A Front Row View Of The Church
The Lord’s Controversy - Thu, 09 Apr 2015
I have always been a voracious reader and have interest in many subjects in addition to the scriptures.For example;I love to read historical accounts of the people who settled this nation and learn how they overcame immense odds in a time without technology as we know it today. The concept of a nation divided against […]
A Post Easter Observation - Thu, 09 Apr 2015
Yet another Easter has come and gone and Christians all over the world gathered to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.A time for all of us to pause and reflect upon God’s love for mankind.A time to remember the love of the Father who so loved you and I,as impossible as it sounds, […]
Change is Coming - Mon, 06 Apr 2015
Good morning everyone! Just wanted to inform the followers of this blog that I have moved the blog to: http://www.whitedministries.com/ This is being done to allow me to greatly expand the blog and gain better control over it. Please be patient as I will be experimenting with many new things as I try to make […]
Challies Dot Com
Two Ways to Grow a Disciple-Making Culture in Your Church - Mon, 04 May 2015
This sponsored post was prepared by Marty Sweeney of Matthis Media.
As evangelicals we have a clear sense of what we want our church to be from reading our Bibles: a vigorous, growing band of disciple-making disciples of the Lord Jesus, abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Cor 15:58) and not neglecting to meet together to encourage each other (Heb 10:25). Many of us have read books like The Trellis and the Vine, challenging us to pursue such a biblical vision. (You might also like to read this excellent article on what church is for.)
Yet we struggle to establish that type of Spirit-filled culture in our fellowships, despite preaching our hearts out week-by-week and praying for fruit in people’s lives.
I want to encourage you to keep preaching and praying your heart out.
But I also want to urge you to take a moment right now to choose 12 Christians in your congregation to invest in as disciple-making disciples. It almost doesn’t matter which 12. Don’t overthink this step. Just choose 12.
Done that? Ok, here’s step 2…
Provide those 12 people with a biblical vision of what life is for—what it means to be a follower of the Lord Jesus—in not just theoretical but quite practical terms. That is, at a level that impacts their life decisions, both big and small. And then give them practical help in developing their competence and confidence to be able to carry out that biblical vision, exercising the gifts that God has given them for disciple-making (yes, including evangelism).
That’s all there is to it.
What’s that? You want some ideas on Step 2? Fair enough. Actually, I’ll give you two options.
Option 1: The “I’m stretched to the limit; I have no time to add anything to my schedule” option
Order a copy of each of these three books for your 12 people:
- The Thing Is by Tony Payne (watch the video)
- How to walk into Church by Tony Payne (watch the video)
- One-to-One Bible Reading: a simple guide for every Christian by David Helm (watch the video)
(Save money with the 3-book bundle.)
Then say something like this to each person you’ve selected:
“Hey Beau, if I give you 3 books I’d really like you to read, would you do me a big favor and join the small team of people I’ve asked to read them for me? The books are free and are yours to keep, so there’s no deadline—just as soon as you can manage. All three books are less than 100 pages and are really quick and easy to read. And as you finish each book, I’d like you to grab me at church the next Sunday and tell me what you found good about it. That would be really encouraging to me if you could do that.”
(By the way, It’s important that they read the three books in the order they are listed above.)
That’s it. That’s Step 2, Option1.
Option 2: The “I’m busy, but I think I can find the time to meet with my 12 people in a group context once a week” option
The second option is this: invite them to join a 10-week group to do The Course of Your Life with you. This is a bigger commitment, but the shared nature of the course makes for a more powerful impact on participants and more momentum for your church.
If you’re not familiar with The Course of Your Life, here’s a video…
Maybe, in God’s kindness, you’ll end up with a team of disciple-making Ninjas in your church!
Got questions? Give me a call on 1 866 407 4530 and we can share ideas. And please let me know how it all goes.
Old North Church, Canfield
Matthias Media (USA)
What Is Shaping Your Worldview? - Sun, 03 May 2015
Last night, I was thinking about how easy it is to have one’s worldview shaped by society. As Christians, we may not go as far as some but we can still lose sight of right and wrong. The views we once held on abortion or adultery may become softened due to what we watch on […]
Fruit of the Spirit 6: Goodness - Sat, 02 May 2015
I am sorry it has taken so long to continue my series. Life has been really hectic lately but I continue to think about what exactly it means to walk in the Spirit. This particular fruit is interesting to me. Romans 3:12 tells us, “There is none that does good; no not one.” Jesus said […]
The Gospel in the Old Testament - Wed, 22 Apr 2015
The Gospel in the Old Testament. What follows is a portion of what will be in part 2 of the book I am writing (Reformed and Baptist). I would like any constructive criticism ya’ll may be able and willing to contribute. Perhaps the most clear, comprehensive illustration of the gospel in the Old Testament is […]
Do Not Be Surprised
What Influence Do You Have on Your Children? - Mon, 04 May 2015
by John MacArthur
You can’t save your children. You can raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord, guard them from the sinful influences and temptations of the world, and cocoon them in the fellowship of others who know and love God. But in the end, as we saw last time, their repentance and faith cannot be inherited or manufactured—salvation is God’s work, not yours. As a parent, your influence can only go so far.
The Wrong Kind of Influence
Having said that, I want to stress that sometimes—I should say often—parents are partly to blame for their wayward children’s rebellion. And it has been my observation over the years that parents are generally more to blame for wayward kids than society, peers, or any of the other influences parents tend to blame. I occasionally encounter parents who have violated nearly every biblical principle of parenting, who nonetheless come to the pastor seeking some kind of absolution from the responsibility for their children’s defiance. They want verbal assurance that they are in no way to blame; someone else is.
Yet God Himself has given the responsibility for raising children to parents—not to schoolteachers, peers, child-care workers, or other people outside the family—and therefore it is wrong for parents to attempt to unload that responsibility or shift the blame when things go wrong.
Parents must involve themselves in their children’s lives enough to insure that no other influence takes precedence. To parents who complain that their kids’ failures are the kids’ friends’ fault, my inevitable reply is that ultimately the parents themselves must be to blame, because they were the ones who allowed peers to have more input into their kids’ lives than they have themselves.
Blame and Accountability
Some parents will no doubt cynically roll their eyes at that, and insist that it is unrealistic in this day and age to expect parents to influence their kids more than peers, the culture, television, schoolteachers, and all the other factors that vie for a controlling interest in the typical child’s life.
Still, a moment’s reflection will reveal why parents in our culture have less influence on their kids than peer groups do: Most parents have simply abdicated the parental role. They have turned their kids over to their peers. They have invested less time in teaching their kids than the amount of time they have permitted the kids to watch television. They have permitted much of—if not all—their children’s spiritual, moral, and ethical instruction to come from television, movies, music, and other children. Even in the best cases, parents rely too much on school teachers, Sunday-school teachers, and youth leaders—all outside the purview of the family. Parents must realize that character is neither inbred by genetics nor picked up by osmosis. Children are taught to be what they become. If they have become something other than what the parents hoped for, it is usually because they have simply learned from those who were there to teach them in their parents’ absence.
In other words, the parents, not the kids—and not even the peer groups—are ultimately to blame for the parents’ diminishing influence in our culture. Whenever outside influences shape a child’s character more than the parents, the parents have failed in their duties. It is as simple as that.
Christian parents today desperately need to own this simple principle. Before the throne of God we will be held accountable if we have turned our children over to other influences that shape their character in ungodly ways. God has placed in our hands the responsibility of bringing our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and we will give account to God for our stewardship of this great gift. If others have more influence on our children than we, we are culpable, not excusable, on those grounds.
Your Full-Time Job
God has made parenting a full-time responsibility. There are no coffee breaks from our parental duties. This principle was even built into the law at Sinai. God prefaced His instructions to the Israelites with this solemn charge:
These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. (Deuteronomy 6:6–7)
That is God’s own definition of the parents’ task. It means parenting is a full-time assignment in every sense of the expression. No phase of life is exempt. Not one hour of the day is excluded. There is no time-out for the parent who wants to be faithful to this calling.
Some parents think they can compartmentalize their child’s life, assign a set number of hours per week to spend on parenting, and then fulfill their duties as parents by making sure the hours they put into the task are “quality time.” That whole philosophy is contrary to the spirit of Deuteronomy 6:7, and it is a sure way to guarantee that outside influences will have more influence than the parents in shaping the child’s character.
The history of Old Testament Israel is an object lesson about the dangers of neglecting this vital principle. Israel failed miserably when it came to the duty of teaching their children about God’s righteousness. Consider this telling verse about the generation of Israelites who first entered the Promised Land. And note that this was merely one generation after God had first given the law at Sinai:
The people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of the Lord which He had done for Israel. . . . All that generation also were gathered to their fathers and there arose another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel. (Judges 2:7, 10)
In other words, that whole generation of Israelites failed in their responsibility. They neglected to teach their children about the things God had done for Israel. And as a consequence, the next generation turned away from the Lord en masse:
Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals, and they forsook the Lord, God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked the Lord to anger. So they forsook the Lord and served Baal and the Ashtoreth. (vv. 11–13)
The children turned to the evil gods of the Canaanites. Their environment influenced them more than their parents did because the parents abdicated the parental role. The result was idolatry, chaos, and destruction. “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (21:25).
The same pattern was repeated again and again throughout Israel’s history. Whenever a generation of parents neglected to plant the seeds that would provide shade trees for subsequent generations, the children suffered the spiritual famine that inevitably followed.
The same thing is still occurring to this day. Right now the outlook for the next generation is as bleak as it has ever been. And there will be no turnaround unless this generation of Christian parents resumes the full-time work of planting spiritual shade trees.
Proper Parenting and Personal Priorities
For many parents, the first step toward getting back on track must be a fresh commitment to the things of God for themselves. If our own priorities in life are askew, there’s no hope of teaching our children what they need to learn.
Parents, take inventory in your own hearts. Do you thirst for God as the deer pants after the water? Or is your own life sending your children a message of hypocrisy and spiritual indifference? Is your own commitment to Christ what you hope to see in your children’s lives? Is your obedience to His Word the same kind of submission you long to see from your own kids?
Those are crucial questions each parent must face if we really want to be successful parents and good role models for our children. For parents to be derelict in their own spiritual lives is tantamount to cutting down all the shade trees for the next generation in their family.
Christian parents—be encouraged. You have a responsibility before God to use your influence with your children for His glory and their good. But the weight of their eternity is not on your shoulders—remember they’re not born morally neutral. God will use whatever means He chooses to draw His people to Himself. Pray He will use you in the lives of your children, and trust that He is faithful even through your failures.
(Adapted from What the Bible Says About Parenting.)
Ligonier Ministries Blog
Toronto Blessing…or Curse? - Sun, 19 Apr 2015
Originally posted on housetops:
Over the Passover (Easter) weekend I had an interesting conversation with my sister-in-law. She is a Pentecostal, which I have some disagreements with, but it was her comments about the “Toronto Blessing” which got my attention.…
About the “mantle” NAR’s Chuck Pierce gave to Glenn Beck - Sun, 29 Mar 2015
Originally posted on My Word Like Fire:
The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is weak on doctrine and lacking in wisdom, judgment, and discernment. For some in this movement, that is an understatement: The Grand Poohbah of the NAR, C. Peter…
Supernatural Encounters - Sun, 08 Mar 2015
Originally posted on m'kayla's korner:
Supernatural Encounters God is supernatural and many unexplained supernatural events can occur. But we have become out of focus with “God can do anything”, and too much emphasis on the supernatural occurrences and…
Moriel Missions South Africa May 2015 - Mon, 04 May 2015
PO BOX 793 Swellendam 6740, Western Cape, South Africa Email: email@example.com Cell: 0823739297 Web site http://www.morielmissions.org.za/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MorielMissions Dear friends and family. Its been a busy year so far with a preaching trip to the UK in February/March and an opportunity to catch up with family and friends. Peoples love, generosity and support were overwhelming [...]
Moriel Missions Thailand April 2015 - Fri, 01 May 2015
Dear believers in grace, Greetings in Jesus! Being parents gives us a new perspective on adults. Looking around at people I meet every day I now think about how much effort went into bringing each person to adulthood. It’s worth the effort though. We’re still enjoying our miracle boy. He finally let his umbilical cord [...]
Testing the Spirits - Thu, 30 Apr 2015
by Sandy Simpson April 30, 2015 Sometimes I really wonder why someone who claims to be a Bible believing pastor, for instance, refuses to listen to the truth. It frankly boggles my mind. I don’t know if it is as a result of the postmodern paradigm or just that they have no love of the [...]
Possessing The Treasure
Why the mortification of sin is vital for Christians - Mon, 04 May 2015
by Mike Ratliff 1 O Lord, the God of my salvation, I have cried out by day and in the night before You. 2 Let my prayer come before You; Incline Your ear to my cry! 3 For my soul has had enough troubles, And my life has drawn near to Sheol. 4 I am […]
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction - Thu, 30 Apr 2015
by Mike Ratliff 1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the […]
The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith - Tue, 28 Apr 2015
by Mike Ratliff 2 To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, 4 nor to pay […]
Fire desired - Sun, 03 May 2015
Your weekly Dose of Spurgeon
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 7, sermon number 375, "Temple glories.""When the congregation is asleep, it is a sign the minister ought to be in bed, where he could be comfortable, rather than in a pulpit where he is mischievous."
Ah! when I see a man go up into his pulpit and ask the Lord the Holy Spirit to assist him, and open wide his manuscript and reads it all, I wonder what he means; and when he prays that he may have the tongue of fire, and then speaks in such a mumbling, cold, unearnest manner, that his hearers detect at once that there is no heart about him—I wonder what he means.
Oh! fire of God, come down upon the tongue of the minister! But we need this fire upon the hearers too. How well people listen when they come to hear something! When they come up, and do not expect to get anything, it is not often they are disappointed; but when they are willing to listen to whatever is to be said in God’s name, how delightful, how easy, how pleasant it is to address them! We need much of that kind of fire.
Oh! how we want the ear that is circumcised,—the heart that is softened! The minister is the sower; O God, plough the furrows first! The minister is the waterer; great God, plant the cedar first! We are but the lights; great God, give the eyes. We are but the trumpets; O Lord, open thou the ears. We do but speak—great God, give, life that when we speak we may not speak to dead men, but that life may be given through our word. Fire is abundantly wanted upon the hearers.
Sola Dei Gloria
I Don’t Regret a Mile - Mon, 04 May 2015
Heard this a few days ago. It was the first time I’d heard it in many years and haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. I have many regrets folks….but all the years of miles I’ve walked with the Lord (35 now) is not one of them. Only wish I had come […]
Israel and the Church: See the Difference? - Tue, 21 Apr 2015
What do you see? Post and graphic at Pursuing Truth: Israel and the Church: See the Difference?
30 AD – 70 AD: “The Crimson Thread Remained Crimson” - Fri, 17 Apr 2015
Fascinating message from Adam at Pursuing Truth. Quote, In about 30 AD, Jesus said something to the scribes, Pharisees, and people of Jerusalem which must have been earth-shattering to His audience at the time: “See! Your house is left to you desolate” (Matthew 23:38). This mirrors what happened in the days of Jeremiah: “I have […]
Why Think about Heaven - Tue, 05 May 2015
The Word of God is far from silent on what eternity will be like in the eternal heaven (i.e. the New Earth). But why has God seen fit to reveal these truths to His people? There are at least three reasons why the future reality of heaven ought to influence believers in the present. These […]
Believe it or not: 5 types of doubters - Mon, 04 May 2015
Hamlet said it eloquently: Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move, Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love.” It’s not great theology, but makes a pretty rhyme. And the poem touches on a universal theme: what can we really believe for certain? Doubt is a haunting […]
Gagnon on Arsenokoites: The Bible on Abusive vs. “Committed” Same-Sex Relationships - Fri, 01 May 2015
As the Supreme Court has recently heard arguments regarding a federal mandate that would legalize homosexual “marriage,” it’s important for the church to be equipped to defend their position from Scripture. True Christians are not against gay “marriage” because we are mean-spirited, bigoted misanthropes who love to force our opinions on others. We are against […]
The Watchman’s Bagpipes