For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. [O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!]
Vicki is the wife of the main speaker (Brad Bigney) at Bethlehem’s recent marriage retreat.
During a Q&A she said, “It’s better for your husband to lead poorly than for you to lead well.”
A few weeks ago, Timothy Witmer, a professor of practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, spoke to 470 pastors about “The Shepherd Leader.” He said …
“Thank God for the privilege of saying, ‘The Lord is my shepherd.’”
Following the Desiring God 2012 Conference for Pastors, Doug Wilson spoke at the Downtown Campus Wednesday night Connection service, and said …
“Duties are intertwined with relationships (fatherly duties, etc.).”
“Obedience is not at war with grace.”
“Fathers are as much under authority as children are. ‘Don’t provoke your children’ is a command.”
“The duty of giving honor to parents is never relinquished.”
“Even righteous anger (which is rare) is like manna: It rots overnight. So, don’t let the sun go down on your anger. When Jesus got angry, somebody got healed. His anger was constructive.”
“Father-hunger is deeper than any other ache.”
“Jesus is the only way to the Father.”
“Biblical headship joyfully bleeds and dies for others, taking the blame for what he did not do.”
“Fathers do not have the option of shutting up.”
Jerry Sheveland, President of Converge Worldwide (Baptist General Conference), asked a rhetorical question when he recently addressed about 300 pastors and leaders in Orlando:
“God says, ‘How limited is the character and generosity of my grace? Be generous like I am.’”
Sheveland also asserted, “Jesus doesn’t want to be the figurehead of our movement, but the functional head.”
At the most recent meeting of the board of Desiring God, John Piper brought some devotional reflections from 2 Chronicles 16.
At a recent pastoral staff meeting, Pastor John Piper led devotions with the following observations.
There are so few leaders. So many are followers.
Change is what leaders are for—confidently, not despairingly.
The Old Testament is a record of failure after failure and mercy after mercy.
10 Summary Lessons From Judges 6 & 7 [the Gideon story] About God
“The leader is the biggest obstacle to what God wants to do.”
—Mark Bjorlo, Minnesota Iowa Baptist Conference church planter in Brainerd, Minnesota, during a seminar at the Minnesota Iowa Baptist Conference annual meeting in Eagan, October 28, 2011
If he’s right, what kind of obstacle am I to my marriage, my family, my church, my jurisdiction at work?
The leaders of Bethlehem Baptist Church believe God has called us as shepherds "to equip the saints (you!) for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God" (Ephesians 4:11–13).
The end: Being one in knowing God and trusting him for all things.
The process: Entrusting Spirit-filled people with the teaching and tools to care for one another.
So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.—Romans 12:5
Bethlehem’s elders have solicited the services of Paul Tripp to assist us in infusing more Christlikeness—especially wisdom and love—into our relational culture. I join the others in eagerly desiring to be more like Jesus, speaking the truth in love. I fall so very short of Christlikeness so often.