Who was that crazy woman?

At about 45 years of age, she wore clothes that were beyond trendy. They looked like clothes teens might wear in music videos, although MTV was still 10 years away.  Her hair was a sight to behold —  jet black against her snow-white skin, it was startling enough, but what really made it remarkable was how she stacked it up on her head, making her four to eight inches taller than she was without it.

We used to say that she played the organ like I would imagine Captain Nemo playing in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Weaving back and forth dramatically.  She played well, and her flamboyant display was captivating at least and entertaining at best.

Somewhere along the way she sensed a call to serve God by teaching the teen Sunday School class — my teen Sunday School class.  She taught us about music, training us to discern when we listened to artists. She taught us to welcome people by welcoming us into her home, for a Christmas youth fellowship. She corrected us when we treated others poorly and she encouraged us when she played volleyball with us.

We were blessed because of her service to the Lord.  I am glad she didn’t miss her calling.

The following sermon speaks of how important it is for you and me not to miss our calling.

A Heart for Ministry…

Staff Relationships / People Relationships, especially in the context of ministry © 2001-2005 Rev. Stephen D. & Laurel A. Shields

Over and over again, you see a problem in churches: Pastors being asked to leave. In fact, the issue of forced exits is so real that many men and women who work with pastors spend much time studying the issue of forced exits. Have you seen a lot of them in Churches this past year? I know of young pastors who have been shown the door. I know of a pastor in his prime ministry years who was asked to leave. I know of a pastor three decades my senior who was asked to leave. That’s scary. How many people have left because of poor performance? Few.

The Bible speaks about the heart you need to have to get along with people. It gives us keys to having a successful ministry by examining the kind of heart we have. Let’s look at these keys together. Continue reading