In this week’s blog, Dr. Robert Smart, who will be the speaker at the upcoming Provisions for Pastors event, explains what the event will be about:
Our identity, besides being one of the most precious things to prevent from theft, crisis, or loss, is extremely important to God. The Father has given His children an identity in Christ that will
shape us on our journey to heaven. If in the process of identity formation we ignore what God says concerning our identity, then we may expect confusion in ministry formation and perseverance.
Just after birth, a child is given an identity. Identity formation, however, is a longer process. When Jesus Christ was approximately thirty years of age the Father spoke of His identity at His baptism just before entering fully into vocational ministry. In the same way, identity in Christ ought to precede and support our calling to Christ. It is in this important sense of identity that Satan challenges each of us, as he did our Lord. The devil’s first attacks on our Lord were aimed at His identity: “If you are the Son of God.” For once we embrace the lies about who we are, our performance in ministry will be hindered.
The evil trinity—the world, the flesh, and the devil—is seeking to kill and destroy us in each season of spiritual formation. In the spring they confuse our identity, in the summer our calling, in the autumn our intentionality, and in the winter our legacy. The world escorts us to the pit; the flesh entices us to fall in; and the devil pushes us over the edge. “The pit,” as it were, represents a dark and slimy collection of lies, condemning thoughts, and foolish strategies designed to confuse and distort our identity formation.
This seminar is designed to promote spiritual formation among pastors and leaders in ministry contexts, where we are vulnerable to terrible thoughts and tempted to quit the race. It is meant to encourage us to finish well and echo Paul’s word to Timothy: “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of a Gospel minister, and fulfill all the duties of your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5).
The Seminar will be held on October 20 at Stone Creek church from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The $20 registration fee covers lunch and materials.