I'm all for a good education. I am currently studying at West Lenoir Baptist School of Ministry for my Master's degree. Extended learning is good and it is productive in the life of a pastor but when the paper on the wall gets more attention than does the pages in the Word of God we have missed it.
Seminaries are building men to stand in a pulpit and lead a congregation of people. The only problem is we are seeking the tangible without ever longing for the touch of God. Far too many men stand in the pulpit and deliver an alliterated sermon and feel they have fed God's people. God's people don't need a perfectly prepared sermon, they need God's man to receive God's message and deliver to them in power, authority, and compassion.
I Thessalonians 1:5... For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were amount you for your sakes.
(1)Notice the gospel came to them also not in word only, but in power; they not only heard the sound of it, but submitted to the power of it. It did not merely tickle the ear and please the fancy, not merely fill their heads with notions and amuse their minds for awhile, but it affected their hearts: a divine power went along with it for convincing their consciences and amending their lives. Note, By this we may know our election, if we not only speak of the things of God by rote as parrots, but feel the influence of these things in our hearts, mortifying our lusts, weaning us from the world, and raising us up to heavenly things.
(2.) It came in the Holy Ghost, that is, with the powerful energy of the divine Spirit. Note, Wherever the gospel comes in power, it is to be attributed to the operation of the Holy Ghost; and unless the Spirit of God accompany the word of God, to render it effectual by his power, it will be to us but as a dead letter; and the letter killeth, it is the Spirit that giveth life.
(3.) The gospel came to them in much assurance. Thus did they entertain it by the power of the Holy Ghost. They were fully convinced of the truth of it, so as not to be easily shaken in mind by objections and doubts; they were willing to leave all for Christ, and to venture their souls and everlasting condition upon the verity of the gospel revelation. The word was not to them, like the sentiments of some philosophers about matters of opinion and doubtful speculation, but the object of their faith and assurance. Their faith was the evidence of things not seen; and the Thessalonians thus knew what manner of men the apostle and his fellow-labourers were among them, and what they did for their sake, and with what good success.
One thing every Pastor loves to see is the spiritual growth of his people. We pray and ask God to touch and speak to the people. We preach and encourage the people to have an intimate relationship with Jesus and it is an overwhelming joy when growth is evident. However not everyone will grow. You see in order for a person to grow they will have to change and some people refuse change.
John Maxwell says "change is inevitable. Everybody has to deal with change in their lives. On the other hand GROWTH is OPTIONAL. You can choose to grow or to fight it. But know this: people unwilling to grow will never reach their full potential".
Are you fighting the change? Are you resisting growth? All change is not bad. Matthew was a tax collector before the Lord called him as a disciple and I was a lost sinner before the Lord saved me. I'm not afraid a change but what I am afraid of is WHAT is changing us.
Open the Word of God today and allow the power of His Word to change and mature your life.
I like to distinguish between a "goal mindset" and a "growth mindset." A church leader with a "goal mindset" has very tangible, numerical goals to achieve over a specific period of time. Nothing is wrong with clearly defined goals, but there's a better way of thinking that I call a "growth mindset." A growth mindset recognizes goals on the journey, but only as part of a process—not as the end results.
Leaders of successful churches are tempted to stop working on themselves, but when the pastor doesn't grow, the people don't grow. It's the Law of the Lid: a stagnant church leader stunts the growth of the church. I hope these thoughts on leadership will inspire you to maintain this “growth mindset,” for your personal benefit and for the benefit of those you lead.