Church & Ministry

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Posted 8/29/14 at 12:01 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

The Wimp in me Hates to be Criticized

Photo: Flickr/DaMongMan - Creative Commons

By Joe McKeever

“Behold, my son who came out from me seeks my life; how much more now this Benjamite? Let him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him” (2 Samuel 16:11).

There’s something about us preachers that loves compliments and runs from criticism.

We preachers can be the biggest wimps on the planet.

Maybe it’s that way with everyone, I don’t know.

Let a preacher receive an anonymous note outlining what he’s doing wrong or a phone call dissecting last Sunday’s sermon and he is done for the week. He will be needing the attention of a good therapist.

We could learn a lot from politicians and others in the public arena. I’ve read that President Eisenhower enjoyed something like a 65 percent approval rating all eight years of his presidency, the highest of anyone since. This means 35 percent of the America public thought he was a failure. And yet, he is lauded as a winner. FULL POST

Posted 8/29/14 at 11:39 AM | Justin Buzzard

Um's 3 Essential Qualities for Church Planters

Photo: Flickr/Lali Masriera - Creative Commons

Last week I spent an afternoon with my new friend, Stephen Um. Stephen is a fantastic and friendly guy who has more degrees than I have bedrooms in my house and who has planted a great church, CityLife Boston. One of the questions I asked Stephen was what qualities he/Redeemer City to City looks for in church planters. He shared 3 essential qualities:

1. Entrepreneurial. A church planter must be entrepreneurial, must have the ability to start and build.

2. Above average preaching. A church planter must have an above average preaching gift.

3. Evangelist. A church planter must have a heart and the competency to engage people, especially skeptics, with the gospel. FULL POST

Posted 8/29/14 at 10:49 AM | C. Aaron Russell |

4 comments

Witnessing to the Enemy - Confronting Islam in America

Door Panel at St. Paul's Basilica in Rome.

Selection from new book, Lessons In Faith—learned the hard way, by C. Aaron Russell. Labor Day Weekend Promotion - Free Kindle Ebook Sat-Mon

Father’s Day Weekend, June 2012—Arab International Festival, Dearborn, MI—A group of Christian demonstrators was attacked by an angry mob (formed from the largely Muslim crowd in attendance) hurling stones, bottles and debris. The assault was captured on video. The police made virtually no attempt to prevent or stop the violence or protect the demonstrators. No arrests were made. Though the Christians had a permit to demonstrate and remained peaceful, they were forced by the police to leave under threat of citation and possible arrest. It was also surprising how little attention such a shocking incident was given by the national news media, although the video capturing much of the violent confrontation went viral on the Internet. FULL POST

Posted 8/29/14 at 9:41 AM | Tim Challies |

1 comment

The Lost Virtue of Self-Control

Good habits or bad habits
Photo: Flickr/The People Speak! - Creative Commons

There are two different lives I lead. Two different kinds of life. There is the life I love, but that is so difficult to maintain, and there is the life I hate, but am so often tempted toward. The first is a life of discipline and self-control, while the second is a life of disorganization and instability. I love the first life, but am constantly sliding toward the second.

The Bible commends self-control and discipline. We are told that self-control is fruit of the Spirit, an imprint of God’s presence in our lives. We are told to discipline and train ourselves to godliness (1 Timothy 4:7), to labor for habits and patterns that will drive us toward holy thoughts, holy desires, and holy lives.

I consider self-control a lost virtue, a quality we too easily ignore. I think we can be uncomfortable with the very idea of self-control because we love to emphasize grace. Somehow grace seems to equate with freedom from structure, with freedom from rigidity. We revel in the freedom of the gospel, not realizing that the gospel doesn’t free us from self-control, but to self-control. Because we are no longer counting on our habits and patterns to discipline us toward salvation, we can joyfully mobilize them to discipline us toward sanctification. FULL POST

Posted 8/28/14 at 10:20 PM | Bill Blacquiere

From Cutting Classes to Caring for Orphans

How do you encourage families to adopt in a country where the language has no word for adoption? At Bethany Christian Services we have experienced that challenge in Ethiopia, and according to author and ministry leader Keith McFarland, the same language barrier exists in Uganda, home to 2.7 million orphans.[1] Keith, the principal of New Hope Institute of Childcare and Family, which is part of an amazing ministry called New Hope Uganda, places his hope for Uganda’s orphans in the church.

“We train pastors how to help build up solid families in their churches who can then adopt and bring the fatherless into healthy homes,” Keith explained, adding that New Hope Uganda now has seven families caring for orphans.

So how did a kid from the hills of West Virginia end up in Uganda, where he has lived with his family for the last ten years? As a student at Moody Bible Institute, he developed a heart for kids when he volunteered to work in Chicago’s notorious housing projects. But his passion for Africa came from cutting classes at Moody his senior year. If that needs explaining, so does the fact that in addition to prayer, his ministry relies on a thousand chickens for support. It’s all here in a fascinating conversation I had recently with Keith, whose book In Pursuit of Orphan Excellence ought to be required reading for any ministry or individual interested in caring for orphans at home or abroad. FULL POST

Posted 8/28/14 at 9:56 AM | Phil Cooke

Mastering Media is Knowing What Each Platform Does Best

Too many people use media randomly, with no real strategic vision. Perhaps a friend recommended local TV, or a board member suggested billboards, or a church youth director likes social media. All these platforms and others are important, but they question is: Why? While I could write many books on the subject, here’s a short list of what differentiates some of the major media platforms:

Newspaper Advertising:
• An affective way to reach 50+ adults since they are the primary readers of newspapers.
• Newspapers are by definition a local media tool and can provide opportunities to create “newsworthiness”.
• Newspapers are good for more in-depth stories.

TV:
• Research indicates the typical household watches over 7+ hours of TV daily. (Some research says 8 hours per day).
• TV still delivers the largest audiences for specific programming.
• Blockbuster movies get more publicity, but the truth is, a popular TV series reaches far more people.
• The growing number of special interest TV channels provides opportunities to target specific audiences and leverage their interests. FULL POST

Posted 8/27/14 at 3:50 PM | Barry Bowen

Radical Author David Platt to Lead Southern Baptist Missionaries

The Southern Baptist International Mission Board selected pastor David Platt to serve as the mission agency's new president. Platt will oversee global missions efforts of America's largest protestant denomination which includes more than 4,800 full time missionaries.

New IMB President David Platt

Who is David Platt?

While serving as pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama, Platt authored the book Radical to challenge Christians to serve Christ outside their comfort zone of the American dream.

Radical by Dr. David Platt

Platt also started the parachurch ministry Radical which hosts the popular event Secret Church. According to the Radical website, "Secret Church is our 'house church' where we meet periodically for an intense time of Bible study—lasting 6+ hours—including a time of prayer for our brothers and sisters across the globe who are facing persecution and for those who have still not heard the gospel." FULL POST

Posted 8/27/14 at 11:34 AM | Hallelujah Diet |

5 comments

What Happens When America Shuns God?

What Happens When America Shuns God?
Hallelujah Diet

There have been numerous instances lately where cities, schools and other civic organizationsare being threatened unless they remove the 10 commandments monument, no longer say “Bless You” to someone who sneezes, and many other instances because there is a select group that seems to be the watchdog over anything “Christian” that appears to “offend them” or may offend someone else.

America was founded on God and has a long history of giving Him praise for the many blessings our country has received as it has continued to received His protective covering. The constitution purposely states there should be freedom to worship. This strong desire to keep God as the number one priority in this country led to addressing Him in our Pledge of Allegiance and even adding the phrase that is on our currency “In God We Trust.”

For hundreds of years, this country has been unashamed and unafraid to voice publicly it’s alliance with God. Churches have been erected without fear of retribution or violence. God has even been allowed in chambers of judges and politicians with the knowledge that they will need Him as they make life-changing decisions that affect the rest of the country and the world as they pledge “So Help Me God.” FULL POST

Posted 8/27/14 at 10:34 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices |

1 comment

7 Things Newly Retired Preachers Need to Do

By Joe McKeever

(Do not miss the post script at the end.)

Don’t let anyone tell you there is no retirement in the Bible.

Church people will say that, of course, mostly in fun. “Preacher, the Bible doesn’t know anything about retirement.”

But they’re dead wrong.

Numbers 8:25 says, “At the age of fifty, (priests) shall retire from service in the work and not work any more.”

There it is, in black and white. I have no idea why the Lord stopped the service of these men so early, unless to give others a chance to serve.

Not that any servant of the Lord I know today is trying to play that card. These days, fifty is just the far edge of youth. You’re just getting started at fifty.

However, we post it here as a good-natured response to the smarties who insist that “retirement is not in the Bible.” (Be sure to smile when quoting Numbers 8:25.)

At any rate, it is entirely possible to retire from pastoring a church but to remain in ministry. In fact, that’s how it’s done.

We are always on duty for the Lord, whether anyone employs us or pays us a salary or not.

The day a pastor hangs it up and cleans out his office and turns it all over to the younger generation comes for all of us. I did that the first time at the age of 64 when I left the pastorate of the First Baptist Church of Kenner, Louisiana, to become Director of Missions for the SBC churches of metro New Orleans. Five years later, I did it again, this time for good. FULL POST

Posted 8/27/14 at 9:44 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices |

4 comments

The Doctrine of Election Is Our Only Hope in Evangelism

Photo: Flickr/Ronny Siegel - Creative Commons
Remains of the ancient city of Corinth

By Wade Burleson

"Then the Lord spoke to Paul during the night in a vision, "Don't be afraid. Continue to speak of Me, and don't go quiet; for I am with you, and no one will be able to stop you or harm you, for I have many people in this city" (Acts 18:9-10)

Paul is in Corinth, a magnificent Grecian city known for its wealth. The Corinthians loved their luxuries, and were renowned for their 'anything goes' lifestyles. Paul seems to have been the first person to tell the Corinthians about Jesus. The response to Paul's message seemed favorable at first, but it wasn't long before Paul became the target of violent opposition. He appears to have become greatly discouraged by the Jews hatred and the Gentiles' vice; both of which he was seemingly unable to effect. He was almost ready to give up his evangelism efforts and move to another city. FULL POST

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