Archive for November, 2007



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

This past week in staff meeting I shared some simple lessons from Acts 6:1-4; you know, the story about the first Deacons who were chosen to rectify the problem that arose over apparent favoritism that had arisen over care for some poor widows. Here are the lessons I shared:

1. Growth Always Results in Disputes. What worked well back then, doesn’t work anymore when we grow larger. The rank and file are the first people to notice these breakdowns. The Apostles weren’t doing anything wrong, they were just overwhelmed and had become inefficient. This is the inevitable price of growth!

2. Brothers will Murmur Against Brothers. Because we all tend to personalize problems, we seek to blame people, rather than help to identify and fix the problem. Murmuring leads to division (two visions), and was judged severely in the Old Testament. We should, rather, seek to identify the problem and help to heal it.

3. Leaders Deal with the Problems. Followers gripe and complain about the problems. Leaders, however, step up to the plate and try to alleviate the problem. These Apostles did not get defensive and justify their actions; they instead took immediate action to resolve the problem. They listened!

4. The Complainers Were Appointed to Solve the Problem. The Hellenist (Greek) converts murmured against the Hebrew converts. So each of the seven Deacons put forth and appointed by the Apostles had a Greek name. Who can better fix a problem than the one who sees it? If you’re going to complain about a problem in your church, you ought to volunteer to fix it.

5. Leaders Cannot Do Everything: So They Delegate. It is unfair to expect one pastor to do all the ministry in a growing church. A good leader will release ministry to competent parts of the body. The ultimate in spiritual pride is saying: Nobody can do this but me! The Apostles did not relinquish their responsibility, but they appointed others this specific task. Appointees must give account.

6. Leaders Commit to Prayer & the Word. There are so many things for a pastor to do, but prayer and ministering the Word are top priority. You can delegate everything else, but you cannot delegate these things and fulfill your calling. A good leader will build a team and release them, so that these priorities can be maximized.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I went to the county jail yesterday to visit a young lady incarcerated for selling drugs to an undercover officer.  I expected to deal with a con artist, someone who knew how to fool everyone else because she herself was fooled.  But I was surprised at her openness in admitting that she made bad choices and now had to make it right.

I asked her how she thought God felt about her right now.  In shame she said that He was probably mad at her right now.  That gave me an opportunity to talk about how God loves her unconditionally and that she was beating up on herself because she was using her own failure as the standard of forgiveness, rather than what Jesus did for her on the cross.  We prayed a prayer of rededication and I expect God to begin revealing Himself to her daily.

But, most of all, the experience taught me a valuable lesson on thanksgiving.  As I talked to her my mind went back to some of my own stupid and irresponsible choices I made years ago.  But for the grace of God, I would be the one sitting there in that cold jail cell.  I left the jail with a deeper appreciation of the Lord’s grace in my life.  That’s what I’m thankful for!

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People of Integrity

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

The story is told that just before his death, the Duke of Burgundy was presiding over the Cabinet Council of France.  A proposal was made that would violate an existing treaty but would secure important advantages for the country.  Many “good” reasons were offered to justify this action.  The Duke listened in silence.  When all had spoken, he closed the conference without giving approval.  Placing his hand on a copy of the original agreement, he said with firmness in his voice, “Gentlemen, we have a treaty!”

With all the good happening in America today, the one missing element is integrity.  We tend not to trust people because there is such a lack of integrity in others.  We ought to expect that in non-Christians, but we ought to expect integrity in believers.  Is the only reason we do the “right” thing because there is a law?  Or do we do the right thing because God is watching?

I was always instructed that ministers should never enter a business agreement with members of their church, because, if there was a disagreement with the contractor, they’ll leave the church.  But, when Anita and I built a new house several years ago, we contracted with people we trusted, mostly Christian contractors from our church, but some that attended other churches.  Because we all had common interests, integrity was an issue with everyone involved.  From then on, I always try to do my business with people of integrity.