Archives For Ronnie Floyd

Dear Pastors,

I am one of you. For 39 years I have served as a pastor of a local church. The last 29 of these years I have served the same church. Even though I began when I was very young, God was and has been faithful to protect me all the way.

In the past few weeks, I have felt compelled to write you this letter. These are words that any local church pastor can identify with in life and ministry. Please consider these words, place them before the Lord, and then apply as needed or as He desires.

First, put Jesus first in your day. Start your day early with God and if early is not your deal, at least start your day with God first. Yes, first things first. If we do not begin our day with Jesus, then we forfeit the privilege to lead His people. Please begin your day with God; otherwise, defeat in life and ministry will become normal for you.

Second, renew your belief in the power of God. He can do anything, anytime, anywhere with anyone. He can do this with you and through your church. Refuse…

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It was the late 1980s. Our church was buzzing and growing. God was moving powerfully. We had just moved into a new Worship Center and all of a sudden, transition was inevitable. While our numbers gained greatly, we also saw a few individuals and families depart. As any pastor would be, I was troubled.

This Was an Important Moment for Me

God had raised up a man to walk with me through those days of transition. His name was Ron Lewis. He joined me on the journey to help the church as we advanced toward reaching our region with the Gospel, and he listened to me share about a few individuals and families who had departed our church. As a pastor, you know what it is like: we do not want to lose anyone and while God is bestowing our church with countless blessings, Satan sidetracks us with one little issue.

I will never forget what Ron Lewis told me that day.

Ronnie, Never Let Anyone Outside of Your Circle of Love

Sitting in a Bonanza restaurant, we were working through how we could sustain momentum in our church. Ron looked at me and said, “Ronnie, never…

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Twenty-nine years ago this week, following God’s call to our lives, my very young family and I moved to Northwest Arkansas. I would have never imagined that one day I would be writing about my pastoral longevity here or anywhere else.

This past Sunday, I was preaching at the Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida, honoring my dear friend, Dr. Ted Traylor for his twenty-five years of pastoral longevity there. Over dinner, he and Liz remarked to us how fast the years have gone.

Observing and Reflecting

While observing the Traylors this past weekend and hearing them reflect over their ministry, I was reminded of the power of reflection. Obviously, pastors who stay anywhere long enough will reflect on their own journey toward longevity.

Some pastors stay long effectively, while others stay enduringly. The former is much greater than the latter.

3 Secrets to Pastoral Longevity

In my own reflection upon life and ministry, I want to share three secrets to pastoral longevity:

1. Living with the conviction of God’s calling

Staying somewhere a long time can be extremely difficult for a pastor and his family. There are moments when leaving would be much easier than staying. There…

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There continues to be a deep need for a spiritual revival in our churches today. I am often asked how we experience such a revival. My answer continues to be that until we make a decision to deal honestly with God’s questions about full allegiance to Him, there will be little or no prospect of a revival in our hearts, no stirring of the Spirit in our churches, and no awakening in our land. True revival is nothing less or more than the manifest presence of God in our lives. It is when Jesus is free to be who He wants to be in, through, and around us. A surrendered pastor and a surrendered church will experience spiritual revival.

What Opens the Heart Fully to God

One of the greatest keys to get us to this point is prayer and fasting. It opens the heart to God fully. Revival comes when we give ourselves to God completely. Revival is the manifest presence of God in our lives. Until the church of Jesus Christ regains its spiritual power, recaptures its spiritual passion, is willing to pay the price, and begins to demonstrate an unfailing love…

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Revitalizing a church is an ongoing process and experience, beginning with the pastor and continuing with the church. Without pastor revitalization, there will be no church revitalization. Both pastor and church are in need of continual revitalization.

We never arrive. Church revitalization is about the church becoming stronger and healthier. It is about penetrating your community and beyond with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Crisis is Real

The vast majority of the 51,094 churches and congregations that comprise our Southern Baptist Convention are in need of revitalization. In 2013, LifeWay Research released a graphic that illustrated that no less than seventy-four percent of our churches are either plateaued or declining.

In many ways, all of our churches are in need of ongoing revitalization. In today’s world of endless change, it is inescapable. We have to experience seasons that involve brutal honesty, leading us to re-create our churches and restore the hope that God can use our churches to reach our community.

9 Strategic Principles for Revitalizing Your Church

1: CATCH the Power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ      

Catching the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is our ONLY hope for revitalizing…

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You will never be better than the people you meet, the books you read, and the places you go. Many years ago, I heard this statement and have never forgotten it.

In My Journey

In my life journey, especially over these past months, I have often thought of this statement. You know, it really is true. I believe it is especially true for pastors.

Oftentimes, we can get in a rut. We live in our comfort zones, reading the same old things, seeing the same people again and again, and basically revisiting the same places. The result is often a familiarity that results in an unhealthy satisfaction. It can lead to meaningless redundancy, ministry boredom, and even an unhealthy status emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

I Am Convinced

I am convinced that I become more effective personally and as a leader when I am regularly meeting new people that are challenging me to be better in some area. I am also convinced that I become better with the things I read or listen to, for example, via podcast. I am convinced that the places I travel open endless relationships and fresh perspectives that inspire me to reach…

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Every pastor I know is faced with numerous decisions every day. Some of those decisions can impact people greatly. While there are a plethora of decisions a pastor can make daily, what is the most important?

The Most Important Decision

The most important decision a pastor can make daily is to begin his day with God. When we begin our day with God, it changes the way we see things the rest of the day. It changes our attitude and our actions. It helps us navigate through the challenges of life and ministry.

3 Actions to Take Daily

While some who are reading this have yawned already, I continue to stand amazed at how many pastors do not begin their day with God. Their inconsistency in this discipline is their consistency.

No wonder pulpits are vacant of anointed men of God, the people in the pews are yearning for a Word from God, and the church is lacking the fire of God. As pastors, we must rekindle or fan into flame the gift of God that is in us according to 2 Timothy 1:6.

I want to highlight three actions that will fan the flame of…

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Work ToolsChurch members and the American public have various perceptions about ministers. Some believe that ministers are not hard workers. Those of us who serve in local churches hear people say: “You guys only work one day a week!”

Ministers have challenging jobs. In many ways, ministers are never truly away from the office. Technology has only raised the intensity of their never-ending job. Weddings, funerals, emergencies, and responsibilities on Sundays prevent ministers from having weekends. Yet, with these realities and many more that I did not list, ministers should never be excused from working hard.

Three reasons why I believe ministers should be hard workers:

1. The Bible Charges Ministers to Work Hard

When Paul was instructing Timothy on the life of being a minister, he talks about the minister being like a soldier, an athlete, and a hardworking farmer. (2 Timothy 2) Unquestionably, we must be equipped like soldiers for the battles of ministry and persevere like athletes as we lead people, but we must also be like a hardworking farmer who works until he sees the harvest.

Humbly, ministers should be known to be hard workers. We cannot claim to be spiritual men if we…

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CriticismOne of the grim realities of being a pastor is that you will experience criticism. I have known many pastors through the years, and each one has undergone criticism. Criticism is inescapable in the life of a pastor.

Few things challenge a pastor more than criticism. Personally, there have been times when criticism has absolutely devastated me. It is especially difficult to receive when given by someone you respect deeply or by someone who has completely misunderstood a situation. Criticism can sideline or paralyze a leader, or it can help a leader be better in the future. I have personally experienced each of these situations.

Without question, many times criticism is unfair; at other times, it is right on, with 100% accuracy! So, how should a Pastor respond to criticism?

1. Receive it.

When someone criticizes you as a pastor, receive it. In fact, receive it with grace, not letting your body language demonstrate defensiveness or disapproval. Assure the person criticizing you that you will receive what they say, consider it, pray about it, and determine the direction God wants you to go in the future.

2. Learn from it.

Criticism can be a great teacher. Pastors…

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I was asked a very interesting question the other day that really moved me to evaluate the answer. A pastor asked, “Ronnie, I look at your challenging schedule, and I want to ask: How are you doing this and keeping up with everything?” After thinking a moment, I told him there are two decisions I make daily that have helped me in every way.

The same things I told him, I share with you today. Please know before I continue, I am where I am and do what I do by the grace of God and the prayers of God’s people. Knowing this, here are the two decisions I make daily that help me continually.

Bible-BlogDecision #1: I Never Compromise My Daily Time With God

It does not matter if my flight is early or my schedule has caused me to be out late the night before, I never compromise my daily time with God. For those who know me and have kept up with me through the years, I always give my mornings to God. While some of this can be challenging due to appointments and speaking engagements that occur in the…

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Pastors, Lead

By Ronnie Floyd

PastorsLeadV2A few years ago, I read an article that summarized almost 1,000 interviews with some of the nation’s top corporate leaders. The article declared that the #1 need a leader of a corporation needs to provide for everyone is clarity.        

If a leader does not lead, he cannot provide clarity. If this is true for global business leaders, it is even truer for every pastor of a local church or one who is leading a Christian ministry or institution built on the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pastors, Lead With Clarity        

Ask yourself this question and be honest in answering it: Am I leading with clarity? Does everyone around me know where I am going and where I want him or her to go with me?

If you are really daring and desire a complete, honest assessment, ask the leaders in your church: Am I leading with clarity? If you have a staff team, ask them: Am I leading with clarity?     

If any leader should be leading with clarity, it is a pastor. I did not say it would be easy, but as pastors, our mission is clear. Do…

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Family-BlogMy wife Jeana grew up in the home of a Pastor, and we have always worked hard together to ensure our family is our #1 priority following our personal commitment to Jesus Christ. To God’s glory, my wife did not ever resent the church as the wife of a pastor, and as our children grew, they did not ever resent the church. In fact, our church was our life!

The four of us loved the church and we still love the church! Our boys’ spouses love the church and they are now raising children who love the church!

How did we escape the testimony I often hear of pastor’s families resenting the church? By God’s grace and prayer. I also believe we made several decisions that moved us along toward a positive experience. I will note three of these decisions.

Decision #1: We Were Always Positive About the Church  

On multiple occasions, we shared with our children how blessed we were to be able to know some of the greatest people in the world, which were people connected to the church. While we did not ignore the challenges along the way, we did not ever…

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