Pastor's Forum

Social Media and Church Leaders

As a pastor, I preach on various moral, ethical, and social issues from a biblical standpoint. However, I avoid expressing personal opinions when it comes to partisan political issues (candidates, parties, etc.). I have a staff member who has become very outspoken politically (and in my opinion, very divisive) in a partisan way on social media. I’ve also had some high-level, visible volunteer leaders who have posted some pictures on social media that I felt were bordering on inappropriate and distasteful. I want those in leadership to set a high standard of godly behavior and avoid even the appearance of evil. How much prerogative does a pastor have to address these issues to staff and to high-level volunteers? Do any churches have written statements they use to communicate such guidelines? Read the responses

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Pray for America!

Tony Cooke

Pray for America!When Benjamin Franklin addressed the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, he said: “I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that ‘except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel.” Read this article by Tony Cooke

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Praying for Those in Authority

Rick Renner

Praying for Those in AuthorityTo our Western minds, the right to vote may seem like a God-given right that everyone has always enjoyed. But the truth is, countless people throughout the history of mankind and multitudes around the world today don’t have the right to vote. People in the Roman Empire during New Testament times never even imagined the possibility of casting a vote to change the course of government. They couldn’t elect a new emperor or select their senators, proconsuls, and court justices. They couldn’t determine governmental policies by voting. Politicians at that time were appointed or inherited their position due to noble birth. Today we cherish the right to vote — and we must cherish it…  Read this article by Rick Renner

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Now Available: Qualified Video Series

Qualified Video Series by Tony CookeBased on the book by the same title, these 12 video lessons (28 minutes each) walk you through major elements of ministerial excellence, ethics, and integrity. Character development and cultivating the call upon one’s life are major themes of this series. You can download the video series, or order the series on a USB drive (MP4 format). You can also watch excerpts from lessons by clicking the links below.

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A Culture of Constant Improvement

Tony Cooke

A Culture of Constant Improvement by Tony CookeThe church in Thyatira had a cancer in it, but it had not metastasized throughout the whole body. Jesus made it clear that if repentance did not occur, he would deal swiftly and severely with those involved (Rev 2:21-23). Fortunately, though, there was still some health in the church, and in a very real sense, some were doing tremendously well. Jesus actually gave a glowing commendation to this church when he said, “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first” (Rev 2:19, NKJV). Based on this statement, we understand that many of the believers in this congregation were experiencing increasing growth, maturity, and productivity in spite of Jezebel’s influence. They had a lot going for them, and they were increasing in fruitfulness. Their latter works, Jesus states, were greater than their early works. Read this article by Tony Cooke

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Your Creative Best

Lisa Cooke

Your Creative Best by Lisa CookeI read these words today from The Message Bible: “Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life” (Gal 6:5). We have each been given a “not to be wasted” span of days on this earth to be fruitful and multiply in a wide variety of God-given opportunities. Are we doing our creative best in those moments or are we just trying to get another item scratched off our to-do list? Being creative requires so much more effort than simply performing a task, but we should not sacrifice beauty for industry in the name of mere accomplishment. What difference does it make to our lives and the world around us when we add creativity to our activities? In one word, I believe the difference is joy. Read this article by Lisa Cooke

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The Spirit Empowered Life

Beth Jones

The Spirit Empowered Life by Beth JonesAndi explained to me what being “filled with the Spirit” was all about, but because I had been taught to stay away from “those people” and from “speaking in tongues,” I had to unlearn some things in order to actually learn new things. I was thirsty for all the Lord had for me and I really wanted to learn the truth, so I read all the books I could find on the subject of being filled with the Spirit and speaking in tongues. To be honest, the authors each had different opinions and all of the reading confused me! I decided to set all of the books aside, and I picked up my Bible and prayed, “Father, I am not a Bible scholar, but you know my heart, and I desire the truth. I want everything You want for me, and I don’t want anything You don’t want for me. As I read the Bible, please show me the truth. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.” I began to read the Books of Acts and 1 Corinthians and other books in the Bible that contained passages about the Holy Spirit. After weeks of reading, I came to the conclusion that there was indeed such a thing as being filled with the Holy Spirit… Read this article by Beth Jones

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Do You Need a Youth Pastor?

Dennis Steeger

Do You Need a Youth Pastor? by Dennis SteegerThere are only two correct answers to this question, yes and eventually. If your ministry does not currently employ a youth pastor then the answer is yes. If you desire to position your church to grow and if you want your church to last more than one generation then having a youth pastor is not an option it is a necessity. If you currently have a youth pastor, the answer is eventually. No one stays in one position forever. This is especially true for youth pastors. The average tenure for a youth pastor is just fourteen months. One day your current youth pastor will vacate his or her position and you will have to go through the exciting process of hiring their replacement. Ministry is a lot like marriage. Ministry isn’t marriage because you are not in a “til death do you part” relationship. However, both parties should be in it for the long haul! Asking for a five-year commitment is where I would start. This is a tall order for the current twenty-something crowd who will change careers seven times while in their twenties. Read this article by Dennis Steeger

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Read all of our quotes by visiting our Quotes Page.

DREAMS
“I do not dream at night, I dream all day, I dream for a living.”
– Steven Spielberg

FAMILY
“Hearing the words ‘well done’ will mean much more to me as a husband and father than they will ever mean to me as a pastor and preacher.”
– Shane Philpott

GRACE / HOLINESS
“Grace without holiness isn’t grace, it is presumption. Holiness without grace isn’t holiness, it is legalistic moralism. God gives us grace to live holy lives. Holiness isn’t bondage, it is freedom!”
– Rodney Lloyd

LEADERSHIP
“Many leaders want to give responsibility without authority. Many staff members want authority without accountability. Responsibility + Authority + Accountability = Productivity.”
– Jerry Weinzierl

URGENCY
“The stakes are too high and time is too short for us to sleepwalk through these days.”
– Pastor Kevin Berry