Goodness it has been a long time since I last sat down to blog. I can think of one thing in particular that seems to have made this more difficult than normal...school! What I expected to be a slow 2 hour semester class has turned out to be as time intensive (if not more) than anything I have done thus far. After further review of the syllabus, it appears as if the class has just as much required as any normal seminary class, however, this particular class will end about 3 weeks earlier.
All that being said, the semester has been good. It has moved rather quickly considering the fact that since my last entry, I have preached twice, the Red Sox came from a 3-1 deficit to make it to the World Series and the unlikely Rockies made quick work of the D-Backs to make it to the big dance for the first time in their history. Time flys during the Baseball playoffs!
One of the challenges of this semester in school has been that of multitasking. Not necessarily a gift of mine or any of the male gender as best as I can tell. However, I have had to learn to read 3 books at a time for class and be able to shift gears between each topic in order to grasp the unique intent of each individual author. Not easy for me to say the least!
One of the books I read was entitled, Spiritual Leadership, by Oswald Sanders. This is a classic Christian book and one that I really did enjoy reading.
One particular chapter near the end of the book made an interesting point specific to pastors. It was a timely comment in light of my recent sermon prep and transition toward full time ministry. The author suggests that those who preach will inevitably face the decision of being a popular leader or an unpopular prophet. There will come a point in time, the author suggests, when the pastor must choose to either be a prophet of God or a leader of men.
I struggled with this because I see the 2 so often overlap. I have always strived to be a good leader both in ministry as well as in the home and the workplace. Yet, I understand the point that there are times when the two are diametrically opposed to one another. To communicate something that would simply please men will inevitably compromise the truth of God's word. Oswald makes this point: "If a man decides to be a prophet only insofar as he can do without losing his leadership, he becomes a diplomat and ceases to be a prophet at all. If he decides to maintain leadership at all costs, he may easily fall to the level of a politician who pulls the wires in order to gain or hold a position."
I pray today that as God continues to lead, may my heart be so steadfast upon pleasing Him more than pleasing man that I would not compromise when asked to be a leader of men at the expense of being a prophet of God. I am finding that this is often a lonely road, but I pray that I will choose not to stray from the path God has asked me to walk.
PS Its good to be back on the blog again. I hope to return again soon.