Beginning Again…

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30

I have only God to thank
And Only God to praise
Beholding all before me
From ashes He has raised.

A prodigal, a wretch
I squandered life He gave
And as I die down in the ditch
He rescued from the Grave.

Undeserv-ed Grace
And overwhelming Favor
Made white as snow, and white as wool
Purged by Blood-My Savior’s.

Redeemed, Betrothed, Been given gifts
A Glory to Behold
Asked to Steward, to “Occupy”
To follow Christ The Bold.

Time goes by, days turn to years
Service becomes rote
Tired of walking on the waves
Longing for the Boat.

“Depart from me! A sinful man!
“Unworthy!” is my cry
Overcome again, For I see His hand
His miraculous supply.

A New Year springs up
A still small voice I hear
“He must increase, I must decrease.”
This is my aim this year.

Blind Spots And The Default Setting

I have blind spots.  I am always surprised to discover them.  I usually feel a great disappointment when they are revealed.  I wonder how long others have noticed my blind spots.  How long have my obvious shortcomings been clearly seen by others, and not seen by me?

My blind spots are usually revealed to me through circumstances that don’t go as well as they should have, or that have gone really badly.  Sometimes (not usually) the faithful comments of a friend bring them to light.  Sometimes they are discovered through the stinging barbs of an enemy.  Either way, it is good to finally see those blind spots.

In a parallel fashion, I have a default setting.  As a man, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a pastor, and a friend, there are certain things that I easily and regularly gravitate to.  I’ll just reference the good things at this point, and will do so without pointing them out in detail.  There are some good things that I regularly and easily do as a pastor.  They are not hard for me to do.  I don’t have to convince myself to do them.  I don’t have to remember to do them.  They come naturally, and part of the gifting that God has placed upon my life.

That being so, (the default setting), the other side of the default coin is that there are many things I don’t naturally do.  I forget to do them, they are unpleasant for me, they don’t come easy, and I will put them off as long as possible, if I am fortunate enough to even remember that they need to be done.

New trajectory of thought…

As a pastor, I have noticed that sometimes, when our churches need a change…when things are stagnant…when the people are unmotivated…when church life seems sleepy…that we as pastors will do more of what comes natural to us, and we will miss what we ought to be doing differently. We will end up doing more of the same, instead of a different thing that is needed.

The scholar will study more and determine to teach better than ever, when in reality, mobilizing saints might be what is needed.  The evangelist will decide that what is needed is a new harvest to bring excitement into the church, when in reality, the saints need some good Bible teaching.  The relational pastor seeks more relationships, instead of realizing that some administration would go a long way.  The type A guy comes in earlier and stays later, while not realizing that the people in his church would just love to have lunch with him.

We tend to not discover our blind spots easily, and when change is needed, we often resort to our default setting, instead of doing something new and different.

I agree that…

We ought to staff to our weaknesses.  We ought not to be too hard on ourselves about some of these things.  No one has every gift, and that is what the Body of Christ is all about.

THAT being so…

How can we as pastors discover our blind spots and avoid going to deeper into our default setting?  How can we avoid the ruts that the old corrupt nature falls into?  How can we seek to enrich our churches with whatever is needed, when in fact, we can’t supply all those needs on a personal level?

Rather than suggesting those answers…let’s hear from the collective. How have you guys made progress in these areas?  Let’s share our testimonies.


Enjoying His Grace, Extending His Glory

Pastor Miles DeBenedictis

Psalm 9:1-2
Enjoying His Grace, Extending His Glory




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