The following are my notes from John Bisagno’s message at the Send North America Conference on July 31, 2012.
Let’s talk about balance today.
Only 1 out of 5 seminary students are still in the ministry 8 years later. We want you to make it.
If I could take all the lessons I have learned about persevering to the end and summarize it in one word it would be: BALANCE.
1. Balance Hard Work And Prayer
Jesus wants to work in his kingdom, not play and work. I need to work hard and need I pray hard. If you put him first then he puts you first. Early morning prayer is critical. I pray for one hour every day with no exceptions.
2. Balance Family and Ministry
Put her first. Put a window into your office. Take the phone off the hook when you are at home. Make every date night with your wife. Go to your kids events.
3. Balance Dreams and Reality
Pastors quit because of money, conflict, and discouragement. Faithfulness is not in numbers. Have a realistic vision.
4. Balance In Leadership
Pastors earn their leadership and then the people will grant it. Shared leadership is the New Testament way. Have people who help you lead so you have balance in leadership. When we read the New Testament we see the people helping the leaders. The church was engaged in the decision in Acts 1 and Acts 6 and Acts 10 and Acts 15.
The curse of little churches is voting on everything. The curse of big churches is they do not vote on anything. Participatory leadership is biblical.
5. Balance In Personality and Spirit
Adrian Rogers was tough as nails, but his voice was tender and loving when he preached. Jesus was tender one day with a woman caught in adultery and the next day he was driving out people in the temple with a whip.
6. Balance In Your Ministry Style
Be seeker friendly, but solid. Seeker friendly means that you remove the obstacles from people getting to Jesus. Change the methods but never change the message.
If we are going to reach the young people today we need to reach them in their language. The young people today’s language is found in music and technology.
In John 4 Jesus settled that true worship is found in spirit and in truth. I do not care what floats your boat or wiggles your string have music that is biblical and from the heart.
We are changing the message today. I do not hear doctrine in the church today.
7. Balance In Doctrine
The last thing we need is another debate to get us distracted from reaching people from Christ. We need to let it go and get back to winning souls. There are a lot of things I cannot figure out. As long as God is God I have to give him credit for some things that I do not know.
We must argue about how we can reach people to Christ.
8. Balance Between the Problem and the Potential
Do not ever let things get you down. Ask yourself what it can become. You have to have vision for what God can do. When I retired I got a scrapbook of over 800 men and women who are in full time ministry because I saw a vision.
I was in Africa and when I got of the plane some little boy tinkled on my leg. I told that boy to come here me preach and he came. He got saved and is today the president of the Nigerian Baptist Association. When there is a problem you need to see the potential.