I enjoy reading the Reformation21 blog. The group of writers that post there can sometimes be cranky and cantankerous Calvinists (not my favorite kind), but they're fun to to read anyway.
They often encourage my faith, and they almost always give me something to think about, especially Carl Trueman of Westminster.
Last week, Paul Levy's post about When the Elders Say "No", reminded me of a time just a few years ago when I asked my elders to approve a sabbatical plan to finish my D.Min project. I wanted to miss two months of church leadership in the Spring and another moth in the the Fall. My elders very carefully told me that they would support me if I really felt that I needed to do that, but they did not think it was best for the church. They asked me to pray about it further and re-consider. So, I did. And what we came up with--writing days and writing weeks in 2011--was so much better than the original idea. Out of that plan came not only the finishing of my doctorate but the book Resisting Gossip.
So, I completely agree with Levy as he ends his Ref21 post:
I've said it many times but we all need people who can get in our face and say no. The longer a man is in a pastorate the harder that is going to be. The need for us all to realise we are accountable men, to God and to others is absolutely vital. We must keep our best men in the local church, preaching, teaching, leading sessions, being tied to one local body of believers. There's no work like the work of the Church.