Monthly Archives: September 2011

4 Myths About Using Technology in Church

The church has always struggled to figure out a way to best use new technology within the christian community.  I can remember reading about the church, and denominational splits that occurred over the introduction of a thing called an organ in church houses in America.  It was a new technology and many did not like it. While most churches today have embraced websites and similar technologies it was not long ago that such things were concerns, and the subject of many church debates, and heated business meetings.  Today the battle rages when it comes to Ipads in worship services, or the Pastor reading his Bible from a phone screen, or the giving kiosk that many prefer over the offering plate.  If you church has not already faced a battle of some kind over technology chances are your day will come soon.  Perhaps the article below will give you some things to think about when it comes to technology in church. The Church has used technology throughout history: papyrus, printing press, piano, organ, lighting, microphones, guitars, drums, and video projectors. And with the advent of the Internet, we have newer technologies like websites, social networking via Facebook, and texting on cell phones. How do we steward technology well? We start by dispelling four common myths about using online technologies in the church. 1. “If you build it, they will come.” Not necessarily. The “it” could be a website, a blog, a discussion board, a podcast, a Twitter feed, or a Facebook fan page. Your digital presence will not automatically be viewed by lots of people just by its mere existence. People choose what they will pay attention to based on relevance (to their situation), value (that […]

How To Win The Lost Pt. 3 of 3

So far we have discussed the importance of being ready and willing when it comes to sharing our faith in an attempt to win the lost to Christ.  Today we will focus on the third important factor in our evangelistic efforts.  If we are to have any hope at all in winning lost souls we must be consistent! Lets face it, we live in a world full of inconsistency.  Our government is inconsistent, gas prices, the economy, taxes, our jobs, and almost everything else we are surrounded by on a daily basis, are full of inconsistencies.  Unfortunately, the church has gained a reputation in the eyes of many as being inconsistent as well.  This is not because people think God is inconsistent.  Even the majority of lost people I speak with believe Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. It’s the pastors, priests, and church parishioners that people view as living inconsistent lives.  Most of the people we are trying to reach don’t read their Bibles consistently.  Very few of them are attending church consistently.  They are however, around us consistently, we work with them, shop with them, attend social functions with them, we live next door to them.  They see us, hear us, and are watching us every day of their lives.  If we don’t practice what we preach it is highly unlikely that they will desire to know more of Christ Jesus.  There are already enough inconsistencies in their lives, they don’t need any more. What they are looking for is a rock to lean on, and something consistent that they can count on.  We must be models of Christs consistency to have any hope of winning the […]

How To Win The Lost… Part 2 of 3

Yesterday I shared the first thing you need to do in order to win the lost, which is be ready. Preparation is critical. We can’t wait until game day to prepare, we must train and prepare constantly so that when the opportunity arises we are ready to win the lost. The next thing we must be is willing. It’s not enough to simply be ready, all of the preparation in the world is useless if we are unwilling. Romans 10:12–15 NIV talks about the importance of willingness when Paul writes: For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile — the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be 1 saved.” 14 How, then, can they 2call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they 3believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they 4hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they 5 preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”  If no one is willing to preach it is impossible for the lost to call.  God’s people must be willing to preach, so that the lost can hear, believe, and call out to God for salvation. We must be willing to share our faith with the lost.  We need to share our testimonies with the unbelieving world that surrounds us each day.  They must hear about all that we have seen, heard, and experienced!  it really is this simple if we are unwilling to share the lost will never be saved!

By |September 28th, 2011|Bible, Church|0 Comments

How To Win The Lost… Part 1 of 3

How can we effectively win the lost?  This question should occupy our thoughts, prayers, and any spare moment in our day.  We know that not everyone will accept the gospel, but still we are called to share it with them in hopes that, one day, the saving power of God’s grace might penetrate their hearts and lead them to a place of repentance.  Many times I think we make the gospel too complicated. Winning the lost is really not that hard and any believer that knows Christ is equipped to lead others to the Lord.  There are three main things you must do to win the lost.  The first is BE READY! You never know when an opportunity to share your testimony with someone will arise. 1 Peter 3:15–16 NIV says: But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.  The first thing you must do to be ready is set apart Christ as Lord in your own life.  This means that you are actively following, obeying, and serving Christ and that you are engaged in the affairs of His church and Kingdom. Read the Bible, pray, discuss life with other believers, allow people access to your life so they can sharpen you and help get you ready as well. Once you have set apart Christ as Lord of your life then you can move on to being prepared to give an answer […]

By |September 27th, 2011|Church, Devotion|0 Comments

Flying Solo…

I took my first flying lesson when I was 16 years old.  I was hooked from day one!  To this date the scariest flying experience I ever had was the day I first flew solo.  The sky was blue and a calm wind out of the south blew straight down the runway.  These were perfect conditions for my first solo flight.  The instructor had accompanied me on several landings and then said “you’re ready to solo.”  I was so excited as I dropped him off near the hanger and began to taxi away by myself for the first time.  When I got to the end of the runway and started going through my checklist the excitement grew even stronger.  I was so ready!  I made the radio call and on to the active runway I went.  As I pushed the throttle all the way down and started to roll down the runway I was smiling so BIG and almost overcome totally with joy.  However, something very strange happened as I left the ground.  All of a sudden it dawned on me, I was all alone!  My excitement and joy quickly turned to a very nervous anticipation.  What if something went wrong? What if I could not land?  What if I mess up?  There was no longer the accountability, security, and safety of having someone else in the plane to ensure I would survive.  While I was confident in my ability to fly, it was a nerve-wracking experience to be alone. It is acceptable to fly solo as a pilot, however, flying solo spiritually will always lead to certain disaster.  I am always astonished and amazed when I take a close look at the lives of […]

Plan, Prepare, Proceed

Nehemiah 2:7–8 ESV  7 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah, 8 and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me. God’s hand is good and I believe His good hand rests on you and I today in the same way it rested on Nehemiah.  Our God is gracious, loving, kind, and thoughtful enough, to have a plan and purpose for our lives.  Yet I wonder if we are as thoughtful as people like Nehemiah.  His heart was broken for God’s people and His city.  It was a God given passion that led Nehemiah to breakdown to the point of tears in his prayers to God for those people and this city.  When the door was opened for an audience with the King over the matter Nehemiah risked it all to request permission to leave the King’s court to rebuild Jerusalem. I have always been impressed with Nehemiah’s thoughtfulness.  Once he was given permission to go, he immediately asks the king for letters to secure safe passage and the materials that would be needed to complete the work.  Nehemiah had thought this ministry through and was prepared when God made a way for him to begin the work.  Frequently the believers in […]

Calif. Couple Fined for Hosting Bible Study in Home

I try to keep my eyes open in the news for interesting stories that effect those who follow Christ.  This is one you may want to read and pay attention to.  It seems that situations like this are happening more and more these days. A California couple has been fined by the city of San Juan Capistrano for holding Bible studies and religious gatherings in their home, which has some wondering about the future of religious freedom in America. Chuck and Stephanie Fromm, residents of San Juan Capistrano, home to the oldest church in California, were fined $300 for the religious activities, which the city said violated a municipal code that prohibits “religious, fraternal or non-profit” organizations in residential neighborhoods without a conditional-use permit,” the Capistrano Dispatch reported. Chuck Fromm is publisher of Worship Leader Magazine, a Christian music resource that combines biblical wisdom and best practices for worship, and provides added educational and congregational resources through its associated educational services, according to its website. However, the Fromm’s insist that their weekly meetings are not affiliated with a church, nor are they seeking to establish a church. “How dare they tell us we can’t have whatever we want in our home,” Stephanie Fromm said. “We want to be able to use our home. We’ve paid a lot and invested a lot in our home and backyard … I should be able to be hospitable in my home.” The municipal code is “reactive,” which means it is only enforced if someone complains. Fromm admitted that at least one person had voiced concern about the activities. Like us on Facebook “Can you imagine anybody in any neighborhood, that one person can call and make it a living hell […]

Take the test…

2 Corinthians 13:5–6 ESV  5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 6 I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test. When was the last time you closely examined your faith through the lens of self reflection? Paul’s encouragement here to the believers in Corinth to examine themselves, does not seem aimed at examining their salvation, but rather their sanctification. The Message actually does a great job at capturing the thought behind Paul’s comments here when it says 2 Corinthians 13:5–6 MESSAGE  5 Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it. 6 I hope the test won’t show that we have failed.  We are quick to test the faith of others or lack there of. But why not take a moment to test ourselves?  Are we afraid at the thought of what we might discover?  Personal self reflection is apart of sanctification. When we examine our lives in the scope of scripture and the expectations of Christ we are more likely to follow through and be faithful with the little things that add up to our becoming more like Christ. Examine yourself today! Do it before someone else does it for you. Do it before Christ Jesus does it. Do it now while there is still time to correct the impurities that still exist in […]

By |September 23rd, 2011|Bible, Challenge|0 Comments

Is God In Love With You?

Recently I preached a sermon series entitled “Things God Won’t Do.”  In this first message I outlined three things that I know God will never do.  (1)God will never leave you, (2)God will never stop loving you, and (3)God will never forget you. As soon as the service was over I was overwhelmed with the response from the audience as people left the sanctuary. Many continued to talk and discuss the scriptures we had covered with one another before leaving.  Some just sat motionless in their seats for a few minutes before gathering their belongings to leave.  Several approached me at the door in tears requesting a few personal moments for prayer, and still others asked more questions and wanted to know more before leaving.  The response was similar from people on the web when the podcast was published later that day. One of the questions that arose from the message came from a young believer.  This wonderful lady said this to me.  “I have always believed that God loved me, but I have never believed that He was in love with me.”  She continued “don’t you think it is possible to love someone but not be in love with them?” I believe this young believer in her honesty and willingness to sound silly revealed one of the major barriers many have in coming to know Christ as Lord.  Our current culture and society has indeed convinced many that you can love someone or something without being in love with it.  We have somehow in our minds through logic and fine sounding arguments come to believe that we can love without being in love.  This however is not possible!  When the Bible proclaims in John […]

By |September 22nd, 2011|Devotion, God|0 Comments

You wanna fight?

1 Timothy 6:12 ESV Fight the good fight of the faith. When I was a child I used to love to fight.  Like most boys wrestling, competing, and even fighting were fun activities in my everyday life.  The pleasure was only enhanced by the fact that I rarely lost a fight.  I was the oldest of four boys, and the second oldest of 7 boys when you include my cousins that I spent almost everyday of my life with until I was 18. Jay (my older cousin) and I would frequently take on the other five in various contests of strength, stamina, and wit, we never lost!  Even when jumped by my three younger brothers I could easily defeat them in a matter of minutes so fighting was fun, for me at least. After spending almost fifteen years in ministry I have observed that many Christians like to fight as well. Far too many take Paul’s words a bit too literal in my opinion, because they seem to always be fighting about something. The sermon was too long or too short so they start a church dispute over it.  Maybe the new paint, carpet, or decorations in the sanctuary don’t meet their standards so it’s time for a fight. Church budgets, buildings, and programs of all shapes and sizes  bring up multiple opportunities for a good fight as well. I have personally seen church disputes break out between members over parking spaces, the sanctuary seating chart, and what time the sprinkler system should come on at night.  Far to many believers love a good fight, maybe that’s why we have so many.  If we look at what Paul said in his text however we will […]

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