Thursday, July 20, 2017

9 Steps for Planning a Mission Conference in Your Church

by Mike Pettengill

Church organized missions conferences are a valuable tool in raising awareness of global evangelism and in helping Christ’s disciples better understand the importance and urgency of reaching the lost. When done well a church-run mission conference can bring great glory to the Lord. When done poorly a missions conference can actually impede a church’s impact in participating in God’s Great Commission.

The concept of God’s disciples living out the spread of his gospel is a foundational issue of the Christian faith. The local church is biblically how God intends to train, support and send missionaries. A well done mission conferences can be a major factor in this process.

There are, however, just as many examples of mission conferences done poorly as there are examples of them done well. Read more ...

Four Reasons to Bring Your Bible to Church

by Mike Phay

It took me a while as a pastor, in the early days of iPads and smartphones, to get used to people staring at their screens during the sermon. “How rude,” I thought. “Do they seriously think I can’t see them? These are adults, acting like teenagers!” Not being the regular preacher at the time, I was appalled at the ever-increasing number of faces that I would see lit by glowing screens each time I filled the pulpit.

It took me a while to realize that these folks weren’t rude. They were just reading their Bibles! Read more ...

Is the Day of Sending Missionaries Over ...?

Is the Day of Sending Missionaries Over (when there are so many needs locally)?

The church has been called to take the good news (Gospel) to all the world, not just locally but worldwide, "to those around us as well as beyond us!"
Recently it was a joy and challenge to read a very old book printed in the 1930's, Band of Soldiers for War! by Chinese evangelist Andrew Gih of the Bethel Evangelistic Band of China. What a great, exciting book, but very convicting!

On pages 60-61 is the story of how the leaders of Bethel were requested (begged) to send an evangelist to Java and Borneo and a young graduate John Chang volunteered. However, there were critics who said (as they do today), "Why should we send a missionary to Java and use our money for this purpose when we have so many needs at home and so many desperate needs all about us?" But the triumphant answer from the enthusiastic church members was given, "Because Jesus said, 'Go into all the world,' and Bethel is going to do what Jesus said!"

The next sentence says, "Mr Chang sailed for Java" and as a result many came to salvation in Christ!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Finally Read the Classic by John Bunyan "Pilgrim's Progress"

Many times, I have started reading this classic but stopped after only a few pages. Recently I decided, with the Lord's help, to finish the old English edition in one week’s time. This was difficult as I had many ministry responsibilities to handle. However, the Lord enabled and I read it in four days. What a great book! May our Lord be praised!

Amazon gives the following description of the book: This book is the famous story of man's progress through life in search of salvation remains one of the most entertaining allegories of faith ever written. Set against realistic backdrops of town and country, the powerful drama of the pilgrim's trials and temptations follows him in his harrowing journey to the Celestial City.

Along a road filled with spiritual terrors, Christian confronts such emblematic characters as Worldly Wiseman, Giant Despair, Talkative, Ignorance, and the demons of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. But he is also joined by Hopeful and Faithful.

An enormously influential 17th-century classic, universally known for its simplicity, vigor, and beauty of language, The Pilgrim's Progress remains one of the most widely read books in the English language, second only to the Bible.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Why Is Creation So Important for Understanding the Bible?

by Chris Bruno

A Story That Begins and Ends with Creation

When we think about the message of the Bible, we have a story that can be summarized by creation, fall, redemption, and new creation. At the beginning and end of the message—the story of the Bible—we have creation. God created, and God will create all things new one day.

Tracing the Theme

Even as we trace the story throughout redemptive history, we have this repeated emphasis on God's creation power. For instance, after the flood, we see Noah and his family coming off the ark and there's a great deal of language that sounds a lot like creation.

The point is that God is the one who is still using his creative power. God is still the one who is strong and in charge, and he's also commissioned his people to continue to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth with his glory. Read more ...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Why a "Paper" Bible Is Better than a Bible App at Church Meetings

by Steve Burchett

Technology is useful in the church. For example, I recently Skyped into my congregation’s Sunday gathering when I was too sick to attend. I was strengthened by what I heard, and they happily avoided my virus.

But technology is not valuable in every circumstance. I’m thinking particularly about the use of Bible apps on cell phones or tablets. Sure, it’s convenient to utilize a digital Bible in numerous settings—like reading (or listening) just before you fall asleep at night, or when you unexpectedly want to look up something during a discussion. But in a church meeting (Bible studies, Sunday’s gatherings, etc.), I strongly recommend using a “paper” Bible for four reasons.

In Pursuit of Christian Womanhood

by Paul Tautges

Making disciples is the work of the church. Jesus made that clear. But how do we make disciples? As we read the New Testament we see this pattern: We make disciples by coming alongside one another in the lifelong pursuit of becoming like our Savior. In other words, the work of discipleship takes place chiefly through relationships—relationships that include the two elements of instruction and example.

These relationships involve those who are spiritually mature; that is, those who are further down the road of walking with Christ and living according to His Word. These relationships also include those who are brand new to the faith, or not as further along in walking with God. In His infinite wisdom, God placed both mature and immature, both older and younger, together into the community of the faith for the purpose of spreading the gospel of His grace and glory.

This is very different than the world’s way of gathering people. Society’s strategy for the propagation of ideas and principles is peer gathering. In other words, keep the same aged people together at all times so that they will feel accepted, like they belong—based on superficial similarities. However, God’s design for discipleship is different. God’s design for Christian growth includes the necessity of an example, the essential involvement of older, mature teachers and examples. By God’s design, the local church is the ideal place for discipleship; a plan that requires the regular, intentional interaction across the generations. For our discipleship strategy to be fully biblical, it must be multi-generational. Read more ...

What Does the Bible Teach About Abortion?

by Jesse Johnson

Here are eight biblical truths about abortion:

1. The Bible teaches that a baby in the womb is alive, and is a person whom God is making. Those I know who have had an abortion all say this is the most critical issue for them. If they believed their fetus was a real person which an abortion would murder, then they would not have done it. But they all believed that at that point of development, what was inside of them doesn’t qualify as a person by their arbitrary standard.

First, it is important to note that a fetus is a human life. It is alive, and it is human, so there is really no other way to describe it.
Read more ...

Plans for a Church Weekend Missions Conference

(with emphasis on sending additional missionaries worldwide!)

1. Friday night 6:00 to 8:30:
  • Missions fair with rooms arranged in the countries the church has missionaries or projects with info on the missionaries, projects country, etc.
  •  The fellowship room could have an on-going meal with food of several countries (not just snacks but lots of food!).
  • Missions program in the fellowship hall 7:45-8:30) with missionary speaker (challenge for missionaries to serve foreign fields), and another giving short update or story of a missionary.
  • Only sing great mission songs and hymns! (This include special numbers).
2. Saturday:
  • Men's breakfast with missionary speaker 7:00-8:30.
  • Women's brunch with missionary women speaker, 9:30-11:00.
  • 1:00 special fellowship with missionary guests with the missions committee, pastors and elders for Q&A.
  • Evening 5:00 light meal (sandwiches, salads, etc.) and service 5:45-7 pm with missionary speaker. Ice cream social afterwards.
3. Sunday:
  • Joint Sunday school for kids to listen to stories of missionaries (perhaps two missionaries).
  • A missionary to speak in adult Sunday School, with another one giving a simple 10-minute update of ministry or story.
  •  Missionary to speak in worship service (challenge to serve) with another giving 5-minute update. Just before missions message, have all the children come to the front and sit for a special missionary flash card story of 6-8 minutes (the pictures are also flashed on the church screens so the adults will enjoy also).
  • All songs and hymns to be with missions emphasis (including specials)!
  •  Sunday evening 5:30 in fellowship hall have a special "Action Night" (with lots of pizza and salad) with ALL ELDERS, DEACONS, DEACONESSES, MISSION COMMITTEES, TEACHERS, LEADERS, (and anyone interested) WITH THEIR FAMILIES, for discussion as WHAT TO DO NEXT? Receive suggestions on how to keep the missions interest, how to trust the Lord to send missionaries from our church, member care of our missionaries, possible projects to do for church supported missionaries etc.

4. Plan months in advance to make it an ALL church event with ALL leaders committed to attend ALL meetings. Encourage all the leaders to set the example to lead and help and attend and participate in all meetings!

5. Cover the travel and expenses (and an honorarium) for each missionary invited.

6. Perhaps use these Mission Hymns:

Modern Hymns:
  • Facing a Task Unfinished
  • Across the Lands
  •  O Church Arise
  • In Christ Alone
  • By Faith
  • Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God
  • O Great God
  • All I Have Is Christ
 Classic Hymns:
  •  Grace Greater Than All Our Sin
  •  We've a Story to Tell to the Nations
  •  Take My Life and Let It Be
  •  Jesus Shall Reign
  •  Nothing but the Blood
  •  Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy
  •  Jesus What a Friend for Sinners
  •  There is a Fountain
  •  All Hail the Power of Jesus Name
  •   O for a Thousand Tongues
  •   Amazing Grace
  •   The Love of God
What do you think?

The Most Common Reasons Pastors Fall

by Tim Parr

I have been a Reformed Baptist pastor for 10 years, and I have not fallen, nor am I aware of any problems in my life of the magnitude that would disqualify me from ministry. I struggle with worry and grumbling, but my sins aren’t of the notorious and ignominious sort. I hasten to add however that I am no less in need of God’s grace and forgiveness than someone who is disgraced in the eyes of the self-righteous crowd or disqualified in the eyes of the humble Christian crowd. We are all sinners, and we all desperately need continual supplies of God’s grace, which he has given us in Christ and through the Holy Spirit.

Every sin deserves God’s wrath, but some sins receive different temporal ramifications than others. God has stipulated that those he has set over his flock must not be sinners of the blatant, notorious type (1 Tim. 3). Unfortunately, I am aware of several pastors who have become just that. In fact some of the most notorious sinners I’ve ever known were at one time pastors. These men were disqualified for ministry, and they faded away in shame, leaving in their wake many hurting, confused and outraged people. My question is a simple one. Why? Why does this happen? Why can we all, no doubt, bring to mind several names and faces of pastors who lost their testimony and their ministry due to notorious sin?

I believe there are a multitude of reasons why pastors fall. Let me address only a few before focusing on one in particular. Read more ...

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Christian Men, Are You Prepared to Help Protect Others? (Do You Have a Club in Your Car)?

Late in 2016, we were watching the news of the riots in Portland, Oregon. We saw thugs with baseball bats begin to smash the window of a van with a family and little children inside. No one came to their aid!

If you are in such a situation where other lives are in danger, have you purposed in your mind and heart to rise to the occasion to help protect others?

The positive aspect of our Father's command, "Not to murder" means to protect life. As Christians, this also means to do so even at the risk of our own safety!

Let's never look for trouble, but if the Lord puts us in a dangerous situation, it is for a purpose to help the weak for Christ's sake.

(By the way, I went to a second-hand store and purchased a small baseball bat about 20 inches long. It is now under my car seat, ready to use. May I never have to!)