Church Life

10 Church Members God Especially Calls Me To Love

"...an under-shepherd knows he doesn’t tend sheep because tending sheep is fun; rather, he tends sheep because his master, the True Shepherd, has called him to. He knows he has not been called to a life of ease, but a life of service, even to those who sometimes make that service a trial." - Challies

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Is Social Distancing a Christ-Like Response to Covid-19?

"[H]ow can we practically serve God during this season dominated by Covid-19? Three main ways: 1. Diligently praise God for His sovereignty. 2. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, do not give in to fear. 3. By God’s grace, serve those in our communities who are the most at risk of being adversely affected by Covid-19." - John Ellis

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LifeWay develops free coronavirus response training resources for churches

"As the coronavirus spreads in the U.S., congregations are facing a situation many have never considered. In response, the LifeWay Leadership team has developed pandemic response resources that are being made available for free to assist pastors and church leaders at MinistryGrid.com/coronavirus." - BPNews

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Truth and Lies About a "Healthy Church"

This is an adaptation of a sermon I preached this past Sunday. Like many churches, ours struggles with feelings of “failure” because we aren’t a large church. I often preach a sermon like this every year or so to remind the congregation about biblical metrcis for understanding what a “healthy church” really is.

What is a “healthy church?” There are plenty of bad answers to answer this question. They’re usually driven by either (1) un-biblical ideas how salvation works, or (2) a pampered, consumer mindset that Jesus knows nothing about.

I recently had a conversation with two 19-year olds who grew up in our church. I wanted to encourage them to become members and encourage them to serve. Instead, they told me how disappointed they were about the church.

It isn’t a large church, so they told me “it feels like church is dying.” It isn’t a particularly hip church, so they told me “church should be a place where all people feel welcome.” These are common sentiments from many churchgoers in America.

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“As congregations, we grow in godliness not by hearing one sermon but by hearing a thousand.”

"We need to believe that God really does work and that he really does work over time. Too often we overestimate the growth we can gain in a week, but underestimate the growth we can gain in a year." - Challies

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"Protestant churchgoers say they can walk with God just fine by themselves, but they also say they need other believers to help them do it."

"A LifeWay Research survey sponsored by the Center for Church Revitalization at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary finds majorities of those who attend U.S. Protestant or non-denominational churches at least monthly agree with the two sentiments that are seemingly in conflict." - Facts & Trends

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Why Are We Here?

Every organization is prone to forget why it’s there. People come and go, the founders pass away, the culture changes. Sometimes an organization can wake up and find it’s lost its way. Other times, the organization never wakes up.

The YMCA started in London in the 1840s as a Christian outreach to young men in the inner cities during the industrial revolution. Now, the YMCA is a gym with a robust after school youth program.

Baptist fundamentalism began as a protest movement against theological revisionism and apostasy. Within one generation, the movement’s various flavors fractured over the issue of secondary separation. In some quarters, the mission drift is so extreme that evangelicals have long been considered ” the enemy,” rather than modern-day heresy and compromise.  

So, mission drift happens.

On that note, here are some short reflections for pastoral ministry from Jesus’ interactions with the Sanhedrin’s representatives during the early portion of Passion Week. They’re about “mission drift,” too.1 It’s not a new thing.

Is Jesus your King and your Lord?

This isn’t about Lordship Salvation. It’s about whether you actually reverence Jesus Christ as Lord in your heart and give Him allegiance in your life. On Palm Sunday, the crowd said Jesus was its King. They lied. How many pastors are lying? How many professing Christians?

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