Month: July 2015

Jesus and the Crowd

Jesus and the crowd

I hate large crowds.

Yup, I know that is pretty ironic since I am a pastor. I actually do not mind being up front speaking to a large crowd but I hate being in the middle of a bunch of people. What I REALLY hate is if there is a large crowd of people and they are all trying to get my attention. If there are more than a few people talking to me at once, I am bound to shut everyone out.

Thankfully, Jesus is not like me.

In Mark 6, Jesus’ spirit is crushed as he hears about John the Baptist being beheaded. In the same scene, his disciples return to him after a long, grueling day of ministry. In wisdom, Jesus instructs his disciples to go with him to a solitary place in order to find rest. Unfortunately, the crowd has keen eyesight and interrupts Jesus and his disciples while they are trying to rest and mourn in peace.

How would you respond?

I would be angry, impatient, frustrated, and overall disgusted by the crowd.

Let’s see how Jesus responds:

“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” – Mark 6:34

Specifically Jesus…

  • SAW the crowd.
  • Had COMPASSION on the crowd.
  • And PROVIDED for the crowd.

I want to encourage you to view yourself in light of Jesus’ actions and allow the Holy Spirit to change you in the following three areas:

1. Slow down so you can truly see people.
Often, when I am interrupted by someone, I try to brush them off as quickly as possible. Instead of looking at the person as an image bearer of God, I see them as an annoying distraction. If the person is “needy” then I definitely try to steer clear of being in a conversation with them because I feel as if they will capitalize on my time.

Not so with Jesus.

In the midst of his grieving, Jesus SEES the crowd. He puts himself in their position and realizes they are like “sheep without a shepherd”. His intense love for people – ALL people – motivates him to see the crowd with love.

2. Seeing should become compassion.
It is one thing to slow down long enough to see people as beautiful image bearers – It’s another challenge to have compassion on them. Compassion is defined as, “concern for the sufferings of others.” All of us would claim we are compassionate people. Unfortunately, our actions betray our speech.

Having compassion for another person is a supernatural work. We are, by nature, selfish people. In order to TRULY have compassion for those who are suffering, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us see people through His eyes. Only when we gain God’s perspective can we have compassion on the crowd.

3. Compassion should become provision.
In this verse, we see that Jesus fed the crowds’ spiritually hungry souls through teaching them. A few verses later, we see that Jesus furnishes their appetites with physical food by multiplying bread and fish. One test on whether or not you are truly exercising compassion for others in your life is if you are willing to provide for them.

James, Jesus’ brother, explains this concept powerfully in James 2:15-16:
“Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?”

What good is it, if you claim to be a compassionate person, if you do nothing to comfort those who are suffering?

Often the “interruptions” in your life are opportunities for you to be used in powerful ways by God. If you neglect to open your eyes to the hurting people around you and instead allow your heart to be filled with selfishness, you will NOT experience the abundant life Jesus promises. Ultimately, your time does not belong to you. Everything, including each minute of your day, is an undeserved gift from the sovereign hand of God.

When you are interrupted today by a hurting person, follow in the steps of Jesus: SEE them as an image bearer of God, have COMPASSION on them in their suffering, and PROVIDE for them in the midst of their neediness.

The God of the Ordinary

God of the orindary

When we think about God, our minds naturally drift to extraordinary events and supernatural power. There is nothing bad about this. All throughout Scripture, we see the Lord of the universe bending natural laws to flood the world with His incredible love.

Many people are desperately hungry to experience a supernatural move from God. We buy conference tickets, attend megachurches, go on mission trips, and try everything we possibly can to “experience” Him. First of all, let me state that none of those are inherently wrong. Conferences are good, large churches are good, mission trips are good. The flawed thinking presents itself when we forget to look for God in the ordinariness of life.

If you want to catch a glimpse of the God who reigns above the universe, open your eyes to the God of the ordinary!

1. God is revealed in creation.
Ultimately, everything that is created points to the beauty of a creator. When you marvel at an incredible piece of music, you gain a sense of awe towards the artist. In the same way, as we behold the indescribable beauty of creation, our hearts should be moved to a place of worship towards the God who made all things.

King David reflects on this truth in Psalm 19:1-4
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the earth.”

As you feel the soft breeze wash over your face in the morning or gaze at the beauty of a sunset, let yourself be reminded of the Creator. Creation is the work of HIS hands and it is in these moments of awareness that we experience God. Take your eyes off your smart phone and look at the beautiful theater of life our God has placed around us!

2. God is revealed in people.
Scripture teaches that people are made in the very image of God for the purpose of reflecting his beauty and glory to the world. Every time you look into the eyes of a person, you are seeing someone whom God personally formed and knit together. When you experience the love of a spouse or the bond of a friendship, it is pointing to a greater love and stronger bond found in knowing God.

In C.S. Lewis’ classic book, The Weight of Glory, he puts it this way:
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”

Take time in your day to actually SEE people. Contemplate on the fact that each person you come into contact with is a masterpiece formed by the Creator.

3. God is revealed in Scripture.
All of us yearn to hear God’s voice. Yet so often, our Bibles (if we have one) are covered with dust in the back of a neglected bookshelf. We often forget about one of the greatest gifts the Creator has endowed on His people. The Bible is a beautiful story of God’s love for sinful humanity.

Not only is the Bible a beautiful piece of literature, it is the Word of God. Scripture is not a lifeless, religious textbook. God presently speaks and encourages people through the power of His Word.

If you want to meet with the Creator, spend time on a daily basis soaking in the presence of His Spirit by meditating upon the Scriptures.

The God of the Universe desires to speak to us far more than we are willing to listen. I would encourage you to live each “ordinary” day with eyes wide open, catching glimpses of God in creation, people, and Scripture.


Behind The Song: Peace of Mind

peace of mind

As many of you know, I write and produce original music as a hobby. I took a long break from music (over two years) before I released “Peace of Mind” in April of 2015.

In that two year break I…

  • Got married.
  • Became a pastor.
  • Launched the Garretson Campus of The Rescue Church.
  • Went back to school.
  • Was humbled by God.

Those two years were incredibly rewarding and yet deeply stressful. I learned that ministry is both beautiful AND brutal.

It was a season of God humbling me through my circumstances. For example, in the process of launching the Garretson Campus, I struggled with severe insecurity and minor depression. In the midst of conflict and spiritual warfare, I felt as if God had abandoned me and I wanted to quit ministry entirely.

I was only married for roughly five months before I began ministry (I do not recommend this!). This gave me the added pressure of trying to be a faithful husband while pioneering a church launch. I made many mistakes in this time and longed for God to rescue me.

Regardless of my feelings, God never abandoned me. He was and is completely faithful.

“Peace of Mind” was inspired by a beautiful passage in Philippians:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

I have a tendency to be overly introspective and consumed with myself. Every time my perspective moves inward and I am solely focused on my pain, I become depressed. When I do this, I can easily forget the presence and power of God. When this happens, I rush to God in prayer. After spending time in His presence, the Holy Spirit always provides me with an incredible sense of peace and stillness.

My circumstances do not change, my perspective does.

As you finish listening to this song, I would encourage you to present YOUR requests to God. The peace of God WILL guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus. It is a promise!!

(If you are viewing this in your e-mail, you will have to go to the actual page in order to hear the song)

Verse 1 (Tyler Ramsbey)
It’s been awhile since I picked up a pen
To write a whole song people wondering where I’ve been
Well listen up… While I’m staring at them
I’ve been, in a place where the pain won’t end
I’ve struggled with, bitterness I didn’t wanna repent
Been on my knees before God saying this gotta end
I said I quit through the tears I didn’t know what to pray
But thank, you that you intercede in my place
It’s all grace, I’ve been so forgiven
Yet I cling to my sin and I choke on venom
At my best, I’m a broken Christian
Yet I know you listen and You hold me with Him
I don’t get it though, why did you bring me low?
Why did you bring all the stress and press on my bitter soul
Invisible, is how I felt when I was miserable
I finna go, to my God cuz I’m minimal, listen though

Chorus (Sean Divine)
Thanks for giving me peace of mind
You were always there for me lately
You’ve been given me all this time
Even when I thought I might go crazy
The stress of my mind let it all fade away
No time to waste just thankful for another day

Verse 2 (Tyler Ramsbey)
If you know Christ then you know peace
If there’s no Christ then there’s no peace
So please… focus
‘Cuz the day is coming that you will be broken
As long as you are walking on the earth you are homeless
What I mean is by the King you’ve been purchased
But in the eyes of the world you are worthless
So don’t be surprised cuz the fires are certain
You may even die but your life’s for purpose
And not even death can make you step out of worship
Every breath that you get you don’t deserve it
So it’s urgent, you stay alert with
All diligence while His peace guards your mind
Release all your lies, He is alive
Tell em Jesus is God, your freedom He bought
So let’s cling to the Rock and sing that we got the peace that won’t stop!

Chorus (Sean Divine)
Thanks for giving me peace of mind
You were always there for me lately
You’ve been given me all this time
Even when I thought I might go crazy
The stress of my mind let it all fade away
No time to waste just thankful for another day

Verse 3 (Tyler Ramsbey)
It surpasses all understanding
And we know that we know that we’ll never be abandoned
You are the Father, we are your family
We are the heirs of Christ we keep standing

It surpasses all understanding
And we know that we know that we’ll never be abandoned
You are the Father, we are your family
We are the heirs of Christ we keep standing

Enjoy the song? Be sure to head to the “Recent Music” page for more!

Shepherd Your Wife

Shepherd Your Wife

Although this post is written for pastors, the principles can apply to all husbands.

The Church is facing an epidemic involving pastors who fail to shepherd their wives. As pastors, our natural tendency is to love our church and ignore our families. We would not actually say this but it is evident by our actions and work ethic.

Pastor, if your marriage falls apart you are disqualified from ministry.

Someone once asked a pastor of a growing church how he balanced the demands on his time between his wife and his congregation. The wise pastor answered, “You either have to cheat your wife or cheat your church.” If you decide to cheat your wife because you have a savior complex and want to feel “needed” at all times by your congregation, you are NOT qualified for ministry.

Your church can have a large number of different pastors; your wife only gets one husband.

Before you think I am being too harsh, I will be the first to admit that I am talking to myself as much as I am talking to you. I consistently fail in this area and am eternally grateful for God’s grace and the love of my wife in the midst of my imperfections.

Here are five practical ways to make your wife a priority in ministry:

1. Commit to your wife a certain amount of evenings at home.
One of the disadvantages of ministry is that your evenings can quickly fill up with meetings and appointments if you do not diligently guard your schedule. In order to visibly show my wife that she is more important to me than my ministry, I have committed to spending four nights every week at home and only break this when I truly have no other choice. If you spend more evenings at your church instead of at your home, you need to re-evaluate your priorities.

Although this post is focused on shepherding your wife, these evenings are priceless in the lives of your kids. If you want your kids to grow up in bitterness towards the church, spend all your time at the church. On the other hand, if you want your kids to have a love and commitment to the local church, be sure that your evenings are open for them!

2. Publicly state your commitment to your wife.
When Ashley and I launched the Garretson Campus of The Rescue Church, I knew I needed to guard my time. Unfortunately, this knowledge took awhile to become application in my life. In order to hold myself accountable (and be sure my church has realistic expectations of me), I tell members of my church that my wife is far more important to me than my ministry.

If you “succeed” as a pastor but fail as a husband, you are a failure. On the other hand, if you “fail” as a pastor but succeed as a husband, you are successful.

3. Have another man in your life that will hold you accountable.
I met with one of my mentors (who is also a pastor) this morning for breakfast and he shared profound wisdom with me in regard to accountability. He explained that if you are a pastor with no real accountability partner, it is only a matter of time until Satan destroys your ministry. As a pastor, you NEED another man in your life that will ask you specifically about your marriage and family on a regular basis. If you do not have an accountability partner, it is only a matter of time until you reach a point of emotionally abandoning your wife in pursuit of ministry.

4. Be willing to quit.
When I say that my church can have many different pastors but my wife only gets one husband, I truly mean it. If my ministry ever reaches a place where my wife truly feels neglected and abandoned because of it, I will quit. If you are married, God calls both you and your spouse into ministry. If you feel that you are called to be a pastor but your wife does not support your call then you need to wait for God’s timing. If you are already in ministry but your marriage is close to destruction, you NEED to quit and seek counseling.

DO NOT FAIL AS A HUSBAND AND “SUCCEED” AS A PASTOR! (I know I already said it but it is important enough to say again!)

5. Pray with your wife.
I know many pastors will skip over this one and simply assume they are. I will be the first to admit – I do not pray with my wife as regularly as I should. Matter of fact, it seems that I am more willing to pray with a new person after church than I am willing to pray with my beautiful bride and that is a shame. Spend time not only praying for your wife but praying WITH your wife. When you approach the throne of grace together as a couple, you allow the Holy Spirit to strengthen and sustain your marriage.

Satan hates your marriage and wants to destroy it. How are YOU going to make your wife a priority in ministry? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Five Benefits of Multi-site Churches


In this season of life, God has called me to be a Campus Pastor in an incredible church called The Rescue Church. The Rescue Church is a multi-site church which simply means we are one church that meets in multiple locations. Every Sunday morning, The Rescue Church meets in Garretson, SD; Flandreau, SD; Colman, SD; Deeside, Jamaica; and Online.

Our vision is to plant healthy campuses in small communities that otherwise lack a strong evangelical presence. Multi-site churches are gaining in popularity all over the world but it is still a brand new concept in rural communities. Because of this, I am asked repeatedly why we begin campuses instead of planting autonomous churches (which I believe should be both/and not either/or!)

Since I pastor in a multi-site church, I want to share with you five benefits I have personally experienced:

1. An incredibly strong support network.
In October of 2015, my wife and I launched The Rescue Church in Garretson, SD. I honestly do not think we would still be around if it was not for the encouragement and wisdom shared by the other campuses. We have an incredible support network since we are part of a larger church.

When it comes to rural churches, pastors tend to suffer from crippling isolation and loneliness. As a multi-site pastor, I meet with the other pastors of The Rescue Church at least twice every week. In these meetings we are able to encourage and pray for one another as we strive to be faithful pastors in our congregations.

2. The ability to reach more people.
Statistically, new churches/campuses reach more non-Christians than established churches (Enrichment Journal). A very high percentage of those in the Garretson Campus are people who recently committed their lives to Jesus. It has been incredible to see the different lives God has impacted through our ministry.

One of the best ways to reach lost people is through church planting. Being part of a multi-site church allows you to plant new campuses of an existing church. This greatly increases the effectiveness and fruitfulness of the campus since it is already part of a healthy church structure.

3. The opportunity to truly shepherd people.
As a campus pastor, I am paid a very part-time salary from the church. The majority of rural churches are not able to provide a pastor with a full-time salary. Since I am not the primary teaching pastor, I am able to devote the majority of my time to actually being a shepherd. I can use my time to be involved in the community, disciple new believers, evangelize the lost, and fulfill my ministry in a multitude of ways outside of the church office!

4. Growing larger by growing smaller.
A multi-site church allows you to have the benefits of a larger church with the close community of a small church. Many people, especially in rural communities, prefer the feel of a smaller church over a very large church. Both have advantages and disadvantages but multi-site allows you to capitalize on the benefits of a large church while retaining the community of a small church.

5. Intentional leadership development.
Unfortunately, leadership development is something that is lacking in many churches. Since multi-site churches are focused on launching new campuses on a regular basis, they are forced to develop leaders. At The Rescue Church, we are intentionally looking for people to develop into qualified and competent leaders. This means raising up young people and shaping them to lead churches!

Have you ever attended or worked in a multi-site church? What are some of the advantages you have experienced? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Coming Up Next Week!


The goal of is to help you act justly, love faithfulness, and walk humbly with God. In order to do this, I strive to release helpful, biblical articles that encourage you to grow in your faith. If you have missed any of the content I released this week, be sure to check them out by clicking the links below!

Walk With the Wise
Holy Preparation: Three Ways to Prepare for Worship
Pray For ‘Em (New Original Song)

Next week, you can look forward to the following resources:

Five Benefits of Multi-Site Churches (Monday, July 20th)
As a campus pastor in a multi-site church, I am asked continuously why we are multi-site. I will explain five great benefits to being one church that meets in multiple locations – from the perspective of a campus pastor.

Peace of Mind: Story Behind the Song (Wednesday, July 22nd)
Peace of Mind was the first full song I released in over two years. I will briefly explain via video the inspiration behind the song. If you have not heard Peace of Mind, be sure to head to the Music page now!

Shepherd Your Wife (Thursday, July 23rd)
Unfortunately, pastors tend to neglect their wives as they pursue church growth. We need to remember that our churches can have a variety of pastors, your wife only gets one husband! I will explain practical ways to shepherd and love your wife while being faithful to your church.

Coming Up Next Week! (Friday, July 24th)
You will see a post just like this one! I will recap the previous week and give you an idea of what to expect the following week.

If you have anything specific you would like me to write about, visit the Contact Me page. I would love to hear from you!

Pray For ‘Em (New Song!)

Verse 1 [Tyler Ramsbey]
Hurt people hurt people I remember that
So you can sling that dirt but Imma settle back

I know that it hurts but I will never grab
After my reputation cuz I’m dead to that

In other words I don’t need your applause
I don’t seek to please people I serve God

So Imma pray for you while your anger burns on
Even through the malice I promise that I will stand strong

I don’t think you get it well listen in for a moment
Understand my heart was frozen until my King overthrowed it

My entire life was broken deserving death I was hopeless
With every breath I was choking provoking the God who wrote it

I didn’t think I’d make it out alive
Till I heard about the God who willingly died

Took my sin upon the cross and given me life
I forgive cuz I’m forgiven I live in the light

Chorus [Sean Divine]
Sometimes we ain’t on the same page
We see it all a million ways
Our lives so different
In the end we’re just the same

You can throw dirt on me
Question the direction about my dreams
All Imma do is pray for em (pray for em)
All I can is pray for em (pray for em)

Verse 2 [Tyler Ramsbey]
I deserve death but He gave life
So with every breath Imma state my

Praise and adoration to the Most High
Let the jokes fly with all of the broke lies

Cuz I know in no time my God will crack the whole sky
And So I keep on praying if I’m persecuted

Father they don’t know what they are doing
I was once like you being influenced

By the god of this world all while my sins spewin
But He came and He changed me He went through it

Took my shame and the pain while I was still moving
Further from His presence but He still led me straight to Him

Uh, So who am I to hold a grudge
I’ve been forgiven for living with all my broken lust

I’m amazed at the grace that is holding us
See we forgive because we’re sick and yet we know His love

Chorus [Sean Divine]
Sometimes we ain’t on the same page
We see it all a million ways
Our lives so different
In the end we’re just the same

You can throw dirt on me
Question the direction about my dreams
All Imma do is pray for em (pray for em)
All I can is pray for em (pray for em)

Verse 3 [Tyler Ramsbey]
Uh, We need to rise above
Unforgiveness in your heart will make you die to love

You will be chained by the pain and it won’t lighten up
Until you free your soul, with the finest touch

Look, let us start an insurgence
So we can pray for the people who would burn this

Let’s take the values of the world and turn them
All the way around with sound love and purpose

If they hurt you let it turn to worship
Reflect Christ cuz your life has been purchased

And plus you didn’t earn this… So let your burdens
Fall to the Wordsmith and call on His Holy Name

No matter what they say, go ahead and show His fame
We gotta love our enemies until they know the same

Grace that we’ve tasted I pray this is getting through
Forgive others the same way He’s forgiven you

Chorus [Sean Divine]
Sometimes we ain’t on the same page
We see it all a million ways
Our lives so different
In the end we’re just the same

You can throw dirt on me
Question the direction about my dreams
All Imma do is pray for em (pray for em)
All I can is pray for em (pray for em)

Thanks for listening! Be sure to share this with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!