ADVICE FOR YOUNG PASTORS & LEADERS: “Don’t neglect caring for your own soul before you care for other souls.” Young ministry leader Tyler Saldaña gives some advice to other young ministry leaders.
A ‘GOSPEL’ THAT ALMOST KILLED ME:“The white-knuckled discipline that I once devoted to the prosperity gospel, I now devote to trusting fully in the finished work of Christ and the grace that I breathe in to survive.” Sean DeMars gives an account of his live when he was devoted to the ‘prosperity gospel’ and how his eyes were opened to the true gospel.
4 WAYS TO MINISTER TO US ‘YOUNG GUNS’:“Many young guys have big hearts and legitimate ambition for the kingdom of God. The church of the future will be far better served if young men are guided and shepherded by more seasoned saints.” John Pond explains four ways older men can mentor younger men in the ministry.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR MISSIONARIES ACTUALLY TEACH?:“Stop sending prosperity-preaching missionaries to the jungles of Peru. They’re killing the villages here. Your missionaries are spending tens of thousands of dollars, traveling across land and sea, invading and settling into new cultures, and it’s all for nothing. They’re doing more harm than good.” This is a very important post that all Christians need to read – especially if they support missionaries, are missionaries, or plan to be missionaries. Sean DeMars talks about how the American Church is exporting the prosperity gospel into places like Peru (where he serves) through missionaries. He challenges us to know what our missionaries believe before we support or send them.
WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH: “[True worship] is both an affair of the heart and an affair of the mind.” David Mathis discusses what it means to worship in spirit and truth.
WHEN YOUR HEART ISN’T IN IT:“You might find yourself sitting in darkness and uninterested in God’s word, prayer, or worship. But do not neglect these things, for no matter how feeble your faith is at the moment, God will strengthen and enlarge it.” Joe Thorn challenges us to seek the Lord even when our heart just isn’t in it.
THE LIFE-RATTLING TRUTH THAT HAS KEPT ME IN AFRICA:“Paying mere mental assent to a doctrine is quite different than having that doctrine shape your thinking and ultimately your decisions.” Philip Hunt explains how practically experiencing the sovereignty of God has kept him in Africa for 20+ years.
THREE CHALLENGES FOR THE CHRISTIAN BLOGOSPHERE:“We need to be less about whatever bonehead move Celebrity Pastor X made this week and more about the gospel.” Aaron Armstrong challenges Christian bloggers with three things he would like to see change this year in the blogosphere.
CHURCH PLANTER CAUGHT IN CROSSFIRE: “The gunshots were continuing. We heard glass break. We started crawling into the kitchen of our home – me, Emily and our dog. As we were crawling, we saw a large flash like an explosion. We got underneath our kitchen table and continued to hear gunshots. They were much louder and felt closer. I’m a grown man, but at that point I was terrified and I was holding my wife there under the table and holding my dog, and it got real for us…we realized that we could die.” A Boston church planter recounts his experience as he and his wife are caught in the dramatic shootout between cops and suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings.
BIBLE STUDY // JONAH 3-4: This is a very timely Bible study for this weekend. As Christians, we are all missionaries. What keeps us from going to preach the gospel and call those who have done great evil to repentance? Would we rather see someone experience the eternal wrath of God that they deserve for what they have done or experience the same love and grace that we have come to know through Christ? To put my own little twist on this, keep Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in your mind as you study this Scripture this weekend. Church, pray for this young man that he may come to know Christ and experience the grace and love of God in his life.
THE WORSHIP-PROVOKING GOSPEL:“The gospel both provokes and enables the worship of God.” Matt Boswell reminds us of the gospel and how that leads to our worship of God. Let this article remind you of the glorious gospel this weekend.
WHY I DON’T WITNESS TO PEOPLE ON AIRPLANES: “I’ve never ‘witnessed’ to anyone on an airplane. I’ve never asked my seatmate if he’s secured his ticket to heaven, never quizzed the flight attendant on her Ten Commandments record… I’m not sure I know what it means to ‘witness’ to a person anymore. Somewhere in my mid-twenties, I drifted off the Romans Road and stumbled onto a bigger, wilder Gospel in which salvation is less about individual ‘sin management’ and more about God’s relentless work restoring, redeeming, and remaking the whole world.” This is an intriguing article I came across yesterday in which Rachel shares her struggle with witnessing and poses the question, “What does it mean to ‘witness’ to someone?”
BAPTIST COLLEGES CAN’T ACCEPT BAPTIST THEOLOGIANS:“Christian colleges and universities have every right to maintain their denominational heritages… Recently, however, a couple of Baptist colleges have dismissed theology faculty because they hold to Baptist principles.” Collin discusses cases in which professors were let go due to theology that was in agreement with the college, but differed in a secondary way.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.