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Archive for December, 2009

Disconnected

Several years ago I sat in a meeting with church leaders. I asked this group of 7 elders if they could show me the 3 distinct places in the New Testament where it mentioned what they were to be doing. Only 1 of them could remember one of the 3 places where it talks about elder leadership. This told me that these men who were to be leading the church did not know their New Testament very well and probably did not read their bibles regularly. When this took place I remember thinking “what are we doing if we don’t know the bible?”

As this years comes to an end I wonder to myself how many people sitting in the pews each week pick up their bibles after Sunday is over? I started in pastoral ministry in 2002 and will admit that I was more idealistic when I started out. I had this ideal of what I thought the church was, but now reality is staring at me and I cannot hide from it. We are lacking in the basic knowledge of the bible and cannot clearly define to others what the gospel is. Men from the 1st Century up to this point in time are willing to die for this and yet many cannot say what it is exactly. People cannot connect with a God or a Savior as they should if they do not know the Word of God. Going through the Word is not a simple task but it can bring a revival to your heart and conviction to your soul. Stay connected in the New Year that is upon us. Stay in the Word of God!

The leaders that I mentioned earlier. Most of them never reached out to the congregation and yet they always liked to pick apart the church staff. If they were not basing their positions on the bible, what point of view were they using then? If the Church does not know the Word it will do things in a very secular way. Trust me I know from experience that this happens a lot. Only those who know God through His word can stay connected to Him. Those who do not know the Word will just keep going through the motions and never see their spiritual lives grow.

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Calling All Leaders

I wonder how satisfied people are with their church experience. I have to say that until the past year I have not found much satisfaction. The turning point for me has been finding a group of college students who are hungry for the word of God and enjoy growing in their faith. People who are excited about moving forward with God excite those who are just going through the motions. The generation that is in college right now seem to not want to just go to church or play church, they desire to really understand what God wants from them and to act upon it. That attitude is completely refreshing for me.

While I am excited by this group of college students I do understand the reality of it all. One day they will move on and into their lives after graduation. They will seek out a church and get involved only to hit a few road blocks. People who are sold out to systems and traditions instead of having a hunger to live out their faith will affect them in negative ways. Thinking about this brings a heaviness to my heart. Why is the church so frustrating so much of the time? I think one of the best answers is that the leaders who are in place are just going through the motions. It’s an easy thing to do in any local church. But it’s not the life the Jesus has called us too. If you are a church leader you have a great responsibility to keep the church moving forward. This means guiding people closer to God through bible study, prayer, and good works. It means being a change agent. It means helping people realize that worship and  the Great Commission must be prominent if people are going to experience God in greater ways. The greatest hindrance in the Church today are its leaders. God did not let His Son be crucified so that the local church could be a club of close-knit friends. He let his Son die on the Cross to redeem a people for Himself who are willing to give everything they can back to Him. If you are a church leader you have a great responsibility. Remember what you have been entrusted with and who has entrusted you to carry out the work of the ministry.

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Matt Chandler Preaching

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If you do not know about the Village Church in Dallas Texas you might have heard of their Lead Pastor Matt Chandler. Chandler is an outstanding preacher who is reformed in his theology and has an energy that many cannot compete with. His passion for the Word and the lost are a testimony to all of us in the church today. This past week it came out that Chandler had a brain tumor and I would like to post an article from Christianity Today as reported by Ted Olsen. Olsen writes;

Some sad news from The Village Church today:

On Tuesday, Dr. Barnett informed Matt and Lauren [Chandler] that the findings of the pathology report revealed a malignant brain tumor that was not encapsulated. The surgery to remove the tumor, the doctor said, was an extremely positive first step; however, because of the nature of the tumor, he was not able to remove all of it.

Matt, who is being released from the hospital today, is meeting with a neuro-oncologist this week to outline the next steps of the recovery process. There is a range of treatment possibilities but the exact course of action has not yet been determined. He will continue outpatient rehab.

The Lord is calling Matt and Lauren and The Village Church body to endure this trial. It will be a challenging road for Matt, his family and our church body. The gospel is our hope and the Lord is our strength. Matt and Lauren continue to find solace and hope in Christ. They weep facing this trial, but not as those without hope and perspective. The gospel clarifies their suffering and promises more of Christ through it all.

We pray for Matt and his family and the Village Church. We will continue to pray and stand alongside of our brother who proclaims the truth unashamed.

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