Don’t Perish in the Parish

November 13, 2008 at 1:16 pm 4 comments

“How to not perish in the parish.” That was the title of the message by Pastor Rick Warren from a special conference held at Saddleback Church this past year (May 20-22, 2008). Recently, we got to watch a DVD of this message at our monthly Davis pastors lunch and prayer time. Pastor Scott Wieking (First Baptist Church in Davis) shared this DVD with us pastors in the group: Jamie Crook & Dan Britts (University Covenant Church), Danny Yoon (Davis Korean Church), Philip Gee (Davis Chinese Christian Church), Exter Hardy (Pole Line Road Baptist Church), and John Richert (Discovery Christian Church). Each with different URL’s, different denominations, and different traditions, but common Lord & Savior, common visions, and common challenges along the way.

Over the years, we’ve been able to share, pray, and encourage one another as we try to make Christ known in this little town. I’m very blessed to not only have my mentoring pastor close by (Pastor Ed Kang of Gracepoint Fellowship Church) and so many other coworkers in the ministry, but this small group of local pastors has also been a blessing for me.

In the message, pastor Rick Warren preached on

2 Cor. 4:8-9, 16 Desert Road by Kit Ng
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. […] Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

from which he encouraged us to last in ministry by remembering:

  1. It’s all about God’s grace. Your value has to do with who’s you are more than who you are.
  2. Be authentic, be yourself. This means I am NOT Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, Andy Stanley, or any combination thereof. (Just in case you and I forget.)
  3. It’s not about you. It’s about God: God’s ministry, God’s reputation, God’s honor, God’s church, God first and last.
  4. Accept your human limitations. I am not a super-human-24/7/365-machine.
  5. Do everything out of love. And that means everything.
  6. Make time for daily renewal. As he put it, “Divert daily, withdraw weekly, abandon annually. “
  7. Live in light of eternity. Step back to see the proper perspective and the BIG picture.

Other “Rick Warren-isms” that I found helpful:

  • “Don’t give up; look up.”
  • “Some pastors are like bad photographs. They are overexposed and under developed.”
  • “You’ve got to outlast your critics.”
  • And he quoted Corrie Ten Boom: “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.”

Lord, help me to persevere in this calling to be Your faithful servant and thank you for surrounding me with such a great cloud of witnesses spurring me on to You!

Entry filed under: Leadership Lessons, Ministry Lessons. Tags: , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. MW  |  November 13, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Wow, I really liked Corrie Ten Boom’s quote since it relates to how I feel when I go into my soc class (feeling distressed and saddened by the problems of the world), depressed when I look within me to understand the things that are happening around me. Yet, when I look to Christ, I’m comforted, encouraged and yes…at rest.

  • 2. dan chiang  |  November 14, 2008 at 10:18 am

    thanks for your encouraging post Pastor Jonathan. I was thinking about 2 Cor 4 today during DT, due to some difficulties in ministry I felt a bit overwhelmed with, and then I saw your post just now and shared it with my staff. thanks for sharing and for continuing to persevere with God’s work during tough times!

  • 3. kc  |  November 18, 2008 at 12:57 am

    hi pastor jonathan, thank you so much for the sharing. it’s really encouraging. makes me feel like I can last this ministry thing because Jesus is faithful. pressing on.

  • 4. an  |  November 18, 2008 at 10:13 am

    thanks for the reminder of the proper focus as it encourages me to continue running the race with hope in God, not in me.


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About Joong “Jonathan” Lee

This weblog contains thoughts & reflections as I pastor Gracepoint Austin Church (previously at Gracepoint Davis and Berkeley Churches) and engage in various ministries.


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