As a professor at a seminary, I have the great privilege of training men for pastoral ministry. Every year new faces come in, full of excitement and trepidation. What most of them don’t realize is how dangerous their calling truly is.
Two key areas of struggle, it seems, for evangelicalism today can be found in celebrity culture and the prosperity gospel. In light of that, I found this excerpt from Henry Scougal’s The Life of God in the Soul of Man to be insightful and convicting.
When someone’s been through something it makes their sympathy that much more powerful. When someone who’s never experienced a hard time like the one I’m in offers comfort, I appreciate it, but if someone who’s been through a similar experience encourages me it means so much more.
So, you don’t like to sing when you go to church on Sunday. You’re not really the singing type. But here’s the thing: those of us who don’t want to sing to God are at odds with the rest of the universe.
I remember being shocked as a young adult by some Hollywood wedding (a true story) in which the traditional vows were replaced with promises to be faithful “until the death of love parts us.” It’s time to return to basics. Love is a commitment, not a feeling. Feelings follow from godly actions, not vice-versa.
Instead of thinking of each believer as a “holy one,” a saint, we seem relegate that status to a select few, instead of recognizing that a congregation of genuine followers of Christ are all saints, holy people
We might be tempted to despair and think that the church is entering into dark days. But a little historical perspective might be useful here. Truth be told, this is not the first time Christians have received such labels.
It is true that you can’t necessarily put a number or percentage on discipleship growth, but you can tell—over time—if it has happened or is happening. Here are 10 indications a church is making disciples.
Early Christians drew a sharp line between their worship of Jesus and all the other pagan gods of the Greco-Roman world. Jesus was not simply a new addition to a pantheon of gods they already believed in, but was considered to be the only God rightly deserving of worship.
What “normal” person stakes all their hope on a dying and rising Messiah? Following Jesus means saying “no” to many of the things the world loves and considers normal. It often means offending others for the sake of obeying Jesus.