2014 Year-In-Review

 

Now that 2014 has come to a close and 2015 is off to a great start, we would like to take a moment with our readers to reflect on the many accomplishments you helped us achieve this past year.

On the Changing the Face of Christianity website, we saw an impressive amount of activity among our followers throughout the year of 2014. [Read more…]

Is Perfection the Right Standard for Pastors?

What happens when a pastor falls short of perfection? What happens when a weakness is revealed for all to see? Do we love, support, empathize, encourage, and work to help them or do we find a way to escort them out the door seeking another pastor who will be perfect?

I can imagine that for many pastors, there is a great fear that their congregation will discover that they are merely human like the rest of us… full of flaws and weakness.

I like what Jesus said in Luke 18:19, “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.”

And in Hebrews 4:15-16, where it is written, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

The point here is that we sometimes put pastors on a pedestal of perfection. And when they fall short, we don’t always extend them the same grace and mercy that God shows us in all of our imperfections. Pastors have doubts, fears, and temptations just like the rest of us. Sometimes they stumble like the rest of us.

When that happens, love them through it. If they confess and seek forgiveness, we should be quick to forgive, as God is quick to forgive us.

Lastly, create an environment at your church and a relationship with your pastor that would enable them to speak freely about their imperfections. They need not isolate themselves in an attempt to hide their flaws for fear of what their congregation might think. Be a loving, grace-filled church to your pastor, just as you are taught to be to the rest of the world.

Put the Bible into Practice

It’s important to not just read the Bible. We must put it into practice in our daily lives.

In Philippians 4:9, the apostle Paul urges us “whatever you have learned or receive or heard from me, or seen in me, put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Here is an example. A few verses beforehand, in Philippians 4:6, Paul teaches us “Do not be anxious about anything…”. In this chapter he’s also talking about living with the joys Christ in our lives and being content with the ups and downs of life.

Do you want to remain anxious or stressed out about things or do you want the peace of God to be with you?

Like Paul, I urge you to exchange the anxiety and discontented feelings of this life with the peace that comes from God alone.

Are you a worthy disciple?

I was reading Philippians 3:17 today where Paul encourages others to follow his example of pursuing Christ. In the study notes, it asked a wonderful question, “What kind of follower would a new Christian become if he or she imitated you?”

So a thought to consider today is what kind of disciple of Christ are you? What example are you setting for others? Is it an example worth following?