As pastors, we have (I hope) a natural bent towards helping people. When people come with issues in their Christian life (sin, spiritual questions, etc) we want to help them through it. But that’s the key… through it, as in out of it, or dealing with it.
There will be some people who don’t want to be pastored through it. They want want to go over the same things over and over again. You have the same conversation, with little variance. They come with a “new” issue, but it’s really just the same issue in different words. Beware. What starts so innocently, can become a big issue. See 2Timothy 2:14-17…
Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarrelling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene.
So, some helpful questions…
- Who else have you chatted through this issue with?
- How many times have you and I had this conversation?
- What did I tell you last time?
- Why haven’t you taken my/other people’s advice?
- I think we’ve reached the point where talking about this issue any more is of no value.
- I’m concerned you’re more interested in talking than changing. That’s ungodly. Stop it and drop it.
We’ve seen how God’s sovereignty is behind all metrics, so how can we use metrics well and how can we use them badly?
Part of the problem is the way we often see the world use metrics. The world often uses metrics to define “value” or “worth”. E.g. If sales are low, the item being sold might be considered value-less. Or the marketing campaign considered worth-less. These are poor evaluations because something’s value and worth are defined by God, not by sales.
As we go about reviewing our ministry programs and projects, we need to use God’s word to define its value, as well as using human metrics to evaluate our methods.
That’s really what metrics are helpful at; assessing our methods and processes. They should make us ask the question “what did/didn’t work well as we did this worthwhile task?”
If you’re waiting for something to happen before you’re content, you’ll be waiting a long time.
If you expect that you’ll be content when you have that ‘thing’ that you think you really need, that expectation will never go away.
Contentment isn’t gained. It doesn’t come to you. It doesn’t arrive as an added bonus to certain things in life.
Contentment is realised. Contentment is a realisation that you don’t need other things, that you don’t have to wait for something to happen.
Christians should be great at this… because we’re the only ones who have reason to be content… we have the living God as our daddy through his grace rather than through our worth.
We, of all people, should realise that we don’t need anything else. We should be killing it in the contentment department.
So why aren’t we?
The value of a task is not derived from who can do it, but who it is done for.
Just because only a few people can do a task, doesn’t make it valuable. The preacher’s prep, the musician’s practice, the small group leader’s reading… Those tasks aren’t valuable because you’ve been asked or appointed to a responsibility.
The only thing that makes them valuable is who they are done for.
If they are done well, but not for Jesus, they quickly empty themselves of their value. They might impress for a short time, but they will be burned up in eternity.
All servants should remind themselves that the value of their service lies in who they serve. That is all.