ministry

Be Faithful in Your Calling

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ ” – Matthew 25:21 Today, as we continue to uncover what your calling is, it’s not uncommon to have two or more callings at the same time! It is understood that God will give us multiple missions. Does your boss ever give you two assignments at the same time? Most likely, yes. In life, it’s important that we understand which of the two or three things is most important to God. Right now, I have at least two callings. I’m called to be the pastor of this ministry and I’m also called to be a husband and a dad. Which one is more important? Family is the number one priority, but at times we get this confused. It’s

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Extra Grace Required

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” – Matthew 5:43-45 In ministry, we have a phrase we use when we have to deal with difficult people. It’s called extra grace required, so we call these people who are harder to love: EGRs. Sometimes we encounter EGRs at work. These are the people who steal our staplers, log onto our computers, or who gossip about us. Then there are EGR bosses. The ones who don’t promote us, won’t give us raises, who threaten to fire us or who play favorites while taking credit for the work we do. If

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God Loves the Work of Your Hands

“Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:10b-12 Have you ever thought about the fact that Jesus had already lived 30 out of His 33 years before He went into vocational ministry? The Messiah spent the first part of His life as what the Bible calls a technoy, or a builder or maker. Though we’ve traditionally thought of His trade as that of carpenter, and He probably did work with wood, He may also have worked with stone and metal. Regardless of the specific job description, we know that Jesus obediently and patiently

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Don’t Live for the Recognition

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10 Today, I want to share the kinship that comes with living for applause with you. Many of you who have been called to ministry and/or leadership are aware of the pressure that comes with power and position. It feels nice to be seen, and it’s simple to start validating and measuring your influence based on the reactions of those you serve. The issue is that by doing so, you relinquish your position of leadership and become a follower. You give others control and follow their lead when you try too hard to make them pleased.  When I was 22 or 23 years old, a guy named Richard Watts, who was

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Outgoing and Enthusiastic

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 14:17 A while back, I interviewed an old friend of mine named Earl Lamar. He was the chairman of the board for Hour of Power in Australia, and he’s just a fascinating guy who’s had a lot of wins in life and business. He started out as a church musician, but ultimately, he became an accountant and made some great deals in real estate. His financial prowess set him up to support a lot of wonderful causes, and interestingly, he attributes a good deal of his success to the teachings of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, who also had a big influence on my Grandpa Schuller. He shared with me that Dr. Peale talked frequently about two important things that lead to prosperity — outgoingness and

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Giving Sight to an Invisible God

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” – John 16:13-15 One of the most important lessons I’ve learned through years of studying the Bible and doing ministry work is that we gain greater authority when we understand our call. The Lord’s gift to us in Jesus is one of impartation; in other words, He has given us His Spirit to make us holy and powerful like He is. Though it can

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God’s Greatest Blessings Are Beside You

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9,10 When Hannah and I began to lead the college ministry at the Crystal Cathedral years ago, we did it as a team. However, as the months went by, she got busy pursuing a graphic design business, and our career paths drifted in different directions. In those days, I would attend conferences with various pastors and ministry leaders, and I would hear story after story from men whose wives — who were never there — were dealing with infertility, anxiety, or depression. I remember at the time thinking that this was strange, especially considering these men’s call to guide their families to God’s abundant life. Fortunately for me, a

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The Hands of Christ

“Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” – Luke 24:39 It’s interesting how much we can learn about people by looking at their hands. Whether they’re wrinkled, tough, well-manicured, or scarred, they tell a story if we choose to pay attention. Yet no matter how young, old, or worn our physical hands are, as disciples of Jesus, our palms are spiritually pierced. Because our Savior was wounded for our healing, as we follow in His footsteps and seek to lead with His heart, we take on His scars, and His sacrifice inspires us to touch the untouchable. In fact, when we study the ministry of our Lord, His healing virtue is nearly always imparted through physical contact. Though His words spoke the universe into existence, when He touched people,

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Give Up Credit, Even if It’s Due

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” – Colossians 3:23 Harry Truman once said, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.” And though this statement wasn’t made specifically in the context of ministry, it pretty much encapsulates how Jesus led. Rather than managing His reputation, our Lord spent all of His time pouring into others. In fact, the bulk of His energy was invested in a motley crew of twelve disciples who came from all walks of life and were as diverse as they could be. Though there were large crowds of people who followed Him, He didn’t seem to care about having their adoration. On the contrary, He preferred sitting down with His closest friends and working through the issues of faith with them. He welcomed their honest inquiries, and

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Leading Close to Home

“‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.’” – John 4:34 One of the most remarkable things about the life and ministry of Jesus is that He never traveled more than thirty miles away from where He was born. While He certainly traversed the countryside to engage in ministry work, He didn’t go on a worldwide conquest, nor did He exert great amounts of energy trying to gain fans and followers. Unlike powerful leaders of history such as Alexander the Great and Caesar, He never led a military revolution, nor did He build any monuments to Himself. And in contrast to the presidents and heads of state of today, He didn’t campaign, engage in self-promotion, or write books in His own hand. Nevertheless, He started the most powerful and culturally-transformative movement ever to impact mankind. Though He built no

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