Disillusionment – The Holy Spirit’s Way of Saying, “What are You Doing Here?”...

Dec 27, 2008 by

If you are disillusioned, it means you first anchored your life on an illusion. Our loving Father in heaven gave us the gift of disillusionment to stop us in our tracks and make us think. It is the same process we see with Elijah. The prophet had some really great dreams in his mind regarding Mount Carmel. When you stop and hear what Elijah had to say in his cave in the middle of his depression, you can’t help but see the great hope he had for the nation after the shoot-out at Mount Carmel. Elijah had high hopes of great change. Perhaps a national revival was in his thinking. But, after the shoot-out, to the naked eye everything seemed the same. Then Jezebel issued her death threat and suddenly, the heart of Elijah...

read more

Blessings – The Lubricant of American Christianity...

Dec 27, 2008 by

As a Canadian living in America I never cease to be amazed how blessing and success oriented American Christianity is. We all understand the roots of America and the focus on freedom. It is a story to inspire free people and wanna-be free people of all nations. It is a story nothing short of the working of God in carrying out His destiny on this earth. But the focus of success and the American Dream seems so blatant and overwhelming, it has become a part of the American version of the Gospel. For some time now it has appeared to me that Christianity as it is practiced in the western world is simply another, more sophisticated form of selfishness. Just do the right thing – the will of God – and you will be...

read more

Living with Loss

Dec 27, 2008 by

By Glenn Hager After twenty years in pastoral ministry and never being unemployed in my life, I am not a pastor and I don’t even have a job. For me this is the culmination of a ten-year odyssey of trying to redirect a divided, declining church. It eventually turned into a restart situation. We sold our building, relocated, the whole bit, only to have key people leave before the restart was given a chance. I had to close my church. I lost my dream. I felt like I was dying. Come to find out that was only the first blow. The second blow came from a nearby church that was considering putting me on staff or offering a key volunteer position. They strung me along for four months only to come to the conclusion...

read more

Fired! or Rescued by God?

Dec 27, 2008 by

When your world and ministry comes crashing down, you can feel very hurt and deeply betrayed. You may be willing to admit you were wrong in a number of ways, but those who pushed you out were also well off base and handled the situation poorly. This can be the time when you walk away from the church so disillusioned you think you may never return. The masks they all wore when they carried out your termination seemed so obvious. The feigned concern they showed after they had spoken wrong about you behind your back – all of it was so sickening. But then came the clincher. After telling you all the things you did wrong, and listing all the people you have hurt, they look you straight in the eye and say, “We...

read more

Musings On Freedom

Dec 27, 2008 by

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Paul’s words to the Galatians ring loud in our ears today – or do they? When we look about and notice how many churches and denominations seem to enslave their people with a variety of ideas, programs, requirements and expectations that, at times, seem extra-biblical, I can’t help wonder if many of us are missing the boat on freedom. Coming into relationship with Christ is supposed to be the greatest liberating experience we have, yet for many, including pastors and ministry leaders, freedom in Christ has become a-burnout-experience. To those who become angry, disillusioned, and cynical, freedom and church are two words that don’t belong in the same...

read more

Insecure Leaders

Dec 27, 2008 by

There is no doubt – insecure leaders often become control freaks and tyrants that make everyone’s life miserable and the stress created in the relationships with the leader contibute to his/her own burnout. The insecure leader tries to make everyone over in his image, and make the outward appearance of the group or church look good so as to prove he is a good leader. Followers generally don’t like their freedom taken away, and they down-right hate having their creativity and ingenuity chained down. Tension and distrust grow between leader and followers, and if something doesn’t change, the leader will become more dictatorial, or the followers will start to leave. Worse yet, the followers rise up, rebel and demand the departure of the leader. Burnout and cynicism can become the internal culture of the...

read more