Friday, September 15, 2017

"How Important is Preaching?"

To be a successful pastor, one must have the mind of a scholar, the heart of a child, and the hide of a rhinoceros.” - Stuart Briscoe

There are days in ministry when I am convinced Briscoe is right! There is a price to be paid emotionally, spiritually, and physically, to be a successful pastor. The confession of sin is a prerequisite for pastoral leadership. As leaders in the Body of Christ, we must be candid about our need for grace, forgiveness, openness, and flexibility. Pastors are constantly working on an accurate understanding of God’s calling, self, and circumstances. In ministry, we must remember that not all flack is routine criticism. In truth, it may be a gift, a fresh opportunity to reflect, retool and reinvigorate.

How important is preaching? There are at least three ways people absorb knowledge:              
1.  Visual
2.  Auditory, and
3.  Kinesthetic

Adults can listen with understanding for ninety minutes, but can only listen with retention for twenty minutes. Studies indicate that after three days, recall is down to about ten percent of the message. I always say that after Sunday’s sermon, by Tuesday, the congregants cannot even remember the humor or the illustrations.

What does all that say? The sermon is important! Communication is 10% words, 40% tone, and 50% non-verbal. To expect retention and application – that demands creativity and diligent preparation on the part of the pastor.

Yes, all of us pastors need your affirmation, counsel, and prayers.


Friday, September 8, 2017

"Getting the Ratios Right"

Rich Karlgaard said, “Success is often a matter of getting the ratios right.”  The creator of the universe certainly understood that.  Edward Wright, the astrophysicist from UCLA said the Big Bang would have fizzled in the first second had the neutron-to-proton ratio been just a wee bit more or less than it was.

Ratios are important to each of us.  Life is a matter of key ratios being exactly right.  We live with a perfect balance of water, nutrients, gases, gravity and solar radiation to sustain the inhabitants of planet Earth.  Those ratios must be precise.  We are just the right distance from the sun so that we do not freeze or fry!  Could it be that these ratios do not exist anywhere else in the universe?

Could it be that ratios are not only important for us economically but also physically?  We need to check our ratios regarding work-to-play, prayer-to-pace, calories-to-exercise, strength-to-weight, and isolation-to-community.

Sabbath rest is not just Biblical.  It is also logical.