Showing posts from October, 2014

Things to Be Reminded of or Learn from The Lord's Prayer dba Luke 11:1-4

When it comes to the Lord's Prayer, there are few things in Christian life people feel they know better, but maybe miss some key points on. 1.) The Lord's Prayer is a community prayer, or a prayer of an individual but who lives in community.  It is from Jesus' plural (you) and the several "us" remarks a prayer of someone who lives in Christian community. 2.) The Lord's Prayer is not a public prayer.  It is a disciples prayer.  Actual Christ following people.  It is not a generic prayer for Christendom.  I purposely avoid using, for instance, in a city council or commissioner's court prayer. 3.)  The Lord's Prayer is about kingdom provision.  When we say "give us our daily bread" God in His great love for you boldly invites us in to almost (but not quite perhaps) come as close to a extremely bold statement.  Old Abraham asked God "do not be angry, but what if" when pleading about Lot's city.  But The Lord's Prayer Jesus

Radical Changes to Church Planting and Established Church Invite Methods

There is a new study out published in a Barna book, called Churchless , which explores this topic in the headline.  It finds that receptivity to direct mail, social online media, tv, radio, and newspaper ad invites to church among those not in a church is very very low.  And dropping. What does this mean for churches?   See study here . In sum, churches should expect that advertising as a main driver of church growth, or a grand opening launch, or a special event will be very unimpressive.  Indeed, our church has realized this and stopped spending nearly as much on advertising in our area. However, I loved how Barna brings this national perspective that the trend is not just North Texas. That is so useful to others, so they as church laymen and women or leaders can benefit from that VALUABLE knowledge on kingdom resources. In short, save your ad money, it's just not so much worth it to see people in church.  The unchurched don't care much about your ads and they actua

Subversive: Living as Agents of Gospel Transformation by Stetzer - a review

Ed Stetzer the well known church leadership and data researcher shares insights in his book Subversive that are spot on. The book served me as a pastor differently than it might another Christian.  For me it was more of a confirmation book of trends and correct ways to view things within church rather than an eye opening book.  For some it could be an eye opener.  This book was especially useful not as an idea book for me, but as a way post on the road preaching through the Gospel of Luke, kind of like someone saying "right on, keep it up" on certain passages. Much of Subversive pulls from the radically subversive nature of Jesus in the Gospels.  He is not comfortable with people staying in the status quo spiritually, but actually living for God instead of their culture, their homespun religions, or themselves. One thing which I strongly do not like in books is a conversational style, because of course, while you may think of reading as a conversation, it really is not.

Who Are You Following Today Christian?

There is an encouraging word from discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer: (Taking up) "The only constant factor throughout is the sameness of Christ and of his call then and now.  His Word is one and the same, whether it was addressed during his earthly life to the paralysed or the disciples, or whether it is speaking to us today.  Here as there we receive the gracious summons to enter his kingdom and his glory.  ...  All we have to do is to hear the word and obey the will of Christ, in whatever part of the scripture testimony it is proclaimed.  The Scriptures do not present us with a series of Christian types to be imitated according to choice:  they preach to us in every situation the one Jesus Christ."  (p 228; Cost of Discipleship) God bless you!

Some good Friday thought...

Today it has really stood out to me that we too often make Christianity about a culture in America and that really we must be cognizant of Christ's daily call to follow him. Consider.  It's been said before: " A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing."   --Martin Luther. There is a lot of truth to this when you think on passages like the Gospel of Luke, chapter 9, verses 23 to 24...

Did Jesus Get Raised or Raise Self from the Dead?

A common misconception from a limited study of the New Testament is this:  Jesus either raised himself from the dead or he was raised from the dead by God the Father, not both. In church before as a pastor I have heard this, when I deep dig a passage and bring out that in one case Jesus was raised from the dead (God does as in God the Father in NT lingo; Luke 9:22), that someone may have only heard the other side. But we see both. Passively raised up by another member of Christian Trinity verses: Luke 9:22 God the Father. Romans 8:11 God the Holy Spirit. Actively raised self up from dead verses: Luke 24:46; Acts 10:41; Acts 17:3 (Separate but also same verbal idea pt., Luke 16:31) Be blessed in the context of Scripture friends!