As I prepare for our teacher training meeting with our Sunday School teachers this Sunday, I was impressed by the depth and clarity of the lesson that we are going to study and then teach to our classes. This lesson is about the calling of a pastor and the results of a pastor living out his calling. In a specific sense, this lesson is for shepherds. All followers of Jesus Christ have been called to be leaders because we have all been given the Great Commission to “make disciples” of all the nations. Having made the above statement, I would like to clarify the fact that not everyone is a shepherd. God calls and appoints shepherds/pastors in the church to teach/lead/equip the members to make disciples. So, this lesson is profitable for every single person who calls himself or herself a follower of Jesus Christ (Christian, disciple etc.), even though these commands are given specifically to pastors, the pastor is going to use these commands to equip every man, woman, and child in the church to be discipled and to make disciples. Our previous Sunday School lesson was about Agape Love in Action. Continue reading
We are getting ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the moment when God became man and stepped into human history. The theological term used is “incarnation”. God became flesh. He became like His creation. God came to His creation to be a servant. Jesus Christ came in the flesh to set an example to follow. In order to follow His example, we have to surrender the leadership of our lives over to Him. This is the lesson that the Apostle Paul worked really hard to teach the church in Philippi. In order to understand this concept, we are going to turn to Philippians 2.
In verse five of chapter two, Paul commands the Philippians to have the same mind/attitude that Jesus Christ had while He walked this earth. Let’s find out what that attitude was and see the manifestation of that mind in the daily life of a follower of Jesus Christ. Continue reading
I love to study and teach on the vibrant life and ministry of the Apostle Paul. He was a man who brought the Gospel to the Gentiles. I am a benefactor of his life and ministry. Paul was a disciple making machine and I want to examine his methods to see what I can learn from him about ministry and fulfilling the Great Commission of making disciples over the course of my lifetime. Continue reading
I am getting ready to teach our kids this coming Sunday about the Apostle Paul’s Second missionary journey. Part of that journey included a church plant in the city of Philippi. As we saw when Paul was on his first missionary trip, he did not set out to plant churches. He was called by God to go and make disciples. The churches were formed as a result of people being discipled. This is the model for church planting. The modern approach is exactly backwards. We seek to plant churches and then disciple people once they become part of the church. Our modern form of church has much to learn from the Biblical approach. There are many areas where we are far from the Bible in our approach to modern ministry. Continue reading
I am speaking tonight at a dinner held at our church for the volunteers who serve with Angel Tree ministries. I am excited about the work that has been done and that is being done through this ministry. As a church, we challenge members to purchase gifts to give to needy families during the Christmas holidays. Gift giving is a Biblical concept because God, based on His nature, is a Giver. He gives gifts to men. Jesus, when He walked this earth, He gave gifts to men, with a very specific purpose. The purpose of giving is to open the door to the message of the Gospel. When Jesus did things for people, when He met their pressing needs, He immediately followed up the good deed with spiritual teaching.
There is a principle found in Proverbs 18:16 about the importance of gift giving: Continue reading
I am getting ready to speak at my son’s pre-k graduation tonight. I am very proud of him for all of his hard work over the past two years. He has learned so much. I am really excited about the number of Bible verses that he has learned and still remembers them. I want to challenge the parents tonight to continue what was begun in the classrooms. Many of these kids will head off to public school where they will not receive positive spiritual teaching and I want the parents to step up and fill in that gap. Many parents see the church as the place where their kids are to receive the majority of their spiritual training. From the Bible’s perspective, this is not true. They majority of a child’s spiritual teaching is to take place in the home. The job of the church is to come along side the parents and disciple them in such a way that they, in turn, disciple their own kids. We see this principle in both the Old and New Testaments. Moses was taught by God, he taught the people, and they were to teach their children the Scriptures, day and night. In the New Testament, I want to take a look at Timothy and his family. Continue reading
I am preparing to teach a breakout session today during our annual Hoffmantown missions conference. I am excited to be able to teach from II Timothy, a book that we have been studying for most of this year in the children’s department. We are going to learn how to do missions as a family.
If you look into the Bible, you will quickly notice that God is in the business of connecting with people, training and equipping them, send them out as missionaries. Here is a short list of missionaries in the Bible. It is not exhaustive. Continue reading
This is our final lesson on II Timothy. It has been a journey with my staff as we have learned how to be disciples of Christ and organize our lives around the Great Commission of making disciples of Christ. Here is a list of the previous lessons that we have covered.
- Attitude toward the Word of God
- The authority of the Word of God
- Fulfill your holy calling
- The difference between the believers and nonbelievers in the church
- Compete to win the prize
- Trained soldiers needed
- Guard the Gospel
- Stir up your spiritual gift
Well, it has been a fun ride through the book of II Timothy. God has taught us so much about life, ministry, and discipleship through this short letter. I pray that we will continue to build our lives on what we are learning and that our ministries will flourish for the Lord’s glory as we make disciples.
Last week, during our staff meeting, we covered II Timothy 3, learning the differences between the believers and the unbelievers in the church based on their attitude toward the Word of God. This week, we want to focus on the authority of the Word of God. Do you sit under the authority of the Word of God? How do you know that you sit under the authority of the Word of God? Let’s see if we can find the answer from the Word of God. Continue reading