Is Your Church Full of Customers or Owners?

https://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/163942-ed-stetzer-your-church-full-customers-owners.html

The Letter of Hebrews and the Church

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2019/09/19/the-letter-of-hebrews-and-the-church/

Re-thinking the “Silence” of Women in 1 Cor 14

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2019/10/23/re-thinking-the-silence-of-women-in-1-cor-14/

The Biggest Challenge Facing the Church Today

https://churchleaders.com/pastors/videos-for-pastors/270507-paul-david-tripp-the-biggest-challenge-facing-the-church-today.html

Are You A Member of the Body Or Just A Member of the Church?

“The very word membership is of Christian origin, but it has been taken over by the world and emptied of all meaning,” wrote C. S. Lewis in one of his essays.

Lewis further opined, “I am afraid that when we describe a man as ‘a member of the Church’ we usually mean nothing Pauline” as he referred to Paul’s statement regarding “members of the Body” of Christ (1 Cor. 12:22).

Being a member of the Body is not like being a member of a club, business organization or some kind of fraternity. For example, when I joined Rotary, I was a member of a local club and was expected to do three things: (1) Attend a local meeting. (2) Abide by the rules of the club. (3) Pay monthly dues. Failure to do so could result in my termination from the club.

Too many Christians have that kind of view of the church. They attend just enough, behave well enough, and give just enough so their membership won’t be revoked. According to 1 Corinthians 12, that’s not a Biblical view of being a member.

Being a member is an analogy. Paul compared it to the physical body. The illustration is simple and obvious, and almost humorous. The physical body has different members–eyes, ears, hands, and feet. The body is not one member.

Can you picture someone who is all nose? A giant eye? A huge hand? An enormous ear? Or a humongous head?

Just as the physical body has many members and work together in unity and harmony, so should the spiritual body function in the same way. This analogy teaches us several lessons.

(1) The rich diversity of the members.

Just as the human body has different kinds of members, the body of Christ is composed of people of different nationalities, genders, education levels, occupations, and ages. The diversity adds to the richness and beauty of the body.

Continue: https://thepreachersword.com/2019/09/06/are-you-a-member-of-the-body-or-just-a-member-of-the-church/

Seven Steps Towards A Greater Gospel Focus In Your Church

By Sam Rainer

Most of the unchurched are not anti-church. Few are highly antagonistic to the gospel. In fact, only about 5% of unchurched Americans are highly antagonistic to the gospel. Euangelion is the Greek word for good news, or gospel. Have believers today lost the “good” in good news? Negativity undoubtedly sells. Negative news reports get more eyeballs, as do negative posts on social media and blogs.

Eighty percent of churchgoers believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith, yet 61% of them had not told another person about Christ in the last six months. The vast majority of Christians believe they should share their faith, but few actually do. Christians should be eternal optimists. The good news should compel us outward with love. If you’re leading a church, what can you do about the fact that most believers don’t share their faith?

Step 1: Admit the problem. In my own denomination, baptism follows conversion, and 25% of churches baptize no one in a given year. Additionally, more than half of churches in my denomination baptize less than one person every two months. Your church may be an anomaly, but most are struggling to reach people for Christ. And church leaders must do more than recognize the statistical reality. Church leaders must admit they are part of the problem as well.

Step 2: Lead by example. Evangelistic churches have evangelistic leaders. Though not an impossibility, I’ve yet to hear of an outwardly-focused church with inwardly-focused leaders. You cannot expect your church members to share their faith if you’re not leading the charge. Make it a goal to share your faith with someone every week. The median church size is 75 people. That means in most churches, if the leaders simply fulfill their responsibility of sharing the gospel, the church will grow.

Step 3: Stay positive. The gospel is good news. If you rant the gospel, it’s not the gospel. It’s just religious bluster, which does no good. Your tone is important, not as important as content, but close. The prosperity gospel warps the good news, but the poverty gospel sucks the life out of it. The gospel doesn’t bring your earthly riches. Neither does the gospel require extreme asceticism. But all Christians should be positive people. Without sacrificing sincerity and authenticity (life can be hard), the best way to share your faith is to focus on the good of the good news.

Read more: https://thomrainer.com/2019/08/seven-steps-towards-a-greater-gospel-focus-in-your-church/

Men: Don’t Neglect These 4 Key Spiritual Disciplines

https://www.crossway.org/articles/men-dont-neglect-these-4-key-spiritual-disciplines/