Obedience

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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 Uncommon Church Is NOT… The Uncommon Church Is NOT…

    The Uncommon Church Is NOT…

The Uncommon Church Is NOT…

In “The Uncommon Church” we talk a lot about what “The Uncommon Church” looks like, how it functions, makes decisions, and advances the gospel.  The titles of the chapters of the book are below and outline the characteristics of “The Uncommon Church” that are discussed in the book: Chapter 1: Basic Questions Chapter 2: Uncommon Mindset Chapter 3: Uncommon Relationships Chapter 4: Uncommon Prayer Chapter 5: Uncommon Caring Chapter 6: Uncommon Forgiveness Chapter 7: Uncommon Sharing Chapter 8: Uncommon Attitude Chapter 9: Uncommon Giving Chapter 10: Uncommon Commitment Chapter 11: Uncommon Work Chapter 12: Uncommon Discipleship Chapter 13: Uncommon Victory In this post however I want to discuss a few things that The Uncommon Church is not.  There are many misconceptions about what it means to be uncommon and I hope this post will clear some of those up. 1)   “The Uncommon Church” is not always big.  Our culture has become infatuated with numbers and statistics.  The culture of the church has come to believe that big automatically equals success.  We evaluate the success of our programs many times based solely on the number of conversions, or people who attend.  Being uncommon however is not measured in numbers.  There are many small churches that are practicing the Christian faith in a wonderfully uncommon way.  Likewise there are medium and large churches doing the same.  You can’t tell if a church is truly uncommon from the numbers alone, only when you evaluate the people that are represented in those numbers will you find out the degree to which they represent “The Uncommon Church.” 2)   “The Uncommon Church” does not always have the most dynamic, impressive, inspiring, pastor or leader.  Leadership is important for all churches.  However […]

It’s Monday But Sunday’s a comin…

If you are a pastor the title of this post probably caught your eye.  Sunday happens every seven days (captain obvious I know…) and the six days in between seem to fly by way too fast.  When I speak to other ministers I frequently hear them say that preparing a new sermon each week is one of the most stressful parts of their job.  Most people don’t realize how much time and study it takes to prepare a 25-35 minute message.  The time varies for everyone but I find that a minimum of 15 hours is needed to really do a good job on Sunday morning.  Early on in my ministry I spent as much as 30-35 hours just studying and preparing for my Sunday Morning message. In order for your message to be clear, practical, engaging and relevant every Pastor must devote large amounts of time to preparation.  Over the years I have found that a few things make preparing for Sunday easier for me.  If you are a minister some of these tips and tricks might help you too. Pray, and plan into the future.- When I spend time praying about what to preach on I pray and plan at least 6-8 weeks in advance.  I am always asking God what He would have me say not this weekend but 6-8 weekends from now.  I write those things down and jot down notes, ideas, and even basic outlines when they come to me during prayer time. I keep a preaching calendar and place those topics on the appropriate Sundays along with my notes about that topic. Generally, I can see some kind of pattern to the messages God lays on my heart, and […]

The Future is a Phantom, Seeking To Spook You

My good friends Larry and Amanda Castro are missonaries in Quito Ecuador. I read this post on their blog today and i thought it was great.  I pray that it will encourage you and bless you too.

Holy Imitation (Day 35 1 Corinthians 11:1 NET)

“Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” (1Corinthians 11:1 NET) My daughter is currently in the stage of life where things are really starting to make sense and the world at large is coming together in her mind and heart.  Among other things she has started learning to talk.  One of the things she does is copy her older brother when she hears him say a word that she thinks she can say.  This can be both good and bad because sometimes her older brother chooses to say words that he knows are out of context and this confuses my daughter as she tries to make sense of things.  For example, lately he has been purposefully coaxing her to say “poo poo” out of it’s proper context.  Wanting to imitate her older brother, she blindly follows his lead which only leads to confusion, frustration, and sometimes discipline from her parents. I am amazed at the confidence Paul had in his life being worthy of intimation.  I wonder if I could be so bold as to tell others to imitate me because I was confident that I was a good imitation of Christ. Honesty, not humility forces us to admit that such a statement would indeed be out of the question for most of us, even those who have seriously attempted to follow Christ.  I fear that many Christians are much like my son and we play the part of the older brother so well.  Knowing full well that others will imitate our lives, we are still quick to bring things out of context and make things fuzzy for others.  We confuse younger believers by living our lives with one leg on […]

Three Things Jonah Learned the Hard Way…

I recently started a new sermon series called Foolish Mistakes=Valuable Lessons. The premises of the series was that we should learn the valuable lessons from others foolish mistakes.  Jonah was the subject of one of these messages and I believe that his foolish mistake of fleeing from the call of God is something we can all learn from.  We can learn at least three things from Jonah and his mistakes.  If you are unfamiliar with the story I would encourage you to read the entire book of Jonah to better understand the context of my comments below. (Down load the sermon here, or visit www.pastorpete.org) The first thing Jonah learned was that you can’t outrun God. No matter how fast, hard, or far you run from God you will never be able to leave Him behind.  Jonah went the exact opposite direction he was suppose to go.  To get to the city of Niniveah where God instructed him to go he would have went north then east. Instead he went south then sailed west.  I guess he thought he could just sail away and God would forget about him but it never works this way.  You can’t outrun God! The next lesson we learn from the foolish flight of Jonah is that you can’t outwit God either. When the storm comes up and Jonah is determined to be the cause of the calamity, the sailors on board ask him what they should do with him.  He says “throw me overboard!”  In other words KILL ME!  Being tossed  over board in a storm like this on open water would have meant certain death.  Jonah hated and despised the people of Ninivea.  He did not want them […]

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