Archive for March, 2009

denver-broncos-headAs you may have heard in the news (if you follow sports) the Broncos received a new coach,  the youngest coach in the NFL, Josh McDaniels.  Ever since he arrived in Denver it has been a hiring and firing frenzy.  So much so, it has become a routine in the morning to 1) check and see if it snowed outside and 2) check the latest news of the Broncos.

As I thought about the new coach, I started thinking about how similar pastoring is to coaching.  Especially how it relates to being the new guy coming into an established organization and following a guy who was there for a long time.  I can relate to Josh McDaniels.  I can relate to his desire to “turn the ship” and turn it as quickly as possible.  I can relate to seeing trouble spots and wanting to fix them, NOW!  I can relate to the desire to follow my dream.  I can relate to the frustration of why others don’t see it my way.  I can relate to the desire to prove yourself so others will get behind you.  I understand a lot of things that are going through his head and heart.

We live in a world that oozes pressure to succeed, and FAST.  Coaches are given a few years to “succeed” or they will be replaced.  That same attitude has leaked into the church world as well.  Churches are  looking for the next Bill Hybels or Rick Warren.  The pressure for pastors to succeed are high and if the numbers don’t go up and the dollars don’t increase, churches will find someone who can do it.  The pressure is extreme and there are obvious results to this pressure.  Look at some of these results from http://lamintl.org/Pastor_Statistics.aspx:

  1. Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout or contention in their churches.
  2. Eighty percent of pastors and eighty-four percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.
  3. Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
  4. Ninety percent said the hardest thing about ministry is dealing with uncooperative people.

Pastor all around the globe need prayer and support.  They need encouragement.  They want to feel like they are making a difference.  The primary source of news that pastors are hearing is typically not good news.  If a pastor has made a difference in your life, send him an email, send him a letter or just give him or her a call.  GIVE YOUR PASTOR SOME GOOD NEWS.  Success is being used by God to change the eternal destiny of another.  That is why a pastor chose this path a long time ago…to lead others to Christ.

As far as Josh McDaniels and the Broncos, the NFL and Denver is about wins and superbowls.  McDaniels is making a lot of changes.  Two years from now, he will either be a hero or a zero.  Only time will tell!!!!!

sex-on-the-beachI have recently moved to Colorado from Oklahoma.  Living in Oklahoma for several years, my wife and I were able to make a lot of friends.  We miss all of those friends but there is one friendship that means a lot to my wife and I.  I want to  tell you their story.

Their story starts off in a bar.  They were both working in a bar trying to make ends meet and to explore the party scene.  Because they worked together, they spent a lot of time with each other.  Because they spent a lot of time together, one thing led to another and before you knew it they were getting married.  Little did they know that the hurts and pain of their past would be a huge weight that would not shed easily.  Fights became a common occurrence leaving each other feeling trapped and frustrated.  Their marriage was driving full speed heading towards a brick wall.

They found themselves not wanting to give up, but not knowing where to get help.  So they decided to try the church.  The first visit led to a second and then to another.  Before long they were meeting young couples that had similar struggles.  Friendships started to blossom.  They started listening, learning and applying lessons to their marriage.  They began to notice they fought less.  Marriage was different They had experienced a transformation in their lives and it was happening right in front of my eyes.

It has been a little over three years since Amber and Landon have begun their journey as a follower of Jesus.  Things have changed a lot.  They are now debt free (with help from Dave Ramsey), they are now saving to buy their first house, Landon has played the main character in a few of the church dramas, Amber plays the flute for the orchestra, and they both look for places to volunteer as often as they can.  They still fight (and don’t we all) but nothing like the past.

When Cindy and I left Oklahoma City to help plant a church in Parker, Colorado, we received a letter from Amber thanking us for all we had  done to help them.  I still have that letter and I read it periodically to remind me why I do what I do!

Amber and Landon, we miss you guys.  We love you.  And we are very proud of you.  The truth is, you have helped us more than we have helped you.  Thanks for allowing us to be a part of your great story!!!!!!  To everyone else, what’s your story?