Well, I have to apologize for taking so long to post a new note. Things have been a bit hectic and we’re going through some challenges both as a family and professionally. I would solicit your prayers for God’s wisdom during this time.
I recently attended the Leadership Summit put on by Willow Creek Community Church. I decided I wanted to go and experience it live rather than attend one of the many local downlink sites. It was truly inspiring, invogorating, and encouraging. Just what I needed. In ministry I believe there are times when we need to re-tune, refocus, and get rejuvenated because if we don’t we’ll sort of wonder about ministry rather than actually fulfilling any meaningful mission. I don’t believe I was at that point but I certainly needed a break and some time outside of my own little world of ministry. I needed to hear other pastors talk and share their hearts about what they love about serving in ministry. I needed some time just to hang out with my wife (kids were with grandparents!) in fact I intentially coerced my wife after each session of the conference to tell me what she thought I needed to hear that the speaker had said. I recommend you do this every now and then since often times our spouses see and hear things that maybe we aren’t tuned in to. She seemed happy (a little too happy) to point out some of the things!
Perhaps one of the most detrimental things about being under the tyranny of pornography is that it dramatically distorts our vision. For preachers VISION is huge. This helps us give direction to everything we do at our churches and if it is in any way distorted or compromised we run the risk of blurring things for our members and those we minister to. A leader hooked on porn or occasionally dabbling will come to find that his VISION has been narrowed and ultimately he/she can’t see passed their own eyelids. Porn essentially turns us inward and often this is manifested through an obnoxious attempt at masqurading as someone we’re not. In other words we have to pretend.
I think the way we avoid falling into such a rut is through regular times of unplugging and also listening to others. Thats what this Leadership Summit did for me. I attend another conference (National Pastor’s Convention/Zondervan) every year but it seems like this one really hit close to home. Since it was during the summer slow-down that most churches experience I think it may be that I was able to totally disconnect from church stuff and just sit back and listen rather than being preoccupied with preparing a sermon or writing an agenda for my next board meeting.
So pastor/leader let me say that in order for us to stay focused with a clear vision we have to disengage and listen to some other people and of course Jesus. If you’re having a lot of conversations with yourself thats fine, but it may be time you opened up and heard from someone else just to make sure your vision hasn’t become a bit tweaked.
Again sorry for being away so long…I was busy attempting to listen.