Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ten Reasons to go and Pastor a church in Scotland

This makes extremely sad reading. The only encouraging thing about it is that it is posted on a blog run by a handful of pastors in Scotland with far more biblical priorities:
At a seminar at a recent Christian gathering the 50 people in attendance were asked what their top ten priorities would be for a minister in a Scottish church. The final list is below, I'm not sure if they are ranked by importance, but looking at the list I'm not sure that it makes much of a difference.

1. Leadership skills
2. Developing Abilities
3. Recognising Abilities
4. Knowledge of denominational principles
5. Good communicator
6. People focused
7. Knowledge of church structure
8. Practical work experience
9. Management skills
10. Active participant in the community

There are many churches looking for pastors in Scotland, and judging by the above, many of them don't have in mind 1 Tim 3 or Titus 1. For that matter they don't seem to have the gospel in mind either.
Gospel-focused pastors from the English speaking world should seriously consider pastoring in Scotland and helping faithful pastors like those from Resolve to transform the view of ministry over there.

HT: Colin Adams

Spurgeon on Two kinds of Pride

Loving churches need humble pastors.

I've been deeply challenged today reading Spurgeon, The Soul Winner, Chapter 2 'Qualifications for Soul-Winning - Godward."

Here's a quotation: which form of pride do you tend towards?
There are two sorts of proud people, and it is difficult sometimes to say which of the two is the worse. There is, first of all, the kind that is full of that vanity which talks about itself, and invites other people to talk about it, too, and to pat it on the back, and stroke its feathers the right way. It is all full of its little morsel of a self, and goes strutting about, and saying, "Praise me, please, praise me, I want it," like a little child who goes to each one in the room, and says, "See my new dress; isn't it a beauty?" You may have seen some of these pretty dears; I have met many of them. The other kind of pride is too big for that sort of thing. It does not care for it; it despises people so much that it does not condescend to wish for their praises. It is so supremely satisfied with itself that it does not stoop to consider what others think of it. I have sometimes thought it is the more dangerous kind of pride spiritually, but it is much the more respectable of the two. There is, after all, something very noble in being too proud to be proud. Suppose those great donkeys did bray at you, do not be such a donkey as to notice them. But this other poor little soul says, "Well, everybody's praise is worth something," and so he baits his mousetraps, and tries to catch little mice of praise, that he may cook them for his breakfast. He has a mighty appetite for such things. Brethren, get rid of both kinds of pride if you have anything of either of them about you. The dwarf pride and the ogre pride are both of them abominations in the sight of the Lord. Never forget that you are disciples of Him who said, "Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart."...
In the matter of soul-winning, humility makes you feel that you are nothing and nobody, and that, if God gives you success in the work, you will be driven to ascribe to Him all the glory, for none of the credit of it could properly belong to you. If you do not have success, humility will lead you to blame your own folly and weakness, not God's sovereignty.

Want to read more? The text is online, and the book is in print.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Surviving Comparitively Well...

After reading this post from fellow Brit at CHBC, Graham Shearer (on the right), I realise that things could have been a great deal worse for me trying to be a Brit in the USA.
For that, Graham, I am profoundly grateful!

Who will be King?

It has all the great things about 2 ways to live, but is well pitched at children. So, though the pictures are the same (other than a rather better picture in frame one of a whole family of people living under God's rule, rather than merely an individual). The text is simpler. God's name is added to the crown to make it even clearer that we are talking about God!

Though the follow up panel could be clearer on repentance, the question that is being asked even through the title makes it very clear that one cannot claim to follow Jesus without him being the king of our lives.

Use it in your children's ministry!