Check out this video update from Matt Chandler. I love this dude and recommend reading the blog put out by the pastors of the village whenever you can.
I love books. Because I have never been to seminary or had any official training outside the residency program that I am in now authors of great books have been my professors. I just wanted to take a second and share with you some of the books that I am reading right now and would recommend for any Christian and especially church leaders.
Truth and Transformation: International Mission
Biblical Eldership: Church Leadership
Planting New Churches in a Postmodern Age: Church Planting
Missional Church: State of the missional church in North America
Doctrine: Well the title kinda says it all
Counsel For Christian Workers: Lessons for church leaders
Dynamics Of Spiritual Life: Understanding the church and a bit of its history
Life has settled down a bit for now and I am happy to have the time to start my blog back up. Our little family as been in Little Rock for about 3 weeks now and the area is really starting to grow on us. The South is an interesting place and this will always be a time that we will look back on fondly.
For the most part my blog will be about the church plant that I am part of in Boulder, CO with a little bit of family news sprinkled in. The plant is going well, our team is blown away with how much the Boulder area needs the love of Jesus. The only real news for right now is that we have settled in on a name for the Church. We will be calling it “The Well”, more to come on why that is the name.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to writing much more in the future.
Sorry I have not blogged in a long time. A lot has been going on the last few months. Starting in August I plan on getting back to weekly posts. Please be praying for the changes Ari and I will have going on and the birth of little Sophia.
The longer I work in ministry the more and more I am convinced that a pastor must know who he is called to and who he is not. This may seem scary for some, but I find it very refreshing. The local church is set on mission by Jesus to reach a lost and dying world (John 20:21). It would be absurd to think that one church in a community would be able to reach all of the people. Even in a small town such as Gunnison that is an impossible task. That is why things such as church planting, church cooperation, and gospel community are so essential for the Church of Jesus to understand.
I am resting in the fact that the people we are not reaching in our community are being reached by my fellow friends at other churches. It is ineffective to turn our churches into buffets where everything is served. Know what you are good at, what gifts has God given to you and your people. Use those gifts to advance the kingdom.
Blending everything our towns need into one church is about as appetizing as a “vintage merlot with a big mac”. Know who you are called to and go and reach them in the power of the Holy Spirit.
I want different churches to have different styles. I think that is a healthy thing, but I must add one thing, all of our churches must preach and live the gospel message of Jesus. I don’t care if your music is amazing, your building is the nicest, and your leader has a great personality, if you forget the gospel you are not a church.
All that to say take a deep breath and relax God is building His church.
I have to be honest I stole the title of this blog entry from a part in one of Mark Driscoll’s books. I found it to be very appropriate to what I wanted to talk about.
“We can believe God about everything except the present pressing trial. This is folly. Come, my soul, shake off such sinfulness, and trust thy God with the load, the labor, the longing of this present. This done, all is done.” Charles H. Spurgeon
I love what Charles Spurgeon wrote above and it is a constant prayer for my life. The problem is this; I personally slip repeatedly into this strange world where I no longer trust God. Hear me clearly on this, my faith in Him is still there, but my actions are not showing that I trust God with the load and labor. Let me explain what I mean. I am the administrative pastor here at Bethany Baptist, one of my yearly duties is to assist the trustees by coming up with the new year’s budget. This year has been tough on the church financially, there are many factors contributing to this, but that is not the point of this blog. In putting the budget together I slipped into a bit of depression because I felt like the church was failing. I bought the lie that Satan was feeding me and I quickly forgot about the fact that we have seen over 50 people get baptized and over 100 people step from darkness into light this year.
Another example of this slip is my envy of other ministries that are “successful”. I work with several other churches here in town and I must confess it is a daily battle for me not to become envious when God shows up and shows off in other churches. Satan knows full well how to bring me down.
The good news is this, Jesus. I have found hope in the words of Jesus,
“And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.” (Mark 9:23-27)
I need to be like the father and cry out “help my unbelief!” and just like the child, take the hand of Jesus and let Him lift me up.
When I truly understand what He has done for me, things like money worries and ministry-envy look silly, and I end up “[shaking] off such sinfulness” as Spurgeon said. Two theological terms really help me in understanding this, imputation and expiation.
Imputation means that through my belief Jesus assumes my sins and gives me righteousness. This is so beautiful and I need to be reminded of it daily. I have undeserved righteousness because of the love the Savior has for me. (Rom. 5:12-19)
Expiation means that because of my belief, my sins and the guilt that they bring are taken away. How many of us are still living under the guilt of a sin that has been paid for by the blood of Jesus? When I remember this, the lies that Satan whispers or sometimes yells at me are weak at best.
When I see Jesus in this light, it becomes so much easier to trust Him with the load and labor because He has shown me that His love for me is so deep that He is willing to die for me. This is offered to everyone everywhere. My advice, take him up on it.