In 30 Years How Will You Know?

A question worthy of consideration.

Senate confirmation hearing.

Senate confirmation hearing.

Senate confirmations hearings are not my typical prime time entertainment. I wasn’t really watching, but the hearings for President Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch was on. Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb) asked a question that was potentially one of the best questions I have ever heard at such a hearing.

“When you look back on your career, how will you know if you were a good judge?”

Gorsuch said he seeks that same kind of reflection from his students when he asks them to write their own obituary. It’s not about how large your bank account is, or how many cases you win, he said. It’s about how you treat people along the way. Gorsuch said he would like to be remembered as kind and mild in private life, and dignified and firm in public life (paragraph copied from abajournal.com).

It was a politically safe answer, but I doubt that it was what he would have told his children if they asked him the same question.

What about you? How would you answer the same question? Considering your career, your calling, your family, your service to your local church – in 30 years, how will you know if you did a good job?

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Who ultimately determines if you were successful or not? Is it history, co-workers, family, or your Creator?
  • What is your purpose? How have you grown toward fulfilling that purpose? What is the gap between where you are and where you could be?
  • To what degree should material gain factor in to your evaluation of success? To what degree should intangibles (respect, integrity, love) factor in?

This sort of question deserves more than a quick answer. Take some time, sit  back, pray, dream, contemplate – but do yourself a favor and answer the question. 

Biblical Leadership

Joshua is one of the most important yet least understood characters of the Old Testament. It is as if he is the Holy Spirit’s chosen vessel to communicate principles of leadership. From the first mention of his name to the last – practically every mention of Joshua’s name has a principle for successful leadership attached to it.

 

I used to have the idea that God really didn’t care about or desire my success, and any attempt to study or learn success principles must have vanity as the motivating factor, so God wouldn’t bless that. But I have discovered that God is actually EAGER to help you be successful so long as your heart has the right motivation –

 

 2 Chronicles 16:9 (ESV) 9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.

 

As a matter of fact the only time in all the Bible that God says, “I WILL MAKE YOU SUCCESSFUL IF YOU DO THIS” is in the book of Joshua. Now, it doesn’t take a genius to know that if God Himself gives you a principle and guarantees that if you live out this principle you will be successful – that’s something that really ought to have your attention.
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The Power of Attitude

 

In Numbers 13 we are tracking the story of Moses leading the children of Israel to the edge of the land God had promised Abraham and his descendants. God commanded Moses to send spies into the land to scope out the challenges that lay before them.

In Numbers 13 we see the report they brought back after 40 days of investigation?

 
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How Should Christian’s View the Old Testament Law?

The Law of God is radically important for you as a Christian – There are 220 references to the Law of Moses in the New Testament that’s almost as many as there are in the OT. It’s practically impossible to understand the NT unless you have some grasp of the Law.

 

Missionally – the Law is said to be written on heart of every person you come in contact with. The law is the Evangelist’s best friend. Last week when Mark Witt preached – I hope you recognized how frequently be mentioned the 10 commandments. Why? That is the birthplace of conviction.

 
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Freedom from Idols

Find more resources at www.zachterry.org

Pastor Zach Terry is driven by a desire help people achieve their maximum life through Jesus Christ. He is known for his ability to teach complex ideas in simple terms with practical implications for daily life.

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary selected him as the recipient of the Westminster John Knox Press Award for excellence in preaching and teaching the Christian scriptures. In 2016 he was honored as one of the Connect Faith’s, “Agents of Change”.

Pastor Zach is the author of, “Our Spiritual Battlefield” as well as a guest contributor for the Alabama Baptist Newspaper.

Since 2001 Zach has served as a Senior Pastor- first at the Lancaster Baptist Church in Central Kentucky, and currently at the Capshaw Baptist Church in North Alabama. Both churches experienced significant growth under his leadership.

A bent toward forward thinking motivates Pastor Zach to actively engage in a variety of social media platforms, which has taken his ministry to an audience far beyond his local impact. The Maximum Life Podcast can be heard around the world.

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You Preach Too Much

Repetition of simple truths is your most powerful asset

youdeservelove andyou willget it.Pastor – you preach too much. I do not mean that you preach too many weeks out of the year, or that you preach too long (although, those are probably true as well). You preach too much content – so do I, but I’m trying to do better

Consider the advantage of identifying a few mega thoughts and drawing them out of every text you preach. Imagine the long term impact of repeatedly showing your congregation the same truths over the course of years in new and creative ways each week.

As I near 20 years of preaching I’m beginning to see that the dynamics involved in steering a large group of people are very unique.

Practically every sermon I deliver will expand on one or more of these issues:

  1. God – I want to present a infinitely high view of each person of the Godhead (Father, Son and Spirit).
  2. Man – More and more I am seeing the need of explaining who mankind is, unpacking the implications of the fall, as well as the fact the are image bearers of God. Implications of gender are becoming more important. Clarity in regards to marriage, homosexuality, gender roles is needed more and more.
  3. Gospel
    • Micro Gospel – Show how the text helps us understand the work of Christ and how we should respond by faith.
    • Macro Gospel – That is to show the overarching Meta-Narrative of scripture from creation, the fall, Christ, and culmination (second coming).
  4. Pre-Evangelism – This would include apologetic work that sets the stage for the Gospel. For example, we spent five weeks last year delving into why we believe the bible. This could also include arguments for the existence of God from a philosophical or scientific perspective.
  5. Mission – Stirring the emotions and educating the mind of the congregation to engage them in mission both personally and corporately.
  6. Embodiment – Show how the truth of God’s word and work is fleshed out through our life, career, family, hobbies, etc.
  7. Church – What are the unique implications of the text for the local community of faith?

As I think through the last couple of years of preaching, practically every sermon I’ve preached has sought to move the congregation in a certain direction on each of those issues.

Is there anything you would add to that list? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

EXAMPLES of preaching by Zach Terry may be found on our YouTube channel.