Sky Links, 5-14-14

Photo: Spacebridge by longobord CC 2.0
Ministry Trips 

J.D. Greear wrote about the value of short term mission trips.  He is right.  Just do it.  You will never
be the same.
Seeing God at work in the world is one of the strongest motivators to join what he’s doing right here at home.  I don’t know what God will let you experience over there, but I guarantee that once you put your foot on foreign soil you will never be the same.
The rest is here.

Take Up the Towel

Are you an idealist about the church?  Are you frustrated with other Christians seemingly not getting it about adopting the life-style that you see in the New Testament?  Joe Miller wrote a post for those who are ready to "throw in the towel" and just sit on the back row.  Joe's advice:
...your only hope is to extend to those with whom you disagree the same grace that Christ gave you.
We are saved by grace and we learn new things by grace.  Are you the knowledgeable, arguing person; or the gracious person?  We don't want to be codependents, demanding that all the "addicts" see us and our knowledge as their saviors.

Becoming Who God Designed Us To Be

In his post, Listen To Your Life, Adam McHugh wrote that life is about becoming ourselves.  We do need to die to self and take up our crosses and follow, but that does not mean self-annihilation.  God wants us to become who he created us to be.  The selfish and childish must go and the authentic self, that God designed must be found.  Adam wrote:
Your thoughts, emotions, impulses, desires, values, passions, dreams, recurring questions, and bodily responses are significant, are trying to teach you, and are all interconnected. It sounds simple, but some will resist. Occasionally I hear Christians say that the path to spiritual maturity involves “forgetting myself” and directing all my attention toward God, making little of me and much of him. While we aim to glorify God in all we do, the way of following Jesus is not self-abdication. Yes, we set aside what is passing away – the old ways, the old life, the old self – and then we become fully alive by taking on our new creation life, our truest and deepest self. We do not forget ourselves; we become fully ourselves.

Many Leaders Are Not Pastors
  Chad Estes wrote about Why Superman pastors can't Save The Church .
The people who tend to get to the top of the church hierarchy may be called Pastor but this doesn't mean they are actually very pastoral. They may be the best person for leading their congregation in in providing direction, but when it comes to the expectations of providing pastoral care, they will fall short of what many people need/expect from them.
The people who truly are pastoral, and get the title of Pastor, can be burdened with so many of these other leadership expectations that they get too overwhelmed to do what they are naturally/spiritually gifted at. Some of the most pastoral people I have ever met are those who would never qualify for the title because they are too busy taking care of
people to build a church.
I think this job confusion is why so many ministers find themselves out of ministry. It is also why so many people have issues with their pastors.
There is a paradox that sometimes 'pastors' are not pastoral, 'reverends' are not reverent, and 'ministers' do not minister (to heal is what minister means).  There is the idea that the person who has the job, must wear many hats, especially as the pastor of a new church.

The photo is "We commissioned 5 members this morning for an overseas mission trip" from Dave Black's blog.
The first painting, is from Margaret L. Been's blog.
The second paiting is by Kate Holdsworth.
The many hats photo is from Mark Pierce.