Whenever I speak as a guest, one of the first things I do after giving my name and thanking my hosts for having me is to tell my salvation testimony. Before anyone stands before an audience and opens the Word of God, it is my belief that the presenter should offer his salvation testimony.
As pastors, shepherds of God's flock, overseers of Christ's body, it is vital that our people hear regularly our testimony of how Christ saved our souls. And here are a few of the results you can expect.
It has taken some time, but I'm at a place now where I can admit that I made some mistakes in my first five years of ministry. I definitely learned from them, and I want to share some of them with you. Maybe you can avoid them. One of them does have to do with growing my hair out way too long, so if you want to see that picture and have a good laugh -- you'll have to click "Read More."
The well-known proverb points out, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Simple, but profound. The path toward wellness is no exception.
Most who know me personally have loved me through thick and "thin." The lightest I have ever been as an adult was as a college freshman. My weight has been an up-and-down struggle over the years, such that I have virtually every size of clothing in boxes in my garage. I could make excuses, but that serves no helpful purpose. Once again, I have taken a first step on a journey. I am grateful to report that I've already lost 12 pounds. This time, though, my journey is not just a weight loss journey. It is a journey toward wellness. I am integrating significantly more raw foods into my diet and stepping away from certain other foods. Of course, you know to check with your doctor before beginning any particular nutrition plan. So why this? And why on this blog?
As I was working through Mark 14 for my sermon series, I came across the place where Jesus tells His disciples they will all be offended because of Him that night (14:27). He says this reality is in fulfillment of Zechariah's prophecy (13:7), "I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered." It occurred to me that there is a principle in this prophecy that we have probably all seen play out in various situations. Protecting ourselves and our ministries through prayer can help us guard against this principle playing out in our lives. Jesus was fulfilling Scripture of course, but no such prophecy exists for you and me. So, it serves us well to guard against this principle. How can we do that?
Some denominations have a guaranteed appointment system, and some pastors are moved around by a district-level bishop. Baptist pastors, however, usually apply independently for a vacant role (or are approached out of the blue) and "candidate" for a position. There is often a questionnaire, an interview, a trial sermon, and a vote. A commonly asked question has to do with what sort of percentage a pastoral candidate should seek before accepting a call from a church. Ideally, the vote would be unanimous, right? But that isn't all that common. Is it biblical to draw a line in the sand? How do you even think about this issue? Does it just boil down to a coin toss?
Pastor Billy Shaw is a full-time pastor, husband, and father with a passion for helping other pastors.