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Showing posts from April, 2017

Partnering With God's Mission

Mission. Vision. Direction. Purpose. These are powerful concepts. Organizations that want to be successful need to skillfully employ them to get people to participate. This same strategy is often used in local churches. Many pastoral job descriptions include casting vision. Successful churches often have mission statements as a focal point of all their church ministries and literature. Do you have a mission statement? Does your church? Do you know God's mission statement? Many people long to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to be part of a movement. The grandest mission is God's. He has revealed it plainly in the Scriptures. God is at work in this world. If you don't understand His mission you may not know how to discern His activity. Many falsely preach that God's mission is to make you happy and fulfilled. If that's God's mission then He isn't doing a very good job at it. God's real mission is clear. God is redeem

Offense Vs. Defense

Stop playing defense. If we're going to let Jesus have His way in His church then we need to stop playing defense. We need to focus on playing offense . Look carefully at what Jesus said about the nature of His church: "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it" (Matthew 16:18). Gates are defensive structures. They are built to protect their own. Jesus plainly said that He would build His church. This building would happen on the rock of people confessing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. As Jesus builds His church people will come out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of light (1 Pet 2:9-10). The gates of Hades will not be able to stop the advance of Christ's kingdom expansion. Somewhere along the lines those who call themselves Christians reversed the purpose of the church. We stopped being gate crashers of the kingdom of darkness . We started buildi

American Christian Or Christian American?

What a difference word order can make. The question is about priorities. Which takes precedence for you: your faith or your patriotism? I'm not asking you to abandon one or the other. I am asking you to be honest with yourself and answer this question: Is your life more defined by your Christianity and the Lord you claim to serve, or by the American dream, and your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? How would your family answer this question about you? What about your coworkers? Your neighbors? How would those who read your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any and every other aspect of your public life answer that question about you? Are you more defined by your right to living your own life? Or by Christ living through you as you lay your own life down? Are you more defined by your right to liberties? Or by your right to lay down your freedoms for the sake of others? Are you more defined by your right to pursue happiness? Or by your privilege

Wanted: The Ideal Church Model

I've been exposed to a lot of church growth books and materials over the years. I've seen programs, systems, agendas, theories, and campaigns. A question we must wrestle with is how do we measure success ? Perhaps you're expecting me to diminish a focus on numbers and reaching the multitudes to emphasize spiritual factors that are harder to quantify. Things like spiritual maturity. Growth in Christ's likeness. Actually, I'm not suggesting that we focus on or emphasize either to the neglect of the other. Can't we think about both ? Sadly, our modern Christian culture often demands that we pick and choose. Should we be a seeker-sensitive church that uses every means possible to gather as many worldly people as we can to be exposed to the message? Or should we limit our groups to a manageable size so that we can build greater accountability, depth of relationships, and do life together? Where does the Scripture tell us that we must choose?