January 2008

Not all teachers are preachers, but every preacher is a teacher.  With that in mind, here are a few valuable suggestions for anyone who teaches God’s Word.

  1. Teach people, not lessons (it’s people we’re called to serve)
  2. Teach more by teaching less (don’t cover material, uncover the main point)
  3. Teach using a plan (fail to plan, plan to fail)
  4. Teach for life change (this is the goal)
  5. Teach only after you’ve gained attention (don’t assume they’re with you)
  6. Teach what the Bible teaches (context is king)
  7. Teach in ways appropriate to your age group (know your audience)
  8. Teach using relevant issues (The Bible speaks to our times)
  9. Teach heart to heart (share your passion)
  10. Teach with a humble heart (keep growing and learning)

 * Taken from Creative Bible Teaching, by Lawrence O. Richards and Gary J. Bredfeldt


For those that think that God is not loving because He does not give us “free will” Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church, in Seattle has a great response.  This is powerful!

(HT: Z via. Los)

I didn’t so well on this test, but I’m glad I took it.  It convicted me of how little I think about (and pray about) the issue of abortion in our nation.

(HT: Eric S.)

Todd Hiestand gives some helpful words on how the church is like a family:

  • You don’t “go to family.” Rather, you are part of a family.
  • In a family, belonging comes from who you are, not what you do.
  • There are traditions and practices that have meaning to your life together.
  • Healthy family members freely give of themselves to one another.
  • Healthy families are open and inviting to others.
  • In healthy families, its hard, but we send our kids off to college and they are still part of the family.
  • There is room for extended family.
  • When you “leave” a family its usually a violent break.
  • In a family, you are forced to deal with problems

 * Read the rest of his comments here …

phantom1.jpgLast night I surprised Jaime by taking her out to eat and then going to The Phantom of the Opera.  We went with our friends, Lisle and Kathy, as an early Valentine’s present to our wives.  Jaime and I have seen just two big plays like this in the past–The Lion King and The Sound of Music.  Though the whole experience was enjoyable, the play itself wasn’t as great as we thought it would be.  I would rank Sound of Music first, Lion King second, and Phantom of the Opera third.  It was just a little difficult to follow the storyline of the play.  Maybe it was because I couldn’t stop gazing at my beautiful wife!  (Okay, I admit I’m going for brownie points there).  All in all though, we had a good date, which I’m sure will be harder to come by as we get ready for our baby coming in March!  Your prayers are greatly appreciated!

If there’s one qualification for men in ministry that should get us on our faces before God, it is this one from 1 Timothy 3:4, “he must manage his own household well.” 

Not too long ago, I walked through 1st and 2nd Timothy with a good friend of mine who will soon graduate from seminary.  As we met for encouragement and accountability, my goal was simply this: To more clearly understand our role as pastors and grow in Christ-like character.  Each week we read and meditated on one chapter, writing down observations, questions, and specific applications.  Along with this, we encouraged each other to memorize 1-2 verses from each chapter.  One of those was 1 Timothy 3:4-5.

He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?

As you know, this is just one of the qualifications for elders listed in 1 Timothy, but in my opinion, seems most neglected.  In an effort to build a successful ministry. many pastors abdicate their responsibility to their families.  They are so busy with the church that they forget about the home. 

Jonathan Dodson rightly asserts,

This is a disqualification for pastoral ministry. It puts the cart before the horse, church before family. Some of us need to repent both privately and publicly over this sin.

Dodson goes on to say that we can’t mistake generally problem free households for well-managed households.  He says,

My kids have a pretty good tempermants, but am I managing—protectively and caringly leading—my family practically and spiritually? Am I modeling and cultivating tenderness, respect, and obedience? Or am I just coasting on good kid temperament? Do I take time to instruct my children with patience and love? Do I pray with them and teach them about Jesus? Do I spend time with my wife away from the kids discussing family life and just delighting in her?

These are questions we must ask ourselves–that I must ask myself.  Scripture is clear:  If we can’t manage our own household well, how can we care for God’s church?  May God give us the grace we so desperately need to be doers of this word.

  • Read the rest of Jonathan’s post on Qualifications for Elders
  • Read John Piper’s Pastoral Accountability Quesstionaire
  • Read Randy Alcorn’s helpful article on accountability

book1.jpgFox News recently reported:

A radical Baptist church in Kansas said it intends to protest Heath Ledger’s memorial service with signs claiming the actor died and is in Hell because he played a gay character in “Brokeback Mountain.”

One member said, “You cannot live in defiance of God.  He got on that big screen with a big, fat message: God is a liar and it’s OK to be gay.”

Sadly, the response from this church toward Heath Ledger’s death typifies how many people perceive Christians, namely, judgmental and antihomsexual.  I’m not saying that Heath Ledger is a homosexual.  I am saying that this kind of response toward Ledger gives the world (and especially the gay community) more reasons to dislike Christians.   

David Kinnamon, in his book UnChristian, claims that many people in the gay community don’t seem to have issues with Jesus but rather with those claiming to represent Jesus.  But instead of articulating a biblical perspective and living out a biblical response to homosexuals, Kinnamon’s research demonstrates how inconsistent and uncompassionate–how unChristian–we have been.

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