Bob's Blog

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Developing Your Congregation's Reputation

Author: Pastor Bob Dealey
Regardless of how old your congregation is, your congregation has a reputation in the local community.  That reputation is the result of what your congregation has done to improve the quality of life in your community and on the basis of what people are saying when they talk about your congregation.
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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Great Commission

Author: Pastor Bob Dealey
            In the Great Commission (as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel), Jesus tells his followers:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.  And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:19-20).

            As followers of Jesus, in what ways do you and members of your congregation participate in the Great Commission?

                                                  Reflection Questions
· What is your congregation doing to “make disciples of all nations”?
· What is your congregation “teaching” people to “obey”?
· In what ways do you experience the presence of God “with you always, to the end of the age”?

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Everybody Has a Will

Author: Pastor Bob Dealey
Did you know that everybody has a will?   That’s right!   Some people want to make sure that their estate is in good order, so they contact an attorney and draw up a will.   In their will, they express their desires as to how they wish their possessions to be distributed after their death.   But some people think it is “too morbid” to even think about death, so they do not do any estate planning.   They think that they do not have a will, but they are wrong, because instead of planning for the distribution of their assets, the state in which they reside will make those decisions for them.  The state will decide what will happen to their minor children, their property and all of their material possessions.   When it comes to estate planning, people have two options:  1) They can draw up a will and decide how their estate will be divided, e.g. who will get what; or 2) The state in which they reside will make those decisions for them.  Which would you prefer?   Would you prefer to make the financial decisions regarding how you will provide for your family after you die?  Or would you prefer to let someone who does not know your family and its’ needs make those decisions for you?

            The decision is yours.   You can draw up a will and provide for your family after you die.   Or you do not draw up a will and you can allow the state to make those decisions for you.   Do you want to make those decisions for the sake of your family?  Or do you want to let the courts make those decisions for you and your family?   Either way, your material possessions will be distributed, because if you do not have a will, the state will provide one for you.

 

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Friday, February 14, 2014

God's Plan

Author: Pastor Bob Dealey

“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”  --Jeremiah 29:11

There are three affirmations that every individual and every congregation need to know:

  1. God has plans for us.   It doesn’t matter who we are or where we live. It doesn’t matter if we are young or old, big or small. God has plans—a mission, a purpose, a design for our lives.
  2. God’s plans are for our welfare and not for harm. Because of God’s vast love for us, God’s plans are always in our best interests. It is God’s intent to save us, not to destroy us.
  3. God’s plans give a future with hope. God’s plans help us to look forward not with fear or despair, but with hope. Even in the midst of uncertainty, we can move forward confident of God’s presence and providence.
Reflection Questions
  • What plans does God have for you and/or your congregation?
  • What are you doing to discern God’s plans for you?
  • In what ways do God’s plans give you a “future with hope”?
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Friday, February 14, 2014

How is Your Congregation’s Vision?

Author: Pastor Bob Dealey

“Where there is no vision, the people perish”--Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

When individuals and congregations have a clear vision of what God is calling them to be and to do, they flourish. When individuals and congregations do not have a clear vision of God’s mission, they flounder.

If the vision is from God, whose task is it to help refine the focus, so that people in the congregation are able to see and articulate God’s vision? Is this the responsibility of the pastor? Or is it one of the primary functions of congregational leadership? Does the congregation need to appoint or select a Vision Team? How do the tasks of seeing and articulating God’s vision occur within the context of your congregation?

It seems to me that this is a rather basic issue for congregations to raise and answer, for it is the difference between life and death. Thriving individuals and congregations have a clear sense of God’s purposes for them, while those who are perishing seem to lack a clear vision of God’s mission.

Reflection Questions

  • What is God’s vision for you and for your congregation?
  • Who are the “visionaries” (the ones who “see” and “articulate” God’s vision) in your congregation?
  • What can be done to encourage and assist congregational members to see and understand God’s vision for the congregation?

 

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About Bob's Blog

Pastor Bob Dealey, Director for Evangelical Mission and Coordinator of Communications & Networking for the Central/Southern Illinois Synod/ELCA is the author of “Bob’s Blog”.  Submit suggestions for future blogs using the submission form below.

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