Wednesday, May 31, 2006 

A True Shepherd!

Last week I was in Richardson, Texas as a part of a program through the Waterview church of Christ. I got a chance to preach there and I also spent a week doing some studies with Robert Oglesby which was really beneficial to me. On Wednesday night Robert invited me to come and observe their elders meeting there. There were 12 elders in all and I was very interested in seeing how this would all take place. So we entered the elders conference and as soon as you enter you see this huge round table and these nice leather chairs surrounding the table. I quickly made the observation that this looked a lot like a business conference room. The meeting began and they followed parliamentary procedure which was a little different to me. Then it happened, I made a snap judgment of the group. I decided that they were trying to run a business and not running the church like true shepherds. About half of the meeting was spent talking about various things that needed to be done with the church including a capital improvement campaign. Then I saw something I really liked. These men took time to pray over the entire prayer list of the very large church. It took quite some time as they are a very large church family. They then spent the rest of the time talking about spiritual matters and some ways in which they could help the church grow spiritually. I was very impressed. I was wrong these men are true shepherds in my view. I dawned on me that night how difficult a task these men have. I think that it is time that we stopped judging these men called elders. They do a noble work before the Lord and I value their wisdom in so many ways. I for one have great elders! They are men that love the people of the my congregation so deeply. I am very happy to serve under them and yet they give me the privilege of serving side by side with the. I praise God for the elders of any church. For any of you in ministry you no how much blood , sweat, and tears that give to the task of shepherding the church. I know of a few of my ministry buddies that are trying to minister in a church without elders and you better believe that they dream of the day when they can appoint new elders. I for one refuse to take them for granted and praise God for the eldership that I serve with. We seem to focus on the qualifications of the eldership alot and that is valid and yet many times we forget what kind of relationship that scripture calls us to have with our elders.

A. Appreciate the elders (1 Thess. 5:12)
B. Esteem them very highly in love (1 Thess. 5:13)
C. Be submissive to the elders in their leadership of the church (Heb. 13:17)
D. Live in peace with them (1 Thess. 5:13)
E. Obey the elders (Heb. 13:17)
F. Do not sharply rebuke an elder; appeal to him as a father (1 Tim. 5:1)
G. Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses (1 Tim. 5:19)
H. Remember them and imitate them (Heb. 13:17)
I. Count them worthy of double honor (1 Tim. 5:17-18)
J. Call them when in need (James 5:14)
K. Correct them when they continue to sin (1 Tim. 5:20)
L. Elders are fellow Christians, therefore they are entitled to all of the mutual duties the Body of Christ fulfills to each other Christian.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 

Iron Sharpens Iron!

Proverbs 27:17
17 As iron sharpens iron,so one man sharpens another.

Today I feel as though I have been sharpened! This is only day 2 of a 5 day trip to the Waterview church to work one on one with Robert Oglesby Sr. I have learned so much here. It is amazing how clear everything becomes when you mix a learning environment with some real solid experience. Experience has cleared the waters some so that I know what I need to ask in order to become a better minister. My goal is to be that guy that can never learn enough, that can never be good enough! I want to remain sharp and effective. I praise God for this experience. Today I preached a sermon one on one for Robert Oglesby and then he coached me on several aspects of the talk. He liked me sermon structure so he just helped me make the talk a little more flashy! Some might not like this type of interaction but I really do enjoy it. I love the impact of immediate feedback! I feel blessed to be here and learn some things from a man who has been preaching very effectively for 40 + years.

One other note, I plan to blog on this whole Da Vinci code fever very soon but I would love to know how the readers of this blog respond to the book and the movie. Do you live the book/ movie ? Does is change your view of the Christian religion? How should Christian Churches respond to this fiction book/movie ? Or should they respond at all?

Monday, May 22, 2006 

Back on Track!

Today was a great day for me. As I get back on track with my blog journey I find myself going through a cool experience. This week I am at the Waterview church of Christ going through a type of preacher mentoring program. Waterview is a great church! They have a great youth ministry, A Chinese ministry, a Spanish ministry, and that is just to name a few. They have more ministers then I can name on staff and an impressive membership that is highly involved! I am so excited to learn( every for just a week) about what makes this church tick. If you are a reader from ACU and you happened to be in ministry department then you had classes with Robert Oglesby Jr. He is a great man and I learned alot from him during my time at ACU. Now here is the cool thing, I am now learning from Robert Jr's dad , you guessed it Robert Sr. The cool thing is that he has been the preacher here for over 40 years and if you know anything at all about ministry you know how impressive it is. What is even more impressive is that the church started at 20 people and Robert Sr. over the years built it up to around 2,000. This week I am under this ministers wing. A kind of a mentoring type deal. The great thing is that this guy is humble and yet he really does know what he is talking about. Plus know that I have close 3 years of ministry experince under my belt I know alot more about what questions I need to ask. We are talking about group dynamics, sermon structure, conflict management, and many other things. Today I felt like a kid in a candy store as I have so many different questions and he really does have the answers. He doesn't claim to have the only way to do this thing called ministry and yet he is very effective at what he does. I am only in day one of this experience and I already feel like this trip was worth my time.

On another note I different experience tonight. After spending the day at the church Robert and I headed to one of the members homes where a group was meeting that was connected with the Chinese ministry. The people included a bunch of young Chinese people from the People republic of China Ministry of religion. I might be wrong but my guess is that they are some kind of government watch group or who knows maybe they are trying to create more religious freedom, but given China's history on the matter I doubt it. I had an amazing talk with one of the guys that was about 30. He asked me what I did and I told him that I was a minister. That really got him interested and he asked me question after question about my faith. He want to know more and so we traded e-mail. I am excited about this possibility. Who knows what could happen. I would to open this up to the readers. What should I tell this Chinese official about Christianity? I would like to hear some suggestions! Great to be back on the blog! Hope to see some of you faithful readers soon!

Sunday, May 21, 2006 

I am Back!

After a Huge layoff I will be back in full force starting tomorrow! I will be blogging again from Monday through Friday with weekend off! I told you not to give up on me! Sometimes ministry means no time for much else but I have time again and I have alot to say!

See you tomorrow!

About me

  • I'm Michael Potthoff
  • From Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States
  • My name is Michael Potthoff and I am 27 years old. I was raised in League City, Texas (close to Houston) I have a beautiful, godly wife name Ruth who makes me a better man! I have been in ministry close to 5 years now and Jesus Christ is my passion. Preaching His good news is something that I truly love! I am blessed to be able to do something that I truly love.
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