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Archive for pastors

A pastor’s toil (joy!)…

If you believe that the local church is God’s agent for reaching cities & communities with the gospel (we do at CCK), then you’ll also recognise the gifts that are given to the local church to accomplish this task.  Pastoring is one of them.

My tongue is firmly in my cheek as I use the word ‘toil’ in the title of this post………because I actually mean ‘joy’.

If you are a busy pastor (paid or unpaid) there is a reality that flocks need shepherding…… and it’s hard work!  So in one sense it certainly is toil.

But the joy I speak of (or satisfaction, thrill, pleasure) is the reward of hard labour (toil).  It’s the fruit of helping people to apply the gospel to their lives in an atmosphere of grace and accountability (Christian community).

The pastors joy comes when you see men & women :

~ allowing the truth of the gospel to shape their attitude & perspective on life

~ leaning on truth (of who they actually are in Christ) rather than lies that suggest otherwise

~ turning from consumers into cultivators & producers in the context of local church

Ok, for those of you ‘toiling away’, here are some great tips for practical pastoring.  Not originally my own, but nonetheless appreciated and implemented appropriately :

  • Beware ministry stereotypes
  • Be yourself
  • Remember the goal of pastoral ministry
  • Be full of the word and full of the spirit
  • Relate to people primarily on the basis of what you have personally seen, heard or discerned
  • Set boundaries when appropriate
  • Never make a vow of secrecy
  • Help people to take responsibility
  • Help people to take action
  • Check out the basics
  • Make use of resources
  • Know when you are getting out of your depth
  • Recognise there is rarely one key to a complex situation
  • Do not make promises you cannot keep, but keep the ones you do
  • Always take a suicide threat seriously
  • Do not see women alone

Credit goes to Steve Walford (fellow CCK elder). Check him out here…


Moleskine phenomenon….

Is it just me or has Moleskine made a fabulous comeback?  It seems as though everywhere I look (coffee shops, offices, schools, pubs etc.) I spot these delightfully smart items being used by the modern man or woman about town.

Moleskine is of course the legendary notebook that the European artists and intellectuals who made twentieth-century culture used.  Matisse, Céline, Hemingway, Chatwin and other chaps I know very little about, picked up this tradition and made it famous.

A simple black rectangle pad with squared or lined pages, endleaves held by an elastic band, an inside pocket for loose sheets, a binding in ‘moleskine’ which gives it its name, this trusty, pocket-size traveling companion guarded notes, stories, thoughts and impressions before they were typed up into their trusty laptops.

Chatwin, indeed, used to buy his Moleskines at a Paris stationery shop in Rue de l’Ancienne Comédie.  He always stocked up on them before travelling and once declared, ‘Losing my passport was the least of my worries, losing a Moleskine was a catastrophe’.

In 1986, the last producer, a small family concern in Tours closed down.  Now, the Moleskine is back again, to satisfy the cultural demand once more.  Could this be due to a mutiny against technology?  No, it’s just for folk who are 40-something and not as Mac savvy as the younger generation.

High quality notebook for pastors…

Of course, the other place you will spot a Moleskine notebook is at a Newfrontiers church or conference of some sort.  It perfectly accompanies the standard NF Pastors kit-bag (including a MacBook Pro, iphone and a smart pair of specs).  The Moleskine is indeed fast becoming the essential accessory of 2009.

Just a bit of a leg pull!  Bought one myself recently.  Really nice they are.  So much so, I bought a bulk pack to hand out to my fellow pastors (all of whom are 40-something)…..