The Shepherd's Storehouse

Practical Resources for Pastors, Preachers & Leaders

 

Number 10 - Spring 1999

WELCOME TO THE SHEPHERD'S STOREHOUSE !  

I'm excited.  The Shepherd's Storehouse continues to grow with this issue being mailed to 250 pastors and leaders across 10 countries.  I'm excited because we have just finished revising "Introduction to Preaching" as a self study guide.  It will greatly help your preaching, details are on the last page.  And I am really excited about "Singing the Red Sea Blues" a sermon outline on this page.  Order your tape and manuscript, it will bless your heart.

 

When you do things God's Way, you receive God's Results 2 Kings 5:1-14 AM

Subject Healing
Theme Truths about Receiving Healing
Proposition Three Truths to Receive Healing
Main Points

  1. He went to the wrong place seek the prophet not the palace (vs6)

  2. He offered the wrong price it has already been paid (vs15)

  3. He misunderstood the power of God it is not always as we expect (vs11)

A Power Encounter with Jesus
 John 20:19-22 AM

Subject Jesus
Theme The Presence of Jesus
Proposition What are some of the effects of the presence of Jesus ?
Main Points

  1. Locked Doors surrender to His Presence

  2. Fearful Hearts are filled with His Peace

  3. Scarred Hands declare His Victory

  4. Shattered Hopes receive His Commission

  5. Empty Lives are filled with His Spirit

Singing the Red Sea Blues Exod.15:1-18  AM

Subject God
Theme Character of God
Proposition 4 Aspects of God's Character
Main Points

  1. A God of History (vs2)
  2. A God of Victory (vs3)
  3. A God of Majesty (vs7)
  4. A God of Destiny (vs13)

God's Refreshing Rain Hosea 6:3 AM

Subject Revival
Theme God's Plan for Revival
Proposition Three 3 Keys to God's Plan for Revival
Main Points

  1. The Promises of God "He will"

  2. The Seasons of God "Winter, spring"

  3. The Refreshing of God "Waters the earth"
God will Give us Success Neh.2:20 AM
Subject  Encouragement
Theme  Encouragement in Serving God
Proposition  Finding Encouragement in Serving God
Main Points
1. Positive       God will give success
2. Powerful     Heaven's resources are available
3. Plural          Link with those who serve God
4. Purity          Ignore those with other goals
How to Tame a Lion   1 Peter 5:8
Subject  Christian Living
Theme  Victorious Christian Living
Proposition  Strategies for Victorious    Christian Living
Main Points
1. You can tame a lion by firstly taming yourself
2. You can tame a lion by being alert
3. You can tame a lion by resisting steadfastly
4. You can tame a lion by standing firm
Don't Let the Jerks Get You Down    Neh.6:3
Subject  Christian Service
Theme  Successful Christian Service
Proposition  Strategies for Successful
   Christian Service
Main Points
1. We are called to activity    'I am carrying on'
2. We can achieve productivity    'a great project'
3. We must avoid negativity  'I can't come down'
Footsteps of a Master Leader 1 Peter 5:2-3
Subject  Leadership
Theme  Christian Leadership
Proposition  Three Qualities of Christian     Leadership
Main Points
1. Minister with willingness not reluctance
2. Serve with eagerness not greed
3. Live as examples not lords
Will Jesus Return in 2000 ?  Acts 1:6-11
Subject     Prophecy   AM
Theme     Questions about Prophecy
Proposition     Answers to Prophecy's Questions
Main Points
1. The Who of prophecy 'this same Jesus'
2. The Where of prophecy 'the Mt of Olives'
3. The How of prophecy 'the same way'
4. The When of prophecy    'not for you to know'
Defeating your Difficulties    1 Peter 5:10    M
Subject  Difficulties
Theme  Overcoming Difficulties
Proposition  What are Three Ways to
   Overcome Difficulties ?
Main Points
1. Trust God's Character         "the God of grace"
2. Trust God's Call         "called to eternal glory"
3. Trust God's Cause      "He will restore you"
Waken, Shaken and Taken     Acts 1:8    AM
Subject  The Holy Spirit
Theme  Effects of the Holy Spirit
Proposition  3 Effects of the Holy Spirit in our Living
Main Points We Need to be
1. Waken to the Person of the Spirit
2. Shaken by the Power of the Spirit
3. Taken with the Purpose of the Spirit
He is Able !   Hebrews 7:25
Subject  Christ
Theme  Christ our Priest 
Proposition  Truths about the Priestly Ministry of Christ
Main Points
1. The Power of His Blood  able to save
2. The Power of His Call those who come to
3. The Power of His Prayer lives to intercede
Heaven's Interruptions  Acts
Subject  God
Theme  God's Interruptions
Proposition  When God Interrupts our lives
Main Points
1. A Light from Heaven Salvation  Acts 9:3
2. A Sound from Heaven Spirit        Acts 2:2
3. A Vision from Heaven Service    Acts 11:5
Husbands Love Your Wives  Eph.5:25-33  AM
Subject  Jesus
Theme  Jesus and the Church 
Proposition  A model for Christian Marriage
Main Points Jesus loves the Church with
1. Passion (vs25)  2. Sacrifice (vs25)   
3. Purity   (vs26)  4. Care       (vs29)
5. An Unbreakable Love     (vs30)

 

Don't Let the Jerks Get You Down !

Few things are more disturbing than a 3:00am telephone call.  Sweet sleep and pleasant dreams are rudely interrupted by harsh ringing.   You rush to the phone, blinded by the sudden light you turned on.  Confused thoughts tumble through your mind.  Who's ringing?  Is it the hospital?  Has someone died?  Are the kids all right?  "Pastor..." You immediately recognise the voice, your alarm turns to anger.  "Pastor, I thought I would give you a call, do you think God wants me to buy that washing machine?"  Every church has its awkward people.  Those precious saints of God with their perennial problems, demanding requests, and special needs.  It has been estimated that pastors spend 90% of their counselling time with just 10% of their people.

Did Jesus ever minister to awkward people?  Yes!  His choice of disciples included that hot headed fishermen, Simon Peter, with James and John, the Sons of Thunder.  Added to these were Thomas, who was filled with doubts, and Philip, the cold, calculating mathematician.  Yet the Master was able to turn these people into world changers.  Jesus was incredibly strong yet gentle, wonderfully patient, always seeing beyond the present difficulty to what God could do through their lives.  How can we adopt some of the principles Jesus used and apply them to our ministry?  How do you handle the jerks?

1. Prioritise your relationships
A pastor's primary pastoral concern is their spouse and children.  Do not allow difficult people to dominate your time nor your role as partner or parent.  If you make time for the difficult people at the expense of your family, you will sow seeds that may reap a bitter harvest.

A pastor's second concern is the key people in the church, the mid-level leadership team who need instruction and inspiration.  Luke 10:1 mentions 70 disciples sent out by Jesus, yet He had 12 disciples who were much closer to Him.  Within the Twelve, were a distinct group, Peter, James and John constituting a mid-level leadership team.  Peter and John were later to become key people in the Early Church.  The other disciples were not excluded, but Jesus prioritised His relationships.  There are people in your church who need your leadership and others, your pastoral care, don't let awkward people hinder these people.  Choose to pour your life and energy into people who will produce great fruit for the Kingdom.  Sow into good ground and allow the right kind of people to sow into your life.

2. Avoid lengthy counselling sessions
Have you noticed that awkward people attract problems?  And not just any problems, but complex, incredibly difficult, tangles of life.  Effective counsellors restrict the length of a counselling session.  After an hour of careful listening, the mind begins to become blurred.  Keep control of the situation.

The Gospels record several interviews between Jesus and various people.  None of them are lengthy.  When the woman at the well tried to divert the question of her marital relationships to arguments about religion, Jesus answered her question truthfully and then gave a clear declaration about Himself.  Every problem in life finds part of its resolution in a fresh revelation of Jesus.  Keep Jesus central in your counselling and the session to a reasonable length.

3. Be aware of your vulnerability
"I'll never leave you Jesus !" were Peter's bold words.  But Peter could be a liability.  When Jesus was arrested, Peter's misguided swordplay removed the ear of the High Priest's servant.  No doubt Jesus would have been blamed for His disciple's rash act.  Peter made Jesus vulnerable.

Awkward people often consider they have a special relationship with their pastor.  This can lead to misunderstandings which leave a pastor vulnerable.  There are several necessary cautions pastors should follow.  Always tell your spouse where you are and who you are with.  Keep no secrets from your spouse.  Be accountable at all times.  Avoid visiting a person of the opposite sex in their home.

 Misguided swordplay can remove ears, and concocted stories can damage reputations and destroy credibility.

4. Do not draw attention to them in the meetings
When Peter advised Jesus it was good that he, Peter, was present on the Mount of Transfiguration, he followed with the brilliant suggestion to build three tabernacles.  It brought an audible response from Heaven, "This is my Son, hear Him !" 

Awkward people often thrive on attention, they enjoy being in the spotlight.  Don't allow one person to distract the worship of many.  Don't frequently refer to them in the meeting or during your sermon.  Don't allow awkward people to draw others out of a worship meeting to tell them of their problems.  There is a positive therapy in the presence of God, and allowing the Spirit of God and the Word of God to touch lives.

5. Correct in love
"I'm going fishing".  Emotions are contagious, Peter's depression affected six others who accompanied him in a night of failure.  Through early morning mist a voice inquires, "Do you have any fish?"  It was the Lord, who filled their nets and provided breakfast.  Then He spoke to Peter, "Simon, do you love me?".  There was no bitterness or cynicism but the heart of the Master Shepherd, correcting the wayward sheep.

We are encouraged to "speak the truth in love".  It takes courage to lovingly confront.  The New Testament uses the word 'admonish' which means to mildly rebuke, caution, reprove gently.  It is the picture of parents who instruct and correct with the goal of growing and maturing their children.  Awkward people are often spiritually immature and need loving correction from spiritual parents to break the cycle of immaturity. Jesus was not paternalistic but pastoral which led to Peter's restoration.

6. Encourage positive behaviour patterns
The basics of Christian living never change.  We grow strong through Bible reading, prayer and fellowship.  The problems difficult people face are often caused through inconsistent Christian living.  We all have to grow up into Christ.  In your counselling, make clear prescriptions; set Bible reading assignments, ask them to keep a prayer diary, encourage church attendance.  These will help bring stability to living.

The most powerful experience at the altar or the most liberating deliverance session does not remove the need for consistent Christian living.  The command of Jesus is to make disciples, and a necessary part of this is to train people in the basics of Christian faith.

"Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail" (Luke 22:31-32).  Include awkward people in your prayers for pastoral prayers are powerful.  When a shepherd speaks to the Great Shepherd about the sheep in his care, the Lord speaks to the pastor about those people.  1 Samuel 22:2 records that those in distress, debt, and discontent came to David.  Some of these same people became his mighty men and leaders in Israel. Don't let the jerks get you down, rather, train them to become some of your mighty warriors.

 


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