Monthly Archives: February 2007

Accountability Issues

A man I respect deeply once told me, “If I’m able to have sex with a woman that’s not my wife, then I’m just as able to lie about it Tuesday morning at IHOP.”

This comment in response to this blogpost on men’s accountability groups reminds us that technique and programs will not create holy men. This is a work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of men who develop real friendships around Christ.


Make It So Number 1

Ok … this was just for fun. I guess I always knew I’d fit into Picard’s crew, but was afraid I’d probably wind up with the Space Balls… Go ahead, click the link, you know want to know where you belong.

You scored as Enterprise D (Star Trek). You have high ideals and know in your heart that humanity will continue to evolve in a better people. No matter what may happen, you have faith in human beings. A rare quality. Now if only the Borg would quit assimilating people.

Enterprise D (Star Trek)
75%
Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)
56%
Serenity (Firefly)
56%
Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)
56%
Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)
56%
Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)
50%
SG-1 (Stargate)
50%
Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)
44%
Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)
38%
Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)
31%
FBI’s X-Files Division (The X-Files)
31%
Moya (Farscape)
25%

Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com


A Different World

So. How different from my world is the world and worldview of the college freshman in 2006? Thanks to Ron Keener at Church Executive Magazine for pointing to the Mindset list of Beloit College. The list is fun to read (and will make my peers feel a bit old!). A couple of insights into their world:

  • They are wireless, yet always connected.
  • A stained blue dress is as famous to their generation as a third-rate burglary was to their parents’.
  • Thanks to pervasive headphones in the back seat, parents have always been able to speak freely in the front.
  • A coffee has always taken longer to make than a milkshake.

or

  • Mr. Rogers, not Walter Cronkite, has always been the most trusted man in America.
  • Bar codes have always been on everything, from library cards and snail mail to retail items.
  • Madden has always been a game, not a Superbowl-winning coach.

or

  • They have always known that “In the criminal justice system the people have been represented by two separate yet equally important groups.”
  • Young women’s fashions have never been concerned with where the waist is.
  • They have rarely mailed anything using a stamp.
  • Brides have always worn white for a first, second, or third wedding.

Keener’s statement that “These cultural touchstones have shaped the lives of today’s first-year college students, and churches had better understand what it means if they wish to connect with the new/Next generation” is what caught my attention. The challenge to consider the larger issue of how the class of 2010 will view church compared with their parents and grandparents is important … especially when it comes to things that are not really about Jesus or the Bible. He points us to Marion Aldridge’s list of 103 distinctions. I guess it is no wonder that leadership in the church is sometimes a bit difficult!

However, whatever the worldview – old or young – the Word of God is still sufficient. As Paul stressed, “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.” (Titus 2:1, ESV)


 


Thinking About Church Leaders

At Crossroads Bible Church it is time once again to select Elders to join our leadership team. It is always a deliberate process, and one that demands careful, and prayerful, thinking. I have long appreciated the commitment of our leaders to select other leaders that live out the biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4)

Since I’m on point to shepherd this selection process I found myself drawn to some recent posts that were worthy of reflection.  It is my strong conviction that developing leaders to serve as elders is among the highest responsibilities of a pastor. Unashamed Workman has good thoughts on growing elders. Nine Marks has several good articles – one here on qualifications, and another asks several church leaders “What lessons have you learned the hard way in selecting elders?”  John MacArthur provides a short overview of the whole concept on the Grace Community Church Website. I very much appreciated this message from Ray Stedman (blast from the past) – especially his reminder that:

The congregation does not select elders; the Holy Spirit does. He chooses men in every congregation and develops within them the character qualities needed, leading them through various experiences to train them. The job of the other elders is to keep alert and see who it is the Holy Spirit is putting his hand on.

clip-boy.gifIt is amazing how easily the church tends to forget that it is God’s church and He will do his work in His way. I look forward to seeing how the Holy Spirit works in our midst this year!

By the way, this little piece of “art” has nothing to do with this post. I just thought I needed to add a graphic for some reason.


Hymns for Today

Driving to church this morning I found myself flipping between Christian radio stations more than normal. It seemed that every song played was repetitive, trivial, and focused on “me.” This is not about style … it is about the lyrics. Worship songs and “hymns” that do not draw us to consider God may be nice, but they usually fall short of provoking true worship. Often only making me “feel better”. I wonder if the satire of Songs for the Lukewarm church might help explain things? Or the similar list of “hymns” here? Of course, you might miss the point if you have never heard the original hymn. I guess I’m a bit reflective today, and just wondering once again if it might be possible that what we sing infects us with a passion robbing view of living the Christian life.


The Church’s Worst Enemy

The church’s worst enemy is the man of little faith within the membership, not the faithless man of the world.

These words, attributed to D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, should cause every church leader to pause. Maybe this is why Peter wrote:

” Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:12-17, ESV)

God desires a pure, strong, church to impact the world. He will purify it himself if leaders do not guard it themselves. Maybe that is why Peter continues in the next chapter with the command to leaders: “Shepherd the flock of God among you ….” Good shepherds will watch out for the flock, they will seek to strengthen the weak Christian and shore up the faith of the wavering one. They will guard it from those who would undo things from within because the church is not ours, it belongs to the one who sacrificed himself for it.


Random Stuff

My daughter was in an accident this week. The other car hit and ran with no witnesses. She’s out of work for two weeks and out some bucks too. Her attitude probably trumps what mine would be.

I read a lot of books. Few make me laugh out loud. This one did. I think it might make women roll their eyes, but guys will learn a lot about the differences between men and women. Like, “While men enjoy normal movies involving submarines and explosions and daring rescues, women prefer movies that involve British actors and shrubbery and agonizingly slow plots. And they want you to watch these movies with them.” Of course it may be that I’m just in a strange mood and things just seem funny.

Unashamed Workman is a blog I came across this morning. I like it. I’ll be back. It is now on my blogroll. Colin has put some time into building a great blog (unlike your’s truly). He has dug out some great articles from the blogosphere. Like this one by Mark Driscoll on pastoral burnout, and this one on leadership.

Steve Camp talks about Satan and his strategy for the church. “He will not demand a cross, but will only speak of a better way to successful living. His ‘gospel’ focuses on man and his needs; not with God and His glory.”

This would be an interesting Sunday School class to attend. If you can’t make it to Scottsdale every week, you can download the lessons here.

Here’s a Google mashup that Bible students will love.

Detail oriented, planning tech types will love this post!

Thanks to Travis Carden for this Grace to You archive of John MacArthur messages. Not just mp3 files – you can download written transcipts as well!