am not Anglican by birth. I was not a cradle Episcopalian. I was baptized in an Episcopal church as an infant, but through a series of events I grew up in a rural Methodist church. Please don’t hold that against me or my parents”¦ So I can’t claim to be Anglican because it is all I have known. In fact, when I visited an Episcopal church for the first time, I had to come to grips with the fact that it existed at all. My Methodist training and upbringing had neglected to tell me about the Episcopal Church. I didn’t even know it was there. So I claim no birthright.

And to be fair, I went to an Episcopal church because I thought a girl was cute. I was a teenager, a rather typical one actually, whose mind was less on theology and more on what my girlfriend was wearing. So I can’t even claim to have chosen the Episcopal Church. In many ways it chose me. A group of loving adults pointed the teenage me to the Jesus of the Bible, prayed that I might come into a saving relationship with Christ, and then proceeded to disciple me. Anglicans chose me, not the other way around. But a few years ago, I no longer could rest on that fact. It was time for me to choose.

As I searched my heart, and indeed the Bible, one thing was evident to me”¦ Scripture is very important! I know that many of you hold to a very high view of scripture ”“ in fact you would agree with St. Paul as he reminds Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16 that “All scripture is breathed out by God”¦”. That the Bible is God’s very word! That God inspired its creation, and He speaks through His word today. But the Bible has an author (God) and an audience (us). While God breathed out the scriptures of the Old Testament and the New Testament, he did so for his glory and our transformation. Paul continues in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is breathed out by God”¦ and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” The Bible is sparked by the divine, with all His authority. In fact, because it comes from God it’s profitable for little ”˜ol me. God’s word can transform my heart and my life. And through that transformation, I might be made more and more into the image of Christ, ultimately leading to righteousness.

So, I wanted a church that thought as highly about the word of God as I do. I want a church that encourages us to daily take in God’s word, ponder its meaning, apply it to our lives, and live it out according to God’s purpose. So what is the Anglican Church’s view of scripture? Please turn with me to page 877 of the Book of Common Prayer”¦ To the Chicago ”“ Lambeth Quadrilateral and the Lambeth Conference of 1888”¦

A quarter of the way down the page, you will see a number one. It proclaims, “The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the revealed word of God.” And if you scan further down the page to the “A” under the Lambeth Conference, it reads, “The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as ”˜containing all things necessary to salvation,’ and as being the ultimate rule and standard of faith.”

So, what does that mean? Simply, it means the Anglican Church, and St. John’s, hold a high view of scripture. It contains all things necessary to our salvation. In the Bible, the gospel is proclaimed to us, in it the grace of God is demonstrated for us, in it we are called to repentance, in the Bible our identity in Christ is made clear to us, and through it we are strengthened by God’s Holy Spirit to live redeemed lives. And we can see the Anglican Church’s view of scripture in this very service. We enter in prayer and then sit under the word of God as it is read to us from the Old Testament, the Psalms, the New Testament, and as if that weren’t enough, even from the Gospels as well. No other flavor of Christianity (that I know of) spends so much time in the word of God. And then to cap it all off, the priest stands up to teach us from God’s perfect word. I sought a church that held a high view of scripture, and in the Anglican Church I found a wonderful home.

And while I tend to view myself as a good boy steeped in the Reformed tradition, I realized that scripture called Christians to do more than just study God’s word endlessly. That we were to live in our world, proclaiming Christ crucified. That indeed we are connected to the historic church through the centuries”¦ That we are to profess the faith of the early church Fathers”¦ And we profess this faith; we summarize what we believe, through the Apostle’s and Nicene creeds.

You know, I was trained many years ago how to interact with the random Jehovah’s witnesses that showed up at my door by telling them exactly what I believe. I was taught to do that by sharing the Nicene Creed. The creeds effectively sum up what the Bible teaches us about our faith”¦ Who God the father is, who his son Jesus Christ is, who the Holy Spirit is, and what the church is. I hold fast to the creeds, especially in recent years.

It seems like every day there is a new preacher, interpreting scripture in a new way, telling us that God really meant this or that. And the best way I have found to combat that is through searching scripture for answers the church has been giving for nearly 2000 years. In the creeds, the doctrine of the church is summed up for us.

If you look back at your prayer book, number 2 and “B” both point us to the use of creeds to sum up our faith. To keep us in check”¦ To make sure that we don’t wonder from essential truth’s about God due to our own selfishness. This is so crucial! In Malachi 3:6, God tells the Israelites, “”¦I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.” I’m sure you have heard it said that God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And that is what the verse in Malachi is telling us. That God doesn’t change his mind ”“ He doesn’t go back on his promises”¦ He doesn’t think one thing is sinful one day and then come back to us another day to tell us there is no more sin. And because God doesn’t change his mind, the church shouldn’t either. So when someone argues the deity of Jesus ”“ we point them to the creeds. When the uniqueness of Christ is questioned ”“ we point them to the creeds. When the Holy Spirit is denied ”“ we point to the creeds. So we as a church must continue to profess the same God as the first Christians did. And we do that by learning the doctrine that the creeds teach us. The creeds are useful summaries of our historic faith.

Father Greg has told me several times that the Nicene Creed is placed after the sermon in Rite I and II services to stand as a correction if the preacher wonders too far from the truth found in scriptures. I hope that isn’t too necessary today!

So as I see it, we need the Nicene and Apostles creeds to ensure that we are holding on to the faith of the historic church, to scare away Jehovah’s witnesses, and to correct false teaching.

I feel like this might be getting a bit serious or stiff, and in my training as a youth minister I was taught to break up your teaching as often as necessary to keep people’s attention, to let their minds ponder what you have just shared, and to let the Holy Spirit work on their hearts. So let’s take a momentary detour.

In 1996, I went off to college”¦ Well, by off I mean that I went to the College of Charleston, which is essentially just down the street. And what I wound up studying while I was at college was history. I love history. And my wife doesn’t”¦ I am constantly trying to tell her that I love history because it connects me to the people who came before me. I enjoy going to civil war sites and thinking about the brave soldiers that stood there long ago. I like to think about what they were doing, feeling, and seeing. I love going into old churches and sitting in the pews. I like to think of the countless people who have sat in that seat seeking God’s voice, crying out to him in pain, or praising God’s holy name. I love history. I am so honored to stand here, knowing that great Bible teachers have stood here proclaiming the word of God, that missionaries who have given their lives wholly to God stood on this ground sharing what God is doing through them, that children have grown up at St. John’s and then stood in this spot to proclaim who God is. I love history.

And as I searched my heart and the scriptures I saw that history matters. We see the importance of history in the genealogies of Jesus”¦ We see the importance of history in God’s unchanging promises”¦ If you think about it, that is exactly what God is telling the Israelites in Malachi, that he doesn’t change. He is telling them that his promises don’t change. That verse tells us that history, what God has done and said, matters.

So I longed for a church that understood history. I wanted a church that was connected to the ancient church. It’s like the creeds in that respect. I wanted to be sure that the body of Christ I belonged to was the body that Jesus set to create through the early apostles and by his death on the cross. And that is exactly what the Anglican Church offers. Please look with me at the prayer book again. Number 4 and “D” both tell us about the history of our church. It reads, “The Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of His Church.” That is a dizzying sentence.

I might need to offer a simple definition”¦ Episcopate = bishops.

We are a church run by Bishops. And as a lay person, that can frustrate me at times. That someone is in authority over me. But many times scripture reminds us that we are not our ultimate authority.

Take 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 for example; “We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly because of their work”¦” Paul is reminding the people of Thessalonica that God has put others over them. And in Ephesians 4:11-12, Paul says, “(God) gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for ministry”¦” Our Bishops, priests, and leaders are gifts from God! Sometimes it is hard to see that, but think back to our recent struggles with the National Episcopal Church”¦ Who would not count Bishop Lawrence as a gift from God? Who would not count our vestry and priests as gifts from God? And Paul goes on to tell us in Romans 13:1 what our respect for God’s gift of leadership is to look like”¦ “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”

Now, I realize that Paul was talking about civil authorities, but let’s look at the principal. We submit to the authority God puts over us. In the church the authorities over us are bishops and priests. That God calls to lead us, to shepherd us, to teach us, to equip us for ministry, to counsel us, to love us as God loves us”¦ So we submit ”“ we surrender ourselves (our wills and our authority) to their authority, as they submit themselves to Christ Jesus.

But you might have noticed that I skipped a word that the Chicago ”“ Lambeth Quadrilateral and the Lambeth Conference both use: Historic. And by now you know I love that word. So not only are we a church run by bishops, our bishops can trace a line back to the earliest apostles. So we are an ancient church, confessing the truths that Jesus taught his disciples. I love that, don’t you? Knowing that we aren’t adrift on a sea by ourselves”¦ But that we are connected to a church that spans 2000 years of history. I love that we are connected to a church whose body covers the entire globe. We are connected to that church by the very bishops God puts in authority over us today. That Bishop Lawrence is connected all the way back to the founding apostles. Amazing!

Some of you tuned out the last few minutes either because I was talking about history or because I was talking about someone being in authority over us. All I can say is”¦ I’m sorry?

There is one more aspect of Anglicanism that I have fallen in love with: The Sacraments. Please look one more time at your Book of Common Prayer. Number 3 and letter “C” talk about the importance of the sacrament to the Anglican Church. Letter “C” on page 878 says, “The two Sacraments ordained by Christ Himself ”“ Baptism and the Supper of the Lord ”“ ministered with unfailing use of Christ’s words of Institution, and of the elements ordained by Him.”

I love that the sacraments are the visible, tangible signs of what Jesus is doing and has done for us. I love that they are the very things that Jesus did when he walked the Earth ”“ that he ordained them Himself. I love that he gave them to us. I love that through them I am receiving the grace of God.

For example”¦ Every Sunday, as I am invited by the priest to come to the Holy Table, I am aware of how much I don’t deserve to be called to feast with the Lord. I am aware of what Jesus did on the cross to secure my spot at the table”¦ I am aware that God is looking past my sinful nature and at Jesus, whose sacrifice covers me ”“ and He is calling me his child. Telling me to take my seat”¦ And then he feeds me”¦ And not just with any food, but with spiritual food”¦ The body and blood of Jesus himself, shed for us that we might come to God’s table. It is clear to me that God’s grace rests upon us as we approach his altar. And I love that! Don’t you?

Because sometimes it is hard for me to think in abstracts, and I need that visible ”“ tangible ”“ outward sign of God’s grace. And we have that in the sacraments.

I realize this has been a long sermon, and there is much more that could be said or taught about what makes us Anglican. But I’m going to stop here and ask you a question.

Why does this matter? What difference does it make if we are Anglican or not? That was a question that I wrestled with for quite some time. And to answer it, I need to tell you about fishing tackle”¦ Before I had kids (when there was such a thing as ”˜Rob’ time), I loved to go fishing. I honestly didn’t care if I caught too much, I just liked to be on or near the water, with a line in the water ”“ waiting to see what I might bring up. And one thing I learned while fishing in front of my in-laws house was that you need the right sinker for the right type of water.

When the tide is slack, you can use a small, light sinker ”“ the current isn’t pulling it away from you very hard. When the tide is coming in our out ”“ you need a larger sinker (or more than one) to fight against the current. To reach the depth you want to fish in”¦

Well, the current of our culture, our world is a hard and fast moving current. It pushes us ”“ and it even pushes churches”¦ The culture will try to erode our thinking on biblical issues, tell us that Jesus is just another great teacher ”“ an example to emulate”¦ But He is not God. It will tell us that we have been reading the Bible all wrong, and that we should skip certain parts of scripture because they have no meaning in our world. The culture will tell us ”“ will push and pull us ”“ to be just like them.

So we need a good sinker. And Anglicanism has four heavy sinkers”¦
1. We hold fast to God’s word. We know it comes from Him and is useful for our transformation and His glory. So we read it, we teach it, we study it, we seek to live it”¦
2. We use the creeds to summarize our faith and to be a solid foundation of doctrine for us to stand on. Fighting hard against the current of our culture ”“ refusing to change our beliefs since God himself does not change.
3. Anglicans are not a fly by night kind of church. We can trace our roots back to the earliest church. So our sinker is heavy, and we run our church as scripture asks us to ”“ with people submitting to the authority put over them, even as the leaders of our church submit to Christ himself.
4. And our last sinker is the visible and outward sign of God’s grace for us. The sacraments. I am so thankful that Anglicans did not throw out the sacraments like many other churches during the reformation ”“ since they are a means of God’s grace for us.

All four of these sinkers, when held faithfully together, are enough to drop us down through the fastest current. They anchor us to Christ and the church he died to create. And they work together making us Anglican. That is why this matters. And that is why I am an Anglican.

–Mr. Rob Schluter is the Youth Minister at Saint John’s, John’s Island, S.C. (and this is posted with his kind permission)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Identity, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Youth Ministry

([London] Times) Research shows Bank overdraft costs can exceed those of payday loans

Using an overdraft at a high street bank can cost more than taking out a payday loan, research has shown.

Which?, the consumer group which conducted the study, said that the mainstream credit industry was in as much need of regulation as the much-criticised fringe players.

The research shows authorised overdrafts with a leading bank can be as costly as a payday loan with companies such as Wonga. For example, borrowing £100 for 31 days will cost £30 with a Halifax authorised overdraft or £20 with some Santander accounts.

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Personal Finance, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

Robert Hahn and Peter Passell–Mandatory health coverage could be a catalyst for a generational war

…it is still foolish to ignore the leverage that the individual mandate gives opponents of Obamacare. America’s healthcare system for the elderly (Medicare, plus Medicaid for nursing-home care) is already edging the country toward generational war because Washington will sooner or later be forced to choose between drastic limitations on coverage in those programs or drastic increases in taxes on the decreasing portion of working Americans. Now we’re adding a parallel obligation on younger workers to subsidize healthcare for fiftysomethings.

What to do? The path of least political resistance is to tough it out, hoping younger households will be unable to figure out what’s happening, or simply unwilling to throw in their lot with opponents of gay marriage, marijuana reform and the like. Alternatively, we could start paying attention to the building crisis as younger households scramble ever harder for a middle-class living standard.

And none too soon, because the signs of generational conflict are already appearing.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Aging / the Elderly, America/U.S.A., Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Medicaid, Medicare, Politics in General, Taxes, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Theology, Young Adults

Lest I Forget–Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to all Blog Readers!

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Canada

(Independent) Danielle Levy–If it says 'ethical' on the label, that doesn't mean company is clean

When the Archbishop of Canterbury was embarrassed by the revelation earlier this year that the Church had invested indirectly in Wonga ”“ after he had announced plans to take on the payday lender ”“ it served as a bleak reminder that even the best-intentioned investor can be let down by their so-called ethical investments.

If you are looking to put your spare cash to good use by investing “ethically”, be warned that you could face similar nasty surprises unless you keep a keen eye on the investment criteria. A close examination of the ethical fund sector shows investments in some unexpected areas. They include oil companies operating in tar sand fields, deemed harmful by some environmentalists; arms manufacturers; and businesses that have exposure to fur and animal testing.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Stock Market, Theology

Privacy Fears Grow as Cities Increase Surveillance

Federal grants of $7 million awarded to this city were meant largely to help thwart terror attacks at its bustling port. But instead, the money is going to a police initiative that will collect and analyze reams of surveillance data from around town ”” from gunshot-detection sensors in the barrios of East Oakland to license plate readers mounted on police cars patrolling the city’s upscale hills.

The new system, scheduled to begin next summer, is the latest example of how cities are compiling and processing large amounts of information, known as big data, for routine law enforcement. And the system underscores how technology has enabled the tracking of people in many aspects of life.

The police can monitor a fire hose of social media posts to look for evidence of criminal activities; transportation agencies can track commuters’ toll payments when drivers use an electronic pass; and the National Security Agency, as news reports this summer revealed, scooped up telephone records of millions of cellphone customers in the United States.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(BBC) Bishop of Tewkesbury welcomed at Gloucester Cathedral service

The youngest serving Church of England bishop has been welcomed to his new post in Gloucestershire.

The Right Reverend Martyn Snow, 45, was ordained and consecrated as the new Bishop of Tewkesbury at a ceremony in London last month.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(Wash. Post) Senate leaders’ talks on shutdown, debt limit stall as sides await Mkt reaction

What started as a mad dash to strike a deal to lift the federal debt limit slowed to a crawl over the weekend as stalemated Senate leaders waited nervously to see whether financial markets would plunge Monday morning and drive the other side toward compromise.

Republicans seemed to think they had more to lose. After talks broke down between President Obama and House leaders, GOP senators quickly cobbled together a plan to end the government shutdown ”” now entering its third week ”” and raise the $16.7 trillion debt limit. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) then asked Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) to elevate negotiations to the highest level.

On Sunday ”” with the Treasury Department due to exhaust its borrowing power in just four days ”” Reid was wielding that leverage to maximum advantage. Rather than making concessions that would undermine Obama’s signature health-care initiative, as Republicans first demanded, Democrats are now on the offensive and seeking to undo what has become a cherished prize for the GOP: deep agency spending cuts known as the sequester.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Federal Reserve, Globalization, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

Great Local Oppty this wk.–Thomas Cranmer and Contemporary Worship with Ashley Null

[This is the]…first in a series of annual events with Ashley Null, who is both the Theological Advisor for the Diocese of the Carolinas as well as the Senior Research Fellow for the Ridley Institute, the school of theology at St. Andrew’s.

The event begins Tuesday, October 15 at 8:30 a.m. with worship and concludes on October 16 at 5:00 p.m. Over the course of two days, Dr. Null will deliver eight lectures on Cranmer and Contemporary Anglican Worship. There will be ample time for discussion, questions, and networking over lunches and dinners (daily schedule).

The two-day seminar is also available via livestream….

Check it out courtesy of Saint Andrew’s Mount Pleasant, S.C., and consider the livestream option..

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, --Book of Common Prayer, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Pastoral Theology, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Kendall Harmon's Sermon (fr yd)–We are Called to be Gossipers of the Gospel (Romans 10, 1 Thess. 1)

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, Evangelism and Church Growth, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NPR) Senate Gets A Dose Of Scolding With Its Morning Prayer

It’s easy to tune out when the Senate goes through its morning rituals. The president pro tem calls the chamber to order; there’s the Pledge of Allegiance. One morning could sound like any other.

Except for the past two weeks. Barry C. Black, the Senate chaplain, has been using his morning prayers to say exactly what he thinks is wrong with Washington lawmakers: “Remove from them that stubborn pride, which imagines itself to be above and beyond criticism.”

A retired rear admiral who often sports a bow tie, Black became the Senate’s first African-American chaplain when he took the job 10 years ago.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Senate, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky

O God, who in thy providence didst call Joseph Schereschewsky from his home in Eastern Europe to the ministry of this Church, and didst send him as a missionary to China, upholding him in his infirmity, that he might translate the holy Scriptures into languages of that land: Lead us, we pray thee, to commit our lives and talents to thee, in the confidence that when thou givest thy servants any work to do, thou dost also supply the strength to do it; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord God, the source of all grace and the judge of all men, who hast invited us to enter thy kingdom, but dost not force our wills to obedience: Grant that we may so use thy present grace that we may not have cause to fear thy final judgment; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

–Psalm 1:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Charisma) J. Lee Grady–8 Qualities We Need in Today’s Leaders

At a time when many Christian leaders today are failing, we need to reclaim these eight vital qualities:

1. You must have a sure calling. Nehemiah said to the king: “Send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it” (Neh. 2:5, NASB, emphasis added). Nehemiah was a “sent one.” He was called by God, and he surrendered. You must be convinced that you are called. You may have great preaching skills, a powerful anointing or a magnetic personality, but human abilities and God-given talents alone will not make you successful. You must know that you know that you know that God has sent you.

2. You need a heavenly burden. When Nehemiah heard that Jerusalem’s walls were destroyed and that the Jews were displaced, he wept (1:4). His call to leadership flowed out of true compassion for people. The most successful leaders step into their assignments not because they want to make a name for themselves or because they want a paycheck from a church, but because they want to help others. If love is not your motivation, do us all a favor and wait until God’s compassion grips you. The church today does not need any more leaders with personal agendas or selfish ambitions.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture