What is one of the biggest problems in the church today? Mission drift. Check out the video and then feel free to share your thoughts and ideas. Hope this video challenges and inspires you to a lifetime of discipleship.
Here is a song by the Killers that immediately made me think of the small town that I live in, Watertown, SD. ‘Quiet Town’ by the Killers tells the powerful and moving story of a town that is filled with good people and a growing darkness. Teens dying, opioid addiction, good people who love Jesus and work the land for a living. Good and bad exists in quiet towns just like it does in each one of us. Quite honestly, the desperation that you hear in this song is one of the reasons I worked with some other local pastors to start a ministry in this quiet town called Celebrate Recovery. Anyway, the song is emotional (at least for me) and does a good job of explaining what life is like right here in Watertown.
BTW: If you hear Springsteen in their music and in their in storytelling you are on the right track.
A couple of kids got hit by a Union Pacific train
Carrying sheet metal and household appliances
Through the pouring rain
They were planning on getting married after graduation
Had a little baby girl, trouble came and shut it down
Things like that ain’t supposed to happen
In this quiet town
Families are tight
Good people, they still don’t deadbolt their doors at night
In this quiet town
When we first heard opioid stories
They were always in whispering tones
Now banners of sorrow mark the front steps of childhood homes
Parents wept through daddy’s girl eulogies
And merit badge milestones with their daughters and sons
Laying there lifeless in their suits and gowns
Somebody’s been keepin’ secrets
In this quiet town
They know how to live
Good people who lean on Jesus
They’re quick to forgive
In this quiet town
Now whenever I’m near the town
I’ll find some reason to give
And I will walk with the dead and the living where I used to live
And every time I see my parents in the prime of their lives
Offering their son the kind of love he could never put down
Part of me is still that stainless kid, lucky
In this quiet town
Salt of the land
Hard-working people, if you’re in trouble
They’ll lend you a hand
Here in this quiet town
The first crop of hay is up
School let out and the sun beats down
Smoke billows from a Sunday train
That cries away from a quiet town
Have you or someone you know talked about walking away from their Christian faith? Increasingly these days this process of reevaluating the faith that a person was brought up in is called “deconstruction.” Is deconstruction always bad? The answer is no. There are aspects of our faith that came more from the culture around us than it did from Scripture. What are some things that we need to know and consider as we think about deconstructing our faith? Glad you asked. I genuinely hope this episode of “Deconstructionism: Losing Your Religion” is helpful. Please keep in mind, I am very open to questions or comments. I would love to hear back from you! HERE is the link to listen to the podcast!
I plan on preaching about “Christianity and the Nightly News” this coming Sunday. Hope to post the sermon next week.
What impact is the news and social media having on you and your family? All too often we are more impacted by the news and social media than we are the Word of God. If we are not careful we begin to experience attention deficit syndrome and become anxious, angry and apathetic. What we focus our hearts and minds on has the power to shape us into its image. Tragically we have become focused on world events and yet we fail to reach out and love those who are all around us in everyday life. Join us Sunday, Oct 10 as we explore the effects the news is having on us and turn to God’s Word for the remedy.
What impact do you think the news and social media is having on you and others that you know? What steps do you need to take to protect and nourish your soul in light of so much angry and polarizing daily news?
Watched this movie last night and it made me quite emotional. I have some thoughts I want to share with you!
I wrote an article for the Evangelical Free Church of America about discipleship. HERE is the link. Check it out and let me know what you think!
I have been keeping my eye on Long Hollow Church for some time now. We (staff and elders at New Life Church) have taken some cues from Long Hollow and implemented a Discipleship Pathway. The Discipleship Pathway is a simple process throughout the church that equips people to become mature disciple makers of Jesus Christ. So I am learning from Long Hollow. We have also been implementing D Groups. D Groups are geared to equip Christians to live as disciple makers.
Then I started to hear about a powerful work of the Holy Spirit at Long Hollow. Hundreds of people being saved and baptized. So enough was enough. I recorded an “interview” with one of the pastors on staff at Long Hollow, Tim LaFleur. I strongly believe this will inspire you, encourage you, and lead you and your church to pray like you have never prayed before.
HERE is the link to this particular episode!
I would use COVID to divide churches. Personal opinions, shoddy research, conspiracy theories. I would use all of it to alienate people from each other.
I would use COVID to get people to see those that they disagree with as the enemy.
I would use COVID to keep Christians focused on making arguments not on making disciples. Investing in personal relationships and helping people to become more like Jesus would seem totally unimportant compared to fighting about COVID.
I would use COVID to get Christians accustomed to watching church online and then lead them to drift away from the church family altogether.
I would use COVID, and the division that it brings, to discourage pastors with the result that they drop out of ministry.
I would use COVID to keep people from thinking about the way that Jesus lived his life and it’s implications upon their life.
I would use COVID to cause deep fear and anxiety.
I would use COVID to get people fixated on the news and to stop reading the bible and praying. I would do some demonic discipleship through the various news outlets and social media.
I would use COVID to cause people to hold grudges and bitterness against people who think differently than they do.
I would use COVID to get the prosperity gospel preachers to make statements and promises they have no business (or authority) making.
I would use COVID to hurt the church’s testimony to the watching world. The world would see the church as divided, angry and not having the heart of God.
I learned recently about some of the specific persecution that is going on in Afghanistan. Women being sold into sex trafficking. Christians are literally running for the mountains and living in caves. Yet, it might be shocking for you to learn that up until this point the church is growing like crazy in Afghanistan. And this is true in Iran as well. When we fix our gaze on what is going on here in America we see a disturbing apathy that characterizes far too many churches and Christians. A pastor living in the Middle East recently referred to America as being under the influence of a “satanic lullaby.” What does that mean? Is it true? Let’s talk about it!
HERE is the link.