Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shepherds Shepherding Shepherds

One of many encouraging events since coming to work with Hendersonville happened Friday, November 14. One of the elders, John Kester, invited the elders and staff to his home. After a delicious meal, we spent the remainder of the night talking about a book, They Smell Like Sheep, Volume 2, by Lynn Anderson. The focus of our time was how we could be more effective as leaders and helpers. We discussed many good ideas from the book and from each other.

However, what was powerful for me was the fact that these people took five hours to be together. Prior to this, several hours were invested in reading the book. There was a commitment of time and energy to grow, encourage, and be encouraged.

One of the quotes I liked: "While all Christians need nurture and sustenance, the active Christian leader who encounters spiritual and emotional stress daily has special, urgent needs. If the shepherd is not fed along with the sheep, that inner hunger and fatigue, those unhealed hurts, can cause the shepherd to go great unconscious harm to those within his or her care" – Flora Slosson Wuellner (They Smell Like Sheep, Volume 2, page 116).

I like to say, "When shepherds shepherd shepherds, shepherds will better shepherd the sheep. When shepherds don’t shepherd shepherds, shepherds probably won’t shepherd the sheep."

I was encouraged Friday, November 14, when I saw and experienced shepherds shepherding sheperds.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Next Interim

We made joint announcements yesterday that I will be working with the church in Hendersonville, Tennessee, as an interim. Keith Parker has done a great work there for the last sixteen years. The congregation has doubled during his ministry. Keith will preach there through the rest of 2008. Starting in 2009, he will be doing something he has dreamed about and planned for several years – spending more time in evangelistic meetings and campaigns. He plans to hold twenty to twenty-five meetings a year. Some of these will involve members of the Hendersonville congregation in personal work before the meeting and follow-up after the meeting.

I will begin working part time the first of October. The first of January, I will begin full time including preaching as well as other ministerial duties.

Next Sunday is our last day at Eddyville. Our funeral is going well. We have had families into our home to talk about our time together and discuss how they can encourage their next preacher, Jeff Finch.

I will not be preaching at Hendersonville during the fall. I have several weekends available to do short meetings or workshops. I will also be available on Wednesday nights.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Eddyville Has Selected a New Preacher

In a family meeting Sunday night, July 6, Randell O’Bryan announced that Jeff Finch would be the next preacher at Eddyville, starting Sunday, August 24. Randell thanked the congregation for their involvement and comments. Our last Sunday at Eddyville will be Sunday, August 10. We want to spend this month finishing our work and preparing for the next preacher.

Recently, I read Roy Oswald’s book, Running through the Thistles. He observed that the way a preacher leaves a congregation will be the way he dies. He suggested that if you do not like the way you leave groups, you might want to consider and change.

In another place, I read that there are five steps in dying:
1. “Forgive me.”
2. “I forgive you.”
3. “Thank you.”
4. “I love you.”
5. “Good-bye.”

We are inviting families into our home to evaluate our work together and to say “good-bye.”

I have been given the opportunity to work with another congregation after we finish here. We will announce that congregation in a few weeks.

For the next two to four months, I will have some Sundays available to preach if I am needed at other congregations.

The elders and congregation at Eddyville have been supportive and encouraging for the past year and three months. I could not think of a better place to start interim work. We have enjoyed living in the community. I have been strengthened by the association with preachers in this area of West Kentucky.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

We had graduation for our second Learning to Love my Friend(s) class Sunday night, June 22. You can see the picture and names of the participants at the bottom of the page > Interim at Eddyville > .

The outlines of this class are on line with the material to teach: notebook cover and spine, lessons, and graduation certificate > Leadership Classes > .

If you would like to ask questions about this class, please contact me .

Monday, April 28, 2008

Leadership Class Graduation

We completed our God's Great Servants Leadership class with graduation Sunday night.
You can see the graduation picture and names of participants at the bottom of the page >
Interim at Eddyville > .

The outlines are now on line with the supplemental materials such as invitation letter, notebook cover and spine, and other material to print books and lead the class: > Leadership Classes > .

If you have an interest in leading this type of training in your congregation, I will be glad to answer any questions you have and advise in any way I can. Please feel free to contact me by phone, e-mail, or in person. > Contact Me > .

I continue to enjoy the work here. The brethren are very cooperative and encouraging. They are actively looking for a preacher. I will be available when they select a preacher -- by November 1 or before.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Leadership Prayers: Prayers for Leaders

1. What kind of petitions are we to give to God for civil leaders? 1 Timothy 2:1
2. Why should we pray for civil leaders and what blessing should we request? 1 Timothy 2:2
3. What is the relationship between my family leadership and the effectiveness of my prayers? 1 Peter 3:7-12
4. What did Paul want included in prayers for him? Colossians 4:2-4
5. What petitions did Paul request in the prayer of the Thessalonians and what would he include in his prayers for them? 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
6. What prayers would you like to see answered for your leaders (government, family, church, business)?
7. What prayers would you like to see answered for you as a leader (of yourself and others)?
8. Bring to God supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks for leaders.

For the complete lesson outline (9 pages) >
Session 10

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Leadership Prayers: Paul’s Prayer for the Church at Colosse; Colossians 1:1-18

1. For what things did Paul give thanks that he had heard about the church at Colosse? Colossians 1:1-8
2. For what things are you thankful that you see in this congregation?
3. What did Paul ask God to give these brethren in this congregation? Colossians 1:9-11
4. How would you like to see God bless this church where you worship?
5. What about God and His blessings moved Paul to be thankful? Colossians 1:12-18
6. What are some blessings you have received and what do you see in God that stirs gratitude in your heart?
7. Thank God for whom (saints and faithful brethren) and for what (faith, love, hope) you observe in this church, as you ask God for spiritual blessings and attributes to be given to you and others, and as you thank God for Who He is and for what He has done.

For the complete lesson outline (7 pages) > Session 9

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Leadership Prayers: Jesus’ Prayer of Deathly Sorrow, Agony; Matthew 26:36-46; Luke 22:39-46

1. What did Jesus ask in prayer on the night of His betrayal?
2. How did Jesus feel as He prayed?
3. As a leader, should you expect to always feel comfortable, energized, and happy?
4. What was the immediate answer to Jesus’ prayer? How was He helped during this difficult time? Luke 22:43
5. What happened after this painful prayer? Matthew 26:47 - Matthew 27:50
6. What blessings did Jesus receive three days later? Matthew 28:1-8
7. How are we blessed by this act and example today? Hebrews 12:1-3
8. Ask God to bless you during your painful times of struggle and crucifixion. Thank Him for the new life and resurrection that you have already experienced as a Christian and that you anticipate in the future.
For the complete lesson outline (5 pages) > Session 8

I enjoyed being with the Beattie Road church of Christ in Albany, Georgia, last week for the God's Great Servants workshop. Forty-one men from five congregations participated in the sessions. To see pictures from the workshop, go to my website: Leadership Workshop .

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Leadership Prayers: Jesus Prayer for Himself, His Apostles, the Disciples After Them; John 17

1. What did Jesus ask for Himself? John 17:1-5
2. What did Jesus ask for the apostles? John 17:6-19
3. What did Jesus pray for “those who will believe in Me through their word? John 17:20-26
4. How did God, the Father, answer that prayer for Jesus? Acts 7:55,56
5. How were the apostles blessed in their mission? Romans 10:13-18; Colossians 1:23
6. How was Jesus’ prayer for the unity of believers answered in the church in Jerusalem? Acts 2:42-47
7. How do we cooperate in the answer of that prayer today? Colossians 3:1-4
8. Ask God to bless you in glorifying His name, in doing His work, and in making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3).
For a full class outline (5 pages) Session 7

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Leadership Prayers: Jeremiah – Affliction, Hopelessness, Hope; Lamentations 3:1-33

1. What did Jeremiah accuse the Lord of doing to him that had caused him pain?

2. Do you believe that God had done these things to Jeremiah or was Jeremiah expressing his extreme pain and frustration to God?

3. What circumstances in your life have happened or could happen that might prompt you to express your pain, frustration, and disappointment to God?

4. How can remembering affliction, roaming, wormwood (bitterness), and gall (poison) bring hope (Lamentations 3:19-21)?

5. What does Lamentations 3:27 mean?

6. How many times does Jeremiah use the word hope in Lamentations 3:19-33 and what brings him hope?

7. What brings you hope?

8. Express you hope or hopelessness to God and thank Him for His mercies, compassion, faithfulness, and goodness.

For a full class outline (5 pages) Session 6

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Leadership Prayers: Jeremiah – Discouragement, Persistence, Depression; Jeremiah 20:7-18

1. Why was Jeremiah discouraged and what did he want to do? Jeremiah 20:7-10
2. How did Jeremiah praise the Lord and what did he ask from the Lord? Jeremiah 20:11-13
3. What thoughts and feelings followed Jeremiah’s praise? Jeremiah 20:14-18
4. How could a godly leader have this range of thoughts and feelings in so short a time?
5. What prophecies was Jeremiah privileged to deliver
a. About the coming of Jesus? Jeremiah 23:1-8
b. About the return from captivity? Jeremiah 29:10-12; Jeremiah 32:36-44; Daniel 9:1, 2
c. About the new covenant? Jeremiah 31:31-34
6. Ask God to bless you in your leadership position – whether you are afraid and ready to quit, encouraged and ready to tell others how great and powerful God is, or depressed and wished you have never been born.

For a full class outline (6 pages) Session 5

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Leadership Prayers: David – Awareness of God’s Presence; Invitation for God’s Inspection and Correction; Psalm 139

1. What does God know about my thoughts, words, and actions? Psalm 139:1-6
2. Where is God? Where can I go to get away from Him? Psalm 139:7-12
3. Who made me? How well did He do? How long has He known me? Psalm 139:13-16
4. What thoughts does David have about God’s thoughts? Psalm 139:17,18
5. How does David feel about the wicked? Psalm 139:19-22
6. What request does David make of God to correct and lead him? Psalm 139:23,24
7. How might God answer that prayer for David and for us? How would He reveal the wicked way He finds and lead us in the way everlasting?
8. Praise God for His great knowledge. Ask God to inspect you, find what needs to be corrected, and lead you in the right way.
To view the complete lesson outline, Session 4 .

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Leadership Prayers: The Basis of Prayer – The Nature of God, Psalm 103

1. What does the Lord do for His people? Psalm 103:1-5
2. What are the attributes of the Lord mentioned in this Psalm? Psalm 103:6-14
3. How does David contrast man and the Lord? Psalm 103:15-19
4. In view of the Lord’s greatness, what should all beings and things do? Psalm 103:20-22
5. Praise God for Who He is and what He does.

To view the complete lesson: Session 3 .

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Leadership Prayers: How Does a Leader Pray When He Sins?

1. Why did David feel guilty? 2 Samuel 11,12
2. Since we were forgiven when we became Christians, why would we feel guilty today? Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8
3. How many times do we need to ask God to forgive us of a particular sin? Count the petitions in Psalm 51 where David confesses his sin and asks God to remove it.
4. After a child of God has sinned, how are repentance, confession, forgiveness, joy, praise, and sacrifice (obedience) connected? Psalm 51:10-19; 1 John 1:5-2:6
5. When David prayed his prayer of confession, how did God answer Him? Psalm 32
6. What are the connections between forgiveness, confession, prayer, protection, and deliverance? Psalm 32:3-7; 1 John 1:5-2:2
7. How has God promised to answer our prayers? 1 John 5:14,15
8. Pray for forgiveness and continual cleansing from a forgiving and holy God. Continue to ask as much and as often as you need. Thank God for Jesus and His blood that cleanses us and the peace, boldness, and joy that comes from the answer to that prayer.
To see the complete leadership class, go to Leadership Class 2 .

Saturday, January 12, 2008

How to Overcome a Negative Attitude

Today I received the following e-mail:

Do you have any sermons on dealing with negativity or how to overcome a negative attitude?

* * *

I thought the answer might contain a thought that would be helpful to others:

The first thing that came to mind was the series I did on Sunday nights when I arrived here: What Do You Do When God Is Late? It is a series on time. But it really isn’t about time – it’s about faith in God. Will God keep His promises? This is probably the most helpful series I have ever preached for me. At the end of the study, I concluded that God will give me all the time, money, wisdom, people, and anything else I need because he tells me: “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). That is the message of the series. The rest is explanation and expansion of that theme.

I think most issues are God issues. Is God God? Will God keep His promises? Many God issues go back to previous experiences. If I have had few or no relationships (family, friend, church) where people kept their promises, it may be more difficult to understand a personality Who does that. Asaph quoted God in Psalm 50:21, “You thought that I was altogether like you.” It is good to remember that God is God and man is man. Even good men are men – not God. If I base my attitude on the performance of other people, I will be disappointed much of my life. If I understand that God and I can have a good relationship with each other regardless of the approval or disapproval of others, I will not be affected as much about what others think and do. I can grow if others choose to stagnate or decline. I can grow if others oppose. I can grow if others persecute.

It goes back to the a series on the “me-first” principle of Bible study. Someone might respond, “That’s why I’m depressed and discouraged. Everybody else is fine. It’s just me that's in a mess.” That also gets back to a God issue: did Paul mean what he said when he wrote, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19)? Can and will God really supply my need? He promises to give me that gift if I will accept it. “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12,13).

Maybe there is a "mustard see" there. Let me know if I can clarify.

* * *

If these sermon outlines on time or the me-first principle of Bible study would be helpful, let me know and I will share them.

You may e-mail me for sermon outlines and tell me what would be helpful: jerrie@barberclippings.com .

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Leadership Prayers: How Does a Leader Pray When He Feels Inadequate and Doesn’t Know What He is Doing?

1. How did Solomon feel about his leadership ability compared to God and his father, David? 1 Kings 3:5-7
2. How do you identify with Solomon as you compare yourself with God and with good Christian leaders you have known?
3. How did Solomon view the task he had been given? 1 Kings 3:8
4. How do you feel about your leadership opportunities and responsibilities?
5. What was Solomon’s request of God? 1 Kings 3:9
6. What would you like God to give you as you consider your ability and your responsibility?
7. How did God answer Solomon’s prayer? 1 Kings 3:10-15
8. How has God promised to answer our prayers? Ephesians 3:20,21
9. Pray for wisdom and strength from a powerful God for wisdom as you try to carry out His will in your life.
For the full class outline: http://www.barberclippings.com/resources/Lesson%2001.pdf