Your life is shaped by the commitments you choose to make. As you refine your commitments, you shape the contours of your future. When it comes to abandoning average and beginning to live the no-holds-barred life of a renegade, there are seven essential commitments you must make in order to put and keep yourself on the right path.
Here is a quick overview:
Commitment One — Follow Your Lord
Properly aligned priorities are critical to your success as a pastor, a spouse, a parent, a friend, and an individual. But here’s the thing with priorities: It’s easy to say they are one thing and live as if they are another. Is seeking after God your number one priority in truth or just in word? What is your second priority? You may be surprised by what it should be. There are specific steps you can take to make sure your priorities are aligned correctly and to keep them that way–and to ensure that being busy with God’s work doesn’t crowd out the work He wants to do in you.
Commitment Two — Love Your Family
Are you afraid your ministry work will destroy your marriage? Or keep your kids from growing up to love the Lord? No pastor plans to find himself in a marital or family crisis, but too many end up there because they don’t plan not to. Loving your family is not passive; you can’t just hope that, since you are serving God, everything will work out okay. Instead, by intentionally putting some specific boundaries and hedges in place to protect the relationship closest to you, you can show active love for your family, while shielding them from some of the common pitfalls associated with ministry.
Commitment Three — Fulfill Your Calling
When you were called into ministry, you didn’t have everything you needed to fulfill your calling. You have gathered–and are still gathering–essential elements along the way. Are you collecting what you need to be successful, or are the tools you are putting in your tool belt only serving to keep you average?
Commitment Four — Manage Your Time
If you are like most pastors, you are constantly behind the eight ball–running out of time to prepare for Sunday, to set up this or that ministry, to read the books on your list, or to invest quality hours with your family. Effective time management can revolutionize your life. Time is the most precious commodity you have. How are you spending it?
Commitment Five — Shepherd Your Flock
There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the best, most biblical way to shepherd the people in your care. It’s time to demystify the role of the shepherd so that you can step into proper leadership and disciple your people the way God intends. After all, one day you’ll be held accountable for how well you’ve done the job.
Commitment Six — Maximize Your Church
What does the full redemptive potential of your church look like? Are you doing all you can to cooperate with God in structuring your church for maximum impact on this earth? God wants your church to be healthy and flourishing, and there are specific steps you can take to help it get there.
Commitment Seven — Expand God’s Kingdom
Sometimes it is so easy to get busy with day-to-day ministry concerns that you lose perspective on your position within the bigger picture. There’s tremendous value in keeping an eye turned toward new church plants, missions work, and the other opportunities you have to engage in the overall growth of God’s kingdom.
At first glance, these commitments may not seem all that renegade, but I have a feeling you’ll be surprised by just how unconventional they really are. Beneath the surface, the details of these commitments and their supporting principles are revolutionary. They have the potential to transform your life and ministry from average into an ongoing illustration of God’s excellence.
– Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson
The above excerpt is from pgs. 25-27 of The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry.
Drawing from Nelson Searcy’s decades of ministry experience, The Renegade Pastor is a relevant, step-by-step resource for church leaders who are ready to step up in surrender to the pursuit of God’s best for his or her life and work.
Your partner in ministry,
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