Church life

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    The Day Of Zeal (Monday) The Day Of Zeal (Monday)

    The Day Of Zeal (Monday)

The Day Of Zeal (Monday)

It’s Monday, just three short days until Jesus’s crucifixion. What happened on this day in the life of Christ, and what can we learn from it? According to Matthew 21, Mark 11, and Luke 19, Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem to the cheers and excitement of the entire city on Palm Sunday. The following day, upon his return, he visited the Temple area. This was a place that was suppose to be dedicated to God. A place that was suppose to be holy, pure, and a shining example of what the Kingdom of God is like. Instead, it had become full of worldly, deceitful, greedy, and power hungry people. Jesus was not impressed Matthew 21:12–13 (HCSB) —12Jesus went into the temple complex and drove out all those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves. 13And He said to them, “It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer. But you are making it a den of thieves!” Jesus is zealous for his people and his church. After causing a real commotion in the temple, Matthew records that “the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple complex, and He healed them.”  The children in the temple area praised Jesus  shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David!” causing the chief priests and scribes to become more indignant. And when the time came, Jesus returned to the town of Bethany (about a two-mile walk over the Mount of Olives).  He most likely spent the night in the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. So what can we learn from this day in the life of Christ? We see […]

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    Christian Myths about Gay Marriage Christian Myths about Gay Marriage

    Christian Myths about Gay Marriage

Christian Myths about Gay Marriage

For the first time in the history of the United States of America, two persons of the same sex can now legally obtain a marriage license in all fifty states. The reaction to this ruling from the Supreme Court has been extreme and divisive on both sides of the argument. Some are overjoyed, many are sympathetically supportive, and others are outraged. Personally, my heart is heavy. Primarily because there are so many false narratives being advanced by people who claim to be disciples of Christ. Because I know the attacks are going to come let me start by saying a few things that I sincerely believe to be true. While I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and as such, I share the biblical view on homosexuality, I am not aggressively attacking those who have chosen this lifestyle. I do love you, pray for you, and deeply desire to hear you, know you, eat with you, and understand you. Furthermore, I would like to ask for forgiveness from those of you who have been shamed, slandered, slurred, and humiliated by my brothers and sisters of the faith. Finally, if my comments below and in subsequent posts share this unholy  spirit in your mind or heart I humbly ask that you would contact me so I can seek forgiveness from you as well. My goal in these posts is simply to present what I consider truth on this issue based on my current understanding of culture, church, and ultimately scripture. Christian Myths about Gay Marriage             Over the past few days, I have been monitoring the news, web, and social media closely. One of the most astonishing revelations for me has been the lack of biblical […]

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    Live Out The Message Live Out The Message

    Live Out The Message

Live Out The Message

 James 1:19–22 (NET) 19Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. 20For human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.21So put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls. 22But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves. How can we be sure we are living out the message?  Living out the message is a difficult task even in the best circumstances.  When life gets tough, the marriage is in trouble, the boss is unhappy with us, or finical issues strike, living out the message can seem impossible.  In my years in ministry I have noticed some common traits in those that are truly  able to live out the message in both the good times and bad.  I decided for this weeks post to mention those things here.  I pray you will consider them as you attempt to live out the message yourself. Know the message- it is hard to live out the message when you don’t know what the message is.  Those who read the word, memorize scripture, and pray continually tend to live out the message more consistently then those who don’t.  If you want to live out the message you need to know what that message is. Know others living out the message- Living out the message is a team sport, God never designed it to be lived out alone.  When you live life with others who are living out the message you are more likely to stay on track yourself.  Certainly it is most helpful to have […]

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    When Leaders Resign When Leaders Resign

    When Leaders Resign

When Leaders Resign

It seems to happen all the time in churches.  About the time you find a wonderful volunteer leader, get them trained and their ministry really starts taking off, they resign.  This happens for all kinds of reasons.  Some people are forced to relocate for work, others just find themselves in a busy season of life, and a few will get mad about one thing or another and leave.  So what should you do when leaders resign and leaves you and the church in a bind? Pray for them, and pray with them – The vast majority of the time your leader has struggled in making their decision to resign.  Their resignation can make them feel guilty, and bring a sense of letting the church and even God down.  So make sure you shower this leader with an extra dose of prayer during your time with God.  Don’t forget to pray with them as well.  Find a time when you can have a short time of prayer together, it reminds them of God’s love, and also your love for them. Communicate with them- Many times in today’s culture the resignation comes in the form of an email, Facebook message, or text.  Be sure to let the leader know you received the message.  Let them know that you will be praying for them, and would like to schedule a time to pray with them.  If they don’t hear directly from you they will assume you are mad or upset because they stepped down.  This will make coming back to the church even more difficult for them. Assure them- When a leader resigns there is always a feeling of uncertainty that accompanies their decision. Take some time when […]

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    Church Members, Here Are 10 Ways to KILL Your Church Church Members, Here Are 10 Ways to KILL Your Church

    Church Members, Here Are 10 Ways to KILL Your Church

Church Members, Here Are 10 Ways to KILL Your Church

In the recent past I have not been sharing many post from other bloggers.  But after reading through this one today I felt the urge to pass it on.  The message Dr. Tejado shares here is right on the money.  As a Pastor I have seen each of these ten things at work not only in my own ministry but in many others as well.  These things are not the only things that kill churches but they are certainly some of the main ones and as he mentions in this post the devil has not changed his tactics much over the last generation.  Are you killing your church without even knowing it?  Read below to find out… click here to view the article on churchleaders.com which is where I found it. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ By: Dr. Tejado W. Hanchell (TWH PhD) I have the awesome privilege of serving a church that has been around for over 80 years. In those 80 years, the church has only had four senior pastors. While our congregation has had its share of struggles over the years, we are pleased that we have survived! Considering the staggering statistics on church mortality in America, we are grateful to God for still standing strong. Some researchers suggest that between 3,500-4,500 churches close their doors (or die) each year. That means that in the time since our congregation was founded over 80 years ago, over 300,000 churches have died! I suspect that most church “deaths” occur for a few simple (and oftentimes avoidable) reasons. Recently, one of the senior members of our congregation — who has been there for all 80 plus years — handed me a church newsletter that was written in 1959. As I delicately […]

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    Take The High Road… Take The High Road…

    Take The High Road…

Take The High Road…

Has anyone ever told you to take the high road?  This generally happens when we are faced with a trying situation in life.  Perhaps it is a rumor, gossip, difficult person, unfair criticism, or ridicule from others. While taking the high road is good advice it certainly is not easy.  I was recently in a situation where I stood at a fork in the road so to speak.  One direction (the way I wanted to go) would have allowed me to clear things up, set the record straight, and in the process put some other people in their place.  The other was a narrow path to the high road.  I used the old phone a friend option before I made my final choice on the direction I would choose.  After nearly an hour on the phone explaining the situation and my plans, my friend simply said, “take the high road.”  That was not what I wanted to hear, because it was not what I wanted to do, but it was wise and Godly counsel.  Knowing deep down it was the right thing I embarked on that narrow path that is the high road in life.  I have seen this road before, and spent many days up here, but this time I decided to write down a few of my thoughts about the high road.  These are things you can always count on when you choose this path in life.  So here is what I came up with, please feel free to add your own in the comments as well. The high road is a hard road- There is no getting around it choosing to take the high road is difficult but traveling this road particularly […]

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    The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3 The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3

    The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3

The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3

Over the last three weeks I have been presenting some of the main purposes of God’s church.  As I travel around and speak about the Uncommon Church I am always surprised to learn how many churches don’t understand what the most basic and fundamental purposes of God’s church are. So these posts have been my effort to share nine of them.  In my first post I talked about the purpose of producing disciple, providing resources, and proclaiming the gospel. In my second post I talked about the church’s responsibility to propel missionaries, present proof, and practice holiness.  Today I would like to briefly discuss the last three. To Pray- Every Christian knows that they are suppose to pray, and most of us do.  But I am talking about focused corporate prayer here in this post.  I believe that God hears all of our prayers but He does something special when a church practices uncommon prayer together. In my book The Uncommon Church I talk in detail about the power of uncommon prayer.  When the body of Christ unites together in prayer many wonderful things happen.  We see this in scripture in places like 1 Thessalonians 5:25 when Paul urged the church to pray for him and his companions.  In Acts 12 we see an amazing miracle in the form of a prison escape for Peter and we learn that the church was gathered in prayer for him during his captivity. As individuals we must pray, and as a church body we must pray as well.  Churches should make it a priority to unite their minds and hearts in prayer! To Protect- 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that our enemy is a predator on the prowl!  Like […]

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    The Purpose Of The Church Part 2 The Purpose Of The Church Part 2

    The Purpose Of The Church Part 2

The Purpose Of The Church Part 2

Last week I posted three things that I believe all churches should be focused on and dedicated to. Over the years I have noticed that almost all churches are full of great people, and lead by very dedicated, and devoted leaders.  However over time it is easy to forget what the purpose of the church actually is.  There are so many good things that churches focus on, that have little or no impact on the Kingdom of God. Why?  Because they are not part of God’s purpose for the church.  The list I am providing here is not meant to be an exhaustive list, and the things mentioned are in no particular order.  I simply feel that churches should carefully consider what their purpose is, and then fulfill that purpose.  If you have other things you feel should be mentioned by all means feel free to make a comment down below.  Here are three more things to think about when it comes to the purpose of the church. The purpose of the church is to… Propel Missionaries –  Throughout the book of Acts and indeed the New Testament we see God using churches to propel missionaries like Paul, Barnabas, Timothy, and many others throughout the world.  This should still be one of the primary purposes of all churches.  We must remain focused on the task to winning the world to Christ.  God calls people to the mission field and he calls churches to equip, support, pray for, and provide for those missionaries needs.  The missionary on the field is far less effective without the support of the local church. Many churches today have elected to only support missions through cooperative giving through their denomination.  This […]

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    The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 1 The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 1

    The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 1

The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 1

What is the purpose of the church?  This is an interesting and complex question that I believe deserves some attention.  So over the next few weeks I am going to post some thoughts about this here on the blog.  If you agree, disagree, or have other things you would like to add to the list along the way please feel free to comment. Rather than discussing all of these in one post I want to spread them out so we have time to consider each point and cover it thoroughly.   The points below and in upcoming posts are in no particular order.  So what is the purpose of the church? To produce disciples: God has always intended that His church would produce disciples.  This evolves the eternal transformation of one’s soul though the blood of Christ.  As well as the daily sanctification that comes when we walk in the Spirit.  Perhaps the most well-known verse on the subject is Matthew 28:19 when Jesus says “go and make disciples of all nations.”  Most believers and church leaders know that we are supposed to make disciples but many churches have ceased to even attempt to make disciples.  Why? To put it simply, because making disciples is hard work.  It takes lots of time, resources, and patience along with many other things.  As a result many simply go about making other things.  They put their focus into making good people, polite people, or politically correct people. Instead of making disciples they are more into making friends, nice church programs, a comfortable atmosphere, or just making excuses as to why they can’t make disciples.  These things are not bad things until they become the central focus in a church, […]

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    Dealing with critics… Dealing with critics…

    Dealing with critics…

Dealing with critics…

There is always someone who thinks they can do it better.  Sometimes your critics are really trying to help you and other times they are trying to hurt you.  Some critics want to see you improve, and others just want you to give up and move on.  This is what makes it so hard when we are dealing with those who criticize a sermon, leadership decision, illustration, or something else.  It is almost impossible to determine whether or not the critic is attempting to be helpful, or just hurtful.  With over fifteen years of ministry under my belt I can honestly say that I have dealt with my share of critics.  So here are some helpful hints that might help you discern between those that honestly want to help, and those that are set on your destruction. Consider the past – Is this a person that is always criticizing you, or someone who in the past has been helpful and encouraging. If it’s the later you probably are facing a critic that is trying to be helpful.  However if grumpy George critics your sermon every week and tells you how well he could have preached the same message, or how when he was a supervisor at work his decision-making was so much better for this reason or that, then you likely have a hurtful critic on your hands. Consider frequency – Helpful critics generally speak up every now and then.  Hurtful critics are always sending you emails, knocking on your door, or calling your cell phone. Consider the criticism –  Does is seem like another petty complaint or is their some validity to their issue? To many leaders after facing years or decades of criticism […]

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