Paul’s Plan to make disciples

time-management-imageI 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

The church plant in Philippi

1I 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

Gifts and the Gospel

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

Spiritual mentors needed!

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

Mission Minded Families

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

Proof that you are preaching the Word

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.

  1. Attitude toward the Word of God
  2. The authority of the Word of God
  3. Fulfill your holy calling
  4. The difference between the believers and nonbelievers in the church
  5. Compete to win the prize
  6. Trained soldiers needed
  7. Guard the Gospel
  8. Stir up your spiritual gift

Continue reading

Fulfill your holy calling

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.

The previous two lessons focused on our attitudes toward the Word of God, specifically, if we see It as the authority of God over our lives or not.

This chapter focuses in on how Timothy can fulfill his holy calling to ministry. Take a moment and ready II Timothy 4 and then let’s see what we can glean from this awesome chapter. Continue reading

The authority of the Word of God

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

Work out your salvation

I taught a Bible study last night on this passage from Philippians 2. The entire passage¬† an be read here. In order to understand this lesson better, we need to take a brief look at the context, what comes before this passage in chapters 1-2. What are the signs that a person already has attained salvation according to what we see in chapters 1-2? Notice that the verse does not read “work for your salvation”. It reads “work out your salvation”. You are not working to attain it. You already have it. What is the proof?

  • 1:1 – you have been transformed from a sinner to a saint. As Jesus calls it in John 3, you have been born again.
  • 1:5 – you begin to live out the Gospel in your daily life.
  • 1:7 – you begin to preach and teach the Gospel to others as the Lord brings opportunities.
  • 1:28 – you begin to have opponents who oppose the Gospel and take it out on you because you are the messenger.
  • 2:1-4 – you do relationships much differently than you did before. You now seek to serve others instead of using them for your own benefits.

Continue reading

Trained soldiers needed!

As we have been working through II Timothy as a staff, we have noticed that God has given us an amazing treasure in the Gospel and He wants us to use It for daily life, as we seek to serve Him by making disciples.

Last week, we learned that the Gospel is a treasure because It is the power of God to transform our lives and set us free from our slavery to sin. It equips us for daily life. Next, we learned to guard the Gospel. We guard the Gospel by retaining the high standard and pass It on to others who will guard It and pass It on to others. Paul was an example in retaining the standard by passing the Gospel on from person to person. Timothy, himself, is proof of Paul’s faithfulness. Continue reading