And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Friday, September 5, 2008

One of my favorite activities is, The Business Meeting

Yes, I do love the business meeting. It used to be one of my least favorite activities, but one change in perspective has made all the difference.

At one point in ministry it seemed as each business meeting may be my last. Either I would quit or get fired. Things were horrible. But each time God got me through it. After one Sunday evening I went home and began the relaxation process. That is the process of letting things go and just letting your mind unwind. In particular, I used to paint in the basement with oils.

As I was painting a lighthouse from my imagination, I realized with great thankfulness the God was continually providing at every level. It may not have been at a pace I desired, but it was teaching me about God. I needed more time reflecting on Him and seeing His activity. This led to faith building and thankfulness, two essential parts of worship that quite frankly I had lost.

The next step in the heart change came in a friend’s news letter. In it they listed the praises for the month. It had answered prayer requests, unexpected blessings, and observations of truth in scripture. All in all these things were important to remember. But too easily they were forgotten. I needed a way to make the a matter that was to be recalled.

It was shortly after this that I heard Henry Blackaby (The Experiencing God guy) mention that he would have his church record such things in the minutes of the business meeting. What a great idea! This way the generations to follow would see the activity of God. It thwarts discouragement. It gives us a benchmark of where God has been working.

Soon afterwards I began this task. I have found it to be a great stimulant to the church body. Everyone now gets an e-mail reminder to send me their praises. For the noncomputer generation I remind them or this need from the pulpit. The response has been wonderful.

Since we begin our meetings reading correspondence, this sets the tone for all we are about to do. It empties selfishness. Faith in God is prominent over the strength of man. We tend to then have a God perspective on the use of money, time, and other resources. As a pastor I find it encouraging to hear of other blessings that thrill my heart. We become greatly united when we focus on God this way rather than on problems.

At the end of the year, usually the last Sunday night service of December, I reread all the praises of the year to remind us of the faithfulness of God. This in turn puts us in a worshipful mindset to give our hearts into the next year.

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