What is the ultimate mission of the Church?

Recently, I was in a training in which Scripture was cited and then this question was asked. The Scripture was from Revelation chapter 7. 9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; 10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11 And all the angels were standing […]

How to Cope With the Impending Loss of Your Job

Death is Not the Only Source of Grief The loss of a loved one is the most intense grief that a person can experience. However, there are other losses in life that also produce grief. For example, if you know someone that has health problems and can no longer care for himself, you know that loss of independence is extremely difficult and stressful. Loss of your job creates real grief. Surprise! Grief Happens As Soon As You Know Grief begins when you learn of an impending loss. Some people call it anticipatory grief or preparatory grief. It is the […]

How to Break the Jargon Barrier in Your Church

Jargon is a specialized vocabulary that is distinctive to a specific group. Jargon creates an impressive image. If you want to sound like an expert, use the distinctive vocabulary that is specific to that field of knowledge. Knowledge of the correct use of jargon can make you seem like an authority in a given field, regardless of whether or not you have any actual in-depth knowledge of that field. Jargon provides a tool to create a stronger internal identity.[a]Jargon can function as branding. And sometimes branding becomes jargon, as in Kleenex and Coke. Each of your social groups creates […]

Should Christians Salute and Pledge to the U. S. Flag?

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Should Christians pledge loyalty to anyone but Christ? Jesus said not to make oaths. “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, […]

Peace at Any Cost?

  God tells us to bless those who curse you. In fact, it is reinforced in the New Testament at least three times. Matthew 5:44. “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…” Luke 6:27-31.  “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not […]

How to Start a Cult

Recently, a conference speaker said, “If your experience is exalted above God’s Word, you are wrong.” In my opinion, this was the most important statement that I heard at the ministers’ conference. The conference speaker led pastors in an organized session of practicing spiritual gifts, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, visions, laying on of hands, and other experiences of inspired speech and prayer often associated with the Pentecostal baptism in the Holy Spirit. Imagine a meeting room filled with ministers praying in unknown languages and then taking turns speaking any message that God may have placed in […]

Who Are We? [The Re-branding of Discipleship] E

A disciple is crucified. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.[a]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 10:38–39). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles. Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man […]

Who Are We? [The Re-branding of Discipleship] D

Discipleship is supernatural. I once saw a little sticker that still makes me laugh when I think of it. “The two great facts of life: 1) There is a God. 2) You are not Him.” There is a difference between man and God, a vast contrast between the methods of human ingenuity and the work of the Holy Spirit. Coaching a softball team is human and natural. Discipling Christians is miraculous and spiritual. The task of discipleship requires a miracle. The Apostle Paul contrasts the natural flesh[a]Flesh is a synonym for carnal nature, sinful nature, old nature, natural man. […]

Who Are We? [The Re-branding of Discipleship] C

KOINONIA The biblical words for fellowship and communion are identical and indicate a “commonness” or “community.” Every believer is a participant in a larger, much larger, organism. There are characteristics and functions that all believers share in common. It is interesting that the New Testament shows fellowship happening in conjunction with sharing a meal. Never underestimate the value of sitting down together to share bread and share your life. This seems to work in smaller church groups, but large groups seem to succeed at providing great banquets and buffet lines, but if they only provide surface relationships and fail […]

Who Are We? [The Re-branding of Discipleship] B

The Disappearance of Disciple The word “disciple” is not used after the first five books of the New Testament. The followers of Jesus are not called “disciples” outside of the Gospels and Acts. Twenty-one New Testament books don’t use the title “disciple.” Twenty-two books don’t use the verb “disciple” or “make disciples.” I would think that after the Great Commission (“Go and make disciples”) that the Apostles would have emphasized that specific word. We sure like that word today. We keep writing books about disciple-making. Churches keep studying how to be a disciple and how to disciple disciples. If […]