May 2013 A KBA Publication tkh.kingdomunion.org Free
Spotlight Is On Pastor David Henderson, III
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In This Issue Tithing: A Law or a Grace 5
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5 Major Distractions in Ministry
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Counterfeit Collars 13
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The Secret Pain of Pastors
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The place of giving in the gospel. By John Ortberg
ne of the things Jesus never actually said the rest however they wanted (ignoring biblical was, "By the way, now that I've introduced statements like "The earth is the Lord's and the grace into the equation, no one needs to fullness thereof"). worry about tithing anymore." Worseâ€”a certain looseness of thought about grace Tithing is considerably less popular than words like sometimes becomes a rationale for not giving at all. generosity or sharing. Among lay people the most A friend of mine made the case: "If my kids are common question associated with tithing is: "Am I really the Lord's, then I can count the money I supposed to base it on net income or gross?" spend on their food and clothing and college tuition Among pastors the question is: "Isn't tithing an Old as falling into the 'good steward' category. If I use Testament concept? Aren't we under grace now?" my home for hospitality and hosting small group, then the same goes for furniture acquisition and This question more or less assumes that it was only home makeovers. I use my computer for Bible post-Pentecost that the church discovered that God study and my phone to store worship songs, so is the owner and that people are stewards. It implies those items are stewardologically deductible." This that legalistic old Israel thought all they had to do type of "all-grace giving" where we give was check the "I tithed" box and then got to spend
"everything" to God looks suspiciously similar to Tithing was built into the foundation of Israel's way of life. "A tithe of everything from the land, giving nothing to God. whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, What if tithing is actually one of God's great gifts to belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord" (Lev. us? What if tithing isn't opposed to grace, but is 27:30). actually a vehicle of it? I'd like to go back to one of the classic statements about the tithe in Scripture, The word tithe means "a tenth part." Tithing means and look at why tithing is in fact God's great tool to 10 percent. For Israel, however, tithing was really only a start. create generous people. There were three "tithes" collected from Israel—one to support priests and Levites (Num. 18:21); another Tithing is like training wheels when it comes to for a sacred celebration (Deut. 14:23); and a third— giving. It's intended to help you get started, but not collected only once every three years—to support recommended for the Tour de France. the poor, orphans, and widows (Deut. 14:28-29; 26:12-13). So the actual income percentage given How do you know when to take training wheels was closer to 23 than 10. off? The quick answer is: when they're slowing you down. How do you know when its time to stop Some people argue that since tithing is found in the tithing? For all of us not living in dire poverty, the Old Testament we can discard the whole concept. answer is when you're giving Jesus, however, was quite Tithing was never meant to be a way way more than 10 percent. clear that he did not come to to "pay our debt to God." It has Tithing is a bad ceiling but an abolish the law but to fulfill always been a training exercise to excellent floor. it. In the early church, no cultivate a generous and Godone's attitude was "Thank The prophet Malachi centered heart. goodness grace takes us out famously spoke of failure to from under the Law—now we tithe as a kind of robbery of don't have to tithe anymore! the divine. "'You are robbing me. Bring the whole We can give far less than 10 percent!" The early tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in church was so overwhelmed by God's grace and my house. Test Me in this,' says the Lord Almighty, generosity, it went far beyond the tithe. 'and see if I will not throw open the flood gates of heaven and pour out so much blessing there will not Tithing was never intended as a way to "pay our be room enough to store it.'" debt to God." It has always been a training exercise to cultivate a generous and God-centered heart. God invites human beings into an experiment. He challenges people to test it. At the same time, Tithing is to our possessions what the Sabbath is to failure to tithe is called robbery. Tithing is not the our time—a concrete guideline that points beyond last word in generosity; it's the first word. But it's a itself to the truth that every moment and inch and word that God takes with deep seriousness; perhaps scrap of our lives come from the hand of God, and because when human beings get vague around will be returned to God. finances, they grow deeply evasive. An economy of generosity Tithe was never to be legalistic Spiritual Training Wheels
Stanford researcher Leon Festinger developed a line of research in social comparison theory. He noted that in different situations we will tend to compare ourselves with people above us or below us, depending on what ladder we're talking about. For instance, on morality, we tend to compare ourselves with people we think are below us: mass murderers, drug dealers. On money, we compare ourselves to people above us, those who have more than we do. Upward financial comparisons generate increasing amounts of greed and decreasing amounts of compassion.
number one predictor of a generous church, he said, is whether or not it has a generous pastor. Tithing starts right here. So Nancy and I take the tithe of what we earn and give it to the local congregation we are a part of. Then we support other ministries like World Vision and International Justice Mission and Fuller Seminary. That practice is especially important for leaders who want to lead churches to grace-filled generosity.
But ancient financial practices in Israel discouraged upward financial comparisons. Tithing was a reminder that all human beings were created with a need to give. If there were two ways Israel was most obviously distinct in its ancient Mediterranean world, one would be monotheism. They worshiped one God. The other is they put voluntary limits on their wealth. They lived in deliberate generosity. Tithing gets personal Some years ago I was at a dinner with a man who headed up a large ministry that works with churches and stewardship. I asked him, "What's the primary predictor of whether any particular church will be generous?" I figured he'd talk about what stewardship program they used or how often generosity was taught. It was none of those. The
5 Major Distractions in Ministry by Will Mancini The term “scope creep” is a term consultants use when their clients expect more than what the project originally outlined. The idea is that the scope of the project is slowly getting bigger, usually in imperceptible increments.
of “opportunity management” can distract and dilute our ministry efforts. Think about how many kinds of opportunities cross a pastor’s path: We serve a congregation that’s a bottomless well of members’ needs. We are captured by the buzz of new ideas, new people and new initiatives happening in church
What is “opportunity creep?” It's roughly the same idea, just applied to all of the positive ministry opportunities a pastor may face in the days and weeks of church life.
If we don’t understand that most opportunities are distractions in disguise, it will be hard to say “no” to the next seemingly “good” thing.
Opportunity Becomes Distraction #1: The New is Askew.
space. We live in communities riddled with issues that we would love to “missionally” engage. We are digitally connected to an ocean of information and “friends.” The bottom line: Church leadership is rich soil for opportunity creep. It’s easy for opportunity after opportunity to press in and vie
Who doesn’t love something new? Especially for us creative types, it's easy to feel the rush of the next. But the lure of the new can drive us to do too much at the same time, or too much too fast. The opportunistic personalities among us will look for the next ministry “find” before going deeper with what we already have. This week, I was with a church that lamented, “Our people aren’t clear about who we are because we repackage ourselves every six months.”
By calling it “creep” we are acknowledging that it’s all too easy to say yes too much. By positioning this as a problem, we are highlighting that a lack
The first step to dealing with opportunity creep is to identify the sources of opportunities in a way that repositions them as distractions.
See if these sources clarify the point:
Of course, no consultant wants scope creep to happen, but in an effort to please the client, it's hard to prevent sometimes. The same dynamic is ever present in ministry. It’s called “opportunity creep.”
for the precious little time God has given you.
In short, make sure the next new thing is a deeply “you thing.” Opportunity Becomes Distraction #2: Off-Mission Permission. In the desire for more ministry, it's easy to say “yes” to the ideas of well-meaning members. The problem is that most of their ministry aspirations are misdirected because they want to create more church structure and programming rather than living out their gifts and calling in life. The church very quickly becomes over programmed and underdiscipled. The “more is more” default mode of program permission clutters a simple discipleship experience in and through the church. Helping people dream big for Jesus is beautiful, overcomplicating church is not. Opportunity Becomes Distraction #3: Funny Money. There is nothing more freeing than an abundance of resources, unless it comes with the proverbial attached string.
Beware of that check-cutting, money-slinging individual — whether it's a new member or an influential elder — that’s ready to fund the next thing (that they brought to the table). If a new idea is connected to designated giving, always ask, “Would our vision really have taken us in this direction?” If people are not willing to subordinate their giving to the existing vision of the church, then it’s probably a distraction in disguise. (Sorry to break the bad news.) Opportunity Becomes Distraction #4: Knowledge Trafficking. I enjoy learning, as do most called into vocational ministry. But when our pursuit of knowledge outpaces our put-inuse of knowledge, we’ll get used to living with distraction. To make matters worse, now you can get a direct feed of whatever-you-want-to-learn, whenever-you-want-to-learn through the 50 devices in your life.
One of the greatest benefits of organizational and personal clarity, by the way, is the ability to ruthlessly filter out nonrelevant new data. Opportunity Becomes Distraction #5: Platform Jacking. The last source of distraction meddles a bit more than the others. Platform jacking is when we divert too much time and energy to gaining influence through opportunities outside of direct, day-to-day ministry responsibilities. There is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to “bless the capital ‘C’ church”— a noble aspiration for sure! Yet, I am amazed at how quickly the favor of God on a pastor can back-fire on the mission of the ministry. The success of the local church can become a “success distraction” for the pastor who spends increasing amounts of time growing his or her platform. Most of us have seen this in someone else, so just be discerning for yourself.
Don’t let your smart phone turn you into a not-so-smart leader.
David Henderson, III, serves as Founder & Senior Pastor of the Empowerment Temple Community Church in Taylor, Texas in which he organized under the leading of the Holy Spirit in December of 2009. His vision, energy, commitment and passion is to reach the unchurched and untouched youth and adults of today through Economic Empowerment, Health Empowerment, Social Empowerment, Political Empowerment, Historical empowerment, Educational Empowerment, and most of all Spiritual Empowerment. Through this they will “Find Their Purpose, Reach Their Potential, & Walk In Power”.
preaching. He is responsible for the holistic development and discipleship of youth and adults, equipping and shepherding ministry staff, and empowering parents to fulfill their biblical roles and responsibilities.
Pastor D was born in Denver, Colo. June 28th 1972 to the parentage of Dr. David Henderson, Jr. and Sis. Lorene Henderson-Mays. He is the husband of Lady Brie Henderson who serves as Executive Pastor of the Empowerment Temple Community Church. Together, Pastor D & Lady Brie share 6 beautiful children, ages 8 yrs. old to 17yrs. old. He received his B.A. degree in Biblical Studies & Business Administration at Criswell Theological Seminary and pursuing a As Founder & Senior Pastor, the responsibility Master’s in Divinity Degree at Liberty and commitment level is tremendous. Pastor D’s University. He is actively personal commitment to involved in local Christ first, his family, Be ye steadfast, immoveable, community programs, and then the people he lectures, teaches and shepherds, along with 13 always abounding in the work preaches at high schools, years of ministry of the Lord; forasmuch as ye colleges, youth retreats, experience, has provided know, your labor is not in vain. conferences, and worship him the ability to services throughout the effectively manage the II Corinthians 15:58 United States. As God has challenges he faces daily continued to expand his as the overseer of this borders, Pastor D’s ministry is taking Him to ministry. His ministry goal is excellence because places where no one could take him but GOD! his God is excellent. His ministry is multiPastor D serves as a board member of the faceted, and provides hands-on, lifeCommunity Development Corporation along changing service coupled with other positions in the City of Taylor. with uncompromising, anointed teaching and
Counterfeit Collars By Antwon D. James
Over the course and time of my ministry I have had the privilege to serve in a myriad of capacities and have served many great leaders in the Lord’s Church. In the five years since becoming President of a great growing organization; I have been approached on a number of occasions in regards to becoming a Bishop and in some cases an Overseer. I respect and highly esteem all ecclesiastical offices and titles. However, some have taken and adopted these titles and offices without merit and are counterfeit in wearing the colors, collars and vestments that are associated with them. For some, life is about how much you can get away with. There is a sense that as long as no one is watching, it doesn’t matter what a person does. It’s as if there’s an invisible wall encircling every act, every sin, every daring desire of the flesh, and only some accidental exposure will reel the person in from tempestuous waters. Unfortunately, too many swim in the sea of sin and never get caught.
Since Moses’ trip to Mount Sinai, we have known that lying, stealing, cheating, killing and coveting are wrong. But we do it anyway. Man has become so emboldened by his sin that he dares anyone to challenge his choices. And those who stand by watching have become so accustomed to the show, that it no longer offends them. We won’t rat someone out because we’re afraid our own secrets will be exposed. That’s a pretty sophisticated analogy for a little boy, but it’s the truth. The Lord gives us free will to choose the path we follow. We can choose to do things OUR way, or we can choose to do things HIS way. The choice may be ours, but He determines the
consequences. Abraham Lincoln said, “You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all the time.” Christians on leave do more harm than sinners who reject Christ. They’re counterfeit Christians wearing collars and vestments unmerited. They leave a stench in the community…an odor of false teaching, like the false prophets of Israel. They have a “do what I say, not what I do” doctrine. And their actions leave a path of destruction: •
They discourage God’s saints.
They disrupt God’s church
It’s not as though we don’t know any better. We just excuse our behavior because the penalty is not severe enough to frighten us. IRS might demand your underpayment and tack on a few dollars interest – no big deal; your spouse might yell about the drinking, but she’ll get over it – no big deal; an affair might destroy your marriage, but you don’t love her anymore anyway – no big deal; if I have to pay child support, they’ll just take it
out of my check - no big deal; everybody cusses – no big deal; and you can tell the supermarket manager that you were just doing a taste test – no big deal.
They twist God’s Word
They hinder God’s worship
They spoil God’s creation.
And they stifle God’s kingdom.
time to be sanctified by the Blood of God. There’s still time to be guided by the hand of God.
Counterfeit collars can cause eyes to be blinded to Christ, hearts to be calloused toward Christ and can cause ears to be deafened to Christ. When the Civil War was over, southerners were spending thousands of confederate dollars on groceries, $500 dollars for a shoeshine, or $100 for something as small as a pencil. That’s because what once had value, had now been reduced to worthlessness. Don’t risk reducing your Christian testimony to a worthless witness. If Christ has not raised your morals, bridled tongue, erased your jealousy, squashed your pride, removed your rudeness, and quenched lusts, you may be a counterfeit Christian collar.
your selfyour in a
We go steps further in coordinating the beginnings of what will be reformations and organizations for self-gain, consecrating people to offices that aren’t fully comprehended by the consecrators themselves. We then no longer see Ministers of the Gospel; we become acquainted with ministers of opportunism, the conscious policy and practice of taking selfish advantage of circumstances – with little regard for principles, or with what the consequences are. Opportunist actions are expedient actions guided primarily by selfinterested motives. But there is hope. “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save…” (Isaiah 59:1)
There’s still time to get it right. There’s still time to be motivated by the love of God. There’s still time to share the Word of God. There’s still time to be anointed by the Spirit of God. There’s still
Coming soon . . . visit www.antoinejackson.org for more information.
teacher, accountant, strategist, visionary, computer tech, counselor, public speaker, worship director, prayer warrior, mentor, leadership trainer, and fundraiser. Who can be all of that? •
by Philip Wagner Peter Drucker, the late leadership guru, said that the four hardest jobs in America (and not necessarily in order, he added) are: • • • •
The President of the United States A university president A CEO of a hospital and A pastor
Is that true? Pastors love God and love people. They get to pray for people, lead people to a faith in Jesus Christ, and teach the Word about God. That’s the dream job. You can read the Bible all day, pray, play a little golf, and preach. I want to do that!
90% of pastors said the ministry was completely different than what they thought it would be like before they entered the ministry. 70% say they have a lower self-image now than when they first started.
Personally, I love being a pastor. I have a great staff. We have great people in our church; I am content whether going through good times or difficult seasons. Of course, it’s a lot easier to be "content" when things are good. I have great friends who are pastors. My marriage is strong. I am a better man because of my time in ministry. Some of the unique problems that pastors’ face are: 1. Criticism. Pastors can be criticized by a lot of people for a multitude of things. “Music is too loud. Worship is not long enough. It’s too long.”
Here is the secret. Being a pastor is hard work. It’s not for wimps.
“Sermon is not deep enough. It’s too long.”
This is the reality—the job of a pastor can be 24/7 and carry unique challenges.
“Pastor thinks he’s too important. It took me 3 weeks to get an appointment.”
Some pastors wear themselves out trying to help people. Some wound their family because they are so involved in ministry. Others flourish in their ministry and personal life.
“You talk too much about money.”
We pastors need to find a way to not take criticism so personally and learn from truths that could be hidden in the criticism.
Approximately 85% of churches in America have less than 200 people. Sixty percent of churches are under 100 people. The average size congregation in the U.S. is 89 people, according to The Barna Group. Staffs are small, and needs are great. In many situations, the pastor needs to be a Bible
“…can I talk to you for a minute, Pastor?” This simple question can cause a pastor to think: “Oy vey. Now what?”
2. Rejection. Members leave, leaders leave, and pastors’ friends leave. The reality is—people leave. The smaller the church, the more obvious it is when people leave. Some leave for reasonable decisions; many leave ‘ungracefully.’ They leave the big churches, too—by the thousands.
influence given to them to take people away. The Judas kiss. Church staff causing problems is a betrayal. Pastors rightfully think, “I’m paying you to solve problems. I can get new problems for free. I don’t need to pay someone a salary to create them.” •
People leave TD Jakes’ church, and they leave Andy Stanley’s church. When our church had about 150 people and some would leave, it was so disappointing. I tried to console myself by thinking, “They may be leaving by the dozens here at Oasis, but thousands have left Jack Hayford’s church, and he’s a great pastor.”…That only helped for a minute.
“I’m leaving.” “We want something deeper.”
“My needs aren’t getting met.” These comments can feel like a personal rejection. Every pastor has heard, “I’m not getting fed here.” Bill Hybels has heard it. Wayne Cordero, Dino Rizzo, Ed Young, Craig Groeschel, Steven Furtick, and Matthew Barnett have heard it. Really? Not getting fed? In those churches? How is that possible? One of the most difficult conditions to achieve is to have a “tough skin and a soft heart.” Love people, hold them lightly, and don’t take it personally. “…uhhh, OK. Lord, help us.” 3. Betrayal.
We pastors have to find a way, with God’s grace, to love people as if we have never been hurt before. 4. Loneliness. Who’s my friend? Who can I trust? If I tell another pastor my problems, will he criticize me, tell others, or just treat me differently? •
70% do not have someone they consider a close friend.
Are my friends really my friends or a church member who is a temporary friend who may leave any day now? Healthy friendships are crucial to a fulfilling life, especially to the well-being of a pastor. Put special effort in this area.
Trusting church members with personal burdens can backfire. They may end up telling the pastor's personal issues to others. Staff leaders can take church members away. The pastor trusts a person with the platform or title, and that person uses the
40% report a conflict with a church member at least once a month. 85% of pastors said their greatest problem is they are tired of dealing with problem people, such as disgruntled elders, deacons, worship leaders, worship teams, board members, and associate pastors. The #1 reason pastors leave the ministry is that church people are not willing to go the same direction and goal of the pastor. Pastors believe God wants them to go in one direction, but the people are not willing to follow or change. 40% of pastors say they have considered leaving their pastorates in the last three months.
5. Weariness. 50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years.
about the money—but it becomes about the money. All of this can be overwhelming.
70% felt God called them to pastoral ministry before their ministry began, but after three years of ministry, only 50% still felt called.
Keeping personally refreshed is an art and a science…and extremely important.
When fatigue comes in, you not only look ½ empty, but also dirty, contaminated, and undrinkable. •
6. Frustrations & Disappointments. Disappointments come in many ways. Because of smaller congregations, the average compensation package for pastors is between $35,000 - $40,000. There are many things pastors in this salary range are not able to do for their family that other people around them can do. There are many areas of ministry that judging "success" is difficult. Pastors can be hard on themselves. We work in an area that good work and good effort does not always guarantee success. Many pastors work hard but are missing some kind of "X-factor." They are good people, sincere believers, love God, know the Word, have great content in their sermons, but somehow it’s not clicking. It’s frustrating.
4,000 new churches begin each year and 7,000 churches close. Over 1,700 pastors left the ministry every month last year. Over 3,500 people a day left the church last year. 50% of pastors feel so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living. 45.5 % of pastors say that they've experienced depression or burnout to the extent that they needed to take a leave of absence from ministry.
This is not the case for all pastors. In fact, many that I know have managed to handle these issues well. How Christians and church members can help: Pray for your pastor. Pray for guidance, protection, healthy friends, their marriage, and family. Pray for inspiration, anointing, the leadership team, unity, and clarity. Protect your pastor. As best as you can, don’t allow or participate in gossip and criticism. How can you serve and problem solve to prevent overload? Encourage your pastor.
Some days, leaders feel like they can’t seem to do anything right. The ministry finally gets momentum, and then a leader in the church falls. Things are going well, and then a couple of your biggest givers leave.
Thank him for his or her work and ministry. Thank them for their sacrifice. Tell them a specific time in which you or someone you know experienced a life change in their church. Honor them to others. Let your pastors know you are praying for them. According to the Barna report— the profession of “Pastor” is near the bottom of a
The church needs money, but the pastor doesn’t want to put too much focus on money. It’s not
It’s like a worship leader who loves Jesus and has a great singing voice but somehow cannot lead people in an effective worship experience.
survey of the most-respected professions, just above “car salesman.”
*The Fuller Institute, George Barna, and Pastoral Care Inc. provide the statistics I have used in this post.
To Pastors. Don’t give up, pastor! Persistence is powerful. Keep on. Really! Your work, your labor of love, and your sacrifice matters. I realize the last thing a pastor needs is another sermon. But these verses have helped me. Hold on to God’s Word with your life. So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. Hebrews 10:3536 NLT So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time, we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Gal. 6:9 NLT Be careful of the comparison trap. Looking at other ministries can be inspiring. Comparing yourself to other churches can be destructive and discouraging. Make new pastor friends. Expose yourself to new influences, new leaders, churches, or ministries that are doing some things differently. Discover to some fresh views and ideas. Sometimes, it just takes one or two new ideas that can change momentum around. Pastors that are struggling or are no longer in ministry may have unresolved hurts. I encourage you to find healing. Seek counseling; find a local Celebrate Recovery group; equip yourself with resources on healing (some examples are Safe People or Boundaries) and share your secrets with safe people. Remember you're only as sick as your secrets.
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Published on May 14, 2013