Church & Ministry

The Importance of Presence in Ministry

Going Beyond Public Gatherings

God calls every believer to teach His Word to others at a grassroots level. To motivate and equip them to do this, He provides pastors. These are responsible to “hold nothing back,” devoting themselves to ministry in two venues: public gatherings and private settings (Acts 20:20). While both settings are necessary, it seems that prevailing Western models favor public gatherings over more personal settings. Perhaps this imbalance hinders our efforts to engage people in ministry.

We work hard at our public gatherings. Pulpit style. Stage lighting. Usher training. Multimedia presentations. Music of all kinds: congregational, choral, instrumental, solo, ensemble, instrumental and choral. Service orders and liturgies. Invitations (or not). Announcements. Special events. Dramatic interpretations. Guest speakers. Sound systems and auditorium acoustics. We give attention to all these things and more.

But do we give equal or adequate attention to the other important ministry setting? Do we devote ourselves to connecting with believers in personal settings to the same degree? Church ministry that occurs only (or primarily) at a central church building misses a key element of the “hold nothing back” approach that Paul emulates. Read more about The Importance of Presence in Ministry

Portrait of a God-Honoring Church, Part 3

(Read Part 1 and Part 2.)

#8 - Jesus Rose from the Dead After Three Days

Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead, (Acts 10:40-41)

If we only focus on the Cross, without the resurrection, then we have a dead Savior—who isn’t a Savior at all. If we don’t have a risen Savior, we don’t have victory over Satan, a perfect mediator between us and God, forgiveness, reconciliation, adoption into God’s family, the promise of eternal inheritance, the promise of eternal life, the promise of His second coming or the promise of a new earth in a new creation. In short, we have nothing at all.

Jesus rose from the dead—it’s part of the gospel, and people need to know about this and the cross of Calvary! God raised Him from the dead. God showed Him openly and plainly to the people. Peter and the others even ate and drank with Him—what more simple and forceful proof could there even be for His real resurrection? He wasn’t a spirit, an apparition or a ghost—He was flesh and blood, come back to life from the dead! Read more about Portrait of a God-Honoring Church, Part 3

The Problem of "Church Hopping" in My Community (Part 2)

The previous post on this subject presented reasons people leave one church for another and concerns that our pastors have about this practice. Let me say again, there are legitimate reasons for leaving a church and going to another one in the same community. It may seem that I should discuss those reasons in these articles. But I want to focus on problematic church-hopping rather than the acceptable variety.

Some Recommendations

For church members who are considering making the jump to another church in your community, may I encourage you to walk through the questions I listed at the end of the previous post. You may not realize how important you are to your church, how much people care about you, and how your decision will affect you, your family, and the churches involved. Please take the time to prayerfully and honestly consider your answers to those questions. Read more about The Problem of "Church Hopping" in My Community (Part 2)

Pages