I was raised in a pastor’s home where my dad served at his last church for 23 years. Before becoming president of the Baptist Foundation of California, I served in the local church for more than 31 years. Let me share five principles that I believe are fundamental for producing exponential results in a long-lasting ministry.

A real and clear call from God.

If you don’t feel led by God, walk away. Do something else and save yourself from a lot of heartache and pain. Get over yourself if you think you are the only person who is on call 24/7 and expected to be an expert at many things. Many professions have similar and possibly bigger stressors. If you are in ministry, make sure you have a clear call from God.

A tolerance for criticism.

Criticism comes with the territory regardless of the size of your ministry – it is a fact of life. Petty criticism can often derail you. Early in my ministry, I tried to track down every criticism I heard and “fix” it. It was exhausting. You don’t have to solve every problem brought your way. However, you do have to be willing to hear and accept criticism. A good way to help manage criticism in a healthy way is to ask yourself two questions: 1. “What is true in the criticism?” 2. “What can I learn from it?”  

The importance of a confidant.

Who are you completely honest with? Who do you trust with anything? Who really knows you? If you can’t name at least one person (besides your spouse), then find an accountability partner and start being honest and accountable with them. An accountability partner will encourage you when you are down and speak truth into your life when you need an honest perspective.

A relentless determination for the long haul.

I didn’t plan to stay in one church for 26 years. I faced many difficult moments that I begged God for an out. But today, I’m glad I stayed through the challenges. Every difficult and challenging situation that you endure raises your leadership to another level. Every time you experience pain or hardship your credibility and influence grows among your church and its leaders. As a result, people are willing to follow because you have a proven track record with them. With time, your influence will grow exponentially.

A commitment to work and strive for the Glory of God alone.

This should be obvious to people who serve in ministry, but pride often gets in the way of giving God glory. If we have strong attendance on a Sunday or the number of baptisms is up, we feel great about ourselves. The opposite is also true. If those markers drop, we feel like failures. Ministers must constantly remind themselves that their ministry is all about God and his glory. It is not about the admiration of people; it is about the single purpose of pointing people to Jesus.


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Forgiveness, Restoration, and Pastoral Integrity

Forgiveness, restoration, and pastoral integrity are pressing issues in our generation – as they have been throughout history and will be in the future. Yet, as believers, our commitment to robust church fellowship demands we do this hard work.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

When Words Fail

Dr. Iorg responds to the Tyre Nichols tragedy and commends the response of the Nichols family.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

Relationships Matter: Confirmed Again

Dr. Iorg reaffirms the importance of relationships and asks the church to make three choices to promote healthy community.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

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10 Questions with 10 Pastors
January 31, 2023

Brian Simms

In this new episode, our host is joined by Brian Simms, senior pastor of CrossPointe Church in Fontana, CA. Pastor Brian shares his process of how choosing the sermon themes for the year, how he gets organized for the week, and how he has grown over the years.
Lead On Podcast
January 29, 2023

Women in Ministry with Dr. Alicia Wong

Dr. Iorg and talks with Dr. Alicia Wong about the various roles women can take in ministry and especially in church planting.

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Spirituality of Jonathan Edwards | JEC at Gateway Seminary

Dr. Chris Chun hosted a digital symposium with Dr. Michael Haykin and Dr. Robert Caldwell to discuss Edwards’ spirituality, devotional life and theological impact in American Christianity.

Chris Chun
Professor of Church History | Director, Jonathan Edwards Center
Dr. Chris Chun is the professor of Church History and the director of Jonathan Edwards Center at Gateway Seminary. Chris’ doctoral research at St. Andrews University was focused on the eighteenth-century Edwardsean Baptists in Britain. He also has served as president of The Evangelical Theological Society (Far West Region).

Faculty Dialogues: Dispensationalism or Not

In this episode of Faculty Dialogues, Dr. David Rathel and Dr. Paul Wegner held a live discussion on their views on dispensationalism.

David Rathel
Associate Professor of Christian Theology
Dr. Rathel is the associate professor of Chrisitian Theology at Gateway Seminary. Prior to Gateway, Dr. Rathel supplied pastoral care to churches in the United States and Scotland, served as an Adjunct Professor of Theology and Philosophy for the Baptist College of Florida, and provided teaching assistance for the University of St Andrews.

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