As a pastor for more than 30 years, I would say one of my favorite roles is that of Shepherd. From a biblical context, the pastor - as Shepherd - leads the flock, feeds the flock, protects the flock, warns the flock, and yes, sometimes breaks a leg or two to keep the “not so smart" sheep from plunging over the cliffs of life. I love being a shepherd to the flock at West Pines. Akin to the role of shepherd would be the role of coach. A coach takes a team of individuals, with individual strengths and weaknesses, and forms them into one cohesive group that, when functioning in unity, is much more effective than the individual parts. Shepherds and coaches have the challenge of getting the most out of the flock and team.
This Sunday I’m going to be doing some coaching. As we wrap up our series on “Come Grow With Us: As I grow… we grow… ", I’m going to answer this question: what one thing do I need out of you to win - to grow?
The answer: have an insatiable desire to win! To win at being more like Jesus.
If I am going to grow so we can grow, I must be more like Jesus and stop settling for less. I’m constantly reminded of followers of Christ who are coasting, not running; who are settling, not striving; who are engulfed in mediocrity and totally content with it. This is so sad and, more than that, it’s a slap in the face to our Lord Jesus Christ who ran His race and finished it still running to His Father, not stumbling over the finish line, but with arms raised in victory, saying, “I ran well, it is finished!”
So, come out this Sunday and I will coach you up and encourage you to run to win the race that is set before you. We will look primarily at 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 and Hebrews 12:1-2 where we will see what it takes to win. We will discover what it takes to keep running with an insatiable desire to win – to be like Jesus.
And some of you may need to call a timeout and refocus or declare who your opponent is. Some may need to huddle up with spiritual teammates who can carry your load for a while and encourage you. And others might need to be more coachable and listen to the spiritual authorities that God has placed in your life.
I hope to see you Sunday and I pray that you will compete in this thing we call life and run to win. - Pastor Paul
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