This is a blog post by Matt Boswell, pastor at Redemption Church.

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When Ellen and I were first married ministry was not our 20-year plan, the Navy was. We had it all planned out; we were to spend the next 20 years with me being gone for 15. The Navy explained to my sweet new bride how grueling it would be, that I would be gone often and that even when I was around my mind would be elsewhere. Knowing that my particular career path in the Navy would be a marriage destroyer I pursued a discharge for the pursuit of higher education. With the promise of a difficult future behind us we embarked upon an easier dream where everyone would love us and things would be calm: pastoral service.

Twenty plus years later I can tell you it has been a ride we never could have anticipated. So much so that only now do I feel equipped enough to share a few things I either lacked the clarity or courage to share until this season of life. I want to share the 10 things we as pastors don’t really want you to know about us. Now in doing so my aim is not to rat out my fellow pastors. Nor am I doing this so congregants sleep with one eye open regarding their leadership. My intention is precisely the opposite. I hope that from this:

  • Churches will pray all the more for their pastors because they understand the challenges.
  • Churches will be doubly grateful for the fact that so many pastors stay in the saddle despite their fears, hurts and frustrations.
  • People in churches will think twice before engaging in things that sink deep into the soul of their leaders.

Therefore I give a glimpse into what we as pastors don’t like to admit about ourselves.

#1. We Take It Personally When You Leave The Church.

It’s just a straight up fact. We pastors eat, drink and sleep the local church and with that have a deep desires to see it thrive. Therefore when you leave to another church because…

  • you’re bothered by a recent decision, but didn’t ask about it…
  • the new church has a bigger and better kids wing, youth group, worship team, building space, (fill in your blank)…
  • your friends started going there…

… it hits us personally.

For us it feels disloyal, shallow or consumer driven. People affirm that church is a family, thus when you up and leave because the church down the road has Slurpee dispensers, a fog machine or it’s just cooler, well it jams us pretty deep.  Continue Reading…

Character Quest

Chilly —  April 10, 2014 — 2 Comments

Put me on trial, LORD, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and affections. Psalm 26:2

Why do you do what you do? Yeah, what’s really behind the things you do? The music you play?  The clothes you wear? The things you read? The things you say? The friends you hang with? The prayers you pray?  The money you spend? Etc…  you get the point.

character-mattersYou see, God knows your motives and affections… He knows the truth.  Your service to God and others (yes both) will reveal who you truly are. It’s not enough to pray and read your Bible — you must OBEY and you must LOVE God and others with ALL your heart. I’ve always been surprised, both pleasantly and… well, not as pleasantly, by the “joyful service” (or, unfortunately at times, lack thereof) of ‘believers’ when it’s their day off or or weekend night. It’s during these “free times”, when no one is requiring anything, that we see what our passions really are.

Character is who we are when no one is watching.

Continue Reading…

Hope Attack

Chilly —  April 8, 2014 — 4 Comments

If knowledge equals responsibility - I’m in a lot of trouble (and so are you IF you read any further).

2.8 million people die of AIDS each year… 25 million die of starvation each year (842 million critically hungry right now)… close to 250,000 Christians are martyred each year…  there are at least 15 ongoing armed-conflicts in the world right now…

AlwaysHopeIn the midst of so many horrible things – some, obviously worse than others – we find many “believers” wringing their hands, complaining, and hiding. We’re burned out, bummed out and abused… or, at least, we say we are. REALLY?!  Do we represent HOPE in a hopeless world?

Let Abraham’s faith encourage you: When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!” 19 Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, “It’s hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child.” Nor did he survey Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up. 20 He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, 21 sure that God would make good on what he had said. 22 That’s why it is said, “Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right” Romans 4:18-22.   Continue Reading…

Listology

Chilly —  April 7, 2014 — 5 Comments

*This is a repost from a few years ago… I’ve removed previous comments so that we can start fresh.

no excuses

I was going through some notes today and found this list. It’s something that really challenges me in my own outreach efforts as well as in our church focus and initiatives. To be honest, I’m not sure of who the author is – perhaps me or at least partially me – but, maybe not me at all – maybe you -  and if it’s you, let me know! Ha!

Ultimately, the reason I’m posting this on my blog is because I want to challenge and provoke you in how you do YOU. Do you know yourself? What makes you tick? How to get the best out of yourself? And, how about others? Are you effective in living out your faith in today’s culture? How much thought to you give to how you interact with others?

Jesus was the ultimate example of how to genuinely embrace others. There was an ease and relevance with whoever He was speaking with: fishermen, priests, farmers, tax collectors, prostitutes, politicians and even lepers. Always spot-on! Love works hard at making every interaction a WIN!

We can’t expect today’s generation to embrace the claims of Christ if they cannot be applied to the context with which they live. Are we out of touch? Trying to use old methods to reach modern (or postmodern) people? Well, again, this is why I posted this list. Check it out:

In order to reach today’s generation, we must be
…  Continue Reading…

Noise Traffic

Chilly —  April 5, 2014 — 2 Comments

… a previous conversation between me and God.

I, normally, don’t mind noise, craziness, or even chaos – I seem to thrive under those kinds of circumstances! I mean, c’mon, I live and work right in the heart of Detroit and I have 5 kids and a dog! It’s a crazy-fun-noisy-little-world I live in! I love it!

Yet sometimes, even for me, there seems to be an inner calling for peace… I guess I just need things to chill a bit in order to really concentrate and hear what’s being said or grasp the bigger picture.  Vision is blurry or dim when decibels and distractions are out of control.

NoiseTaxi

God speaks…   
“lately, Chilly, it’s been difficult for me to enjoy our time together – all the noise inside your head – the questions, comments, second-guessing, vain arguments, over-thinking, blah-blah-blah, it’s all too much!”  
        – yeah, He speaks to me like this.  Continue Reading…