Christians need to love the church

Pastor Rick Warren believes that the church remains the greatest force for good on earth yet Christians don’t love it.

“One of the greatest crimes I see in our society today is a lot of Christians use the church but don’t love it,” he said on May 17 during Wilberforce Weekend at the Crystal Gateway Marriott.

“If you want to be like Jesus Christ, you must learn to love the Bride of Christ. If I were to say to you ‘I like you I just don’t like your body,’ you’d be offended. So is Jesus.”

Read more: https://www.christianpost.com/news/rick-warren-christians-need-to-love-the-church.html?uid=2ad8c0f778

Advertisements

What Barnabas Saw At Antioch


Some time ago a nationally popular denominational preacher spoke to a group of Muslims that one blogger described as “cozying up to extremists.

Aside from that , one of the things that intrigued me was what he thinks the church needs to be fighting, what he called 5 global giants. — war, poverty, corruption, disease, and illiteracy. While I admit these are huge challenges and agree that as good citizens we ought to be concerned about them, is this the true, scriptural mission of the church?

In the New Testament book of Acts we learn about the founding, growth and work of the first century church. Following the persecution of Saul of Tarsus, the stoning of Stephen and the scattering of Christians, we read about the gospel message coming to Antioch of Syria, a city about 300 miles north of Jerusalem, which is the modern day city of Antakya.

The Bible says they were “telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. (Ax 11:20-21).

As a result, the church at Jerusalem sent Barnabas to Antioch to see what was happening. The text says, “ When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. (Ax. 11:23).

What did Barnabas see?

(1) An Aggressive Outreach to the Lost.

Continue at: https://thepreachersword.com/2019/04/25/what-barnabas-saw-at-antioch/#more-13852

Sermon-based Small Groups: Yes or No?

By Chuck Lawless on Apr 29, 2019 01:00 am

More and more churches seem to be moving to a sermon-based curriculum for their small groups. That is, they review and study the same text the pastor preached on the previous Sunday. On the other hand, I’ve met church leaders who oppose this approach. Here’s a summary of the arguments I’m hearing:

Why Sermon-based Small Groups are Good:

  1. They allow church members to dig more deeply into that week’s preached text. Seldom is it a bad move to know the Word better, and focused study can help the church reach that goal. Particularly, the group can work together to ask how they should apply the text in their life that week.
  2. They provide a place for church members to ask questions about the text. I’ve never seen someone ask a question during the sermon, but that doesn’t mean that listeners don’t have questions. A sermon-based small group gives opportunity to ask those questions.
  3. They promote consistency and unity among all the small groups. Regardless of the number of groups, everyone’s studying and reviewing the same content—which helps to build unity and direction within the church.
  4. They encourage worship service attendance. If you know that you’ll be discussing the sermon material in your small group, you’re more likely to be at church to hear the sermon. And, you can often listen to it online if you need to miss the service.
  5. The facilitator is just that—a facilitator. His or her job is to lead the group in discussing the sermon and biblical text. Facilitators don’t have to study a new text and prepare a new lesson each week.

Why Sermon-based Small Groups Aren’t Always Good

  1. The church misses an opportunity to teach more Bible in the small group. If the group is only discussing the sermon text, they seldom veer from that text. Over the course of a year, the church studies only what the pastor has preached – and there’s usually a lot more Bible than that.
  2. Some group members might feel like they’re simply hearing the sermon again each week. And, if they’re only doing that, what’s the point of attending small group?
  3. The discussion can sometimes become nothing more than a critique of the pastor’s sermon and leadership. The group thus becomes an opportunity not only to talk about the sermon, but also to express concerns and air grievances about the pastor. The leader ought to halt this kind of discussion, but that doesn’t always happen.
  4. Group members who miss church that week may feel unprepared to come to small group. Yes, they can often listen to the sermon online, but not everyone will take that step. Some will simply decide not to go to small group that week.
  5. Writing sermon-based curriculum is not easy. It’s not as simple as just reiterating the sermon’s points. It requires someone who has the time to write it, who knows how to write well, and who thinks practically enough to build application into the curriculum. I’ve seen too many churches hurt their small group ministry by producing only weak, unfocused curriculum.

What are your thoughts? What does your church do? 

Give your comments at: https://chucklawless.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1f66ea30867c3c2882f0eae77&id=caa3d65e14&e=e8a5edc6f6

Belonging to the Church

A Broadcast with Sinclair Ferguson

Western culture glorifies individualism, but God calls us to community. Today, Sinclair Ferguson reminds us that the church is at the very heart of God’s plan for His people.

10 Dietrich Bonhoeffer Quotes That Taught Us About ‘Life Together’

Detrich Bonhoeffer quotes

April 9th marks 73 years since Dietrich Bonhoeffer was killed in a Nazi concentration camp. However, through various biographies and writings, his legacy has lived on in church history. Prolific on many subjects relating to Jesus and the church, Bonhoeffer not only wrote about total submission to the will of God, he lived it.

As the church continues to reap from the bounty of his writings, like The Cost of Discipleship and Ethics, there is one particular book that gets lesser attention but is equally important to the church and church leaders.

Life Together is a slim volume, unimpressive in its length, yet deceptively packed full of truth about communal living in the church. In this book. Bonhoeffer not only explores what life together in the body looks like Scripturally, but practically. He shares how Christians can and should interact, the dangers of too much community and being too solitary. His writing on the subject is a must read for any Christian wanting to understand the beautiful tapestry God weaves together through His children, and how one matures in that community.

As we remember the life of Detrich Bonhoeffer and his contribution to the church, here are 10 things he taught us about community in Life Together.

Detrich Bonhoeffer Quotes

1. Accountability is an absolute necessity among brothers and sisters in the body.

“Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons others to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one’s community back from the path of sin.”

Read more: https://churchleaders.com/daily-buzz/277152-10-things-bonhoeffer-taught-us-life-together.html

The American Church Has Got Talent But What It Really Needs Is…

agt

There are a couple of heroes in the book of Acts that model for us what we need. This couple sat under the preaching of a dynamic speaker. But they realized he was missing something; namely, Jesus. (Or a full understanding of Christian baptism if you want to go that route). So they took him under their wing. They loved him and taught him and then sent him back out.

The dynamic speaker was Apollos. And that precious couple was Priscilla and Aquila.

The American church has got talent but what we really need are more Priscilla and Aquila’s. Think of all the Apollos’ who are leading ministries. Great speakers. Knowledgeable. Passionate. Fervent. Gaining a following. Writing books. Headlining conferences. Missing something vital.

I’m reading an excellent book, The Mentoring Church, by Phil Newton. In the first chapter he outlines the goal of the mentoring relationship: being, doing, believing, teaching. He also outlines the method for doing this: doctrine, praxis, and sending. Do you notice anything there? Doing is connected with praxis. Believing is connected with doctrine. And teaching is connected with sending. BUT there is nothing connected with being.

This isn’t an oversight on Newton’s part. He is correct. Being isn’t something you can teach in a seminary class or necessarily read in a book. It’s only crafted through…being. It’s forged in the context of a life lived out in the local church. You can’t fake it. You can’t test out of this one. It takes another person pouring the life of Christ into another person.

A New or Old Problem?

Continue: http://www.mikeleake.net/2019/04/the-american-church-has-got-talent-but-what-it-really-needs-is.html

You Need the Local Church to Be Healthy – video

https://churchleaders.com/pastors/videos-for-pastors/268995-you-need-the-local-church-to-be-healthy.html