Many of my articles come from the perspective of pastors. That will not change in the future. I am an advocate of pastors and I desire God’s best for them. I have no plans to change my advocacy role.
As a change of pace, however, I recently asked a few hundred laypersons to write down what they desired of a pastor. Their responses were open-ended, and there was no limitation on the number of items they could list. Though my approach was not scientific, these laypersons did represent over sixty churches.
Here are their top ten responses in order of frequency. Since many of them gave one or more sentences as a response, I can provide a representative comment by each of the responses.
The list of ten items is found here.
I’d love to hear if this resonates or if there are other thoughts.
In kind of a short look back at the week, a point struck me regarding the person of Joshua, some of the theological ideas in that story and how they point to a future Messiah and Kingdom of God.
We are so fortunate to live in history when we have the cannon. We are able to read back and make connections that men like Joshua or the disciples only had bits and pieces of information in putting together their worldviews. The way we can read Israel’s story and the thread of redemption woven through it, is grace to us. How much more revelation do any of us need to comprehend and grasp the love Father has for us?
Here are a few things found in Joshua which point to events and ideas found when and after Jesus came:
- The Name of Joshua and Jesus. The name of Joshua means “the Lord is our salvation.” Interestingly enough the English Jesus is a derivation of the Greek which is a derivation of the Hebrew. So etymologically, their names mean the same thing and their roles and nature line up dramatically.
- The Promises Rest- Josh was leading Israel into their inheritance, into their rest (Deut 3:20; 12:10; 25:19; Josh. 1:13, 15; 21:44; 22:4; 23:1). But at best a temporary rest from enemies, for Israel would have many more foes in the centuries ahead. From the vantage point of the NT, Joshua’s successes were only partial at best, and therefore they pointed beyond themselves to a time when Joshua’s greater namesake, Jesus, would bring God’s people into an inheritance that could not be taken away from them (1 Peter 1:3-5). Jesus would provide the rest Joshua had not attained (Heb 3:11, 18; 4:1-11).
- Models of Faith- The people of Israel at the battle of Jericho and Rahab the prostitute are presented as models of faith, examples of those who were looking for a country (Heb 11:30-31; 11:14-16), but who did not attain what was promised (11:39_40), because God had planned something better.
- God’s Warrior- According to the NT, Jesus is not only Joshua’s greater namesake, but he is also the Divine Warrior, the captain of the Lord’s Army who fights in behalf of his people and achieves victory for them (Josh. 5:13-15; Rev. 19:11-16). The inheritance he gives is not a stretch of rocky land in the eastern Mediterranean, but rather renewed heavens and earth and a heavenly city (Rev. 1-2).
- The Conquest- Many have made comparisons between Joshua and the book of Acts. After redemption from Egypt in the Exodus, Israel began the conquest of her inheritance; after the redemptive work of Jesus at the cross, his people move forward to conquer the world in his name. Israel enjoyed an earthly inheritance and an earthly kingdom but the kingdom of which the church is a part is spiritual and heavenly.
Sidenote- for some of you struggling to rearrange your daily schedule to get the hour or so reading done everyday, I ran across this article that gives a few pointers on how it can be done. Stay after it!! Reading all of God’s words in this rapid fashion is so worth it.
Posted in B90X
Tagged B90X, Castle Rock Bible Church, churches in Castle Rock, courageous, CRBC, Jesus, Joshua, Messiah, reading, strong, strong and courageous
“May my children be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6).
After having my daughter, I went through a short phase of very mild post-partum depression. It was a time of many transitions and I was learning to adjust to many new things. In that time I remember not feeling happy. Once I was able to realize that it was actually depression, I was able to start making the necessary changes to get in a better place. However, I remember reading something about how we all want to have joy but tend to expect it just happen– that one day we will wake up and have joy from there on out. It does not work that way though. Joy is something learned. I had never thought of it like that before so I started praying. I prayed that I would not just “feel happy” like I wanted but that I would experience joy every day. It has been a journey ever since then but Father has been answering my prayer.
Just like Father heard me that day and since then, he hears us now. When we pray over our kids, he hears us and will answer us. Mark 11:24 says, “I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe you have received it, it will be yours.” I want my kids to be filled with joy and not happiness; therefore I am going to pray for them to have joy because I know my prayers will be heard. John 11:41a says, “So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me.” What a beautiful confirmation from Jesus that our Father hears us. Since Father always hear us, then lets pray this verse from 1 Thessalonians with a steadfast heart and trust in our Father to work in our children.
Guest Post- Rachel Theobald
“May my children always be strong and courageous in their character and in their actions” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
There are so many Bible stories that come to mind when I hear the word “courage.” The life of David stands out in particular. As a young boy he fought off wild animals to protect his sheep, he fought in wars, fled for his life from Saul, and one of my favorites is when he fought Goliath.
He was not old or big enough at the time to be fighting with his brothers in the war, yet he single handedly killed a giant. The odds were against him on so many levels. Yet, he knew that Father was there with him, and would help him win. That was just one battle out of so many where David chose to allow Father to work through him to accomplish so much.
An old saying goes– “Real men love Jesus.” Let’s be real men/women and love Father so much and open our hearts up to His work in our lives. Let’s pray for courage that can only come from Him, courage for our kids to stand up among their peers, to be bold, and speak truth and life into dark places.
My prayer is for Castle Rock to be changed because the youth of our town are standing up for truth. That we can, with courage, take the truth of Father’s love to every person we meet, whether that be here locally or nationwide. That we will make disciples everywhere we go. We all believe, now let’s be an example ourselves and pray for our kids to be even stronger than we are and change this world for Jesus.
Guest post- Rachel Theobald
Prayer for our Kids days 9 & 10 –
Respect (for self, others, and authority) -“Father, grant that my children may show proper respect to everyone, as your Word commands” (1 Peter 2:17a).
Strong, Biblical Self-Esteem - “Help my children to develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are ‘[YOUR] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus’” (Ephesians 2:10).
Well, it’s happened. Against my best intentions, I got a day behind. I thought about making two posts or just skipping yesterday, but then after seeing today’s topic decided to combine them.
Self-esteem is something I have always prayed my kids would have. So much good or bad can come out of having good or poor self-esteem. We all see the effects of both on a daily basis. However, I love the focus in Ephesians on our children gaining their self-esteem “in the realization that they are ‘GOD’S workmanship’”. I’ve always wanted my kids to be strong, but strong in their identity as Father’s… I couldn’t ask for more for them!
Respect – something we all want, but it can be hard to give when it doesn’t feel deserved. That’s not what we were called to do though. We weren’t called to give respect once the other person has earned it. 1 Peter says that we are to “show proper respect to EVERYONE”.
Can you imagine what people of integrity our children would be if they respected everyone while having their self-esteem rooted in Father? What a powerful witness. Let’s take this opportunity to bless our children, cover them in prayer and know that they are the start of a new generation. A generation of world-changers in the name of our Heavenly Father!
Guest Post- Rachel Theobald