Church & Ministry

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Posted 10/19/17 at 1:55 AM | olabode ososami

Worship is not just singing

Many have asked what is Worship? Who is a Worshipper? Worship is important not just because God is seeking Worshippers (and He is), but also because in Eternity, our Worship in Spirit continues while virtually everything else ceases. Worship is not just singing and making music, indeed our Worship (if true) must extend to the home, the Market Place even in our Politics. God responds with extraordinary action, when we worship Him in Spirit. So what is Worship in Spirit?

Worship is an act of obedience, deep respect, devotion, adoration, bowing oneself down in full prostration before God thus seting God apart as above all in one’s life.

Indeed music elevates the soul and Martin Luther once wrote that God created man to extol Him in song …singing the psalms and hymns have always been part of what we can call worship, but we cannot limit worship to that which happens when we sing or are inspired by music. The hymns are a powerful teaching tool, and much gladness and healing for the soul of saints have come through music, and this is excellent …but true worship is directed to God and has less to do with human feelings. Worship is more than singing. Nothing wrong in being a professional musician … but this is not to be confused with Worship. FULL POST

Posted 10/17/17 at 12:03 PM | João Mordomo

Timeless Tips on Missions from the Apostle Paul

7 Missions Tips

Marcy Hill is my guest blogger today. As one of my master's degree students, she recently wrote a discussion board post that nicely complements my last post called Timeless Tips on Evangelism from the Apostle Paul. Here are some of Marcy's brief insights into Paul's missionary methods offered to us with a bit of didactic flare:

In reviewing the course material for week two, seven characteristics of Paul’s missionary methods can be discussed.

1. Prepare: Paul was passionate and obedient when it came to his missionary work. His journeys required planning, which he was an active participant in. Consider Moreau, Corwin, and McGee’s assessment of Paul, “Occasionally he depended on the hospitality of God’s saints…or the contributions of various churches…, but most typically he generated his own income by making tents…”[1] Not only did Paul accept and obey God’s purpose for his life, he also personally contributed to the actualization of the missionary determinations.

2. People: Paul understood the importance of Christian community and fellowship. In each of Paul’s three major missionary journeys, he had traveling and ministerial companions. During his first mission, he traveled with Barnabas and John Mark.[2] His second mission Paul traveled with Silas, Timothy, Priscilla, Aquilla, and Luke.[3] Hence, Timothy and Luke were Paul’s travel companions during his third missionary journey. FULL POST

Posted 10/15/17 at 6:01 PM | olabode ososami

The Wedding - Part 1 :The Coming Of Christ

Over the years, we have seen much written about the second coming of Christ, with many predictions passing unfulfilled. Indeed, scripture has said we can not know the exact day of His coming, but that has not stopped many seeking to set dates. The Bible however teaches us that we are not in darkness that the day should catch us as a thief in the night. These articles seeks to throw light into the obscurity that this theme has been overcast with, and to establish some clarity out of much confusion.

With all my heart I sense that a most important theme for mankind, particularly with recent signs and developments, is the return of Jesus Christ. I believe I am being led to summarise the contents of a book on this theme, which I published in 2011, in a seven-part video series (30 minutes each) called “THE WEDDING” . The first episode is an introductory teaching while future episodes will look at topics like what it means to be chosen, the gifts of the Bride, the Victories of the bride, the Money of the Bride, Signs of His Coming and the Bride's Heavenly Home. FULL POST

Posted 10/10/17 at 1:12 PM | Karen Farris

Dividing God’s Army

Most Sunday school kids learned to sing, “I’m in the Lord’s Army.”  We loved the hand motions, the marching feet, and saluting as we sang together. We truly were fighting together.

But somewhere along the line, we decided to break rank and use our weapons of words against one another. It’s been said that Christians are more likely to "kill" their own.

That’s a sad commentary on our faith journey and conflicts with our true mission here—to serve and glorify Christ.

Modern Christian battle lines are drawn on opposing sides of homosexual relationships, abortion, sex outside of marriage, and co-habitation. Christians argue about the inerrancy of the Bible. Does it really mean what it says? Or does it change with changing cultural norms?

While most Christians are united in helping the poor and working towards eliminating racial injustice, our arguments about doctrine on right and wrong further divides us. Oh, our enemy Satan revels in the disharmony. He celebrates when churches divide, or even better dissolve. At no other time does our nation need Christ’s love and God’s wisdom. Let’s remember that when Jesus-loving people are divided, we can’t help heal our broken nation.

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. Matthew 12:25

Posted 10/6/17 at 12:08 PM | Audra Jennings

Biblical literacy and mentorship are important to Christian walk

Part 2 of an interview with Donna Gaines,
Author of Choose Wisely, Live Fully

Abingdon Press
Choose Wisely, Live Fully by Donna Gaines

The Book of Proverbs is a gold mine of divine wisdom. Author and speaker Donna Gaines applies that wisdom in very practical ways to the issues women face. Choose Wisely, Live Fully (Abingdon Press) examines the blessings and curses associated with the choices made by the two women in Proverbs: Wisdom and Folly.

Within the book, Gaines also harnesses her two passions—discipleship and literacy—to challenge women of all ages to become “biblically literate.” Biblical illiteracy makes us vulnerable to influences that do not represent biblical truth. This book is a discipleship tool that will help equip readers to: discern the voice of God and follow His path (the path of Wisdom instead of the path of Folly); experience the joy of wholehearted obedience; and let God help them mentor the lives around them in remarkable ways.

Q: What is Biblical literacy, and how do you address modern Christians’ lack of it in Choose Wisely, Live Fully?

Bible literacy is the ability to understand the grand narrative of God’s Word and apply its truths to life. We must read and study that we might “rightly divide the Word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Then, through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we are able to choose to bring our lives into conformity to God’s Word.

Biblical illiteracy (the lack of knowing what the Bible says) is rampant. Most of us honestly don’t know what God has said in the first place. Many church attendees profess Christ yet deny Him by their behavior . . . so what are we to do?

I encourage people to read the Bible annually. Reading what someone else says about the Bible is no substitute for reading it yourself. When I disciple women, my goal is for them to become self-feeders. I want them to feed spiritually on the Word of God on a daily basis. If we knew God’s Word we would not be so easily discouraged or led into false teaching.

Q: How does the general lack of Bible literacy in today’s world create havoc in everyday life? What are some examples of hot-button issues further complicated by Christians not personally knowing what God has to say on the subject?

We all must be cautious not to lean on our own understanding but instead to ask, “What does God’s Word say about this?” It is easy for us to be influenced by our emotions, friends, media or what current culture dictates.

Many Christians only know what other people say about God, which leaves the door wide open to individual interpretation, personal agendas and propaganda to make a point. People in the church have been as impacted by media and culture as those outside the church.

The only way to be wise and live the life of spiritual blessing is to immerse ourselves in God’s Word and obey it. God is not just an idea or a concept. He is the Creator, Savior and King. When we come to Him through Christ, He becomes the reality around whom all the rest of our life conforms. Then it doesn’t matter what the issue may be: marriage, divorce, immorality, lying, or caring for the least of these — we choose to line up with God’s Word.

Q: Why is mentoring younger women in discipleship important to you? Should every older woman actively aspire to be a mentor?

In Titus 2, every older woman is commanded by scripture to teach the younger women. We are also commanded by Christ to make disciples and teach them all they need to know (Matthew 28:19–20). This call is for all believers. I find as the mentor and teacher, I always get the most out of it. That is why it is important for those we disciple to disciple others themselves later. The truths of scripture really become our own when we can articulate them to someone else.

Donna Gaines, author of Choose Wisely, Live Fully

Q: Is it ok for a younger woman to search for a mentor instead of an older woman seeking her out? What should a younger woman look for in a mentor?

It is absolutely fine for a younger woman to seek out a mentor. She should look for a woman who walks in wisdom, peace and Christian love. She needs to be a woman of the Word and prayer. I have had several women in the churches where my husband served as pastor I approached and asked to spend time with. It was not a formal mentoring or discipleship relationship, but I learned and was challenged spiritually by time spent with them.

Q: Where can readers find your free downloadable resource on how to start a mentoring program?

By visiting www.AbingdonPress.com/DonnaGaines, readers can download a free resource giving them a schedule for a year-long discipleship program. This schedule is designed for a two-hour weekly study. The mentor guide also includes suggestions for books to study in addition to reading through the Bible. There are also scriptures to memorize.

Learn more about Choose Wisely, Live Fully at http://donnagaines.org and follow Donna Gaines on Twitter (@donnadgaines).

Posted 10/1/17 at 8:06 PM | Edward Ridenour

Does a Spritual Union Exist In A Biblical Marriage?

Is there a spiritual union when two people are married? Is it spiritual in nature?

Well, first, accurately defining how marriage originated and proceeded till now according to the teaching of Scripture will provide a very clear answer to this question.

FULL POST

Posted 9/27/17 at 2:48 PM | Mark Ellis

Police broke all his fingers for sharing Christ

By Mark Ellis

Jatya, a pastor in southern India, is able to document eight times he was persecuted for his faith, all memorialized in old newspaper clippings he keeps in a faded envelope.

In 1992, police ordered Jatya to stop sharing Christ with others in his village. After he refused to stop, police broke all his fingers. Three years later, he was beaten and jailed for a week. Another time, a Hindu neighbor beat Jatya with a bicycle chain, according to a report by Voice of the Martyrs (VOM).

Each time Jatya was persecuted for his faith, his response was the same: he went back to the streets with his Bible sharing the Gospel of Christ. With a boldness derived from the filling of the Spirit, he feels an urgency to declare the Good News!

More recently, Jatya shared the Gospel with a young man in his village. An angry mob of radical Hindus surrounded Jatya and beat him until he lost consciousness, according to VOM.

Jatya downplayed the severity of the beating when recounting the story to VOM. He said the most important part is the young man became a follower of Jesus!

Jatya hopes that someday soon he will be able to meet the men who beat him and share Christ with them. FULL POST

Posted 9/27/17 at 2:32 PM | Mark Ellis

Woman narrowly missed Tennessee church shooting

Grieving congregants outside Tennessee church

By Mark Ellis

Gloria Riches, 85, never misses a Sunday at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee. But on the morning when a Sudanese immigrant shot seven people and killed one woman, Gloria was uncharacteristically absent.

“I haven’t missed a Sunday in six months,” Gloria says. “But I did not feel well.”

The pew where Gloria sits would have placed her in the path of the shooter. “God took care of me yesterday,” she says. “I would have been right there.”

She got an urgent phone call at 11:15 Sunday morning from a close friend who had just witnessed the first woman shot outside the church. “She was hysterical; as she was getting in her car, she saw someone fall in front.”

Gloria knows the alleged shooter, identified as Emanuel Samson, 25. Samson is a legal U.S. resident who came from Sudan in 1996. “He hadn’t been to church in about 3 years,” she notes. FULL POST

Posted 9/12/17 at 8:58 AM | Marvin Thompson

When a Preacher’s Words and Actions Confuse the Message

An interesting moment came about during a panel discussion at the Religion News Association conference in Nashville, Tennessee, on September 9th, 2017.

Televangelist and pastor at New Destiny Christian Center in Florida, Paula White, tried to clarify what she meant by some controversial comments on the Jim Bakker show recently. On the show she said it was God who raised up Trump, and suggested that any resistance to the President is tantamount to fighting against God’s plan, and is therefore “fighting against the hand of God."

Her clarification came in response to Jack Jenkins of Think Progress who wanted to know if she “believed all leaders, including former President Barack Obama, were anointed by God,” because of her comments on Bakker’s show.

Her clarification proverbially raised more questions than it answered. She said, “I'm a preacher and I got a little fired up and I said some things invariably that I wish I wouldn't have said" and "I don't believe that just for President Trump. I would believe that for President Obama, I would believe that had Hillary been in." FULL POST

Posted 9/10/17 at 4:45 PM | João Mordomo

Timeless Tips on Evangelism from the Apostle Paul

You’ve met the type. You may BE the type. Gung-ho for missions! Ready to take the world for Christ! Willing to go “way over there” to the “ends of the earth” to proclaim the Good News! Excellent! I’ve met many who fit this bill. Unfortunately, many of them have neither the ability nor the desire to communicate the Gospel “right here,” in their own country with their own people using their own language. How then, will they effectively communicate Christ cross-culturally? Perhaps some timeless tips from the Apostle Paul are in order.

You’ve met the type. You may BE the type. Gung-ho for missions! Ready to take the world for Christ!


Throughout the second half of the book of Acts Paul sets forth his case for Christianity over and against any other religion or philosophy. He does so employing trans- or supra-cultural principles that work in any culture, with any people, in any language. Acts 17:16-34 provides a particularly enlightening account of Paul's evangelistic approach. What can we learn from Paul? FULL POST

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