09 July 2013

The Digital Age is Upon Us

The Digital Age is upon us. In the span of less than three decades, we have redefined the way humans communicate, entertain, inform, research, create, and connect – and what we know now is only a hint of what is to come. But the greatest concern of the church is not a technological imperative, but a Gospel imperative.

By now, just about every church, corporation, business, school or organization has a presence on the Internet. If not, realize that you just do not exist, so far as untold millions of people are concerned.

Make certain that visitors can find you and your organization. If search engines do not know you exist, only those who already know your Internet address can find you. That is not a growth strategy.

[We] should be taking advantage of blogs, social media, and every available platform for communicating our message. We should be exercising stewardship in new opportunities to learn, teach, and study online, recognizing that no generation before us had such rich opportunities.

But our imperative to fulfill Christian leadership in the digital world is not technological. We should not use this technology simply because it is there. Our driving motivation must be a Gospel imperative – to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the full wealth of Christian conviction, and the comprehensive reach of the Christian worldview set before a sinful world. In other words, the Christian imperative in the digital domain comes down to this – sharing the light in a world of darkness. –Al Mohler

As Al Mohler points out above, our presence on the internet is critical. So what can each of us at our respective churches do? Here are some suggestions:

1. Start a Facebook page and Google+ page.
2. Go to your Facebook page and “like” it if you have not already. Then scroll down and click to invite your friends.
3. Add the page on Google+ as a friend and share.
4. Go to your Pastor’s blog (he should have one), “like” it and share it on FB and Google+. 
5. Share the link to your web page with your internet contacts and/or have your webmaster add a Facebook "like" button.

Increasing your “likes” and sharing the pages will bring you higher in the search engines such as Google and therefore you’ll be easier to find for those looking for a church in your area. Moreover, this will allow you to share what’s happening at your church and share the gospel with a larger audience.

Having stated the above I'm going on an extended hiatus to work on my church's website and our Pastor's blog. I don't know when I'll be back if ever. Traffic here has not always been the greatest but I do thank those of you who have stopped by to have a read. I hope it has been helpful and encouraging.

05 July 2013

Are We Ready?

Peter Leithart
Peter Leithart posts his thoughts on DOMA...

Many churches have already capitulated to the Zeitgeist, and many others will. Some Christians and some churches won’t be up to the challenge. For those who heed Paul’s admonition not to be conformed to the pattern of this world, things are going to get sticky. But we are servants of God. He opens our ears to hear, and he gives us tongues to speak truth. If that means we are insulted and marginalized, if it means we yield our back to the smiters and our face to those who spit on us, so be it.

Every day we are losing our rights not just as Americans but as Christians.  Widespread acceptance of homosexuality, same-sex marriage, freedom of speech and....and....and.... We must ask ourselves, are we ready? The trials, difficulties and persecution is coming and coming on rapidly. Think on it, friends. We capitulate or we are persecuted. Time to decide where you stand. As Leithart notes in his post,

God has his winnowing fork in his hand, and he’s ready to use it. There’s likely to be a lot of chaff, blown away like mist. But there will be a harvest. We’re being sent into an oven, but Jesus will crush the grain of the harvest so that, baked in the fire of the Spirit, it will become bread for the life of the world.

04 July 2013

Spritual Disciplines Week 5

    And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read.
(Luke 4:16 ESV)

03 July 2013

Love That WIll Not Let Me Go

    “At that time, declares the LORD, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, 
and they shall be my people.”
    Thus says the LORD:
    “The people who survived the sword
        found grace in the wilderness;
    when Israel sought for rest,
        the LORD appeared to him from far away.
    I have loved you with an everlasting love;
        therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
    Again I will build you, and you shall be built,
        O virgin Israel!
    Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines
        and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.
    Again you shall plant vineyards
        on the mountains of Samaria;
    the planters shall plant
        and shall enjoy the fruit.
    For there shall be a day when watchmen will call
        in the hill country of Ephraim:
    ‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion,
        to the LORD our God.’”
(Jeremiah 31:1-6 ESV)

George Matheson Author of "O Love That Will Not Let Me Go"
O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

The Church Saw My Discretions

A valuable post form the Gospel Coalition on women and broken people...

Marcy Deck writes

The church saw my discretions, and neither did they ignore them or punish me for them. Instead, they loved me well until I saw the error of my ways. They invited me in. They gave me resources. They spoke truth when I needed to hear it. They were there to help pick up the pieces when I had to deal with the consequences of my actions.

and further

I was also granted the privilege of being pursued to serve other women in the church. I saw in action what Jen Wilkin commended in her recent article "The Complementarian Woman: Permitted or Pursued." She writes, "The challenge for any pastor would be to consider whether he is crafting a church culture that permits women to serve or one that pursues women to serve. Because a culture of permission will not ensure complementarity functions as it should."

What struck me about this article is how the church took her in in her brokenness. Aren't we all broken? Don't we all need the love and affection of our church family? I know I do. The question I ask of myself and of you is are we doing this for others in our churches in their brokenness?

Moreover, she filled the the glaring gaps of ministry. Is your church and my church doing this? Are we creating a culture that goes beyond entry level Bible studies and knitting circles.

Read the entire post here and consider: what is the depth of women's ministries at your church and are people being met where they are - in their brokenness?

02 July 2013

This Generation - Mark 13:24-31

    “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, 
from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
    “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
(Mark 13:24-31 ESV)