What’s the hardest part about pastoring? At this stage the hardest thing I have to do is manage my time properly. I am under a deadline every single week. I have to spend time with people. I have to spend time taking care of issues. Phone calls. Walk-ins. Visitations. Hospitals. Funerals. Weddings. Emergencies. Complaining church members. Appointments. It all adds up. It goes with the job. What happens on Sunday is only the tip of the iceberg. What people see is a one-hour event, but behind the one-hour event are hours & days of study and preparation linked with deep involvement in people’s lives.
How many books do you read? About 8-to-12 a year.
How do you prepare messages? How long does it take you to prepare one sermon? First of all I am acquainted with the Bible. That’s the most important thing. The Bible speaks to me even when I’m not reading it because my mind filled up with it. As I mediate on the scriptures I get my sense of direction about what to teach the congregation of PCC.
I like preaching through a book of the Bible or large portions of scripture best. It benefits both me and the congregation of PCC in many ways. I also try to balance my teaching equally from both the Old Testament and the New Testament. I go back and forth between the two.
I usually plan message series a few weeks in advance and start reading ahead. I will buy a couple of books related to the topic and consult a few commentaries on the text as well. This offers me additional insights and helps me from getting stale. When I first entered the ministry an older, wise preacher told me, "Sit at the feet of the masters and learn from them." I took his advice and still do it to this very day.
What is church discipline and do you believe in practicing it? Church discipline is when church leaders respond to some perceived wrongdoing – either in behavior or doctrine – by members in the local body. The response is intended to bring correction. Should the matter not be resolved, the member may be asked to leave. Some examples that may require church discipline would be troublemakers (gossip, division, sowing discord, etc), open defiant sin (committed by believers who know better), or by teaching doctrines contrary to the scripture or the church’s position. Yes, I believe in practicing it and we practice it at PCC. It is essential if you want to protect the flock and maintain the health of a church.