Church & Ministry

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Posted 7/28/14 at 3:18 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

My Favorite Apostle is ...

Photo: Flickr/Sang Valte - Creative Commons
Bible opened to The Book of John.

By Hoyle Dabbs

Do you have a favorite first century apostle? Somewhat strangely, most of us do.

Until 1998 mine was Apostle Peter. Peter is the man . . . lol. Apostle Peter always tells it as it is never pulling any punches. Oh how I wanted to be like Apostle Peter in my service to God, in the ministry I was called and ordained to do.

As a young minister I was a crack the whip kind of preacher. If anyone left my meeting with out their toes being trampled upon, they had to have slept through the sermon. I don't say this with pride. God forming us into what He wants us to be in this world begins at the moment of our salvation and continues until the day we take our last breath.

Yes, in my young mind the Church had to be perfect and that meant every child of God had to be perfect. As a pastor I received perfection of His children as my assigned responsibility concerning the flock God was giving me, as well as any visitor who attended our services. FULL POST

Posted 7/28/14 at 11:37 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

14 Kinds of Seeker

number 14
Photo: Flickr/Steve Bowbrick - Creative Commons

By David Murray

There’s a word that I used to hear a lot growing up in Scottish churches, but I don’t here much of it today. That word is “seeker.” Maybe it’s because there are less seekers around. Or perhaps it’s because it’s too commonly assumed that people brought up in the church are already found and don’t have any seeking to do. Or have we made conversion so quick and easy that there’s never any struggle, search, pursuit, or seeking – just quick and easy finding as soon as anyone shows any interest?

Whatever the reason, it would help “seekers” if we acknowledged they exist and that there are many different kinds of them with many different and challenging needs. Here are a few I’ve come across in ministry. FULL POST

Posted 7/28/14 at 10:45 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Why Join a Church?

Photo: Flickr/Valerie Everett - Creative Commons

By Joe McKeever

“Take a census….from twenty years old and upward, whoever is able to go out to war in Israel, you shall number them….” (Numbers 1:1ff.)

The culture which sees no point in “a piece of paper” to make a marriage official just as easily dismisses the notion of Christians actually joining a church.

Can we talk about that?

A husband and wife who were regular worshipers with my church, but never actually joined and became members, would sign their Christmas card, “Your common law members.”

A lot of churches are trying to build their ministries on “common law” members. These people attend, profess a love for Jesus, and say they believe His word, but they make no commitment to the body of believers and put themselves under the authority of no leaders. They are free to come and go without being accountable to anyone. FULL POST

Posted 7/28/14 at 8:45 AM | John Dillard

2014 Navajo Family Mission Trip Reflections: Is it a Sin to NOT do What You KNOW to Do??

Is it a Sin to NOT do What You KNOW to Do??

I have purposely taken some time before I send out an email about our trip. I wanted to process everything I saw.

One of the most prophetic things I heard after I came back is that we should pray without ceasing/hourly for OUR Navajo brothers and sisters in Christ and each other.

Prayer changes things!

Just like when Adam walked in the Garden of Eden he was advised what his duties and responsibilities were. God left us HIS good and perfect word so we will never have to wonder what we should do and how we should do it.

FULL POST

Posted 7/25/14 at 7:15 PM | SHOW Times

Church Website Feature: Ask the Pastor

Photo: Pixabay/Nemo - Creative Commons

In 2011 Barna Group published the list 6 Reasons Young Christians Leave Church. The article revealed, "Young adults with Christian experience say the church is not a place that allows them to express doubts ... In addition, many feel that the church’s response to doubt is trivial."

Have you addressed the doubts of people in your church? If not, then now might be a good time to start. You could add an email form or email address on your church website for people to submit questions about Christianity or ask members to submit questions via Facebook or Twitter. It could take time to research some of the answers.

Many pastors probably worry about questions they can't answer. However, there are apologetics websites and Christian researchers that might be able to answer the questions that stump the pastor. FULL POST

Posted 7/25/14 at 2:20 PM | Barry Bowen |

2 comments

Attempting the Impossible for God?

Photo: Pixabay/geralt - Public Domain

Do you give God room to do the impossible in your life? Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision and Samaritan's Purse, inspired his co-workers to work on projects that looked impossible to achieve.

Franklin Graham quotes Pierce's definition of "God room" in his autobiography Rebel With A Cause:

"'God room' is when you see a need and it's bigger than your human abilities to meet it. But you accept the callenge. You trust God to bring in the finances and the materials to meet that need. You get together with your staff, prayer partners and supporters, and you pray. But after all is said and done, you can only raise the resources required. Then you begin to watch God work. Before you know it, the need is met. At the same time you understand that you didn't do it. God did it. You allowed Him room to work." FULL POST

Posted 7/25/14 at 10:35 AM | Bill Blacquiere |

1 comment

From Discouragement to Joy

Bethany Christian Services

Guest post by Kristi Gleason, International Services Manager for Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Asia—Bethany Global Services

Have you ever wondered what happens after the headlines? After the cameras and news anchors leave the scene of tragedy in a developing country? They were all there in Haiti in 2010 when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the already struggling city of Port-au-Prince, but today they are gone. Bethany Christian Services also was there before and during the quake, and since the disaster we have launched even more intensive campaigns to protect Haiti’s vulnerable children by keeping them in families.

Suffering does not end with the news cycle.

It’s been four years since the tragedy which drove thousands of people from their demolished homes into tents provided by emergency aid groups. Although news stories have reported that the tent cities are gone, they have simply been moved farther from the capital city, away from the public eye. Have you ever camped out in a tent in 100 degree weather? On days when there is no money for school, mothers keep their children inside the oven-like tents to protect them from the gangs, violence, and rape which is rampant there. FULL POST

Posted 7/24/14 at 5:02 PM | CP Blogs

Matt Chandler: The Gospel Is . . .

Photo: YouTube

YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley used the words "clip culture" to describe the community that developed around his video sharing website. YouTube's visitors originally watched short clips instead of long form entertainment.

Now pastors can upload entire sermons to the website but it is still the short sermon clip that gets the most attention. Christians re-post inspiring quotes often with subtitles to share the Gospel message.

Twitter user @momentumnight made this video featuring a clip of Pastor Matt Chandler talking about how we cannot fix ourselves. "You can't resurrect anything. Christ can. That's the good news."

While listening to this video, the Bible verse 1 Corinthians 1:18 came to mind: "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

Is this "power of God" at work in you?

Matt Chandler's Gospel Presentation

Posted 7/24/14 at 2:47 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

How can I Stay Motivated in my Relationship With Jesus Christ?

Photo: Flickr/Robert - Creative Commons

By Randy Alcorn

A reader of my blog asked, How does a believer keep his motivation? I understand the motivation of the new believer, but how does one stay motivated in day-to-day living, year after year?

Another way of putting that question, in biblical terms, is, “How do you keep from losing your first love?” (Revelation 2:4). When you come to know Christ and put your faith in Him, Jesus changes your life. You’re excited about Him, and everything in life is a contrast to what it was before. But over the long haul, how do you keep that motivation going? How do you sustain a Christ-centered life?

I think the answer to that is really how you sustain a relationship with any person. When Nanci and I first met and started dating, there was an excitement to our relationship and we had our first love. But you begin to realize that over time certain things will change, and the tendency is to start taking each other for granted. FULL POST

Posted 7/24/14 at 12:19 PM | Austin Andrews

Living Compartmentalized - Super Mario Brothers and Jesus

Sometimes, we want to writhe in pain.

I Like the cartoon above, partly because it makes fun of my childhood and partly because of how preposterous it seems, but let’s not dismiss what it can teach us. Our pity party, rolling on the ground in pain, can hurt the people around us. It can drive them away, it can bring their lives down, their attitudes down, their God Given talents set aside. Your leadership can create a roadblock. Poor, poor Luigi. And yes, I know this was an extreme, and that yes it is satirical, but sometimes we need satire to help us make sense of reality.

When we hurt, whether by misguided or purposeful actions, we have a choice to make. Will we lie on the ground, writhing in our pain, or will we stand up and keep moving? Some of us want to throw a pity party for who we are, the junk we have been through, and the mistakes we woefully will make soon after. The problem is, this behavior is destructive behavior.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 2nd Cor 4:8-11 FULL POST

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