Hard Reset
DATE POSTED: 08/28/2019  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

On Sunday, August 18, I had the privilege of being a part of the dedication service for the new building at First Baptist Church, Lewisville. In his message, Pastor Stephen Hatfield talked about the church and the need for a hard reset. He compared this to the computer, iPad, or iPhone which would return the device to the original factory settings from a hard reset. I was reminded that each of us needs to periodically be reset. We sometimes forget about the basics. We forget about things that we must do to remain effective and sharp in our own ministries.

Based on this premise, Dr. Howard Hendricks, a long-time professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, interviewed 246 men in full-time ministry who experienced personal moral failure within a two-year period of each other. These men started their ministries strong but did not finish well. His research revealed four challenges that every man must address:

  1. Practice Personal Accountability – Hendricks discovered that none of the men were involved in any kind of personal accountability. They were not meeting with anyone on a regular basis to share with about their struggles, successes or failures.
  2. Practice a Private Time with the Lord- Dr. Hendricks found that all the men had ceased having a daily time of personal prayer, Bible reading, and worship. Preparing to teach or preach should not take the place of one’s private time with the Lord. Each person needs to have their own time alone with the Lord on a daily basis. This event provides focused attention where God is more easily heard and seen.
  3. Pursue Sexual Fidelity– Dr. Hendricks acknowledged that “over 80% of the men became sexually involved with a woman who was not his wife after spending significant time with her, often in counseling situations.” Ministers must establish boundaries when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex. The world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham stated that he was never alone with another woman. Steve Farrar, the founder of Men’s Leadership Ministries, noted that each man must figure out the lines that they cannot cross and step back from them in order to ensure they will not be tempted to cross the line.
  4. Practice Humility– Hendricks stated that without exception, each of the 246 men was convinced that moral failure would never happen to them. These ministers were prideful, in assuming that they were above committing any of the previously mentioned sins. Each minister must recognize his own humanity. The minister must understand that no one is exempt.

While these practices are directed to men who are ministers, they are also applicable to all those who serve in the kingdom of God. Each person should take time alone to evaluate and determine if it is time for a hard reset. New habits must be developed, implemented and adhered to. It is my prayer that we strive to be found faithful and good servants in the kingdom of God.

For Further reading on this subject check out the book Finishing Strong by Steve Farrar.

 

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