I've been involved in pastoral ministry for 30 years, and I have a desire to help everyone. But I have learned the hard way that I cannot help every person who attends our church or who comes to me for input.
The following are 10 kinds of people I have identified who are so entrenched in certain habit patterns that I cannot help them advance to the next level unless they make the necessary shift in their attitude or behavior.
1. Those who do not take responsibility for themselves. The first step toward self-improvement is to remove all excuses for mediocrity or failure. Those who continually blame other people for their failures will never go to the next level. Leaders can complain about their spouses, the income level of their congregations and their lack of staff, but I have learned that within every challenge is the seed of opportunity for success that requires the creativity of problem-solving.
2. Those who do not have a heart to seek God. The Bible teaches us that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Prov. 9:10). Those who do not respect God enough to seek Him and study His Word so they can make wise decisions in life are violating Scripture (Josh. 1:8-9) and cannot be helped either by myself or any other leader or minister. Those who do not obey what God requires for success have decided to try to be successful in life without God's blessings.
Dr. Mark Rutland's
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