Let’s face it. If discipleship was simply finding and following a program, the discipleship dilemma would have been solved long ago. Programs we have. Effective disciplemaking? Not so much.
I appreciate the role of programs in discipleship. They provide needed resources and helpful direction. They can point us down the right path and keep us from theological ditches. But discipleship takes more than a program. Authentic, life changing discipleship needs relationships.
Jesus spent time with people. In particular, he spent time with the 12 disciples. He taught them. He modeled proper behavior for them. He challenged them. Jesus even rebuked them where necessary. His discipleship course was the course of his life lived together with these men.
Perhaps we should see discipleship more like this. It is best done through relationships with other followers of our Lord. Stronger Christ followers helping other Christ followers live the life of Christ could become our model. We could begin to see discipleship as being done best through relationships rather than programs. Programs can be a tool, but relationships are the means.
Here are three reasons to see relationships as more important than programs in discipleship.
1. We need examples. Information Continue reading
Perhaps you have noticed that your local church isn’t perfect. If you haven’t, many people will be happy to point that out to you. The lost world, disgruntled former members and even much of contemporary Christian culture delights in pointing out the many flaws and warts of the church. And, let’s face it, the church has earned portions of her criticism.
Some local churches have accepted or condoned aberrant theology, ungodly behavior and unbiblical practices. I would never ask you to connect with churches that willingly disobey God and his word. But what about the church that is trying but failing? What about that local church that wants to follow God fully but never fully succeeds?
Why in the world should Christians join local churches that are messed up and lacking? Why give, serve and worship in places that are so obviously flawed? Here are some reasons for you to connect with imperfect local churches. Continue reading
Revival is more than a slogan or a meeting. Revival is when the people of God get right with God and experience him in his fullness. It is a fresh touch of the presence of the Lord. If you, Christian, want to experience revival in your own life and church, here are some things that need to happen.
1. Desire God. Hunger for more of him. God feeds this hunger. When we are more hungry for the Lord than we are for power, position, fame or fortune we are closer to revival than before. When we long to sit at the feet of Jesus and Continue reading
Christianity is a team sport.
While those playing individual sports still need a support system (coaches, trainers, moms and dads), those involved in team sports can readily see how much they need other people. No pass can get completed without a receiver and none of it works at all without the anonymous big guys on the offensive line.
Some see Christianity as just something they do alone. No church, no small groups and no accountability. Better to see faith as something individuals practice in connection with lots of other believers.
Here are a few reasons why Christians need each other.
1. Other believers have different gifts and talents and roles. No Christian has it all. Well, we do have all of Jesus and all of his love and all of his forgiveness. But we don’t have Continue reading
Beliefs matter. What we believe affects what we do and why we do it. Our beliefs influence our direction, priorities and choices. And nowhere is that more evident than our beliefs regarding truth itself.
The doctrine of inerrancy says that the Bible is without error or fault in its teaching. Generation after generation assaults this doctrine. Sometimes they do so because of cultural pressure. Sometimes it results from academic pressure. Perhaps it happens at times to justify some desired disobedience to what the Bible teaches. People often want to pick and choose what parts of the bible to believe, much like they pick and choose what vegetables to get at the buffet line.
Here are three reasons why the doctrine of inerrancy still matters today. Continue reading
“Peace on earth.”
I love that message from the angels to those shepherds on the first Christmas night. It points to the ultimate reconciliation man can have with God and others. It points to the Reconciler who is the only hope for peace in this sin-torn world.
But, peace isn’t fully realized in our world yet. And, we see it every Christmas. Christmas is a wonderful time of year. But it can also be a time of stress and pain and frustration.
I’ve noticed what I suspect many others have noticed. There are a lot of complaints at Christmas. Pastors notice people complaining about small things at Christmas time more than usual. Families see the fussing and fighting at higher levels. Couples often battle more frequently.
Here are three reasons people may complain more Continue reading