I want to thank those of you who were praying for me and Freedom Baptist Church this past week.
Freedom is an awesome church with such a fresh attitude. Since April, Pastor Barry Secrest has led the church from about 15 to 70 mostly through relational evangelism. He is in the community constantly and has a bulldog attitude of love that really gets involved with the people's lives.
The Lord used His Word and worked on the hearts of many people including a teenage young man who professed Christ as Savior.
I have decided that an Evangelist's life is not for me :). I texted with Evangelist Rich Harper during the meetings and asked him how he did it. You have the long nights of preaching and ministering and then the days of preparation and anticipation for the nights! Add traveling back and forth to Baltimore and it makes for an intense ministry week.
I feel like I needed this week as a pastor myself as well. It is good to periodically step away from your own ministry to be renewed in mind and thought even if you are ministering to another church body. We had such a good Annual Meeting the week before this revival and I am asking the Lord to guide me and Lighthouse to where He can best use us for expanding and exalting His Kingdom.
There are other things going on in my heart also. God is helping me to die more to self especially in the area of fearing men in the ministry. What I mean is, a pastor needs to be extremely pliable to the will and direction of the Lord first and foremost. If he begins tailoring his ministry to the wants/desires/loud voices of his own church or "camp", he is compromising his calling. Sometimes, pastors allow "loud voices" to influence and lead them in a way that makes them captive because they fear the consequences of standing up to others or teaching what they know to be true because it will upset the applecart of tradition, etc.
In Dangerous Calling, Tripp wrote, "There is a way in which, as a pastor, you should care less about what people think about you. Now, here's what I mean: you do not look to them to give you courage, hope, peace, rest, and a reason to continue. As a result, you are freed from being all too attentive to how they respond to you and all too fearful of your detractors. You are in trouble as a pastor when you need regular doses of appreciation and respect in order to continue. Yes, you know you need the ministry of the body of Christ, and you want to be open to that ministry, but you are freed from riding the anxiety-driven roller coaster of people's opinion."