Friday, February 29, 2008

I came across a 2006 survey that identified occupations that have the highest satisfaction rate. Here is the sampling:

Clergy—87 percent percent
Firefighters—80 percent percent
Physical therapists—78 percent percent
Authors—74 percent
Special education teachers—70 percent
Teachers—69 percent
Education administrators—68 percent
Painters and sculptors—67 percent
Psychologists—67 percent
Security and financial services salespersons—65 percent
Operating engineers—64 percent
Office supervisors—61 percent

For every one negative experience I have as a Pastor there are ten wonderful things I enjoy about the opportunity of being a shepherd to a group of people God has entrusted me with. Let me share a few: seeing people grow, counseling people as they prepare for marriage, officiating weddings, comforting those who've lost loved ones, giving hope and encouragement to those struggling, preaching on Sunday and seeing life change by repenting of sin or commiting to an action step of growth, overseeing and being part of small groups that connect people to their church family and foster spiritual growth in their lives, leading our church to reach out to the community and being a bridge of God's love to them by single mom oil changes, community basketball tournaments and community Easter egg hunts and community Christmas eve services, and ultimately, to see people come to know Jesus and have the opportunity to baptize them showing to everyone the outward sign of an inward change.

Being a Pastor is a high privilege and I thank the Lord that He has given me this opportunity. I will have to give an account one day of how I led God's church. That's what keeps me on my knees in prayer!

Friday, February 15, 2008

I returned from my monthly trip to NYC last Saturday. I had never gotten the opportunity to venture into Central Park. My brother met me up there and we went walking through part of the park on Saturday before I returned. Neat place!

When I return to New York next month for my coaching network we will be discussing financial stewardship in the church. Unfortunately, our giving at Ridgeview has taken a major dip into January. I have to do a better job of teaching our people on giving. One thing I do know: you cannot separate giving from discipleship. Any person who claims to be a Christ follower will be a person who gives financially to his church. And when I say financially, I mean the "tithe." Some say that's Old Testament stuff, and we are now under grace. I would say I agree; in fact I believe as Christ followers we should be giving even more than the tithe, or 10% of our income. Remember, Jesus talked more about money more than any other subject. He knew that where our money goes our heart will follow. I want my heart following Jesus. Therefore, my family sends our money to support His Kingdom.