February 15 News Letter

February 15, 2019 by  
Filed under Newsletter

Under The Elmtree

In This Edition


*  R U A Level Five (5) Leader

*  Book Review – Faithful Endurance

*  That Hideous Strength – Cultural Marxism

*  An App for IgniteUS

*  Pastoral Placement – FIT

* Tithe.ly for Ministry Support

*  Whats Ahead?

This Date in History-USS Maine Blows UP

 Pastoral unity Paul speaks of in this passage is Organic 


Level Five Leadership


What is a Level Five Leader? In this News Letter we are endeavoring to answer that question. Why does it matter? The short answer is this. There is a direct correlation between ministry effectiveness and the competence level of the primary leadership in a local church. Leadership is crucial in every organization and this is definitely true in the local church.


The definition of level five leadership is accomplished in five characteristics of such leaders. Here is Number #3 – Competence.


In this article we focus on Competence.


There exists formal research data that reveals that Incompetent Leadership is a major cause of decline in the Evangelical Church. In my work as a Church Consultant my observation and research confirm this to be true.


I have often been robustly criticized for including competence in the profile we developed for leaders. Well the opposite is incompetence. God does not delight in incompetence or a lack of excellence. He is worthy of the highest level of competence we can achieve. It is not something we manufacture. We depend completely upon Him and actively seek competence in the execution of ministry that will bring honor and glory to him.


When Solomon built the Temple, he sought and enlisted the finest craftsmen available. Paul struggled to always invest his efforts at maximum levels of dependence upon God and to maximize achievement. Competence is not self-sufficiency. On the contrary, true competence is a profound awareness of our total dependence upon God and inter-dependence on one another as we make up the Body of Christ We do well to serve with that mentality.


Ex. 36:1-2 Now Bezalel and Oholiab, and every skillful person in whom the LORD has put skill and understanding to know how to perform all the work in the construction of the sanctuary, shall  perform in accordance with all that the LORD has commanded.” Then Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every skillful person in whom the LORD had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him, to come to the work to perform it.


1 Kings 7:13-14  Now King Solomon sent and brought Hiram from Tyre. He was a widow’s son from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in bronze; and he was filled with wisdom and understanding and skill for doing any work in bronze. So he came to King Solomon and performed all his work.


I Cor. 9:24-27 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.


All TRUTH is God’s TRUTH. When there is incompetence in leadership roles in the church that church will not accomplish the Great Commission. That church will not effectively make disciples. I urge my readers to honestly assess those that bear the title ‘Leader’ in the church where you worship. Do they lead with competence? Competence is measured by effectively accomplishing purpose. If not, they need to confess, repent, and seek to acquire those skills that enable them to lead with competence.


Book Review – Faithful Endurance


Book Review – Hansen, Collin. and Robinson, Jeff Sr. Editors Faithful Endurance – The Joy of Shepherding People for a Lifetime. Wheaton IL: Crossway, 2019, 150 pp. $14.99 ISBN # – 978-1-4335-6265-5. Available April 30, 2019.


In 20 days, I will mark the fifty (50) year anniversary since I joined the ranks of Elder/Pastor Shepherds. In that time the Lord has graciously taken me to 27 countries around the globe training pastors and church leaders. As a pastor and church Consultant I have labored with hundreds of pastor/shepherds. I have prayed with them, wept with them, and sought to encourage them. I have listened to them and been immersed in their accounts of the joys and challenges of ministry. I could say not only did I care, but, that I understand, having walked some of the same paths. The names and places are different, the struggles in each circumstance are very similar.


God is God, people are people, and sin is sin. Sin produces dysfunction and conflict. Elder/Pastors deal with the consequences of this reality. As John Piper properly declared, ‘Brothers we are not Professionals’. However, we do encounter both the joys and hardships of pastoral ministry. This title will equip you to grapple with them. You will do so with integrity, dignity, and competence that honors the Lord.


This week (01/22/2019) I met with a young pastor from TN. His question to me was, ‘What advice would you give a young pastor?’ My response was, ‘Go to a church and remain there for life.’ Doing so will require the competence and wisdom to navigate the challenges that every ministry presents. In my mail that afternoon was this title. Providence.


Why is this issue important? It has been reported that 5 years after men enter the pastoral ministry, 50% of them leave. 10 years after they enter, 80% of them leave. Obviously knowing the issues and how to deal with them in a godly Christ-honoring manner is vital for longevity. This title provides equipping and insight into how to navigate these turbulent waters and endure. There is JOY in serving Jesus!


The contributors to this treasure chest of wisdom are some well-known and some not so well-known pastors. They are Tim Keller, D. A. Carson, Bryan Chapell, and Tom Ascol. Others are Dave Harvey, Mark McCullough, John Stark, and Scott Patty.


A key figure in the pantheon of evangelical pastors is John MacArthur. He recently completed 50 years at Grace Community Church in California. The following is his response to a question about threats to persevering in ministry.


Pastoring is really an effort to be the instrument of the Spirit of God in the sanctification of God’s people to see them conform to Christ. I often think about the fact that election is purely Gods divine purpose before time, justification is a divine act in a moment, and glorification is a divine act in a moment. And in the biography of every Christian’s life, sanctification is this long, drawn out process of conformity to Christ. And the instrument of that, of course, is the word of God and the Spirit of God through the means of the shepherding of God’s people. (pp. 135-136)


George Barna’s research reveals that the most fruitful years of pastoral ministry are years 5 through year 14.3. The average pastoral tenure is 3.5 years. This being the case, pastors seldom reach that period when ministry is most effective. The things that drive them out are covered in this title. There is also sound counsel as to how to stay for the long haul provided by those who exhibit a pattern of significant longevity.


I close with two exhortations. 1 – buy this book. 2. – From Jesus himself on the issue of longevity in pastoral ministry Luke 9:62: Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”


That Hideous Strength – Cultural Marxism



This title is timely, powerful, and presents a compelling profile of Cultural Marxism. You will learn how the tenets of that system have made inroads in the Evangelical Church. On pp. 61-72 the author provides a concise portrait of how the warp speed changes in the American Culture have been accomplished. You will be equipped for the struggle in this realm by purchasing and digesting the content of this title. I appeal for civility in exchanges on this issue.


Let it be clearly understood that our hope in the possibility of renewal is squarely grounded, not in our selves, not in history and the fact that it is happened before, but in the power of God demonstrated by the truth of the resurrection of Jesus. . . . This is therefore no time to hang our heads or hide our lights under any bushel for fear that we may be picked on for our refusals to fit in. We are to have no fear. We are to look up. We are to take strength from the fact that we can, because he can. (Os Guinness)


An App for IgniteUS

The Radio station that broadcast my radio programs has developed an APP for IgniteUS. The Beta Test began on January 15th. This APP will enable you to get to our web site and other beneficial resources with one click. There are numerous other features to make connecting with us simple and efficient. The features of this APP are basic and beneficial. There are  multiple Bible translations; ESV, NASB, etc.. Our News Letters are posted in chronological order. You may connect those on your friends list and offer them the option of connecting with IgniteUS. In the March 1st  News Letter we will provide the details for you to get this App. Many THANKS to Ron Mosley, Jr. and WKUL 92.1 FM here in Cullman for developing this ministry resource..


Pastoral Placement

Leadership is crucial. When a church is seeking a Lead Pastor there are multiple critical areas that must be considered. Tragically the traditional approach to this process has produced brief pastoral tenures (3 1/2 years is the current average) and less than robust effectiveness. It takes about five (5) years for a pastor to earn trust and the willingness of people to embrace the changes ministry requires. Research reveals that churches that ‘go it alone’ in the call process experience a 90-95% failure rate – the man they call is not a FIT! Yet, many persist in repeating the same failed process. A positive and wise trend is to seek the services of a proven Consultant and Process. IgniteUS provides such a service. Our goal is to guide the church to a man that fits the church and the church fits the man. We help churches face reality. We provide testimonials from those who have utilized our services. Contact us @ 800 472 3764 or info@igniteus.net.


**WATCH for a 9Marks article in the 9Marks Journal by Dr. David Schrock, (Calvinist Pastors and Non-Calvinist Churches: Candidating, Pastoring, and Moving On) that connects you with the FIT Process! Click on footnote #3 at the bottom of the article. FIT-edness was a key theological principle in the ministry of Jonathan Edwards.,


Ministry Support $$


We are asking each recipient of this Newsletter to give – $10 a month. These funds enable us to provide  Scholarships to Pastors & Churches.  Our process produces Leaders with Competence that God uses to bring effectiveness to ministry. Join our Support Team! Christ gets the Glory! 

People do not give to a ministry because you have needs. People give because they believe you meet needs and they want to be a significant part of meeting those needs.Leadership Development is crucial and needed.

Financial Support– There are two (2) places on our web site (www.igniteus.net) that make contributing to our ministry simple. Click on the Home Page button labeled DONATE or on the Banner Online Giving. Follow the prompts. The challenge for every 501 c-3 organization always includes fund raising. When the market crashed in 2008 IUS lost $2,000/month in support – a major factor in sustaining ministry. We are seeking an additional $2,000/month in on-going support for fiscal year 2019. This enables us to provide Scholarships for struggling churches to move from decline to effectively making disciples fully formed in the image of Christ in Character & Conduct. You can become a regular donor. THANKS to each one who gives! Appreciated!


Pod Cast – THRIVE


The title of the Pod Cast is THRIVE. That is our desire for every pastor and every local church. We want you to thrive in making disciples, and developing leaders, all of which is to Glorify Jesus Christ. There is a banner on our web site – – www.igniteus.net – – just click on that banner. This Pod Cast has the potential to reach 35,000 listeners. If you listen and find benefit in the content, encourage folks in your sphere of influence to listen as well, then contact us. THANKS. I want to hear from you; info@igniteus.net or 800 472 3764.


The Pod Cast are posted every Tuesday. The ministry of IgniteUS is focused on Leadership Development in the local church. Leadership Network recently completed a survey of hundreds of pastors. They were asked to identify the area in which they most needed assistance. Leadership Development was #1 in all but one category. These posts will inform, encourage, and equip leaders in the local church. Click on the banner on our home page labeled -Thrive.


The current series of posts are focused on Level Five (5) Leadership. Are you a Level Five Leader? Do you know why this matters?


Whats Ahead?


In the next two (2) News Letters I will finish the posts on Level Five (5) Leaders.


In the April 1st News Letter I will share an article I am producing on ‘What Needs to Change’ for the Evangelical Church to be effective in reaching lost people, seeing those that are redeemed transformed, and taking the Gospel to the Nations.





This Date in History

1898 -The U.S. battleship Maine blows up in Havana Harbor, killing 268 sailors and bringing hordes of Western cowboys and gunfighters rushing to enlist in the Spanish-American War.

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