Monday, 22 July 2013

Weekly Wrap (21/07)

by Joel Hawting | @jhawting

Why did North Point Community Church come into existence? Andy Stanley shares his passion for creating an engaging church for all in this video.

Simon Prevette - "You aren’t incredibly gifted? Well, welcome to the club of the “average.” Most of us dwell there. As an encouragement, let me introduce you to Simon Prevette. He is a man you have never heard of, but he is a man you should know." A great article written by Jason Helopoulos, guest blogger on Kevin DeYoung's blog.

How Can I Make A Bigger Impact? - "My response and challenge is simple: Be faithful now. Don’t fall into the temptation of merely dreaming about future ministry fruitfulness. Be faithful right now with what the Lord has entrusted to you." An excellent article from Eric Geiger challenging young leaders to remain faithful and develop patience in ministry.

10 Ways To Be A Better Church Staff Person - Thom Rainer writes a great article sharing from his experience, the 10 ways that people employed in work from the church can better support their pastors.

Is Discipleship The Focus Of Most Churches? - "Making disciples is not about a church program. It’s not one of the things the church does. It is the thing. Jesus’ last words to his followers were, “Go and make disciples.” So if this is the mission of the church, its reason for being, its all-encompassing purpose, then why isn’t this the focal point of all that we do?A wonderful post by Dr Gary Thompson that is well worth a read.

Spreading Your Message Online - Wondering how to get your message out to the masses online? Tony Morgan provides some interesting insights into the most effective ways to engage with your desired audience online from recent research on the topic.

Thought for the day...

"Christian maturity is not demonstrated through the lack of conflict, but by how we resolve it."
— J.R. Miller

Monday, 15 July 2013

Weekly Wrap (14/07)

by Joel Hawting | @jhawting

Why is discipleship important? Hugh Halter offers some great thoughts in this short video.

Living On Mission Takes Time - "Some of us believe in "missions" or the act of being on mission, but we feel like we are complete failures at it. One of the reasons is because we fail to give mission time to mature. We are too busy to be on mission for Jesus because we are on mission for ourselves." A great article written by Michael Criner, guest blogger on Trevin Wax's blog.

The Importance Of Losing - Barnabas Piper writes a great article challenging parents to let their children lose.

Revolutionary Parenting In The Lord - "A myriad of books has been written on what “discipline and instruction,” “bringing them up,” and “provoke” mean. But we have focused on the wrong parts of these verses. We have solely focused on what we are to do and forgotten what Jesus is about and what he has done." A nice piece from Jessica Thompson of the Resurgence.

A Reunion Of Old Friends - A wonderful post by Tim Challies on some of his most dear friends - his much loved books. Well worth a read.

Reading The Bible Through The Cross - "Bible study can become a blind pursuit of self-righteousness. Our quest for the knowledge of God can subtly become a way in which we compare ourselves to other Christians. We can come to believe that our great knowledge of Scripture means that we are spiritually mature." In this great article Chan Kilgore reminds us of the importance of reading the bible through the lens of the cross.

Thought for the day...

"Imagine the revolution if every Christian went to church wanting to bless someone and then left the church wanting to bless the world."
— Eugene Cho

Monday, 8 July 2013

Weekly Wrap (07/07)

by Joel Hawting | @jhawting

I recently came across this video from John Piper discussing the Prosperity Gospel. Somehow I don't think Piper thinks too highly of this kind of theology...

Consumer Christianity - Marketing or Making Disciples? - "I don’t want to push the analogy too far, but for the sake of illustration, let’s think of the membership model of church as similar to the membership model of the modern health club. One becomes a member of a health club by paying dues (in a church, the monthly or weekly offering). Having paid their dues, the members expect the services of the club to be at their disposal. Exercise equipment, weight room, aerobics classes, an indoor track, swimming pool—all there for them, with a trained staff to see that they benefit by them." Are our churches about meeting people's needs or doing God's work? A challenging article from Dr Gary Thompson.

Why Gay Marriage Is Good (and Bad) For The Church - Trevin Wax writes a great piece challenging the church to hold fast to the exhortation found in Romans 8:28 amidst the apparent storm that is Gay Marriage in America.

How Much of a Pastor's Vacation Time Should He Use? - "You may begin reading this post with the idea that I will suggest how many weeks of vacation you should be given by your church, or how much you should advocate to give your pastor. Instead, I intend to answer this question a bit differently. My concern is not about how much vacation time a pastor is given, but how he uses (or doesn't use) what he is given." A great, thought-provoking article from Practical Shepherding.

Longing For God - A wonderful devotional by Charles Swindoll on Psalm 42:1-2. Well worth a read.

The Mathematics of Grace - "The world runs by ungrace. Everything depends on what I do. I have to make the shot. Jesus calls us to another way, one that depends not on our performance but his own. We do not have to achieve but merely follow. He has already earned for us the costly victory of God’s acceptance." A great article courtesy of the Gospel Coalition.

Thought for the day...

"The Lord is kind. He is good to all who take refuge under his wings."
— John Piper

Friday, 5 July 2013

Weekly Wrap (30/06)

by Joel Hawting | @jhawting

Like being comfortable? Francis Chan talks about why we as Christians should reject comfort.

Why You Need A Half-Year Resolution - "Life gets in the way of our good intentions and we sometimes abandon them all too quickly." Time to make some changes in your life? A good article courtesy of Relevant Magazine.

Listening To Young Atheists - "Church became all about ceremony, handholding, and kumbaya," Phil said with a look of disgust. "I missed my old youth pastor. He actually knew the Bible."" A very challenging and thought-provoking article from Fixed Point on a new breed of young atheists - ex-churchgoing, young group attending, God serving atheists.

Christ-Centred Hermeneutics and Typology - "Daniel Block suggested that we need to be less Christocentric and more Christotelic in our Old Testament interpretation. By this he means that we need to shift our emphasis from seeking Christ in the Old Testament and more towards seeing Christ as the end, as the destination, as the climax of the Old Testament, which each Old Testament text plays a preparatory part in." Like thinking deeply about Theology? Then you will appreciate this great post from Ed Stetzer.

Why I Pray Publicly For Other Churches - "Every Sunday morning, I lead the congregation of Third Avenue Baptist Church in a "pastoral prayer."... The part of the prayer that elicits the most comment, however—both positive and out of sheer confusion—is when I pray for another evangelical church or two meeting in the city of Louisville." A really timely article from the Gospel Coalition discussing a little known (and likely practiced!) practice: praying for God's broader church, not just your own.

Lay Aside The Weight of Self-Preoccupation - "Want to refresh your soul? Want to run with more endurance today? Cease to be the focus of your attention." Yet another wonderful and encouraging article from Desiring God.

Thought for the day...

"We've substituted doctrinal belief for personal belief, thats why many people are devoted to causes & few are devoted to Jesus."
— Oswald Chambers