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Watching someone else build on the foundation you've helped establish may be the most fulfilling part of life and ministry.One year ago this month, I stopped being the lead pastor of our church.Not because I was done, but because it was the right time.Truth be told, I still want to be the lead pastor. At the age of 59, (58 when we made the transition) I’m not too old. I still have the passion, the heart and more than a few important things to say.But I stepped down anyway.Earlier than I thought I would. By maybe a decade. But it happened just when it was supposed to happen.This weekend our church will celebrate the one year anniversary of that transition. So, as I think about all that’s happened over the last 12 months, here are 7 reasons we knew it was the right time for a pastoral transition.1. The Church Is StrongThe reason most pastoral transitions are so dangerous is that we don’t even consider doing it until there’s a problem – usually an avalanche of problems.It’s hard for a church to change its leadership. It’s even harder when the church is already in crisis.Over the 26 years I’ve been at Cornerstone, we’ve learned to look around when things are good and ask, “how can we use this time of strength and health to make the necessary changes?”2. There’s Someone Else Capable Of LeadingToo many churches lose their best people because they’re unwilling to let them operate in their greatest area of strength.Weak leaders are intimidated by strong leaders. Strong leaders make way for other strong leaders.If you look around your church and you see someone else who’s capable of doing your job, don’t be afraid, be happy. You haven’t failed, you’ve succeeded.That doesn’t mean they’ll take your position (or, as in our case, you’ll ...Continue reading...
Longevity builds trust, which gives people a better perspective on what does and doesn't really matter.Pastors seem to be staying in their churches longer now than they did in previous generations.That’s on purpose.I know, because as of this month I’ve been ministering at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship for 26 years. When our family arrived here, our prayer was that the Lord would let us stay and plant roots.Certainly there are challenges to staying so long in the same place. Keeping fresh, not settling in too comfortably, and not repeating the same ideas over and over are constant battles to fight against. (We’ll address those in my next article, The 5 Biggest Dangers Of Staying In A Long-Term Pastorate – And How To Avoid Them).But if you can avoid those pitfalls, here are 8 advantages to investing a big chunk of our lives in one church body.1. There are some lessons it takes a lifetime to learn – and teachRecently I heard an art history expert say that the reason the great painters of history are called the “old masters” isn’t because they painted a long time ago, but because it takes decades to become great.It’s the same in ministry.When you move every few years, you never get past the preliminary stages of relationships and ministry.It takes years, even decades to get into the truly deeper aspects of any discipline, including pastoral ministry.2. You get to see generational resultsSpiritual growth is long term. Not only is it about an eternity in heaven, it’s a about how we spend our lifetime here on earth – and how we affect the generations that come after us.Spending decades of thriving ministry in the same place allows you to have that kind of long-term impact. Today, there are adults with kids in our church who were kids themselves when we started ...Continue reading...
Temple Baptist Church - 11-25-2018Isaiah 9:1-7Introduction:A. Some 740 years before the birth of Christ, God allowed the prophet Isaiah to look down the telescope of time and bring a message of hope to oppressed Israel and Judah. B. Isaiah gives the prophetic hope of the birth of a Child and the giving of a Son. The long awaited “seed of the woman,” Israel's Messiah: The Anointed One, the King, the Deliverer.C. The conditions were ripe, the stage is set, the Promise to be fulfilled.D. Thanksgiving sets the tone of the Christmas Season: thankfulness to God for His many blessings.E. A time of contemplation concerning the gift of God's Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.F. The times in which the Messiah was born were dark times spiritually. The people “walked in darkness.” Thus, it is with the world today, in light of the Second Coming of Christ. The Light of God is being slowly turned off, the wicked riot in the day time now, the “god” of evolution is worshipped, and the Anointed One is coming.G. Verse 4: The Nation of Israel, God's Elect:1. They Carried the Burden of the Yoke of Sin. Yoke of His burden…A yoke was a tool that harnessed two animals together to pull a load. A description of the nation away from God. They were yoked to a burden they could not manage.2. They Bowed under the Tyranny of the Staff of the Flesh. Staff of His Shoulder…The staff was used by shepherds to keep the sheep in line. The reference here is to wrong leadership that has taken their freedom and liberty away.3. They Suffered under the Oppressive Rod of Satan. Rod of His oppressor…This instrument was used to beat animals and people that were out of line. Israel and Judah would suffer at the hands of their enemies.H. In verses 6-7, we see:1. We see the Cradle – “For unto us a Child is born.”2. We see The Cross – “A Son is given.”3. We see the Crown – “And the government shall be upon His shoulders.”I. Only Jesus can break the yoke, tyranny, and oppression of Satan.J. I want to look at that description of Christ in verse 6 for a few minutes.1. WONDERFUL – Marvelous or extraordinary – Exciting, surprising, astonishing, miraculous, powerful, incredible, exceeding, supernatural, admirable. Do you hear me tonight? That is our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ! Do you know my wonderful Lord?His name is Wonderful, His name is Wonderful,His name is Wonderful, Jesus my Lord;He is the mighty King, master of everything,His name is Wonderful, Jesus, my Lord.He's the great Shepherd, the Rock of all ages,Almighty God is He;Bow down before Him, love and adore Him,His name is Wonderful, Jesus, my Lord.a. He wonderfully saved my soul in 1976! What a wonderful thought that I will be in Heaven for eternity because He loves me.b. He wonderfully forgave all of my sin in 1976! Past, present, and future. I am both saved and secured through the Light of the World.c. He wonderfully changed the direction and desires of my life in 1976! What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought since Jesus came into my heart.d. His name became Wonderful to me! He is the sole reason of my praise!2. COUNSELOR – to give advice, to purpose, to devise or plan, to conspire, to manage causes in court.a. He counsels me when my heart is troubled.b. He counsels me when my faith is tried.c. He counsels me when my integrity is tempted.d. He has the remedy for all my problems! He knows all because He is the COUNSELOR! His advice is always good, His counsel is always right, and His path is always safe. He makes no mistake nor does He turn from His divine purpose. Ask and ye shall receive! Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not!e. Do you know my Counselor?3. THE MIGHTY GOD – strong, valiant, excelling, powerful, great, prevailing, authoritative, accomplished, extraordinary degree or quality in respect to size, character, importance, and consequences! That's my God! That's my Lord!a. He is mighty when I am weak.b. He is mighty when my enemy is strong!c. He is mighty when the winds and waves roll over my soul!d. He is mighty when the impossible becomes the probable.e. He is the Resource of my power!f. He can do anything at anytime, anywhere! When I have to “withstand in the evil day,” He stands with me. When I have done all and must continue to stand, He stands with and for me. That's my MIGHTY GOD! With Him, I can fear no evil. With Him, I can face tomorrow.g. Do you know my Mighty God?4. THE EVERLASTING FATHER – eternal in duration, never coming to an end, a begetter, a parent, the founder of a family, the head of the home, important, distinguished!a. As a Father, He loves me.b. As a Father, He has pity upon me.c. As a Father, He directs me.d. As a Father, He corrects me.e. As a Father, He protects me.f. As a Father, He provides for me.g. As a Father, He will never leave nor forsake me!h. Do you know my Father?5. THE PRINCE OF PEACE – of the highest rank, in the highest place, of the highest authority, He is the Sovereign, He is the Monarch, He is the Authority, He is the Son of a King, He is of royal blood, He is of great ancestry, there is no one like Him, He is of highest rank, He is the Head of the Church, He is preeminent, He is predominant.a. He brings stillness to my troubled soul.b. He brings rest in restlessness.c. He brings hope in hopelessness.d. He brings victory out of defeat.e. He is the Fairest of Ten Thousand to my soul!f. There were none before Him.g. There will be none after Him.h. He is the Manifestation of Peace.i. He is the Minister of Peace.j. He is the Master of Peace. k. Do you know Prince of Peace?Conclusion: He truly is indescribable! He is the “I AM THAT I AM!”TO THE ARCHITECT HE IS THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE.TO THE ASTRONOMER HE IS THE BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR.TO THE BUTCHER HE IS THE LAMB OF GOD WHO WAS SLAIN BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THIS WORLD.TO THE BAKER HE IS THE LIVING BREAD.TO THE CARPENTER HE IS THE MASTER BUILDER.TO THE DIPLOMAT HE IS THE PRINCE OF PEACE.TO THE DOCTOR HE IS THE GREAT PHYSICIAN.TO THE EDUCATOR HE IS THE MASTER TEACHER.TO THE ELECTRICIAN HE IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.TO THE FARMER HE IS THE LORD OF THE HARVEST.TO THE FLORIST HE IS THE LILY OF THE VALLEY AND THE ROSE OF SHARON.TO THE GEOLOGIST HE IS THE ROCK OF AGES.TO THE HORTICULTURIST HE IS THE TRUE VINE.TO THE JEWELER HE IS THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE.TO THE JUDGE HE IS THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE.TO THE LAWYER HE IS THE CHIEF ADVOCATE.TO THE PHILOSOPHER HE IS THE WISDOM OF GOD.TO THE PUBLISHER HE IS GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY.TO THE SCULPTOR HE IS THE LIVING STONE.TO THE THEOLOGIAN HE IS AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH.TO THE ZOOLOGIST HE IS THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH.IF YOU'RE HUNGRY, HE'S THE BREAD OF LIFE.IF YOU'RE THIRSTY, HE'S THE FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATER.IF YOU'RE BLIND, HE'S THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.IF YOU'RE LOST, HE'S THE WAY.IF YOU'RE CONFUSED, HE'S THE TRUTH.IF YOU'RE DYING, HE'S THE LIFE.He is WONDERFUL - He is my DELIGHTHe is THE COUNSELLOR - He is my DIRECTIONHe is THE MIGHTY GOD - He is my DEITYHe is THE EVERLASTING FATHER - He is my DEFENDERHe is THE PRINCE OF PEACE- He is my DIFFERENCE
Looking at this New Year, one of the first significant events on the national calendar is the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States, I have often wondered, how can one person shoulder the heavy burden of the presidency? Especially when, instead of being supported and encouraged, he is attacked and vilified even […]The post Living Triumphantly appeared first on Cornerstone Baptist Church.
The Scriptures exhort…that whosoever believeth in him (Jesus Christ) should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16. Think about how we view the word ‘believe’. Many think that all they are required to do is believe that Jesus existed and died on Calvary and they are in good standings with God. Now, if this […]The post The True Meaning of Salvation appeared first on Cornerstone Baptist Church.
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