Rodney Mullins Online
Bringing a Spirit of Excellence to the Body of Christ

Nov
06
J. Lee Grady

Whether you voted for Obama or not, you need to pray for him. Here are 10 ways I plan to intercede for him regularly:

1. Pray for Obama’s protection. We already know that some weird, neo-Nazi fanatics in Tennessee plotted to kill Sen. Obama during his campaign. Let’s pray that racist hatred is not allowed to spread. Let’s cancel every assassin’s bullet in the name of Jesus. May civility triumph over bigotry.

2. Cover his wife and daughters in prayer. It is not easy to live under constant media scrutiny. Pray for Obama’s wife, Michelle, and their two daughters, Malia and Natasha, as they face invasive cameras, nosy reporters, maniacal fans and dangerous enemies. Obama is not only a politician but also a husband and a father.

3. Pray that Obama will govern with God’s wisdom. God rewarded Solomon because he asked for wisdom instead of wealth, long life or vengeance on his enemies (see 1 Kings 3:11-12). Pray that Obama will order his priorities like that. Despite Solomon’s tragic character flaws, his legacy was wisdom. We can ask God to give our president the same grace.

4. Ask God to keep our president humble. Many great American leaders became corrupt after they moved to Washington. The fatal attraction of fame, wealth and power proved irresistible. The only thing that will guard a man or woman from this pitfall is humility. May God deliver President Obama from the curse of pride.

5. Pray for wise and righteous advisers to surround him. Godly leaders cannot do their job alone. Even the best leaders have failed because they trusted the wrong people. Pray that Obama will not select his counselors based on party, race, pedigree or political cronyism but on godly character and proven wisdom. Pray also that he will not allow secret traitors into his inner circle.

6. Ask for the spirit of reconciliation. Some segments of our deeply divided society want nothing to do with Obama now that he has won the presidency. Even some Christians will be tempted to harbor resentment and nurse political grudges throughout his term in office. Pray that God will grant forgiveness and healing so that leaders on all political levels can have constructive dialogue.

7. Pray that Obama will adopt pro-life convictions. Many politicians have changed their views on key issues while in office. In the 1800s some leaders who favored slavery later denounced it. In the 1950s some who opposed racial integration later became champions of it. Even though Obama won approval from many voters because he sanctions abortion, God could soften and change his heart.

8. Bind all evil forces assigned to manipulate our president. The specter of Islamic terrorism looms over the United States, and dark forces are ready to infiltrate. Our only hope lies in prayer to the God who is able to expose and outwit the schemes of the wicked. This is truly a time for spiritual warfare, and intercessors must not come off the wall in this hour! Pray that no foreign government, terrorist organization or demonic principality will use Obama as a tool. We must stand strong against the spirit of antichrist that promotes dictatorship, persecution of Christians and hostility toward Israel.

9. Pray that Obama’s door will remain open to the church. The loudest voices of secular culture—from Bill Maher in Hollywood to atheists in academia—would be happy if religion were removed from public life. Pray that Obama, who claims to have a personal faith in Jesus Christ, will unapologetically welcome Christian leaders into his company and seek their counsel. And pray that false religious leaders (who claim to know Christ but deny His power) will not have his ear.

10. Pray that our nation will enjoy God’s peace and blessing during the Obama administration. The apostle Paul instructed early believers to pray for all in authority “so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Tim. 2:2, NASB). God’s will is for America to experience peace and prosperity so that we can continue to export the gospel to the nations. This must happen whether a Democrat or a Republican is in the White House. As we cry out for God’s mercy on our wayward nation, pray that He will allow us to be a light to the world as we finance global missions, feed and heal the world’s poor and share Christ’s love at home and abroad.

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Oct
21

 

The power of Influence

 

If leadership is influence and influence carries power for change then what type of leadership is needed to bring the changes needed for this culture? We live in what has been described as the post modern culture. If we are to be effective in reaching this very cynical but curious culture what are the priorities that must grab our focus and resources?

 

With the emergence of spiritual ambiguity and casual Christianity I am certain we face some of our greatest challenges. I hurt with a passion to speak into the community of which I minister. I ache with a desire to win this lost culture with the simple message of Christ. Some of the most difficult challenges I think we face are as follows…

 

  1. Limited resources. I think that as you journey through what is offered as far as discipleship and teaching we suffer from an outdated approach to raising up leaders.

  2. Limited vision. I see that there are many in the leadership roles of Christian circles are very small thinkers and have small visions.

  3. Limited mission. Most of the time I don’t even know the mission of the Christian church. When I do hear mission it is limited to the straps of tradition. Many times the mission becomes keeping the traditions holy.

  4. The wrong purpose. Why do we exists? I am confident that some if not many Christians have the wrong idea of why we are here.

 

I believe that our culture and the post modern thinkers are crying out for influence and integrity. I also believe that the church is in need of leaders that have the integrity of a God given mission. How will we know if leadership has a heart for a God thing? How will we know that the mission is at the center of the plan? It is simple…Where your heart is there is where your treasure will be.

 

We must have leaders that will put their influence and resources into the true mission of Christ.

 

Less politics more mission.

Less same ol same ol more mission.

Less props for the system and more mission.

Less position holders and more mission.

 

If leadership is influence and influence carries power then we need those with the influence to shape our church to use it to fulfill the great co-mission.

 

Oct
07

My understanding of Church Growth

 

The growth of a plant depends on three things—the seed, the soil, and the seasons.  If the seed is right and the soil is right and the season is right the church will grow. It does us no good to try and force growth in the wrong season or using the wrong seed. There is nothing more frustrating then to attempt to grow beyond the seeds that we have sown or to plant seeds in the wrong soil and wait for the harvest.

 

I have watched as churches boom with growth and wondered why some grow and some do not. I have prayed and asked God to give me an understanding of this process so that I do not spin my wheels in ministry frustration.

 

My goal has always been to grow a church and not just to keep moving until I get the church that I want. I have a passion to see, be a part of and perhaps lead a growing church. I now know that without a clear understanding of growth this job can make you nuts.

 

I have come to the conclusion that we must start out with the right seed. I believe the seed is what you plant into the hearts of others. It is the vision of the church. If you do not have a vision of clarity and don’t know where you are leading then no one will follow you there.

 

The second thing that we must know is the soil in which we plant the seed. I believe that the soil is the community in which you serve. Don’t try to grow a traditional church in a contemporary society. Never try to grow a multicultural church when your community is all one race. You will never be successful at an outreach to the homeless when there are no homeless in your soil. Belittling the wealthy in an effluent community is foolish. We must discern the community and then plant the right seed into the community that God has placed us. The right seed in the wrong soil leads to the death of the vision. The wrong seed into the right soil leads to ministry confusion and the death of growth.

 

The third thing is that we must get a grip on the season we are in. I believe one of the key responsibilities of the leader is to discern the season then speak to it. If no one is speaking to the season the there will be seeds planted at the wrong time. If you are in a harvest season and lead the church to plant you have wasted that seed. Planting a vision seed to soon will kill it. Planting the vision seed to late never gives it a chance to take root. There is also a season to allow the seed to germinate. Germination is the process whereby growth emerges from a period of dormancy. Too many times we call something dead just before it emerges to new life. I have seen people declare a ministry dead when in reality it was in a germination process.

 

Having the right seed and planting it in the right soil at the right time in the God ordained process for all growth. Maybe with a clear understanding of this process we can better enjoy what is happening in our particular season. I have learned to appreciate all the seasons of ministry but I never loose sight of where the seed is in the process.

Sep
24

 When I look at church ministry I find that many churches are missional and intentional in their approach. For instance, one church may be intentionally reaching the younger generation. With this approach they have dressed down and cranked up the music. Another church may be intentionally reaching toward a multicultural people group. With this approach they will use various types of music and programs and perhaps multiple services. Yet another church may be without even realizing it very intentionally reaching an older crowd or more traditional people group. They do this by using older style of music and traditoinal ceremonies.

 

I have heard and read a lot about the different type of missional and intentional churches for sometime. I think that all approaches to reaching the lost are good if they maintain their doctrinal purity. I believe however that God has given us at Eagles Nest a fresh approach to ministry. Well maybe it is not fresh to others but has indeed revolutionized our church.

 

We are very intentional but to a variety of approaches. Let me explain….

 

Reaching up through worship

Reaching in through teaching & training

Reaching around through fellowship

Reaching out through ministry

 

Our vision is illustrated by a house.

 

 

It all starts with the invitation…..The Front Door

Reaching up through worship – The Foyer

Reaching in through teaching and training – The living Room

Reaching around through Fellowship – The Kitchen

Reaching out through ministry – Back outside to invite others

 

With this approach to ministry we have an opportunity to be very missional and intentional in our approach and vision. What this means to me is that we are doing ministry on many different intentional levels while maintain the same vision and process to accomplish it. Here are some examples…

 

  1. We have intentionally reached out the Africans in our community. We began with two Africans and now we have 60 that have services concurrently with ours in a small sanctuary in the building. We paid all their bills and invested in their outreach. They now have a pastor and three deacons. They have a worship team and a kid’s ministry. Their approach to ministry is very traditoinal and is reaching many in their community.

 

    2. We have just started a second outreach to a new group of Africans. They are up to 12 in attendance and have a similar format as the other group.

    3. We have a ministry outreach to the young adults called CrossOver. You can information here www.eaglesnestfellowship.com/crossover  this is a very cutting edge approach to ministry with loud rock worship and short sermons. We are using video, drama and food to reach this age group. We hold this service once a month on Sunday nights. This service carries a strong warning that it is not for the faint of heart. This service reaches about 50 – 75 each month and growing. This is the service where I get to wear jeans (emergent).

 

 

 

     4. We also have what we call heritage Sundays. These Sundays celebrate the traditoinal songs and styles of worship. We have had a great success touching the lives of our older people and also teach our younger people where they came from and our heritage.

 

 

    5. During our Sunday morning service we will use contemporary worship with some hymns sprinkled in. We preach with video and power point along with some music and dance. We wave flags and people jump. We also have traditoinal altar calls.

 

In order to have all these different approaches and intentionality’s in ministry it has become vital that we always talk about our vision and the process. This means that every ministry has follow the same process to reaching people.

 

Our vision….. Reaching others with the message of Christ.

 

Kid’s vision – Reaching kids with the message of Christ.

Youth vision – Reaching youth with the message of Christ.

Women’s ministry – Reaching women with the message of Christ

Men’s Ministry – Reaching men with the message of Christ

 You can get the picture. Each new ministry must follow the same process and if it does not move people toward the vision process then we don’t do it.

 

Very simply put – We have a variety of approaches to reaching people but they all walk in step with our vision and process. This has taken 8 years to build into the thinking of our people but it is now a powerful way of reaching others.

 

We are now in a wonderful season of growth. 5-10 new people every week. We have scheduled and working on events that will bring people to the front door and then ministries are in place to move them through the process and back into the harvest.

 

I am preaching a four week series on Our Vision followed on October 19th by Friends Day. With our special guest speaker Bishop Bill Isaacs.

 

 

Wow, I love being a pastor in such great times.

 

 

 

 

Sep
16

I thought this was a great post and wanted to share it with my readers. Enjoy…

8 Ways to Encourage Your Pastor
Simple acts that feed a shepherd.
by Victor Parachin

Sometimes pastors are the loneliest people in the church. Often their hours are long, the pay minimal, the criticism considerable and constant. Feelings of disappointment, discouragement, and defeat may begin to plague the best of them.

Paul’s admonition to “serve one another in love” (Gal. 5:13 ) should encourage us to remember our shepherds. Here are eight ways to make their lives better.

1. Cut the criticism
Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers, creator and host of television’s “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” recently gave an address describing the time he was a student at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and attended a different church each Sunday in order to hear a variety of preachers.

One Sunday he was treated to “the most poorly crafted sermon (he) had ever heard.” But when he turned to the friend who had accompanied him, he found her in tears.

“It was exactly what I needed to hear,” she told Rogers.

“That’s when I realized,” he told his audience, “that the space between someone doing the best he or she can and someone in need is holy ground. The Holy Spirit had transformed that feeble sermon for her—and as it turned out, for me too.”

Unlike most workers who are evaluated once or twice a year, clergy are often critiqued weekly after each worship service. It’s not unusual to hear people say “the music was poor,” “the hymn selection was awful,” or “the sermon was boring.” We would do well to remember that most spiritual leaders work hard to make worship a unique celebration each week.

2. Pray regularly
Ask God to shower your pastor with an abundance of love, hope, joy, faith, peace, power, wisdom, and courage. Pray for your spiritual leader’s maturity and growth in the faith. As you pray keep in mind this wisdom from German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “If you treat a person as he is, he will stay as he is; but if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.”

3. Express appreciation in writing
A spoken compliment is always welcome, but a written one can be read over and over again for years. So, when you hear or see something you like from your minister, write an appreciative note.

4. Use your skills to bless
Are you proficient with computers? Help your pastor master the church’s new computer. Are you a mechanic? Offer to service the car free of charge or at a reduced fee.

One pastor I know recalls: “I was pastoring my first church—a small congregation with limited resources. While there, I developed a series of dental problems and could not afford treatment. What a joy it was when a dentist in the church offered to treat me for free. Correcting my dental problem involved nearly a dozen visits. He treated me carefully and cheerfully each time. I have thought of that dentist many times since then and the memories of his kindness continue to bless my life.”

5. Squelch gossip
If you hear a negative comment, respond with a positive one. If misinformation is being spread, correct it with the accurate information. Or, if people are gossiping, just walk away. Remember the Bible soundly condemns gossip and careless speech. James 1:26 says, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” And Psalm 34:13 reads, “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.”

6. Offer to meet a need
Some people make their spiritual leaders defensive and angry by saying, “You need to … ” That approach is seldom welcome and almost always counterproductive. If you see a need, approach your spiritual leader by saying, “I’d like to help by … ” If you see an area that can be improved, take responsibility for working on it.

Be an active participant in your church. Get involved by teaching a class, leading a workshop, singing in the choir, feeding the hungry. Ask your spiritual leader where and how you can employ your gifts.

7. Be openly responsive
Nothing so animates and excites a spiritual leader as seeing people respond to the preaching and teaching. Imagine the surprise and delight of a pastor in Virginia Beach, Virginia, who, when greeting a visitor to his church, found she came because of the kindness of a church member who was her neighbor.

“I’m recently divorced, a single parent and new to this community,” she told the pastor. “To keep up with rent and provide for my three children, I must work two jobs. That leaves me very little time for yard work. I was relieved when the weeds didn’t overrun my yard as I had feared they might. However, when I made an unscheduled trip home in the middle of my workday, I discovered the reason why the weeds had not taken over my yard.

“My 86-year-old neighbor—a member of your church—was on his hands and knees pulling my weeds. I barely knew this man and he was embarrassed to be caught in this anonymous act of kindness. He explained that he heard you preach a sermon on the importance of living a life of compassion and kindness and decided to put that sermon into practice by weeding my lawn.”

One pastor’s heart filled with joy when a group of women in Washington, D.C., responded to a sermon preached from the words of Jesus—”Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matt. 7:1). After hearing the sermon, the women decided to give a baby shower for the young woman who provided childcare while they met for Bible study. She was unmarried, close to going on welfare, and without support from her family or the father-to-be. The young woman was moved to tears by the surprise baby shower.

Later, the women explained to the pastor, “Your sermon taught us that it’s possible to reach out to someone in need—in this case, an unwed mother—without judging or condoning the situation.”

8. Throw away the measuring stick
Don’t expect that your present spiritual leaders will do things the same way their predecessors did. Lay aside personal agendas and preferences. Instead, focus on how your leader is being used by God to do effective ministry now. By serving your shepherds, you will ensure that they will not only be encouraged but will feel appreciated and continue to minister with enthusiasm and energy.

A friend is someone who stays with you in the bad weather of life, guards you when you are off your guard, restrains your impetuosity, delights in your wholeness, forgives your failures, does not forsake you when others let you down.

The friendship of Jesus enables us to see others as he saw the apostles: flawed by good children of the Father.
   —Brennan Manning

Sep
05

Leading From The Middle

Takeaways from John Maxwells Book 360 Leader  

John Say’s “In all my years of leadership teaching and consulting, I have never observed an organization with too many leaders.” Organizations can never have enough! However, most companies narrow their vision to a limited number of leadership positions, and when hiring leaders, they think only in terms of filling the top spots.   Organizations rise and fall on the merit of their leadership-at every level. Successful organizations cannot afford to wait until someone gets “to the top” to start leading. They need 360° leaders now. Why? Because leaders generate value!   Over the years, a set of common myths has hindered leaders in the middle of an organization. On account of these myths, would-be leaders have failed to grasp the extent of their potential influence. In his edition of Leadership Wired, Maxwell identifies these myths and look at the qualities engendered by leaders who make an impact from the middle of the pack.   MYTHS ABOUT LEADING FROM THE MIDDLE    

The Position Myth – “I can’t lead if I am not at the top.”   If I had to identify the number one misconception people have about leadership, it would be the belief that leadership comes simply from having a position or title. When we conceptualize leadership in our minds, we tend to picture the names atop the organizational chart. When asked to name a leader, most of us would list presidents, CEO’s, or general managers. We erroneously think leadership is position, when in reality, leadership is influence.    

The Destination Myth – “When I get to the top, then I’ll learn to lead.”   Human nature exaggerates yesterday, overestimates tomorrow, and underestimates today. Leading today prepares a leader for more and greater responsibility tomorrow. If a leader doesn’t try out leadership skills and decision-making processes when the risks are low, they’re likely to get into trouble at higher levels when the cost of mistakes is higher and the exposure is greater.    

 The Influence Myth – “If I were on top, then people would automatically follow me.”   People who have no leadership experience tend to overemphasize the importance of a leadership title. A person may be appointed to a position, but he or she must earn the right to lead. The position doesn’t make the leader; the leader makes the position.    

The Inexperience Myth – “When I get to the top, I’ll be in control.”   A bold young leader may become impatient when eyeing areas for improvement within the organization: “If I were in charge, we wouldn’t have done this, and we would have done that. Things would be different around here if I were the boss.” The desire to improve and the self-confidence to make changes are admirable leadership qualities. However, without real-life experience, a young leader is likely to overestimate the amount of control held by leaders at the top. The higher you go-and the larger the organization-the more you realize the complex mix of variables that control the organization.    

The Freedom Myth – “When I get to the top, I’ll no longer be limited.”   Climbing the ranks of leadership does not earn the leader a ticket to freedom. Rights decrease and responsibilities grow as you ascend the corporate ladder. Leadership at the highest levels is accompanied by a daunting set of challenges.  

The Potential Myth – “I can’t reach my potential if I’m not the top leader.”   In reality, most people will never be the top leader in an organization. They will spend their careers somewhere in the middle. Strive to reach the top of your game, not the top of the organization.    

The All-or-Nothing Myth – “If I can’t get to the top, then I won’t try to lead.”   People who are motivated by advancement may be tempted to abandon their influence when they hit a barrier to a bigger promotion. These people look at an organization, recognize they will not be able to make it to the top, and give up. Their attitude is, “If I can’t be the captain of the team, then I’ll take my ball and go home.”       Defining Qualities of a 360° Leader   Adaptability – Quickly adjusts to change.   Leaders in the middle may not be the first to know, but they are often the ones in charge of implementation. Adaptable managers in the middle are willing to embrace a change operationally even if they are not yet ready to do so emotionally.     Discernment – Understands the real issues.   Good leaders cut through the clutter to see the real issues. A smart person believes only half of what he hears, but a truly smart person knows which half to believe.     Security – Finds identity in self, not position.   Effective 360° leaders are secure enough in who they are to not worry about where they are. Instead of focusing on reaching a position, they focus on reaching their potential.     Service – Gains fulfillment in serving everyone.   A servant leader serves the mission and leads by serving those on mission with him or her. The true measure of leaders is not the number of people who serve them but the number of people they serve.     Resourcefulness – Finds creative ways to make things happen.   Creativity is the joy of not knowing it all. We seldom, if ever, have all the answers, but we always have the imagination to create solutions to our problems.     Maturity – Puts the team before self. Nobody who possesses an unrelenting me-first attitude is able to develop much influence with others. A mature leader sees beyond his or her personal vantage point and has the courage to make sacrifices which advance the team.     Communication – Links to all levels of the organization. We often think of communication in organizations as being primarily top-down. Leaders at the top cast vision, set direction, reward progress, etc. However, good communication is a 360-degree proposition. In fact, oftentimes the most critical communication comes from leaders identifying problems or solutions at the ground level and sending them up the chain of command.  

“Every position holder is a leader, If you influence for the good or the bad you are still a leader.” – Rodney Mullins  

 

 

Aug
26

 

After seeing ministers marriages fall apart I begin to think about how important we must make marriage in the ministry. I believe the most valuable relationship in my ministry is not what overseer can give the best move or what person can pay the most tithe but the person I go home with everyday.

I see a sad trend in Christianity that will no doubt have a very negative impact on the body of Christ. That trend is DIVORCE.

 

I will not be looking at this subject from a theological point but from a very practical point. When we become a leader we become the highest level of spiritual influence in peoples lives. We become role models in every area of those that we lead. Young couples watch the way we speak to our wives and how they treat us in response. They watch to see genuine love and mutual respect. They look for displays of affection and open expressions of romance. Sadly however, many in the ministry become the worst examples of marriage.

 

I believe that it is a sin against the future of the church for any minister to spend more time with the church than his wife. I believe that the first relationship that needs care is the marriage. I am heartbroken as I watch ministers ignore the needs of their wives and reject their value in the ministry. Some men threat their wives as if they are just there to make them look go and help them achieve their personal success.

 

I have chosen to walk in the highest level of accountability to my wife. She is my highest priority in life and ministry. She is my best friend and most reliable confidant. My greatest and highest level of spirituality is when we are celebrating our marriage through intimacy. I see no place in the life of a minister to place his wife behind the needs of the church or it’s people.

 

I heard of a pastor that left his anniversary dinner to tend to one of his members. It was not a death or an extreme emergency but a need to be stroked and babied. I wonder what this action said to his wife?

 

I think men put ministry before their wives for several reasons but some of the ones that I see are as follows…

 

  1. Pride – They think it cannot happen without them. You always loose when you get to this level.

  2. Insecurity – They think the members will think less of them if they are not always available.

  3. Un-biblical views – They have a very wrong view of what a pastor does or should do.

  4. The emotional stroke – They really get a certain high when people need them.

  5. Problems at home – They won’t deal with issues at home so they fill the void with ministry.

     

I truly believe that the enemy has targeted the marriage and the home of the ministers. I also think we have justified divorce and made it much to easy in the life of ministers. I have always let my people know that my wife and family are first in my life. I also let them know that date night is to never be messed with. When my wife and I are spending time together we are not available to others. She is God’s gift to me and my ministry and if I do not nourish my relationship with her I am not fit for ministry elsewhere.

 

This reminds me of the man who goes through medical school for years being supported from his wife then after getting his practice he no longer needs her. He leaves her for a younger woman that fills some professional need for him. This is the lowest form of abuse and should never be found in the ministry.

 

Years ago a ministers wife told me she was a victim of the ministry. When I asked her to explain herself she told a horrible story of loneliness and emotional drain. She said she felt raped by the church and cheated by her husband. She said he was always preoccupied by the church and it’s demands. She said church boards had no respect for her time with her husband. She relented that he will even leave her while making love to minister to a church family. She was broken and in great despair. Later when speaking to her husband about this matter he said there was nothing he could do about it he was “Just doing what God called him to do”. This story has a very sad ending. He left her after he began an affair with his secretary and she walked away from God.

 

I challenge every minister and Christian man to protect your relationship with your wife. Never ever put others before her. Always publicly affirm her and protect her. Train and teach your leaders that your primary role is a husband. Let her know as often as possible that she is the love of your life. Be very accountable to her and attentive ti her needs. Don’t ever simply use her as a mother and bed partner. Flirt with her. Dance with her. Date her. Flowers, Flowers and more flowers. Everyday spend time affirming her gifts and talents. Tell her she is sexy and sensual as a woman and not just a good pastors wife. Stop being pastor at home.

 

I ask my wife often how I am doing as a husband. I often ask her if there is anything else I can do to make her life a blessing. I ask her to hold me accountable in my relationship with others. I personally hold my time with her a high priority. I teach and train others to do the work of the ministry so that I am not preoccupied when I am with her.

 

I have a hard and fast rule. Don’t call me at home in the evening if it can wait until the next day. The evenings are my time with my family and I appreciate the church’s understanding. If they don’t like it they can build a bridge and get over it.

 

God bless our homes and marriages in America. God help our men to love and respect their wives. God bless the women that support us and love us despite our humanities.

Aug
20

In my sisters battle with Cancer I have learned these thruths…

Cancer is limited …

It cannot cripple love,
It cannot shatter hope,
It cannot corrode faith,
It cannot eat away peace,
It cannot destroy confidence,
It cannot shut out memories
It cannot silence courage,
It cannot invade the soul,
It cannot reduce eternal life,
It cannot quench the spirit,
It cannot lessen the power
of the Resurrection.

Jul
23

                                                  

Near Sighted Ministry

 

Just a few years ago I needed to pick up a new pair of contacts and eye glasses when a thought hit me…Maybe I should get that eye surgery that eliminates the need for glasses. After some thought and a look at my finances I decided that it would be a good thing that could save me money in the long haul.

 

The day had arrived and I was nervous because I don’t like anything around my eyes. To my surprise about three minutes later both eyes were seeing perfect. I had perfect vision. The power of perfect vision is unending.

 

The doctors had warned me that after the surgery I would be rushed into age related farsightedness. I would have to get reading glasses sooner than expected. I bought a $5.00 pair at Wal-Mart and I am on my way.

 

I learned real fast that far sighted people can see distant objects clearly but struggle with objects close up. Today during my devotions I had to grab those $5.00 pair of reading glasses to enjoy my reading without strain. After going through this visual acuity I realized that this is exactly where we can go in our Christian walk.

 

Many times I re-evaluate my vision for our local church and my personal ministry. I take the time to teach and then lead a pursuit toward that vision. I am a man with a very clear vision but the older I get the more I realize that I suffer from farsightedness.

 

I can see clearly at times where God wants to take me and wants me to lead others. I can describe in great detail what the future looks like. The problem I have is that sometimes while seeing the future in unbelievable detail I see the present with strain and it appears fuzzy.

 

Our denomination has many of us looking for a brighter future. We are looking for financial integrity and a stronger missional emphasis. We are looking for the local vision to become paramount to the future of the larger church. We are looking for a paradigm shift that brings integrity back to the pastor and hope back to his members.

 

We have been through some type of spiritual eye surgery that has allowed us to see our future clearly if change comes and what it could be if change does not come. We have 20/20 vision for the first time in years. We are even at times able to see clearly things we wish we had never viewed. We now know how things are and the “fuzzy” has been lifted to reveal the real future.

 

The reality of this new vision in our denomination may have resulted in an early onset of farsightedness. We now may be able to see clearly the future and today maybe a blur.

 

I have a great local ministry opportunity and our vision is clearer today than ever. The future looks bright and attainable. I can describe with revelation and clarity. The problem however is that I am struggling to see up close.

Could it be that is where we are as a denomination? Could we be seeing our future clearly but today is very blurry? Fear and mistrust has blinded many of us to the fact that we still have today to make a difference in our communities. We still have today to love on a homeless person and clothe a child for school. We still have today to wipe the tears from a hurting face and pick up someone that has fallen. We still have this moment to speak kindness into the heart of someone that is broken. We have this very second to say I love you to our family and friends.

 

Many times in my struggle to see far away I trip over what is close. Sometimes in my desire to look down the road I miss the wonder of that right in front of my face. Sometimes in my desire to prepare for the future I loose appreciation of the present.

 

Lord, help me to see the future with clarity but help me not to miss what is right in front of me. Help our denomination to come our of the surgical process of the General Assembly with a clear vision but help us also see what  each day holds for us.  

 

I fixed my problem with a $5.00 pair of reading glasses from Wal-Mart; maybe our answer is that simple.

Jul
11

For many years I held ill feelings toward a Bishop that I thought hurt me. Not long ago while praying God spoke to my heart and rebuked me for my ill feelings that had become bitterness. I felt if I was to ever see revival in my personal life I would have to make things right. My heart was broken as I wrote the following email to a former Bishop and then I was healed and released when I read his return email. I left his name out of the email because I respect him and would never want to anything to harm him. I will say that God has given me a real love and respect for this man and I pray for him often and the success of his ministry in the COG.

Please read and see the power of forgiveness…..

                                          
 
 

Dear Bishop ,
 
I hope all is well with you, your family and ministry.
 
I wanted to touch base with because I am looking for revival in my personal life and church. I have prayed and prayed for God to release freshness in my ministry and preaching to no avail. I have searched my heart in a very sincere way to find the heart of God.
 
A few weeks ago I found myself before God and looking for an answer…The answer came.
 
God spoke to me very clearly and revealed that I have held a very strong ought against you for things that have happened in the past. He also revealed to me that if I was to ever have a fresh anointing that I would have to make it right with you in the area of forgiveness.
 
I went through the most difficult time in my life in the early years here in Columbus and often thought of leaving ministry. I did not realize how much of my pain I blamed on you until time in prayer over the issue. I realize now that you were doing what you thought was best in a very difficult situation. I have always tried to hold you in high esteem and not treat you with disrespect. I did not however let it go but allowed the pain to become bitterness.
 
Without going to deep into my feelings and emotions I will say that I am on the other side of that difficult time and our church is doing great. However I want more of God in my personal life and I am willing to do whatever it takes to see that happen.
 
I want to apologize and seek your forgiveness for holding this ought against you for so long. I truly believe that you are a good man and that God uses you in profound ways. I simply believe now that we were both thrust into a battle that neither one of us wanted at Rejoice.
 
Please forgive me for the ill feelings that I have harbored against you. I want so bad to be free from this in my heart. I have asked God to forgive me and I want you also to know how sorry I am.
 
I know that you are a very busy man but I hope that you can take the time to read this and say a prayer for Valerie and Myself as we move forward in ministry.
 
Blessings
 
Rodney
His Response

Dear Brother Mullins,
 
I just got home from our morning Camp Meeting service and opened your most gracious email.  To say the least, I was shocked and moved deeply in my spirit!  Surprisingly, some time ago I tried to send you an email via your web site for the exact same purpose; simply to clear the air, if there was any “old stuff” hanging around between us.  Obviously, you did not receive that email, but still responded in such a beautiful way to God’s prompting to your spirit!
 
Please let me say a BIG thank you for this contact. It took a lot of God in your heart to do this and I am simply overwhelmed by your actions! 
 
And for the record, if I could go back and redo, re-run, or live again that season we struggled through together, I pledge before you and God that many of the decisions that I felt forced to make, would have a different outcome.  I ask you and your family to forgive me for any and all that I did to cause you pain, sadness or disappointment.  I am truly sorry before you and God!
 
I pray God’s best over you and ask you to be free from any pain or bitterness from our dealings in the past.  You have my deepest respect and I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio.  If I can ever help you in any way, please contact me!  I love you my brother…
 
Blessings,
 
Bishop_________

 

There is indeed power in forgiveness