My most recent reading has been the “Life of Robert Murray M’Cheyne” by Andrew Bonar. This nearly 200 year old writing chronicles the life of one of my favorite preachers. M’Cheyne was a Scottish born minister who died weeks before his 30th birthday. I’m not quite done with the book yet so a review will come later. What I’m most interested in today was M’Cheyne’s deep concern for life change. One of the reasons I enjoy M’Cheyne’s teachings was his emphasis on living a life that honored God. M’Cheyne took time to create a bible reading plan that’s still in use today. If you want a copy, simply Google it. There’s any number of copies of it available in many different sizes.
M’Cheyne’s concern for holiness in his life struck a chord with me. I always strive to better myself in this area. As a pastor, I don’t think we can ever feel that we’ve “arrived”. As I read many different church planting blogs, I read about exciting outreaches, preparing for additional worship times, volunteers “knocking it out of the park”, the successes of video series like the “One Prayer” series, and the mundane, day-to-day stuff that makes up life. What I don’t read much about is how each of these church planters are being touched in their quiet times, if they have one at all. I’m not talking about lip-service quiet times where we stop at Starbucks, read our bible, look out the window pensively and then take off to the next thing. I’m talking about a devoted time of communion with the Lord of our lives and the master of our fate, both personally and professionally. I realize that any success I have as a planter comes not from my own creative genius but from the blessing of God who can take it all away in a heartbeat.
To the pastors who read this I ask: “What steps are you taking to improve in this area?” As we plan our days, fill out our day-planners, and monitor our task lists using the latest productivity fad, are we including in this time for personal renewal and life change? If not, how can we expect to see lives changes in our churches? Am I doing all I can, including improving myself, to help others see changes in their lives and their service to the Lord increase?
It’s something to think about.