Leadership Today

Many folks wonder why I am called, “Pastor Paul”. This reference is the brain child of an elder in my early ministry. You see, in the then Bahamas Conference, there were three Scavellas, my father, my uncle and I. On my employment as an intern, the elder quipped, “There is only ONE Pastor Scavella, so we will call your uncle Pastor Hugh and you Pastor Paul.” That marked the beginning of what eventually became the norm for both young and old. Today, though there is only one employed Pastor Scavella but for many I will always remain Pastor Paul.

The ministerial depart will share with you each week as God provides the wisdom and strength to assist with encouraging, and building ministry in our conference. There will be times when I will share from sources other than myself concepts and ideas which I deem helpful to me and thus to others. This week the author identified below supplies us with seven deadly Siphons, or reasons why folk lose enthusiasm for ministry. How is your energy level today?

In my own experience there have been times when there would have seem to be no energy left. That’s when I cry out to God and he always here’s my cry.

Proverbs 3:5 says in all thy ways acknowledge him an he shall direct thy path. He will also renew your strength. How is your enthusiasm today Pastor Leader, member?

I hope the following note will be helpful:

Loss of spiritual passion seems to be the inevitable result of:

1. Words without action. We are tempted to think that saying something actualizes it. We have a momentary feeling of spirituality when we talk about wanting to pray more or "have more time in the Word."

2. Busyness without purpose. Ministry produces activities, programs, conversations. If our choices of time-use are not disciplined by call and purpose, our energies become like a lazy, shallow river.

3. Calendars without the Sabbath. A datebook filled with appointments but absent of significant hours (days) of quiet and reflection—written in first—is an abomination (an old and harsh word) to the God of the Bible, who said, "Six days you shall labor … the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God."

4. Relationships without mutual nourishment. Pastors tend to be acquainted with too many people but know too few people. The spiritual masters have told us for centuries that without soul-friends, we won't gain spiritual momentum.

5. Pastoral personality without self-examination. Too much ministry is built on unresolved anger, unhealthy needs for approval, and the instinct to control. Failing to explore our soul for unholiness ultimately takes its toll.

6. Natural giftedness without spiritual power. A pastor can go a considerable distance in ministry with catchy words, people skills, political savvy, and a facility for organizational dynamics. But kingdom work demands qualities that only a filled-up soul can offer.

7. An enormous theology without an adequate spirituality. A pastor cannot represent a view of reality that includes Creation, evil, reconciliation and conversion, sacrificial service, and eternity—a mind-boggling expanse of conviction—and have a spiritual-exercise regimen that is pea-size in contrast. A great theology demands a great spirituality.

—Gordon MacDonald

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