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  • Abraham Lincoln on Criticism

    "If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference."
  • Consider the Cost

    "Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events." ~Winston Churchill
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    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or whether the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; Who, at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; And who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. It is far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight of life, knowing neither victory nor defeat. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
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    God will uncase the hypocrites ere long, and make them know, to their sorrow, what is was to trifle with Him." - Richard Baxter
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  • The Reformed Pastor – Richard Baxter

    “We must carry on our work with patience. We must bear with many abuses and injuries from those to whom we seek to do good. When we have studied for them, and prayed for them, and exhorted them, and beseeched them with all earnestness and condescension, and given them what we are able, and tended them as if they had been our children, we must look that many of them will requite us with scorn and hatred and contempt, and account us their enemies, because we ‘tell them the truth.’ Now, we must endure all this patiently, and we must unweariedly hold on in doing good, ‘in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.’ We have to deal with distracted men who will fly in the face of their physician, but we must not, therefore, neglect their cure. He is unworthy to be a physician, who will be driven away from a frenetic patient by foul words. Yet, alas, when sinners reproach and slander us for our love, and are more ready to spit in our faces, than to thank us for our advice, what heart-risings will there be, and how will the remnants of old Adam (pride and passion) struggle against the meekness and patience of the new man! And how sadly do many ministers come off under such trials!”
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Biblical Eldership: An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Church Eldership

This is an excerpt from abridged copy of Biblical Eldership: An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Church Eldership.

One of the deep joys of my life has been to share the pastoral leadership of a church with a team of dedicated pastor elders. As partners in the work of shepherding God’s precious, blood-bought people, we have sharpened, balanced, comforted, protected, and strengthened one another through nearly every conceivable life situation. I do not hesitate to say that the relationship with my fellow elders has been the most important tool God has used, outside of my marriage relationship, for the spiritual development of my Christian character, leadership abilities, and teaching ministry. The eldership has played a major role in the sanctification process of my Christian life.

Shared leadership can provide a church leader with critically needed recognition of his faults and deficiencies and can help to offset them.. We all have blind spots, eccentricities, and deficiencies. We all have what C. S. Lewis called “a fatal flaw.” We can see these fatal flaws so clearly in others but not in ourselves. These fatal flaws or blind spots distort our judgment. They deceive us. They can even destroy us. This is particularly true of multitalented, charismatic leaders. Blind to their flaws and extreme views, some talented leaders have destroyed themselves because they had no peers who could confront and balance them and, in fact, wanted none.

When a single leader is atop a pyramidal structure of organization, the important balancing of one another’s weaknesses and strengths normally does not occur. Note the strong language Robert Greenleaf, author of the book Servant Leadership, uses to convey his observations: To be a lone chief atop a pyramid is abnormal and corrupting.

None of us are perfect by ourselves, and all of us need the help and correcting influence of close colleagues. When someone is moved atop a pyramid, that person no longer has colleagues, only subordinates. Even the frankest and bravest of subordinates do not talk with their boss in the same way that they talk with colleagues who are equals, and normal communication patterns become warped.I believe that traditional, single-church pastors would improve their character and ministry if they had genuine peers to whom they were regularly accountable and with whom they worked jointly.

Have I sparked your curiosity?

I read this book for the first time a few years back and found it to be an excellent resource.  It caused me to take a serious look at the way we run our churches and how it is that such heartache seems to be all around us in our place of worship. A victorious Christian life seems to be illusive to many. Perhaps this book might have the answers to some of our questions.

I highly recommend this book. Who knows, if we could get back to the way it used to be and model our churches after the original new Testament churches of days past, we just might see a revival in our own back yard.

To read the rest of this abridged copy of Biblical Eldership, click here.   To order the book from Amazon, click here.

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