The Power Of Influence By Pastor Dan Reed | Manna For Your Day

Dr. Dan Reed was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1951. He was saved at the Woodland Avenue Baptist Church in 1973 while studying engineering at Auburn University. Sensing the call to preach in 1973 he enrolled at Tennessee Temple College under the ministry of Dr. Lee Roberson. Finishing his B.A. in December of 1975 he was called to Emden, Missouri , a town of 61, to pastor the Community Baptist Church. Pastor Reed has started two churches and two Christian schools during his 33-year ministry. He is currently the pastor of Harvest Baptist Church of Acworth, Georgia. (Learn more about Dr. Reed HERE)

THE POWER OF INFLUENCE

Proverbs 13:20Proverbs 13:20
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. destroyed: Heb. broken  

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“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

A man walked into the church I pastored several years ago and said to me, “Preacher you have changed.” I said, “In what way do you mean?” He said, “You are not preaching as much about the political scene.” I said you are right. He then said, “You have been influenced by someone haven’t you?” I said, “Right again.” And he was right. For a good number of years I read much about the political scene and all that was going on in Washington. I read books like None Dare Call It Conspiracy and None Dare Call It Treason. I came under the influence of men who were patriots to the core and had literally given their life and livelihood to restore our republic. I had Congressman Larry McDonald to speak in my pulpit on “God and Country Day” and my constant emphasis was that we must save America for our children and grandchildren. Now, while I am still concerned about my country and I am a patriot for sure, somewhere I became convinced that as a pastor, I had a higher calling than just being a great patriot. Yes, I came under the influence of someone. I found that what I read during the week leaked into my preaching on Sunday whether I purposely intended it to or not. I found that I was influenced by what I read and who I talked to and where I got my information.

The truth is, we are all influenced by somebody and we are all subject to influence.

Dr. Jack Hyles once said, “You are not going to be what you decide to be, but you are going to be what you decide to be around.” No matter how high your goals are, you will not reach them unless you put into your life the people and the books and the influences that will get you to your goal. A great old Puritan writer, by the name of Charles Bridges once said, “It is not up to you to decide whether or not you will be influenced, but it is up to you to decide how you will be influenced.”

I can look back in my life and see that people have influenced me and the books I have read have influenced me. Peter said when he was before the Sanhedrin in Acts 4:20Acts 4:20
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.  

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“We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
The wise man Solomon said, “If you walk with wise men, you will be wise, but if you are a companion of fools, you will ruin your life.” Believing that we are going to be influenced, led me to make four deductions.

I. I will not leave my influence to chance.   If I am going to be influenced then I am going to purposely decide how I will be influenced. I will choose who will influence me. I have often wondered where I would be and what I would believe had I not come under the influence of my pastor. I grew up in a liberal church but because of the influence of a brother-in-law and sister, I started going to a church that preached the Bible. It was through my pastor and his preaching that I came under the influence of Lee Roberson, Jack Hyles, Lester Roloff and John Rice. I had never heard of those men before. But now my life has been greatly influenced by those men and their preaching and their writing. The things I believe and stand for were imparted to me, not just through the scriptures, but through men who had the courage to stand and preach without fear. Now, I choose to remain under that influence at least to some degree, so that my stand does not weaken. I know who to read and who to listen to in order to strengthen my stand. I will not leave my influence to chance.

The reason Lot lost his family and his good name was because he left the influence of godly Abraham and got under the wrong influences. Even the wise man Solomon fell away from the Lord because “even him did outlandish women cause to sin.” Rehoboam lost the northern ten tribes because he picked the young men to influence him rather than the men who had helped to guide his father. All of us are subject to influence. None of us are self made men. Thus we must choose carefully what we read and with whom we have close fellowship. Mark 4:24,25Mark 4:24,25
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. 25 For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.  

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says “Take heed what ye hear; with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you; and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given; and he that hath not shall be taken even that he hath.” Those verses warn us that we must be careful what we hear because the truth we already understand can be taken away from us by listening to wrong information. I must not leave my influence to chance.

II. I must know myself and how different people affect me.  Proverbs 14:8Proverbs 14:8
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.  

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“The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way.”
People affect me. Some people affect me for good, some people affect me for bad. I must know myself and watch myself enough to know how people affect me. I notice that when I am with some people I become critical and sometimes caustic. I notice that when I am with other people I become happy and joyful and desirous of serving people. I noticed several years ago that when I was around some preachers I got very critical and then when I was around others, I wanted to pray more and go soul winning more. Now if I am not careful, if I stay around critical, caustic people, I will become like them. I Cor. 15:33 “Evil companions corrupt good manners.” Mind you, I am not talking about evil people here, I am talking about Christian people and preachers. But some Christians are critical and have very little good to say about anybody. Some Christians complain and bicker all the time. I don’t need those kind of people to rub off on me, but if I make them my close companions, they will rub off on me! Did you ever notice how husbands and wives become like each other in attitudes through the years?   Wise is the person who when he notices a tendency in his life, finds out why its there!

Some years ago I noticed after returning from a certain Bible conference that I was mean and caustic from the pulpit (sometimes I must be mean and caustic, but I must do it on purpose and with specific intentions in mind). Then I noticed after returning from another conference that I tended to be soft and overlook sin. What had happened in each of those cases was that the preacher in charge of those conferences had rubbed off on me! So, I must balance my life with the right influences and the right people so that I become Christ like, not like any person I may admire! (When we become like a person we take on not only the traits we admire but the traits that are bad and unbecoming to our personality!) No man is worthy of imitation in totality, only Christ, the perfect God-man is worthy of total imitation!   

III. I must choose godly people to be my close friends.  I want to be, but I am not so naive as to believe I am an original. I am a product of all those influences God has brought into my life. I am a product of the books I have read and the people I have listened to through the years. But particularly, my close friends have influence on me. I have many, many preachers that I know and am acquainted with. I have a few preachers that I know pretty well and I pray for and keep in contact with. But I have only two or three preachers with whom I have close, close friendship. Someone has said that close friendship is based on a commitment to develop each other’s character and the freedom to correct each other. Close friends, if I am wise, will be chosen among those preachers who help to develop my character. I praise the Lord that I have a couple of real close friends who can and do at times correct me and I have the freedom to do the same with them. I have two or three others that I do not keep in as close contact with who help me in my walk with God. It is worth it to go out of your way, even at cost of time and expense to hang on to friends like that! In Acts 4:13Acts 4:13
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.  

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we are told that when the Sanhedrin “saw the boldness of Peter and John that they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus.” Are you growing spiritually or are you slipping away from your closeness with Christ? It could be that you have removed yourself from a friend who helped you along spiritually just by your contact with them.

IV. We limit our growth spiritually and our personality growth by limiting ourselves to one close friend. This is particularly true of teenagers but also applies to adults. Many teenagers can’t seem to have but one close friend at a time and they lock out all other people from their friendship. This greatly limits their growth. The Bible says, “As iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” (Pro. 27:17Pro. 27:17
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.  

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Particularly in our teen years, the youth group is more important than the single friendship. Personality development needs the influence of many people. One of the dangers of going steady (among many dangers) is that a teen’s focus is on one person and he or she locks out other influences. It also damages the entire youth group because the focus is not on the things of the Lord but on a person in the youth group. Many young people are lots of fun to be aro__d until they started going steady and then they were no longer really a part of the youth group itself. But this is also true of adults who limit themselves to one close friend or one person who influences them. As a preacher, I read many different people. If I read only one person, then my total slant on scripture is influenced by that one man. This is why many young preachers just out of college are unbalanced as of yet in their preaching. Many times they have been influenced almost totally by one man.

You and I are going to be influenced, there is no doubt about that. If that be true, then I must choose those who influence me to be people who will help me reach my goal to be like Christ!           

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565164: Lectures to My Students Lectures to My StudentsBy C.H. Spurgeon / Hendrickson PublishersThough best remembered as the most popular preacher of the Victorian era, C. H. Spurgeon was also founder and president of the Pastors College in London. He supervised the training of over 800 students, presided at an annual conference for ministers, and, on Friday afternoons, delivered regular lectures on every aspect of pulpit ministry.

Featuring such gems as “The Ministers Fainting Fits” “Posture, Action, Gesture, etc.” and “On the Choice of a Text,” this unabridged edition of 28 of Spurgeons classroom discourses on homiletics overflows with practical wisdom, discerning wit, and sage advice. Covering the call, open-air preaching, ordinary conversations, using illustrations, and conduct outside the church, Spurgeons words are as rich and nourishing for pastors and students today as they were more than a century ago.

CHAPTERS INCLUDE

    • The Ministers Self-Watch
    • Our Public Prayer
    • On Spiritualizing
    • The Blind Eye and the Deaf Ear
    • On Conversion as Our Aim
    • The Sciences as Sources of Illustration

An excellent and useful gift for pastors and seminary students, church history enthusiasts, and even collectors and readers of classic Victorian literature.

Originally posted 2011-12-02 01:00:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

10 Ways To Better Lead As A Pastor

Most pastors want to be a better leader. For me, it has become an obsession or sorts. I want to be the BEST pastor I can be. If I am to be a sharper tool in God’s omnipotent hand, then I must allow my Lord to whet the edge of my leadership ability. Ultimately, it is God who makes the leader out of the pastor, but I want to do all that is humanly possible to be in the place for God to make the most out of me.

In the never ending quest for becoming a better leader one will find a plethora of so-called experts on the subject. Not one week goes by that I do not see an advertisement on my Facebook account trying to get me to go to some conference or buy some book on leadership. In spite of the large quantity of materials on the issue of being a better leader, it really comes down to a few simple things: (1) A teachable spirit; (2) Submission to the Holy Spirit; (3) A little bit of common sense.

(1 Timothy 4:121 Timothy 4:12
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.  

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) “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (KJV)

Listed below are 10 suggestions for how to become a better leader as a pastor. May God use each of these to be  a blessing to you!

#1 – Great “leadership” starts with great “followship”. 

Follow the Lord, follow your pastor, and follow godly men!

#2 – SEEK to be the leader God wants YOU to be.

Don’t worry about being anything but what God desires you to be. Sometimes influential people have great plans for us, but not what God wants for us! Know the difference!

#3 – Be yourself.

God made you unique… so be unique! It can be one of your greatest Allies!

#4 – Don’t ask of others what you would not readily perform yourself.

There should never be a task “beneath” you. No matter how important you think yourself to be or how others think you to be, you are still a good candidate to clean the toilet bowl!

#5 – Seek balance in your leadership.

Balance is the key to a successful ministry. Don’t be going to extremes all the time. Find out which way God is going and go with Him.

#6 – Don’t exploit the mistakes and sins of others for personal gain and promotion.

The unfortunate blunders and circumstances that people get themselves into are not necessarily open range for you and I to graze upon. Some things are meant for us to see and learn from, not for the rest of the country to know about!

#7 – Lead, don’t manipulate, drag and force.

Lead by example! Jesus would be the greatest picture of this. If you will lead, then people will follow! Let God do this work!

#8 – Lead with confidence balanced by meekness and humbleness.

Know who you are, why you are here, where you are going, and how to get there, and you will be a good prospect for leadership!

#9 – Emulate the positive aspects of other great leaders.

Every man is our teacher, so watch and listen!

#10 – Embrace difficulties, trials, and persecutions as CHALLENGES not problems.

Be solution oriented, not problem oriented. There is a difference and happy is the man who understands this!

Conclusion

There is no claim being made in this post that we have cornered the market on what it takes to be a great leader. The suggestions above have been very practical and helpful to our ministry. May they help you to become the great leader God desires you to be!

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18450: Spiritual Leadership: Moving People On to God"s Agenda Spiritual Leadership: Moving People On to God’s Agenda

By Henry & Richard Blackaby / B & H Publishing Group

Henry and Richard Blackaby are “concerned that many Christian leaders are reading secular books and are applying their teachings uncritically, “so they wrote Spiritual Leadership to help Christian leaders in business, politics and the pastorate develop the qualities of spiritual leadership. Spiritual Leadership will help you understand God’s design for leadership and will enable you to lead God’s people towards the fulfillment of His purposes. Let the Blackaby’s teach you the biblically based principles that will enable you to lead in the 21st century.

Originally posted 2011-01-17 00:01:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Questions For Pastors When Being Forced Out

Hurricane_off_FloridaImage via Wikipedia

I have not read any statistics on this lately, but I am sure that a vast majority, upwards of 90%, of pastors have faced the situation of being forced out of the church in which they pastor. It is never a pretty picture, and usually ends in a bad way. Why does this happen? Should a pastor ever leave? Though these questions seem to be easily answered, it is not so simple when you are in the middle of the hurricane fighting to strengthen the things that remain!

Sometimes you feel that nobody cares about you. Having faced a form of this on a couple of occasions, I know exactly how it feels when the people that you love, pray for, help, and would die for, want to see you leave. It is also quite amazing how a pastor is treated by his fellow preachers when he does leave. It seems that when a pastor shares all of the gory details, making himself look good, that pastors are quick to get behind him. However, when a pastor tries to keep things “hush hush”, somehow he is always the problem; obviously hiding something. The truth of the matter is that neither scenario is 100% accurate.

Listed below are some questions that a pastor should ask himself when he feels that he is being forced out!

#1 – Pastor, Are You Digging The Hole Yourself?

  • Many times, pastors are the ones who are digging the hole in which they find themselves.
  • Look around and see if there are others in the hole with you!

#2 – Pastor, Are You Doing Right?

  • Sometimes, as pastors, we forget that we are capable of being the problem.
  • Before we dogmatically place blame upon certain members of the congregation, let us be sure that we are not guilty of some sin; public or private!
  • Like God did with King Saul, He might be allowing trouble to come our way to chasten us!

#3 – Pastor, Are You Seeking God’s Glory Or Your Own?

  • Being a glory hound will bring a church split in a hurry.
  • Your agenda, reputation, and will is not what is most important, no matter how spiritual you make think they are.
  • Pride in our own lives can be subtle and hard to detect.

#4 – Pastor, Are You Falling On The Wrong Sword?

  • Sometimes the issues (SURFACE ISSUE) which precipitate the forcing out of a pastor are complicated, but they can be rightly discerned.
  • Is the issue you are dieing over worth it?

#5 – Pastor, Are You Walking With God?

  • Being in the center of God’s will is what is most important!
  • Contrary to popular opinion, it is sometimes the will of God to clear off a spot and do like Moses and Joshua… “Who is on the LORD’s side” – “Choose you this day”
  • No matter how bleak things might seem, knowing for certain, the will of God brings comfort!

#6 – Pastor, Are You In Consultation With Your Pastor Or Another Objective Brother?

  • When in a difficult situation like is being described in this post, one needs help from their pastor.
  • War should not be waged alone, and it should not be waged by twins either. Don’t surround yourself with people who you know to be 100% agreeable with you.
  • A fresh pair of eyes can make the difference between victory and disaster!

#7 – Pastor, Are You Mistaking The Actions Of A Few For The Consensus Of The Majority?

  • When hurt and troubled, the giants seem to be in the majority!
  • No matter how much venom is being spewed at you, take the high road and remember that not everyone is against you!

#8 – Pastor, Are You Looking At The Bigger Picture?

  • The problem you face, when being forced out, is much bigger than you and your family!
  • As hard as it is on family and friends, keep the big picture in mind!
  • There will be another brother to follow you if you do, in fact, leave the church. Please try to avoid a scorched earth policy… for his sake!

#9 – Pastor, Are You Wanting To Leave In The First Place?

  • Are you just looking for an exit ramp!
  • If you are looking for any excuse to leave, then leave and keep your mouth shut!

#10 – Pastor, Are You Willing To Admit Possible Mistakes And Work Things Out?

  • It could be that the whole reason you feel pressure to leave is from a mistake on your part.
  • Regardless of the actions taken by others, try your best to admit your mistakes, bear the consequences and move on WITH the congregation.

Conclusion

Leaving a church voluntarily or by force of opinion/vote, is never easy. In the best of circumstances, when a pastor leaves a congregation, it is difficult to move forward. Often, people are caught in the middle and never recover fully from the unfortunate course of events. Assuredly, if a pastor considers the aforementioned questions, then he possibly can make a better decision about whether or not to leave the church he dearly loves.

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Would you consider purchasing…

482279: Spiritual Leadership: A Commitment to Excellence for Every Believer Spiritual Leadership: A Commitment to Excellence for Every Believer

By J. Oswald Sanders / Moody Publishers

Charles Colson called it “the best book on Christian leadership I’ve read.” Discover why this timeless classic continues to equip tomorrow’s ministers—and challenges today’s shepherds—toward greater effectiveness! Revised and updated, Sanders’s hard-hitting study explores the essential qualities of a godly leader—and offers sterling examples from Scripture and Christian history. Includes study guide.
In these pages, J. Oswald Sanders presents the key principles of leadership in both the temporal and spiritual realms, illustrating his points with examples from Scriptures and the biographies of emenent men of God.

Originally posted 2010-12-08 11:36:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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