New Lessons

In most congregations, the majority of the members-only see and hear the preacher on Sunday and Wednesday. Two hours a week. How about the other 166 hours during the week? Where is the preacher? What is he doing? Some think he only has to work a couple of hours a week. Others, such as the elders and other leaders, know what he is doing, or should be doing, because of job assignments and accountability procedures.

     The preacher wears many hats during the 166 hours he is not in the pulpit or classroom. He, even though it is not the context, applies Paul’s remarks, “… I have become all things to all men, that I might, by all means, save some” (Cf. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23).

     Humorously, a preacher once wrote on an application in the space asking for his occupation, “Jack of all trades, and master of none.” There may be a speck of truth in his answer. Especially the reference to “Jack of all trades.” And yes, he is master of some.

     During my 55 years of preaching, teaching preachers, and serving as an elder, I have worn and observed other preachers, wearing many hats. Here is a quick list of some of those hats.

  1. Event planner. He is in charge of fellowship meetings. He may have hands-on or be responsible for delegating the responsibility to others.
  2. Office manager. He oversees the day to day events in the church office. The church secretary is his assistant.
  3. Taxi driver. From time to time he is asked to provide transportation for members to go to the doctor or some other appointment.
  4. Funeral director. He is asked to plan, arrange, and carry out the numerous tasks involved in the funeral.
  5. Financial advisor. Members come to him for advice related to financial issues: credit card debt, investments, and budget issues
  6. Community worker. To be a positive influence in the community, the preacher becomes involved; either personally or as a representative of his congregation.
  7. News reporter. In the weekly bulletin, he contributes information about the various activities, needs, and brotherhood events. Thus, he is a Writer.
  8. He is a family man. He has a wife and family that are second place in priority to God and service to Him.
  9. He is a custodian. He empties trash cans, picks up items left on the pews and floor, and checks the restrooms for cleanliness.
  10. He is a coach and trainer. He gives advice, materials, and training classes for those who desire to participate in congregational activities.
  11. He is a referee. He is asked to be an arbitrator in marital conflict, disagreements among brethren, and debates among leaders.
  12. He is a social worker. He helps members apply for unemployment benefits, child care, and other social areas in the lives of members.
  13. He is a CEO. This responsibility is given because of his position and visibility in the affairs of the congregation. He is “the boss”—some prefer the title “lead pastor.”
  14. He is a fundraiser. Drives for budget contributions, mission contributions, and special offerings are promoted by the preacher.
  15. He is a recruiter. He knows the areas of need in the congregation and develops a plan for recruiting and training members to fill those positions.
  16. He is a theologian. He has the “answers’ to every biblical, religious, and opinion issue members, and others, bring to his attention. This is why he is constantly studying.
  17. He is an attendee. He is expected to be present at every congregational meeting, area-wide event, and home gathering he is invited to attend.
  18. He is a fashion guru. He is expected to dress in the current style acceptable to society and the congregation.
  19. He is a wedding consultant. He helps couples prepare for their weddings through counseling, ceremony requirements, protocol and performing the ceremony
  20. He is an entertainer. He is expected to “preach the word” but not be too serious. There is a place for humor, stories, and jokes in sermons and classes.
  21. He is a master of ceremony. Regardless of the event, if it is in the church building, he is expected to preside over the affair.
  22. He is the Master at Arms. He is in charge of the security of the building. The alarms, locking and unlocking, turning lights on and off, etc.
  23. He is an organizer. In addition to his charge to preach the word, evangelize, and appoint elders, he must organize all other activities around his biblical mandates.
  24. He is a chaplain. He is beside those who are bereaved, suffering, and questioning the events in their lives.
  25. He is a memory expert. He is expected to know the names of each member, where they work, attend school, and their birthdays. This allows him to respond appropriately.

These 25 examples are presented, not as criticisms, but as positive observations about the servant heart of preachers. However, on another note it may be observed that these may serve as reminders relative to why some preachers have experienced burnout. How do these observation relate to local preachers and educating the congregation?

                                                                                            ___________________________________

                                                                               J.J. Turner is the author of a book, “505 Observations about Preaching” (amazon. com).

 

INTRODUCTION:

  1. A.Turn in your Bibles to Matthew 25:14-30:
    1. 1.Jesus’s story of 3 servants.
    2. 2.Story of “Stewardship”
    3. 3.2 of 3 faithful…prospered.
    4. 4.The 3rd was “cast out.” (Afraid).
  2. B.What, biblically, is a “Steward”?
    1. 1.Steward
    2. 2.Numerous application related to managing:
      1. a.A teacher manages students.
      2. b.A boss manages employees.
      3. c.A politician manages our resources.
      4. d.A banker manages our finances, etc.
      5. e.A physician manages our health care.
      6. f.A parent manages children, etc.
      7. g.A judge manages equity of the law.
  3. C.Biblically, every person, especially Christians, is a steward:
    1. 1.Everything belongs to God by right of creation (Gen. 1-3).
      1. a.
      2. b.
      3. c.
      4. d.
      5. e.
      6. f.Job 40:11, “Everything under heaven belongs to God.”
      7. g.1 Tim. 6:7, 8 “We brought nothing and will leave with nothing.”
  4. 2.We are ALL Stewards:
    1. a.1 Cor. 4:1, 2: “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”
    2. b.HOW are we managing that which God has given us?
  5. D.The Apostle Paul’s teaching to the Corinthian Christians:
    1. 1.2 Corinthians 8:1-15 (Read):
    2. 2.2 Corinthians 9:1-15 (Read):
  6. E.Some Traits, expediently speaking, of a good servant-steward:
    1. 1.Committed to honest and accountable service—selfless.
    2. 2.Committed to sustainability—not wasteful.
    3. 3.Committed to making wise decisions and choices.
    4. 4.Committed to biblical innovation and change for growth.
    5. 5.Committed to being a “member and team player.”
    6. 6.Committed to being open and above-board.
    7. 7.Committed first and foremost to Christ and Word.

CONCLUSION:

  1. A.We are living in troublesome times:
    1. 1.Pandemic Corona Virus.
    2. 2.Loss of lives, etc.
    3. 3.Financial losses.
  2. B.The church—members—are facing tough times:
    1. 1.Besides the 3 we’ve just mentioned facing everyone.
    2. 2.The church is facing stewardship issues.
    3. 3.The solution is given by God: “God loves a cheerful giver.”
  3. C.Let’s read and study 1 & 2 Corinthian’s stewardship messages this week.

 

  1. D.Remember Malachi’s question: “Will a man ROB God?” (Mal. 3:8).

STEWARDSHIP EVALUATION

The Bible continually encourages us to examine ourselves (Psa. 26:2; 1 Cor. 11:28; 2 Cor. 13:5). Take a moment and examine your present total stewardship practices. Here is a chart covering most of the areas where we fulfill our stewardship responsibilities.

     Using the numerical scale of 1—11, with #1 being the FIRST priority. Use # 2

thru # 11 to identify the following priorities based on your personal numerical ranking. (Review your last 3 months expenditures for proof)

__House mortgage payment

__Giving to the church

__Groceries

__Health care

__Recreation

__Hobbies

__Transportation

__Eating out and entertainment

__Utilities and house upkeep

__Personal grooming

__Savings and investments

 

   How does your evaluation relate to “Seek the Kingdom first” (Matt. 6:33)?

__Matches it

__Close

__Distant

__Not at all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and faded away; he flees like a shadow and does not continue (Job 14:1, 2).

     These words spoken by Job centuries ago come tumbling down to us in cataclysmic proportions. The leader of the avalanche is the pandemic caused by the Corona Virus. As of this day, January 10, 2021, 377,000 people have died from the virus in the USA. I have had family members, brethren, friends, and acquaintances die from the virus. I’m thankful vaccines are being distributed and additional treatments are helping combat this enemy to health, the economy, and life. In deed we are living in “troublesome times.”

     To speak on a sad note, I am deeply aware and concerned about the attitudes and actions some have toward wearing masks, social distancing, and limited gatherings. Even among some Christians there is a disregard for these guidelines; some have created division and spread of the virus to others or caused quarantines. One of the popular remarks made by the rejecters of guidelines is, “The government will not tell me what to do. If I choose not to wear a mask it’s my business not theirs.”

     Talk about inconsistent! These same rejecters let the government tell them what to do about paying taxes, obeying traffic laws, taking oaths, sending children to school, etc. Then there are the Scriptures that tell us to pay our taxes, pray for rulers, obey the law, not to curse those in power, love our enemies, do good to all men, etc.

     I think, at least for me, the relevant question relates to God. Is God interested in our health? Does He care about what happens to His children—you and me—health wise? My answer is YES. It is yes based of Scripture.

BASIC SCRIPTURES ABOUT GOD AND HEALTH

I don’t have the time and space to go into a deep and detailed presentation relative to what God has said about what we can classify as health concerns. Hopefully, what follows will be a door opener to a more in-depth study.

     Here are 10, what I call, bedrock truths to base what will follow on:

  1. Health is an issue that relates to the human body (cf. Psalm 139:13-16).
  2. God created man’s body and said “it was good” Gen. 2:7)
  3. God gave Adam specific orders (Genesis 3:17-24)
  4. God made promises relative to health (Jer. 30:7; 33:6).
  5. God wishes for us a “merry heart” (Prov. 17:22).
  6. The Holy Spirit dwells in the body (1 Cor. 6:19, 20).
  7. God wants us to prosper and be in good health (3 Jno. 2).
  8. Jesus died to guarantee the resurrection of our bodies (1 Cor. 15).
  9. One day the body will die (Hebrews 9:27).
  10. One day the body will be resurrected (Cf. 1 Cor. 15).

JESUS’ CONCERN FOR HEALTH ISSUES

The Gospels are filled with accounts of Jesus healing and performing miracles. Each one should be studied in its context; however, for my purposes I simply want to call our attention to the fact that Jesus was concerned with the health problems of people; reinforcing the point that our heavenly Father is concerned too. Affirming we should be concerned too.

  1. Jesus heals an official’s son at Capernaum in Galilee (Jno. 4:43-54).
  2. Jesus heals Peters mother-in-law sick with a fever (Matt. 8:14, 15).
  3. Jesus cleanses a man with leprosy (Matt. 8:1-4).
  4. Jesus heals a paralytic who was let down through the roof (Matt. 9:1-8).
  5. Jesus heals a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath (Matt. 12:9-14).
  6. Jesus heals a woman with an issue of blood (Matt.9:20-22).
  7. Jesus heals a man who was unable to speak (Matt. 9:32-34).
  8. Jesus heals a man who cannot hear or speak (Mk. 7:31-37).
  9. Jesus heals a man born blind (Jno. (:1-12).
  10. Jesus raises Jairus’ daughter back to life (Matt. 9:18, 23-26).

While these healings and miracles were designed to prove Jesus was the Son of God, they point to the fact that He was concerned about the life and health of others. We cannot heal or perform miracles but we can, and should, be concerned about the life and health of others. It’s the “Christ-like thing to do.

EXAMPLES OF HEALTH CONCERNS UNDER NEW COVENANT

Several times after the establishment of the church we see examples of health issues, concerns, and healings:

  1. He gave Timothy advice on how to take care of his stomach problem (1 Tim. 5:23).
  2. He requested prayer for Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:25-30).
  3. Paul had a thorn in the flesh he had to live with (2 Cor. 12:6, 7).
  4. Peter brings Tabitha back to life (Acts 9:36-42).
  5. Peter and John’s response to a lame man (Acts 3:1-9).

OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES ON HEALTH

Romans 15:4: For WHATEVER   things were WRITTEN before were written for OUR learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the SCRIPTURES have HOPE.

     Paul affirmed that we can learn by studying the Old Testament Scriptures. Thus, it is relevant and essential that we take a few minutes and read what God has said about health and related issues. The following are randomly selected passages that reveal God’s attitude toward our health, etc. (Please take time to read the Scriptures).

  1. The wearing of a mask covering the lips (Lev. 13:45).
  2. Rules for kind of food eaten (Deut. 14:20, 21).
  3. The use of poultices (2 Kgs. 20:7).
  4. The use of ointments (Jer. 8:22; Isa. 1:6).
  5. Physicians employed (2Chron. 16:12; Jer. 8:22).
  6. Medicine is referred to (Prov. 17:22).
  7. A splint for fractures (Ezek. 30:21).
  8. A place to deposit human waste (Deut. 23:12-14.).
  9. Rules for body cleansing (Lev. 15: 7, 8).
  10. The practice of quarantine (Lev. 13:46, 50).
  11. Rules for disinfections (Lev. 15:12, 13).
  12. Circulation of blood (Lev. 17:11-14).
  13. Rules for not touching the unclean (diseased) (Lev. 5:2, 3).
  14. Rules for containers (Num. 19:15).
  15. Disinfecting items (Num. 19:18).
  16. Weak eyes (Gen. 29:17).
  17. Prayer for health and healing (2 Kgs. 20:1-7; cf. Jas. 5:13-15).
  18. The law of circumcision (Lev. 12:1-4).
  19. Rules for diseased garments (Lev. 13:53-55).
  20. Prayer request for cleansing (Psa. 51:7).
  21. Emotional health advice (Prov. 4:23).
  22. Warnings about diseases (Ex. 15:26, 27; Deut. 7:15).

These things were written for our learning, not in order to “bind them as conditions of salvation”, but to educate us relative to what God has said about sickness, diseases, procedures, healing, death, etc. Therefore, I conclude that God is interested in our health. This is why as a steward of my body I will do everything in my power to protect my health and the health of those I am around.

     Remember God’s desire for us under the New Covenant is: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in ALL THINGS and be in HEALTH, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2).

     Caesar is trying to help us be in “good health” by giving these rules:

  1. Wear a mask when around others
  2. Observe six-feet social distancing
  3. Wash your hands often every day for 30-seconds
  4. Avoid crowds (The number varies by jurisdiction)
  5. Wear gloves and throw away after one use
  6. Learn the symptoms of the virus (self-monitoring)
  7. Stay in touch with your health provider

     Think about this. What if you had the virus, won’t wear a mask or observe social distancing and infected someone else and that person died, how would you feel?

     As James commanded, we need to pray for wisdom (James 1:1-6).

     As Paul commanded, we need to obey Caesar (Romans 13:1-7).

     As Jesus affirmed, “by this shall all men know that you are my disciples if you love one another” (John 13:34, 35). YES! God cares about our health. Do I?

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

  1. A.Turn in your Bibles to Matthew 25:14-30:
    1. 1.Jesus’s story of 3 servants.
    2. 2.Story of “Stewardship”
    3. 3.2 of 3 faithful…prospered.
    4. 4.The 3rd was “cast out.” (Afraid).
  2. B.What, biblically, is a “Steward”?
    1. 1.Steward
    2. 2.Numerous application related to managing:
      1. a.A teacher manages students.
      2. b.A boss manages employees.
      3. c.A politician manages our resources.
      4. d.A banker manages our finances, etc.
      5. e.A physician manages our health care.
      6. f.A parent manages children, etc.
      7. g.A judge manages equity of the law.
  3. C.Biblically, every person, especially Christians, is a steward:
    1. 1.Everything belongs to God by right of creation (Gen. 1-3).
      1. a.
      2. b.
      3. c.
      4. d.
      5. e.
      6. f.Job 40:11, “Everything under heaven belongs to God.”
      7. g.1 Tim. 6:7, 8 “We brought nothing and will leave with nothing.”
  4. 2.We are ALL Stewards:
    1. a.1 Cor. 4:1, 2: “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”
    2. b.HOW are we managing that which God has given us?
  5. D.The Apostle Paul’s teaching to the Corinthian Christians:
    1. 1.2 Corinthians 8:1-15 (Read):
    2. 2.2 Corinthians 9:1-15 (Read):
  6. E.Some Traits, expediently speaking, of a good servant-steward:
    1. 1.Committed to honest and accountable service—selfless.
    2. 2.Committed to sustainability—not wasteful.
    3. 3.Committed to making wise decisions and choices.
    4. 4.Committed to biblical innovation and change for growth.
    5. 5.Committed to being a “member and team player.”
    6. 6.Committed to being open and above-board.
    7. 7.Committed first and foremost to Christ and Word.

CONCLUSION:

  1. A.We are living in troublesome times:
    1. 1.Pandemic Corona Virus.
    2. 2.Loss of lives, etc.
    3. 3.Financial losses.
  2. B.The church—members—are facing tough times:
    1. 1.Besides the 3 we’ve just mentioned facing everyone.
    2. 2.The church is facing stewardship issues.
    3. 3.The solution is given by God: “God loves a cheerful giver.”
  3. C.Let’s read and study 1 & 2 Corinthian’s stewardship messages this week.

 

  1. D.Remember Malachi’s question: “Will a man ROB God?” (Mal. 3:8).

 

INTRODUCTION:

  1. LET’S DO A “1” MINUTE EXERCISE:
    1. 1.Using the word ANGER—close your eyes: (NOW and think about anger):
      1. (a)What did you say to yourself?
      2. (b)What did you feel?
      3. (c)What did you remember?
  2. 2.When was the last time you were angry?
    1. (a)Today? (b) Yesterday? (c) Last Week? (d) Last Month?
  3. OUR NATION IS IN AN ANGER…RAGE MODE:
    1. 1.Riots in Minneapolis…
    2. 2.Rage in grocery stores (corona virus, etc.)
    3. 3.Pushing and shouting in line post office, etc.
    4. 4.Driving madness: cutting off, failure to stop.
    5. 5.Family, domestic violence on rise.
  4. “ANYONE WHO CAN ANGER YOU HAS CONTROL OVER YOU” (Stoic)
    1. 1.Anger is an emotion created by a choice of thoughts (Prov. 23:7).
    2. 2.“We make ourselves angry” by responding to others.
  5. LOT OF INTEREST IN ANGER:
    1. 1.Anger: (Google… 69,400,000
    2. 2.Anger management: … 1,010,000
    3. 3.Bible and Anger: … 21,600,000

 

I.BIBLE AND ANGER:

A. Passages from:

       1. Proverbs 14:29; 15:1, 18; 16:32; 29:20.

       2. James 1:19, 20.

       3. Ephesians 4:26-31, 5:1 (20 Observations.)

       4. Psalm 7:11; 78:48 (God’s anger).

       5. Genesis 4:5, Cain killed his brother.

 

B. 8 BASIC TYPES OF ANGER (7 from PSYCHOLOGY):

     1. Passive Aggressive (indirect, subtle insults, insinuations).

     2. Explosive Outburst (Sudden loss of control, “hot tempered”).

     3. Harden Anger (Stuck in quicksand, chip on shoulder, can’t forgive).

     4. Vengeful anger (Get back at person, even after years).

     5. Chronic Anger (Will not let go, continual episodes, DSM mental illness, 2 month or more).

     6. Incidental Anger (Not all negative, God allows emotional, motivated to deal with.)

     7. Empathic Anger (On behalf of a wrong committed against another, arouses sense of caring).

     8. God approved: “Be angry and sin not, don’t let sun go down on wrath.”

C. HOW TO EMPTY YOUR ANGER BANK…PREVENT MAKING DEPOSITS—close the account!

     1. Starts with an event: (Anger Thermometer).

           (a) May be a mental trigger of a memory….Thought fixation.

           (b) May be something you see….media, home, neighborhood.

           (c) May be a perceived violation of your “rights” (Traffic).

           (d) May be a continual occurrence: home, work, school, etc.

     2. Recognizing triggers:

           (a) Know from past experience…button will trigger.

           (b) Face starts getting warm.

           (c) Heart rate increases.

           (d) Sweaty palms, face, body.

           (e) Raising of voice, cursing, yelling.

           (f) Start throwing things, threating.

           (g) Rush, stomp out, and kick stuff.

       3. Start by admitting your worse anger issue:

           (a) Confess it to God and to persons it affects.

           (b) Study and meditate on Scriptures.

           (c) Develop a plan to stay cool…count to 10, 100, etc.

           (d) Do all you can to AVOID situation—eyes always open.

© Dr. JJ Turner and ©Jeremiah Institute - All Rights Reserved (usage)

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