The Heartbeat

When I first started pastoring, my step-mother, Doris, said to me words to the effect, "You will never get the congregation to go any deeper than you yourself have gone." So, if you want them to go deep into prayer, you need to lead the way. Or if you want them to have happy marriages, you need to show them how. I think there are likely some exceptions to this (congregants who have better prayer lives or marriages than my own). But in general, speaking of the congregation as a whole, what she said is likely true. That is why Peter writes in 1 Peter 5:3 that we (the shepherd or elder over the congregation) should "be an example to the flock."

On a practical level, this means you need to be committed to

  • Working hard. Be an example to all, even as Paul says he was an example to the church at Ephesus (Acts 20).

  • Loving your wife and children. Ruth and I, through the years, have made it a regular practice of going out, each month, on a date night. In referencing that I have said, "The church pays me to go out on dates." I didn't mean that the church was literally paying for our dinner cost or how much we paid to see a movie, but I can tell you that I did count those 3-4 hours as "work time" when computing my weekly hours.

  • Staying free from debt. Dave Ramsey (like Larry Burkett before him) is okay with mortgage debt. But that is about it. So avoid debt and in doing so be a good example to the flock.

  • Have a regular devotional life. I appreciated that one of our missionaries recently noted that there are days when his devotional time is missed. I appreciated the honesty. But if this is not a priority in our lives we can hardly expect it to be a priority in our church members' lives.

  • Have fun. You are likely aware of the three-fold challenge that I have put before people for years: work hard, keep yourself pure, and have fun. A good friend of mine has confessed more than once that he has never truly had fun. That is too bad. This is another good reason to develop some hobbies.

  • In all these areas, and more, you can serve as an example. The church will, especially over time, reflect you more and more. If, ten years from now, a person walking into the church building sees the place dirty, disorganized, disheveled, etc., my guess is that one would find the same at your house. The church in nearly every way will reflect you. So if you want it to "go deep" into God, lead the way!

    By His Grace,
    Doug Winne

    Upcoming Events

    Bravehearts Breakfast & Annual Trap Shoot
    08 Oct 2022 - 07:00AM
    Adult Sunday School
    09 Oct 2022 - 09:00AM
    Worship Service
    09 Oct 2022 - 10:30AM
    Prayer Meeting
    12 Oct 2022 - 07:00PM
    Adult Sunday School
    16 Oct 2022 - 09:00AM