Friday, June 26, 2009

Twitter

Due to some encouragement from couple friends, I am on twitter now. Check it out. we will see how it goes.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

SBC Missions Update

I received a letter recently regarding the IMB and the 2008 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO), which supports the International Missions Board missionaries. The goal for 2008 was $170 million. As you may already know, the total receipts from Southern Baptist churches fell approximately $29 million short of that goal. That represents the single biggest drop from one year to the next in the history of the offering.

As incredible as that shortfall is and as impacting as our economic situation is, the shortfall could be made up by each member of SBC churches giving only about $2. Our missionary personnel, the missionaries that we support, is being reduced by almost 700 personnel. There are 11,626 people groups worldwide and 6,510 unreached people groups and among those 3,431 are unengaged unreached and 2,650 have no known evangelical witness. The harvest is plentiful and the laborers are few. This is not a time to send less.

SSBC has done a tremendous job in giving in the past years. In 2007 our church gave $15,000 to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering and in 2008 we gave $22,422 surpassing our $18,000 goal. Even in our generosity as a church, I hope we might all consider how we to excel even more in generosity, particularly when it comes to supporting missions. The Lottie Moon offering, received in December, supports our missionaries and 100% of the offering goes straight to the field. Make plans now for a generous gift for the cause of Christ. Be generous. Be a worker in the harvest.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

CHL and church security

Recently I went through a concealed handgun course in order to get my license to carry a weapon. My motivation to take this course had little to do with security at our church. However, taking the CHL course, getting into discussions with others, practicing with my pistol, church sponsored outings at the gun range, and the fact that we have multiple people carrying weapons in our church every Sunday makes me interested in security. A few days ago a friend of mine sent an article to me about church security. Awareness and training are the two most significant encouragements in the article. The CHL course really stressed awareness. Any thoughts? By the way, I really like my pistol.

Networking

We should be committed to the Jesus Christ and the local church above all but we should also be committed to cooperation, specifically for the purpose of the great commission. Cooperation and networking is modeled in the NT and historically that has developed into denominations. This fall we will embark on a journey each fourth Sunday night, August-November, discussing why we are baptist. I look forward to diving in and wrestling with this topic as a church. We are a SBC church and I think each of our members should know why. Let me know if you have any questions that you feel should be answered during that series.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Why Do We Have Denomonations?

We have denominations because of the Catholic church. And because of the Lutherans. And the Churches of Christ. And the Baptists... We have denominations, historically, in large part because of attempts of individuals and groups to gather around a set of beliefs that were contrary to the set of beliefs of the group they were previously in. In most cases it had much to do with a stand for what the group believed to be the truth. I guess if we really didn't want denominations we shouldn't be fans of the reformation. I suppose the reformation didn't have to result in denominations but it is hard to imagine that. Then when you mix traditions with particular stands or emphases on truths, whallaw - denominations or conventions or a lot of churches that look very similar but refuse to admit they are a quasi-denomination. A world without denominations is a world that we don't have the luxury to live in - yet. Until then, is there good reason to be loyal to a denomination - good enough to think long and hard about loyalty to more than just your local church?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Loyalty

Just got off the phone with a journalist who was asking me some questions about denominational loyalty. I am curious after our conversation. What do you think about denominational loyalties? Do they exist like they used to? Why or why not? What do you think is meant by denomination? Are you loyal to a denomination? Any answers from any of you would be great. I will share my thoughts in a later post.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Toward a Great Commission Resurgence

If you are interested, and I hope you are, this is the preamble of a document/movement that is worth reading. I would love to hear some feedback. The SBC does need to continue to change, grow and become even more of a convention that is reaching people with the truth of God's word/gospel of Jesus Christ. We have some great leaders like our national convention president, Dr. Johnny Hunt. I was involved in a personal phone call with him and several other SBC pastors last week and was very encouraged about where the SBC is headed. Be informed. Be involved. Pray and be willing to lead.

Here is the preamble:

Southern Baptists have always been a Great Commission people. Christ’s command to go, disciple, baptize, and teach is woven into the very DNA of our churches. By God’s grace, over the last thirty years the SBC has undergone a Conservative Resurgence that has brought substantive changes to many of our churches and all of our Convention’s seminaries and boards. We, the undersigned, are thankful for the Conservative Resurgence and believe that God has called Southern Baptists to a Great Commission Resurgence as the next step in the renewal of our denomination. It is our conviction that a Great Commission Resurgence must embrace the following ten commitments...

For more click on link:
Great Commission Resurgence

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Say Goodbye to Cowardice

God planned a great victory over the Midianites. God would accomplish this victory for Israel. His strength and faithfulness would deliver Israel from the oppression of Midian. God chose Gideon to lead his army. Gideon gathered over 30,000 men. God told Gideon the army was too big. Too big? Yes, God wanted a number of warriors to fight that would leave no room for Israel to boast in herself. The Lord chose 300 men to go and fight. 300 men divided into 3 companies defeated the great enemy of Midian. What an amazing victory that must have been, seeing firsthand the deliverance of God. Want the privilege to be one of those 300? Only 10,000 men had a chance to be one of the three hundred. 10,000 men of courage had a chance to be one of the 300. Do you know why the other 20,000 didn't even have a chance to experience this miraculous victory? They were all sent home because they were cowards. They were scared and got to go home. Only the brave were in the mix to be a part of this victory. Judges 7:3 “Now therefore come, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead.’ ” So 22,000 of the people [cowards] went home, but 10,000 [men of courage] remained. NASB95. The cowardly didn’t even have a chance to be used in battle. The kingdom of God is no place for the coward. Do you know how you leave cowardice behind in your life? Fear God. Fear God above all other fears. A coward is simply the man who fears all the wrong things more than he fears the only right thing - God. A man of God is the man who fears the Lord above all other things. The fear of the Lord is the way of faith, the way of life, the way of a godly man.