Friday, May 6, 2016

Is Church Membership a Privilege or an Obligation?

Is Church Membership a Privilege or an Obligation?  This is especially appropriate in the face of the cultural Christianity prevalent in the Bible Belt.  We have to ask ourselves why we do church. Is it because we always have since we were kids?  Is it because we are afraid of arousing the ire of our family and peers?  Or is it because we realize that we are God's children and that we have a cherished place at His family table?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

To Know or to Know About, That Is the Question

Sometimes being an effective leader is the difference in knowing your people instead of knowing about your people. You really can care for the organization while still caring for those whom you lead. — Sam Rainer
The Great Shepherd tells we undershepherds in 1 Peter 5, the importance of leading by example and not by autocratic dominance.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Is Your Church Driving Forward or Dying Out?

If prayer drives a church like an engine, then, by contrast, prayerlessness stalls a church.  A sputtering chug unto a lurching halt (i.e., death of a local church) notwithstanding, prayerlessness is the height of arrogance on our part.  It is to say to God that we can do it all by ourselves; that we are self-sufficient; that we know best.  Are you seeing Eden in your mind's eye yet?  Before we get too critical of Adam and Eve, let's take a survey of our own lives.  How often do we cease to pray?  How often do we relegate our divine interaction to the brevity of a blessing before a meal?  I must confess my own toes are now sore.
How different--how much more vibrant--would our lives, our homes, our churches be if they were more characterized by prayer?

View the article linked below for more on the topic.

The Least Attended Church Meeting

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Rhyme & Reason: The Science of Bible Study

One of the primary rules of reading and interpreting Scripture is to always consider the context of the passage.  When applying this rule, we should take care to consider both the immediate and grand-narrative contexts.  We do this by asking ourselves: How does this passage fit within its Book as well as how it relates to the whole of Scripture?
The Book of Hebrews is a daunting read that can be simplified by applying this very rule. Take, for instance, the Melchizedekian priesthood in chapter 7.  It seemingly comes out of no where within its Book, but is mentioned in various forms throughout the Old Testament.
And just in case you were wondering or have ever wondered as to the significance of the Melchizedekian priesthood along with its relationship to the more familiar Levitical priesthood, read the article linked below?  It will serve to further solidify the importance of the rule above.