"MIT Technology Review recently showed that troll farms had reached over 140 million users on Facebook before the 2020 election. A troll farm is an organized group of users (or even bots) who intentionally craft content to exploit division and sow discord in society." - C.Leaders
"A critical look at what could be responsible for believers’ inability to withstand calamities of life is traceable to “bread and butter messages” in churches today. Sound doctrines are rarely preached and many Christians have been weakened by rosy messages that only make Christians focus on how to find solutions to the challenges of life through God. When expectations are not met, frustration sets in." - C.Post
Reposted from Rooted Thinking.
This is the last of three articles exploring these truths:
The goal in pondering these four truths is to better understand what our responsibilities are and are not when striving to make disciples for Jesus. All of us try to discern genuine saving faith among those that profess Jesus Christ in our ministries. We see people fall away. We see some profess Christ but grow only minimally over years of faith. Are they real? How do we process people falling away and some growing so little? What responsibilities do we have in “making sure” that people are real? There are key truths in Scripture to guide us into a right understanding of this important matter.
Let’s consider the last two truths: Levels of growth vary between believers and life “baggage” and other hindrances can make change difficult.
By M.R. Conrad
Nelson Knode was supposed to be teaching me trumpet. He did that, and he did it well. But Nelson did so much more than teach me trumpet. He was my undercover mentor.
“I want to walk with Jesus,” Nelson told the ten-year-old me, his blue eyes a bit overly intense. I never knew the professional trumpeter without snow-white hair. In my mind, wrinkles had always creased his face. And his mantra never changed, “I want to walk with Jesus.”
My trumpet lesson was half trumpet technique and half discipleship. Since we met every Sunday after church in the church basement, I guess that made sense. I often could not tell where Nelson’s musical pedagogy ended and his sermon began. Some of the stories he told to prove his points would fit either option.
Nelson didn’t just talk: he modeled what he taught whether it be in trumpet performance or the Christian life. Now, years after my teacher went to be with the Lord, people hear me play the trumpet and say that it uniquely sounds like Nelson Knode. His wife says it to this day. I hope a clear tone in my trumpet playing is not all that rubbed off. Like Nelson, I want to walk with Jesus too.
God used Nelson Knode to mentor me. At the time, I didn’t see it that way. I was just making loud noises in the church basement. But it has got me thinking—who could I influence in the everyday tasks of life to walk closer with God? Could there be more substance—an eternal aspect—to the relationships in which God has placed me?
"...pastors and theologians have used the catchy acronym S.C.A.N to summarize four important attributes of the Bible: its sufficiency, clarity, authority, and necessity. In this article, I want to explain what those attributes mean and how they should shape how we disciple others." - 9 Marks
By Rich Van Heukelum
“If you can see your target, you have a better chance of hitting it.
If you can watch an expert, you have a better chance of doing it well.”
My father was part of the US Army during WWII. One day I saw his uniform in the closet and noticed a sharpshooter medal. When I asked him about it, he told of the day he won that recognition. He had been firing rapidly and doing okay. Then his trainer told him to slow down and take time to aim for each shot. Effective shooting requires knowing not only what the target is but also how to shoot.
One of the great encouragements of our day is a renewed focus on the mission of the church. Taglines and mission statements ooze with “making disciples” and capture the essence of the Great Commission. So we know what our target is. But do we know how to reach it?
James consistently warned of the danger of knowing and saying but not doing (James 1:22; 2:14). His warning reminds us believers that we often think we have fulfilled a command because we know and talk about it. In that respect, some might think they are making disciples because they can clearly state, and are active in a church with, a great mission statement. Pastors are not exempt from this danger of knowing and saying but not actually doing.
"In Deep Discipleship, English contends that our discipleship is anemic; ...we need more teaching discipleship in our churches, not less. He notes we’re actually fairly competent at the relational aspect of discipleship (77–78); and yet, while community is an indispensable part of discipleship, it isn’t discipleship by itself (83, 96, 204)." - TGC