Erik Raymond: I can think of five different but equally interesting conversations over the last couple of years where I’ve discussed expository preaching. They were interesting because those I talked with had such different understanding of what exposition is. This is one of the byproducts stemming from the rise in the popularity of exposition; people […]
What is the difference between exegesis and exposition? Haddon Robinson put it this way, “Exposition is drawing from your exegesis to give your people what they need to understand the passage.” This implies that the preacher will have a lot more material after the exegesis than they are able to present in the sermon. Here […]
There is danger in asking, “what does this passage mean to you” when reading the Scriptures.
There is much value in “digging deeper” into a Biblical text. Too often, we tend to skim the surface of Scripture and insert ourselves into the narrative. I’ve been guilty of saying (and have heard others say), “what does this passage mean to you/me.” There is danger is asking that question when reading the Word of God.
While there may be a number of applications to draw out from a Biblical Text, there is only one meaning.
A more accurate question would be, “what does this text mean.” While there may be a number of applications to draw out from a Biblical Text, there is only one meaning. Asking the latter forces us to dig until we know for certain what God meant when He inspired the Biblical writers to write as they were moved on by the Holy Spirit.
There’s good news, the Bible (God’s Word) is sufficient.
There are many excuses for a lack of diligent study. I believe, for the most part, many individuals skim the surface is not because they lack reverence for the Word but they are ignorant (uneducated) in how to study a text. Therefore, we never really dig into what God meant because we don’t know how to look into what we read. There’s good news, the Bible (God’s Word) is sufficient. You don’t have to be a Biblical Scholar to understand and know what it means. You simply need the right tools and you need to know how to use those tools. The very words we read have meaning. Therefore, it’s important to have a basic understanding how to study those words.
It is my prayer that as a student of Scripture, the attached link will help you in your pursuit to study the very Words of God. How To Do A Word Study (via Olive Tree Blog.)
Let’s change the name of the church! I ask, why?
The following statement is one I left on a post in an online forum. The original poster asked how to get people on board with a name change. Further how do go about getting them tied into the vision and mission of the name change. Below was my reponse.
A name change without a DNA change will not help.
- For example, if changing the name is “the secret sauce” for growth, you’ll still be stuck.
- If the DNA…(values, vision, mission) necessitates a change of name, go for it.
- Though I have never personally led a church through a name change, I was on staff at a church who changed their name. After the pastor left (that initiated the name change) the church name eventually went back to the original name under the new pastor. Why did that happen?
- The answer I believe is due to the reason why the name was changed to being with. The name change wasn’t organic. The values, vision, and mission of the church didn’t necessitate the change. The DNA of the church didn’t change. Same church….different name.
Write the vision, make it plain.
- Allow people to get tied to the vision first. Once that happens begin tying a new identity (name) with the new DNA (values, vision, and mission).
- It could be a tag line at first. For example. Say the tag line from your values, mission, and vision was the following. A place for people looking for life and significance.
- As people live out, or reproduce the values, vision, and mission, it may be, that you find out the vision and mission necessitates for you to identify as Infuse Church.
- The name changed because the identity changed.
Allow the name change to be from the values, vision, and mission. Let it be organic.
Just to be honest, my advice may not be worth the time it took to write it out. I admit, I’m limited in my experience with the question, but, maybe it’s helpful.
Share this: Some helpful tips if your thinking of changing the name of the church.
- A name change without a DNA change will not help.
- Write the vision, make it plain.
- Allow the name change to be from the values, vision, and mission. Let it be organic.
And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven. (Acts 1:10-11 ESV)
As devoted followers of Christ, our goal isn’t to simply gaze. We are to put dirt between our toes and go.
An individual from NACOG came up to the church to pray this past Friday. The building wasn’t unlocked so they decided to just walk around the facilities and pray. North Aiken isn’t a large facility, to give you an idea, the church only owns 0.36 acres. It’s fairly small. While praying, this individual began pulling up weeds in the areas where we have plants and mulch, between the church and sidewalk.
I took notice on Sunday that the flower beds looked great and began asking around in order to find out who took the time to serve in that daunting task. This individual let me know that she did it as she was praying. She went on further to say the following.
“Pulling the weeds out of the flower beds made me feel like I was washing the feet of the church.”
This Sunday at North Aiken Church of God I will continue to preach through the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). I am spending this week working through Matthew 5:33-37.
“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’
But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
– Matthew 5:33-37 (ESV)
I was invited to attend the Pastors and Church Leaders Mentoring group hosted by Pastor David Kemp and the Fort Mill Church of God. In short, it was a great day. I’m sincerely grateful for the opportunity to connect with fellow pastors and church leaders. They are truly and inspiration. We were blessed to hear on the topic of race relations as well as compassion fatigue. Frank from Fort Mill had great insight and delivered a convicting message on race relations. Dr. Bill Leonard, Director of Ministerial Care with the Church of God (Cleveland, TN), offered stirring statistics as well as practical insight. We also were blessed to hear from our State Administrative Bishop, Thomas Gillum, who offered some concluding remarks and led us in communion. It was definitely a soul stirring day.
Emotions are where today’s spiritual battles are being faught. Emotional pain is as big an issue with the current 20-30 something crowd as was drugs for the baby boomers.
-Pg. 49, Quitting Church, Julia Duin (2009)