Church & Ministry

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Posted 10/24/14 at 10:17 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

The Perfect Way for a Pastor to Lead a Different Church

Photo: Flickr/Simon Allardice - Creative Commons

By Joe McKeever

“Shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).

Imagine this.

You’re the captain of a mighty airship–a 747, let’s say. It’s a huge job with great responsibility, but one you are doing well and feel confident about. Then, someone alerts you to another plane that is approaching and has a message for you.

You are to transfer to the other plane and become their pilot.

So, you push back the canopy–I know, I know, the huge planes don’t have canopies, but we’re imagining this–and crawl into the contraption the other plane has sent over. You are jettisoned from your old plane to the new one.

As you settle into the captain’s seat in your new plane, you find yourself surrounded by an unfamiliar crew and you notice the controls in front of you are not the same as in the old plane. This is going to take some getting used to. Meanwhile, you and your crew and passengers are zooming along at 35,000 feet.

Your new flight attendants send word, “Captain, welcome aboard. Everyone is asking what is our destination? Can you tell us your goals for this flight?” FULL POST

Posted 10/24/14 at 9:50 AM | George W. Sarris

Punishment: It's Not Enough!

“We realized that it was not enough to just punish!”

That comment was made by a Christian leader I talked with in Rwanda this past July . . . almost exactly 20 years after the genocide.

The Face of Evil

During what can only be described as a horrific 100 day period from April to July 1994, extremists within Rwanda's political elite ordered members of the army, national police, and government backed militias to recruit and pressure one group of Rwandans to arm themselves with machetes, clubs, blunt objects and other weapons to kill, rape and maim another group of Rwandans.

In just 100 days, 800,000 innocent people were brutally murdered – six men, women and children every minute . . . of every hour . . . of every day . . . for more than 3 months.

During that short period of time, between 250,000 and 500,000 women and girls were raped – many maimed and sexually mutilated, or raped by men with AIDS who had been released from hospitals as weapons of genocide.

75,000 children survived the genocide as orphans. FULL POST

Posted 10/24/14 at 9:40 AM | Phil Cooke

Why Your Message Needs to Find a Mobile Audience

 As of January 2013, there are more mobile devices in the world than people. (In India, there are more mobile devices than toilets, but that’s another blog post entirely.) The question becomes – is your message available on mobile platforms? Are your short films, videos, sermons, teaching, blogs, or whatever else available via mobile? If not, you’re missing a massive audience that is only growing. New research indicates Millennials in the US check their smartphones 45 times a day, and 67% of Millennials use two or more mobile devices daily. In this short video, I share why it matters:

Communicating with mobile devices

Posted 10/24/14 at 9:30 AM | Tim Challies

When Jesus Says Stay

Photo: Pixabay - Public Domain
Sitting cat

He wanted to follow Jesus. He wanted to be close to Jesus. He wanted to live a life of radical obedience. But Jesus told him to stay, not to go. Do not follow me.

The man had been oppressed by demons, driven out of his mind and driven out of polite society. He had lived in the tombs, living with the dead, crying out, cutting himself, bleeding, naked, insane.

Then Jesus had come, and with a word released him. He was free.

“As [Jesus] was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And he did not permit him…” (Mark 5:18-19a).

The man’s desire was pure. Please, Lord, let me go with you. Let me learn from you. Let me stay near you.

But Jesus had a better plan. Stay. “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you (19b).” You may not come. You must stay. FULL POST

Posted 10/23/14 at 2:58 PM | Mark Ellis

Prayer warrior in Liberia healed of Ebola after touch from God

Dorothy Sawer

By Mark Ellis

This woman of faith lives in a one-room tin house with holes in the walls in a crowded section of the capital of Liberia. Her most-prized possession is a well-worn Bible, a sword she wields – along with fervent prayer – as Ebola ravages her church and her neighborhood.

“Only God knows where we are heading to now,” Dorothy Sawer, 48, told the Los Angeles Times. Sawer is an abandoned wife caring for six children in impoverished circumstances – but she has her faith.

That faith – in the midst of the devastating epidemic – is often ridiculed by her neighbors. “Sometimes I pray loud; sometimes I pray louder,” she told The Times. “My neighbors get vexed. They get angry. People laugh at me and mock me. They say, ‘Every day, it’s God, God, God business.’ These neighbors say that’s all they hear.”

When Sawer was 10-years-old, she had her first personal encounter with God. She saw a flash of light and a white man with long hair appeared out of nowhere, his back turned. Then he disappeared as quickly as he had arrived. FULL POST

Posted 10/23/14 at 12:32 PM | Vince Hokkanen

Retaining Our Resilience in Suffering

I have recently been asked about how to remain resilient when we are facing setbacks and grief. There are no easy answers that we can box into everyones circumstances. What I do suggest is to look at the lives of Job, Joseph, King David, The Apostle Paul. How did they manage to handle the adversity that struck them? This excerpt is take from my book Shadows in the Mountains: Walking Through Grief. It is a short read, but I think you will find it helpful.

Leave- your past Grief: I thought about this word for a very long time. We are to remember our past, to learn from it, but also leave it. We must press on in our lives, and reach for the future. In Philippians 3:13, the Apostle said that we must forget what lies behind, and reach forward to what lies ahead. Keep in mind that he wrote this from a prison cell. Our past, if we allow it, can cripple us. It can prevent us from having peace in our present circumstances and relationships.

I think of certain relationships that I have had in which past hurts, emotions, strains, and betrayals have caused enough pain that I wrestle with trusting or forgiving others. The feelings of injustice I felt from being the receiver of harsh words, unfair criticisms, and betrayal were unbearable. Some of the deepest and penetrating grief comes from family members. Those who are closest to you can hurt you the most. I believe this because in most cases we love them, and it doesn’t seem right to deliberately hurt the ones we love. FULL POST

Posted 10/23/14 at 11:40 AM | Alliance Defending Freedom

Defending Churches: ADF Challenges Government Assaults on Religious Freedom

AUTHOR: Alliance Defending Freedom President, CEO, and General Counsel Alan Sears

I recently wrote to invite you to enlist your pastor to participate in our seventh annual Pulpit Freedom Sunday, October 5, and your response has been phenomenal. More than 1,800 pastors from all 50 states plus Puerto Rico have participated so far. (Registration and participation are open through Election Day, November 4 – so if your pastor has not yet joined in, please encourage him to do so.)

The event gives pastors the opportunity to exercise their constitutionally protected freedom to engage in religious expression from the pulpit despite an Internal Revenue Service rule known as the Johnson Amendment, which anti-religious groups often use to silence churches by threatening their tax-exempt status.

The great majority of those participating preached sermons relating biblical perspectives on the positions of electoral candidates. They also signed a statement agreeing that the IRS should not control the content of a pastor’s sermon. Hundreds more who didn’t speak from the pulpit on these issues still opted to sign the statement – bringing the total number of pastors in support of pulpit freedom to more than 3,800 since 2008. FULL POST

Posted 10/23/14 at 11:05 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Evangelism vs. Discipleship - Round 2

My previous post generated some great discussion, ranging from "Can't we all just get along" comments to sentiments of "If we just practiced discipleship, evangelism would take care of itself." Others seemed surprised that anyone in their right (renewed) mind would ever try to separate the two because they clearly go together.

Allow me to introduce a perspective into the ongoing conversation (or in some tribes and cultures, the battle!) between those who favor one over the other.

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

If you and I were having coffee and I wanted to see where you stood on this issue, I would ask you the following questions... FULL POST

Posted 10/23/14 at 11:02 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Evangelism Vs. Discipleship- Round 1

It seems to me that there is a constant discussion, or you could call it a debate (or you could even call it a family fight) among us evangelicals over whether we should be focusing all our attention and efforts on evangelism or discipleship. Trust me...this is a big deal in the church right now. If you could hear just a small fraction of the conversations I have as I travel and preach...

Because I am an evangelist (see Ephesians 4) by call and trade, I get bombarded by the discipleship camp with questions like, "What happens after all those people respond to the gospel when you preach?"

Because I am a pastor, I also get comments from soul winners like, "If all you ever do is teach the Bible to Christians, how will the lost ever hear the gospel and be saved?" FULL POST

Posted 10/23/14 at 10:35 AM | Bill Blacquiere

. . . To Show Love

Today's post is contributed by Alison Adema, International Services Coordinator for Bethany Global Services. 

How does an independent, non-profit community organization less than 30 years old have 450 volunteers and hundreds more waiting for an opening to volunteer? Perhaps it is the single mission such as this:

to show love.

What started out as a humble beginning 1987 has now become an extensive ministry in Hong Kong with four key services and affiliate programs in mainland China, India and Cambodia. Two couples, expatriates of North America, co-founded Mother’s Choice in response to rising crisis pregnancies in Hong Kong. Their desire was to provide a safe and loving place for young girls facing crisis pregnancy, by providing much-need counseling services and a hostel. Along with their Child Care Home for babies and special needs children awaiting a forever family, they also provide counseling to young girls facing crisis pregnancy, foster care services to children who require a temporary home, and local and inter-country adoption services. FULL POST

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