First, two convicting quotes on prayer.
Second, Jayson Byassee shares some thoughts that he believes pastors in the today’s “wired” culture should be teaching their congregations. He says (don’t be put off by the gender used),
In response to our frenetic world, in which we can speak instantly to anyone around the world but have very little to say, I would argue pastors should be inaccessible more often than not. Part of our problem is that we get agitated if the email bell doesn’t go off every 30 seconds. Over against this, the pastor needs to teach us, to embody patience, or even silence. If my pastor, for example, is always instantly emailing me back, when is she praying for me? When is she quietly sitting in God’s presence, waiting for a word for us for Sunday? When is she nourishing her own soul in a way unrelated to her service to us, but just because God is good?
This post will cause most American Christians to think a bit differently about the challenges of bringing your kids to worship services on Sunday. Steve and Stephanie Allen, along with their three girls, have followed the call of God to Zambia. I had the privilege of “pastoring” Steve many years ago when he came to our youth group. It was amazing to see the Lord light a fire in his heart – a fire for God and the Scriptures that has not been extinguished.
Check out Kamryn’s Blog too.
And take a moment to pray for these (an other) faithful servants. Jump around their blog a bit and you’ll have plenty of ideas about how to pray.
As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:15 (ESV)
Thanks to Unashamed Workman for this link on pastorblog to a couple of unusual tools to check out words used in the Bible. I’m sure that someone will find a great way to use them.
This benediction has been making its way around a few blogs I’ve visited. It is thought-provoking. Especially, May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.
Another shout-out to Unashamed Workman for this post on the Martha Syndrome. How about this thought:
Jesus didn’t die just to purchase another worker for the kingdom.
I’ve talked with several men recently who just don’t seem to have time to actually read many books. To them I commend Christian Book Summaries. The latest edition is Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur. Guys, it is worth a look! Check out some of the past issues here.
Since I’m currently the Executive Pastor of an “almost” MegaChurch, I found church researcher Thom Rainer’s observations on big churches to be thought-provoking. Rainer is also the co-author of Simple Church (Broadman & Holman) with Eric Geiger. I’m find it interesting that among the observations there is nothing about churches and leaders humbly coming before God in complete dependence. Maybe not surprising in an age when so often we turn to sociology, techniques and the like for guidance in doing church.
So what personality type are you? Here’s an interesting way to get your Miers-Briggs letters. They say I’m an ISTJ.
Tim Challies has a post about organizing a personal library. He’s using LibraryThing. I wrote about this site in a post two years ago and wasn’t sure I wold find it all that helpful. Now I use it all the time. My library is listed here. Some users are using it to list books they want to purchase/read. It is a flexible tool for bibliophiles. I might even get rid of my Amazon wish list …
This is why I will probably never enjoy Korea (at least Korean buffets?).
Netflix for Books? I think the public library works just as good … and it is free.
This might be an interesting tool to put on a website. It doesn’t tell how many may die because of reading my stuff. It might be kind of creepy, but it does make one think.
Jonathan Leeman at Church Matters points out that a congregation needs to fully understand the doctrines of salvation if they are ever going to understand what church discipline is all about. And it does seem that so many Christians – even in good churches – find it difficult to accept that a church might deal with unrepentant sin in such manner. I know it comes up at our church and one of the most requested documents lately has been our position paper on the topic.
If the members of a church only understand the gospel partially, that is, the gospel as
- “Jesus is the one who fills the God-shaped hole in our hearts,”
- “Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for our lives,”
- “Jesus has come to declare God’s kingdom and make everything new,”
- “God will bless and prosper us if you only believe that he will,”
- “Jesus came to show us how we need to love others,”
- “If you say the sinner’s prayer, you won’t go to hell,”
- “Jesus came to give us purpose and life abundant,”
then the idea of removing someone from the congregation for unrepentant sin is far less likely to make sense to them.
If the members of a church only understand conversion partially, that is, conversion as
- “just believe,”
- “just pray these words after me,”
- “we’re all on a journey,”
- “it’s not about sin-management, it’s about following Jesus,”
Then the idea of removing someone from the congregation for unrepentant sin is far less likely to make sense to them.