What is dying?

The man-made structures we wrap around Christians follow a life cycle similar to our biological cycle from birth to death.  The Bible does not support the idea of any man-made organization living forever.  Only people have eternal spirits.

What is YOUR responsibility?

As long as you a member of this community, pray, give, and sow seeds that contribute to life and growth.  Do not excuse gossip or create disunity because of your perspective on the decline.

You may also be used to help care for some senior members or assist people in transferring to more vital congregations.

You may also be given an assignment to leave peacefully and in tears to be a part of or give birth to a new community of Christ followers.

The guiding rule for ministry is — invest in people, Christ died for people.  That includes the pastor .  How can you encourage and build him up?

What thoughts do you have on this question?

YES!  But in a broken world where people fail to love as God designed it takes a powerful Gospel unleashed in the hearts of humble people by the power of the Spirit to develop and protect a fragile unity.

What steps of faith and obedience can we take that grow ethnically diverse congregations?

Be convinced a church as diverse as the geographic area where it resides is God’s will.  Notice there was NOT ONE INSTANCE OF a church started in the New Testament that separated people ethnically or socioeconomically although the culture was segregated and stratified.  Many of the conflicts in the letters of the New Testament are dealing with the challenges of diversity.

Pray with, be in homes with, and serve with people who are not like you.  Listen to their music, eat their food, and understand their language.

See setting aside your preferences in order to build a bridge of love with someone different as a joyous way to grow, be enriched, and give of yourself.

Be ready to make mistakes and say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing.  SO be ready to ask for and give forgiveness.

Love by giving the benefit of the doubt.  Ask questions to clarify before engaging your capacity to form a judgement.  Say, “That is different.” Instead of, “That is wrong or weird.”

WHAT WOULD YOU ADD TO THE LIST OF SUGGESTIONS?

click here to view the sermon

 

i WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS.

Globally the majority of  churches meet in homes or other facilities not built to be primarily a church facility. In the developed West we tend to see church as something we go to do at a place.

There are challenges to any form of church organization ranging from 20 gathered in a home to thousands attending a church campus.  

The challenges of the house church include:

Isolation or clique.

Corrupt powerful leader or family dominating

Being shaped by an unbiblical motivation for being a church — defining yourself by what you are against instead of what you are for…OR protecting yourself from the polluted world.

Advantages include

Being able to multiply easily and at a low cost,

Deep community,

An attractive web of relationships for bringing in non-Christians as friends.

Questions to clarify in leading a house church:

What is our motive?

What is our mission?

How will we live a kingdom life of being IN the world but not of the world?

What are your thoughts?

 

Teaching (my profession) is about change.  Leadership (my passion) is about change.  Reconciliation with God and people through Jesus Christ (God’s ministry given to me) is about change.

CHANGE — deep life transforming personal change

What is a key ingredient and essential element that must be offered by the “change agent” that creates a safe place for the “learner” to embrace change?

Here is a 25 minute message I gave in the Chapel of Columbia International University on one of the ESSENTIALS to see change occur. It is based on an idea presented in a book by James Hatch

TEACHING: THE HEART OF GOD’S REDEMPTIVE PROGRAM (paperback or Kindle)

 

Here is the message! (click to listen)  

I welcome your comments or questions

 

Take a small card that you can carry with you in your pocket.
Write on it, “Cultivate His presence!”
Or have it set as a reminder to go off on your cell phone or tablet every 2 hours.  For one week from 8 am to 8 pm look for ways to acquaint yourself with the one who wants to be with you for eternity.
Inspired by this quote from A W Tozer
Cultivate the art of recognizing the presence of the Spirit everywhere.  Get acquainted with the Holy Spirit and then begin to cultivate his presence. When you wake in the morning, in place of burying your heard behind the Tribune, couldn’t you get in just a few thoughts of God while your eat your grapefruit?
Remember, cultivating the Holy Ghost’s acquaintance is a job.  It is something you do, and yet is so easy and delightful. . . 
Purchase ON THE HOLY SPIRIT (365 devotions from the writings of A W Tozer) by clicking here.
You learn so much about someone when you visit in their home and walk around looking at photos on the wall, decorative items brought from their travels, and the color scheme they use to leave their print on the dwelling.  NOW think of your heart as the dwelling of the Spirit.  And we hear his knocking and open the door he comes in to fellowship with us. (see Rev. 3:20)
God has give me some responsibility in furnishing and decorating the heart.  Are there any posters I would take down if Jesus lived in me?  Is there an inner complaining and judging that pulls the shades on the sunshine of his grace and mercy?  Maybe this quote by A.W. Tozer will help us realize that the spiritual disciplines are not just for me — they are for my “roommate” as well.
 Make your thoughts a clean sanctuary. To God our thoughts are things.  Our thoughts are the decorations inside the sanctuary  where we live.  If our thoughts are purified by the blood of Christ, we are living in a clean  room no matter if we are wearing overalls covered with grease.
Your thoughts pretty much decide the mood and weather and climate inside your heart, and God considers your thoughts as part of you. . . . Therefore, if you would cultivate the Spirit’s acquaintance, you must get hold of your thoughts and not allow your mind to be a wilderness in which every kind of unclean beast rooms and bird flies.  You must have clean heart.
Found in A W Tozer ON THE HOLY SPIRIT  (365 devotions selected from his writings)  (Click Here to Purchase from Amazon)
When I teach on the Holy Spirit a question I often encounter is, “Why do so many churches seem to ignore the Holy Spirit?”
Maybe this verse gives us some of the answer.
 

Galatians 4:6 (ESV)  And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be one of the disciples when Jesus was walking around?  To eat with him, shop with him, lay down to sleep in the same room with him —- how great!  Or would it?  How often do I want to be like Adam and Eve in the garden and cover up and hide.  Do I REALLY want Jesus close by ALL the time?
Since the Spirit is “the Spirit of his Son” that is exactly what is true.  To all indwelt by the Spirit — Jesus is with me and in me all of the time.  If I seek to ignore him is it because I am still trying to cover my shame and guilt?  Am I wanting to think, speak or act out of my own desire and love of self?
How would my thinking, speaking and choosing be different if I was constantly aware of His presence?  And what if I could sense his warm smile saying, “I love you and made all of the sacrifice needed just so we could be together.”

The 2009 book I wrote to help Christians see “time” as God sees it is now available on Amazon (click here) in Kindle format!

I have been investing some time in reflecting on 2013 and asking God for clarity for 2014.  I had re reread the book to check for errors before it went live.  Even though I would add some stuff God has been teaching me since 2009 — I am still pleased with the project and felt it was a good review for the new year.

I took some time to go through the study guide at the end of the book today as way of laying out my major projects for the next 6 months.

Feel free to send me questions and thoughts as you read it.

 

http://www.wcablog.com/2013/10/the-3m-model-with-bill-hybels/    Video is 2:23 seconds

The three Ms of effective Meetings

What are we trying to MOVE forward?

What needs to be MODIFIED so it can be effective?

What would be a way to MOTIVATE the attendees to want to stay engaged after the meeting?