Church & Ministry
Posted 3/11/14 at 3:27 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Phillip Jensen
In 1624 a cathedral Dean wrote: “No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” which ends with the famous lines “And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”
The relationship of the individual with the community is one of the ongoing tensions of life. To what extent is the individual sovereign and how much is the community sovereign?
To what extent should the individual enjoy the freedom to live as the ‘master of my fate and captain of my soul’; not just in the stoic acceptance of suffering but as the motto of life’s action. To what extent is life doing it “My Way”, or as the new Academy Award song would have it “let it go…no right, no wrong, no rules for me. I’m free!” FULL POST
Posted 3/11/14 at 11:53 AM | Tim Challies |
I don’t think anyone could have predicted that in the twenty-first century the old doctrine of Calvinism would suddenly experience a great resurgence. Yet this is exactly what has happened. The New Calvinism, or the Young, Restless, Reformed, has been highlighted in platforms as diverse as Christianity Today and TIME as one of the ideas that is changing the world today. It has been a major emphasis in publishing and has its own celebrities, conferences and organizations.
But where did this thing come from? And how did it come to prominence? Josh Byers and I have teamed up to bring you a Visual Theology infographic we’ve titled Where Did All These Calvinists Come From?: A Visual History. We highlighted some of the dominant themes in the movement and then progressed through the people, the books, the conferences, and the organizations that have made it what it is. We hope you enjoy it.
Posted 3/11/14 at 11:07 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
“The (shepherd) calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out” (John 10:3).
The evangelist had held a revival in my church one year earlier, just before I arrived as the new pastor, and it had gone well. Since we had been seminary classmates and the congregation appreciated his ministry, I invited him to return a year later for a repeat engagement.
He walked in and began calling people by their first names.
I was floored.
I said, “James, how many meetings have you been in since you were here last year?” The answer was something like 36, as I recall.
I said, “Then how in the world can you remember the names of our members?”
“I work at it,” was all he said. (Looking back, I wish I had not let him off so easily but insisted on learning what he did.) FULL POST
Posted 3/11/14 at 10:00 AM | John Dillard
It’s pretty hard to stand when you don’t know where you are or what you are standing on!
Too many of us trust the 30 minute message on Sunday to teach us all we know.
I know of no other vocation that is so little stretched or practiced.
Imagine if pro football players only practiced/studied 30 minutes a week.
Imagine if your medical surgeon had only practiced/studied 30 minutes a week.
Imagine the POWER of Christians throughout the world if we were as diligent in our FAITH WALK as other areas of our life.
For frequently our FAITH WALK is a bit more like a faith crawl.
Posted 3/10/14 at 5:28 PM | Bright Ideas
One day Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do you say I am?" Peter responded, "You are the Messiah." - (Source: Mark 8:29)
The word "messiah" means "anointed one." Kings and prophets were anointed with oil. They were specially set apart for serving God. Jesus was set apart because he was without sin and could be the perfect sacrifice to take away our sin.
Hundreds of years before Jesus birth the prophet Isaiah gave us a list of names for Jesus, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." - (Source: Isaiah 9:6)
This infographic from Zondervan goes into further detail to reveal who Jesus is.
Posted 3/10/14 at 1:08 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By Joe McKeever
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).
A retired seminary professor, now ministering in a different church every weekend, posted an interesting little note on Facebook…
That day, he had been wondering whether the host pastor had appreciated his sermon. So far, the preacher had not said a word. But as they walked toward the parking lot, the pastor said, “Before you go, would you like a cup of coffee?” Thinking the pastor wanted to visit a bit, the professor said, “Sure, that would be fine.”
The pastor said, “You will notice a McDonald’s on your right as you leave town. They serve a great cup of coffee.”
Not exactly what the visitor had in mind. Some of us who have had similar conversations found it amusing. FULL POST
Posted 3/10/14 at 10:43 AM | Brian Stiller |
Few countries display such extremes, from pervasive poverty to stores with most anything one could want; from literacy rates of fifty-five percent to the well educated; from curious and troubling religious practices to the inspirational and rigorous.
Haiti can be breathtaking in its beauty, yet troubling in its squalor. Less than a two-hour flight from south Florida, this country with African roots defies adequate description and self-evident reasons for its struggles and conditions. To understand Haiti, it must be felt.
Its long history includes one of the most astonishing military feats in history. In 1803, its ragtag army, kicking out Napoleon’s military, was the first army of its kind to successfully defeat a colonial power.
Of course, its recent history of brutal dictatorship—from Doc Duvalier to Papa Doc—stigmatized this Caribbean country; and even today, while ruled by an elected government, its ability to operate as a democracy is fragile.
The cataclysmic earthquake of 2010 ripped open the earth, toppling buildings and resulting in the death of a quarter million. Then as Haiti was lifting itself up by its bootstraps, two years later Cyclone Isaac blew its monstrous wind and deluge of rain, destroying much that had been rebuilt. FULL POST
Posted 3/10/14 at 10:26 AM | Phil Cooke |
You might think this post is about reality TV stars, but if so you’ll be disappointed. It’s about the families of some pastors and ministry leaders. For a generation, many Christian broadcasters, ministry leaders, and pastors have been obsessed with the issue of family succession. Obviously, it would be nice if our children followed us into our work. Having a strong and loving family is a wonderful thing, and I think it’s a powerful expression of our witness to the world. However, too many leaders have pushed family members into roles they’re either not qualified for or incapable of doing, and it’s backfired again and again. Here’s a good rule:
People want to hear from a pastor or ministry leader’s family unless it becomes dysfunctional. For instance, if it’s a struggle to keep a family member sober so they can make regular appearances on your ministry TV program, maybe it’s time to get them off the air and get them some real help. If a family member has been through multiple divorces, maybe they’re not the right choice for teaching on how to have a lasting marriage. Competence matters as well. I watched a Christian TV program the other night and cringed as the ministry leader’s young son interviewed a guest. I felt for him. This was obviously not his gift, and it was humiliating and embarrassing. Plus, knowing how so many ministries work, I would bet there was no one there to offer any objective criticism or help. He probably walked off the set thinking he was brilliant, and I’m sure his dad was proud. FULL POST
Posted 3/8/14 at 8:46 PM | Yvonne Perkins
I love to read particularly anything related to God, prayer, intercession, spiritual warfare, chasing the heart of God etc. My prayer room is filled with such books. Today, I want to share some of the things that struck my heart from reading Carriers of God’s Anointing.
Webster definition of anoint 1: to smear or rub with oil or an oily substance 2a: to apply oil to as a sacred rite especially for consecration b: to choose by or as if by divine election; also: to designate as if by a ritual anointment .
God gave very specific directions for the preparation of the oil use for anointing leaders, kings etc. Each ingredient different, serving a different purpose. Each ingredient of the oil was valuable, costly and rare. As it is in the natural, so it is spiritually. FULL POST
Posted 3/8/14 at 2:43 PM | Tim Challies
Through the month of March, I am inviting you to 31 Days of Purity—thirty-one days of thinking about and praying for sexual purity. Each day features a short passage of Scripture, a reflection on that passage, and a brief prayer. Here is day eight:
Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lord, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2:12-13, ESV)
There is a vast difference between drinking from a fountain of living water and drinking the stale murky waters of a broken cistern. No thirsty man in his right mind would turn down the cold, refreshing water from a flowing stream to drink from a muddy, filthy cistern. A broken cistern will never satisfy his thirst. He might take a small and tentative drink from that broken cistern if this is all that is available. But it is not. The man in Jeremiah 2:12-13 is rejecting living water in order to embrace lifeless cistern water. FULL POST