Myths I’ve Believed Growing Up In Church

There are many things I’ve always heard growing up in the church. Some aren’t so biblical but take on a biblical tone. Meaning, I’ve never found them in the bible but we regard them as Gospel truth. I am working through a few myths that I plan to present during our midweek worship service on Wednesday nights at North Aiken Church of God. I am calling this Wednesday night series, Myths I’ve Believed Growing Up In Church.

So far here is the schedule…

Wednesday, May 7: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves
Wednesday, May 14: God Will Not Allow More On Us Than What We Can Handle
Wednesday, May 21: OPEN
Wednesday, May 28: OPEN

You will notice I have two weeks open. Simply meaning, I haven’t decided which other 2 myths I am going to tackle and I was hoping you could help. Besides the ones listed above, what’s some things you’ve always heard and perceived to be Gospel truth but could never find it in scripture or have found to be not entirely true?

Here’s one I’ve always loved hearing which has never failed to give me a good chuckle…”if the KJV was good enough for Paul and Silas, it’s good enough for me.”

You Have Time, 168 Hours to Be Exact

I am thankful for Pastors who pour into my life and challenge me in my walk. The basis of what I am teaching on Sunday’s comes directly from what others have poured into me and I believe the way it has challenged and changed me will do the same for those whom I Pastor. Currently at 11:00AM on Sunday Mornings at North Aiken Church of God we are taking a good look at Acts 2:41-47. The two main questions I am asking are, “What am I doing that is growing the Church?” To narrow that down a bit, “Am I growing in my walk with Christ.”

When we personally grow the Church grows. The body of Christ is more than just an event or experience but a lifestyle. A lifestyle of dying to self and living for Christ. As we grow, become mature, we don’t focus on how we can serve ourselves but rather how we can serve Christ in the context in which we live. Serving Christ means serving others.

One of the things which we learned yesterday is that we have no problem making time for the things which we want to make time for. My friend Mike DeGuzman said, “Growing is not a lack of opportunity but a lack of desire.” How true that is. If I am going to grow in my relationship with Christ I need to weed out the things that are keeping me from continually devoting myself to Him. This comes by shifting our focus and efforts and making God first priority. We always make time for what we want to do.

We each have a total of 168 hours this week. We have a ton of stuff which has the ability to distract us from the main thing. My encouragement to you is to take a good look at what you spend time doing before saying I don’t have time. Rearrange your priorities and let the God things be the main things. Your growth depends on it, so do others.

Individually United

I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.1 Corinthians 1:10 NLT

The past few days in my daily Bible reading I have highlighted verses regarding harmony or unity. When a particular topic keeps coming to the forefront through various passages and texts I can only be left with the conclusion that God wants me to stop and listen more intently.

Harmony is a beautiful thing. There’s nothing better than a seeing a group of people who are not distracted by their personal differences but in harmony with the overall mission.

The overall goal as a body of Christ, that there be no divisions in the Church. Simply put, no two visions can work at any one place. That creates division. It doesn’t mean any one vision is necessarily wrong but it does mean there is a divided front. One individual or group believe the Church should be about _______________ another individual or group believe the Church should be about _____________ and what you end up with is valuable time being spent trying to decipher which you are going to do.

The antidote for division among the Church is pretty clear according to the above verse, “Be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.” Simply put, think about the same things and put all your energy and effort into fulfilling one mission. This doesn’t mean you take away your individuality but it does mean you are going to use your individuality to help accomplish the collective goal.

Live in harmony, set aside division, and be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.

Authority and Guts

John 16:1-4 (NKJV)

These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.

It’s a great feeling to know you have been empowered in order to accomplish a certain duty. Many times the thought of failing can cripple us and cause us to stop before we ever get started. Our good intentions, our desires, our duty gets placed on the back burner and other things get moved to the front burner of our lives.

Accomplishing any thing requires authority and guts.

In this passage of Scripture I see that Jesus offered his disciples just that, Authority and Guts (confidence). Keep in mind Jesus is dropping a bombshell on his closest followers. In a very short amount of time Jesus will be gone and the disciples will be left to continue on the message of redemption that came through Jesus’ death on the cross. This message wouldn’t be spread on their own but with the help of the Holy Spirit comforting, teaching, and empowering them. Though the power of His words Jesus gave them authority and confidence to keep going and spreading his message even though they would encounter all sorts of peril such as but not limited to; Being thrown out of their place of worship, being killed and those who do the killing will do it thinking they are doing it for God. Ultimately he was saying don’t be surprised when these things happen neither allow it to cause you to fall back.

Authority and Guts go a long way.

Jesus spoke in advance so that when those perilous things began to take place it would not take them by surprise. When you have the Authority to do something and the Guts to see it through your able to keep going forward when others fall back.

Keep Pressing Forward!

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Teaching Your Lesson for Maximum Effectiveness

Exodus 18:20
And you shall teach them the statutes and the Laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.

Sometimes when receiving the outline to teach a lesson you can be left with the question, “How are the kids I teach supposed to grasp this?” Upon reading the lesson you may feel as if it is above their heads or too childish. The truth is this is where one of your most important jobs come in to play. It is up to you to take the lesson provided and make sure that your age group has the opportunity to clearly hear the gospel and respond.

The goal of this post is to help those who teach in the children’s ministry at the North Aiken Church of God take their weekly lesson and adapt it to their age group they have been entrusted to teach.

After going over this material I see you going into your class this Sunday and teaching the Gospel to your students in a way they will be able to understand and implement as they go throughout their week.

What You Need to Know:

1)    You have been entrusted to teach God’s word this week to the children in your care.

  1. You feel called of God to invest in the lives of the students.
  2. Your Pastor has appointed you to instruct them.
  3. The parents of those you are teaching are trusting that you are going to invest in their child’s life.

2)    You have the tools in order to teach the children in your care God’s word.

  1. You have a Bible
  2. A lesson has been prepared
  3. The time you’ve spent alone with God this week has empowered you to be able to teach effectively.

3)    Your life has to set the example

  1. How you live outside of the class points them as to how they are to respond
  2. Your life shows them how to walk (live)
  3. Your life shows them how to work (what they must do)

What You Need to Do

1)    Begin by praying before opening the material

  1. Pray that God would open his word up to you and you would deliver it in a way that is effective.
  2. Pray over each child that will be in your class

2)    Get to know the material

  1. Read the Lesson Title
  2. Look up the passage of scripture that is going to be talked about and read it from your Bible
  3. Read the Big Idea
  4. Look up the memory verse and read it from your Bible

3)    Read through the Bible Lesson from your Outline

  1. 1st read through it just to become familiar with how the writer explained the Bible passage
  2. 2nd read through it and make notes and reword what you feel would help your age group understand the lesson.
  3. 3rd read through it and make notes of things that you can do in order to help your age group comprehend the subject matter. (Such as visuals, actions, or involvement.)

4)    Arrive prepared to teach your lesson

  1. Arrive with a smile on your face ready to teach your Group the truth from God’s word
  2. As you enter the room and set up your area pray over each chair in representation of a child that will be attending.
  3. Prior to service starting until completion of the service find ways to engage in the lives of the Children you have been entrusted to teach.

Remember, your goal is to take the lesson you have been provided and teach it effectively to those in your care. The words you speak and the actions you portray have the opportunity to lead each child in your care closer to making a decision to follow Christ. By following the above approach you will see that you will have a great impact in the lives of your students.

The point is this, God has called you, Your Pastor has appointed you, and the Parents are trusting you, you can teach effectively this week and in the weeks to come.

Who’s Writing that I Need to be Reading

It’s simple,

Who do I need to reading as it relates to online content such as blogs?

Who are you reading and how are they impacting your life through their blog?

Let me know by leaving a comment with their blog and web address. Also, don’t forget to point me to your blog if you have one.

Stop Trying to Be Great, Be Consistent

You don’t have to be great, but you do have to be consistent.

I want to be be great and I often feel the need to throw myself a “pity party for one” when I realize I am not great in a particular area. To be honest I am learning day by day that it’s not necessarily a moment that makes us great but consistency.

For example…

  • A great husband isn’t measured by saying I do, but by consistently fulfilling his responsibilities as a husband on a day to day basis.
  • Being a great father isn’t just being at the birth of his children, but by consistently fulfilling his responsibilities as a father on a day to day basis.
  • To encourage you to be consistent, let me remind you…

    David became consistent with a stone and a slingshot before he ever became great in the eyes of a nation.

    Not matter what your context, being great is accomplished by being consistent. So as I write this and am working on things in my life to be more consistent in, I hope you are encouraged to keep pressing forward.

    Don’t focus on being great, focus on being consistent.

    Thanks for reading, I value your feedback. Please take a moment to leave a comment below. If this post has encouraged you and you feel others may grow in their walk with Christ please take a moment to share it on the social network site of your choice.

    Also, take a moment to read a great post that I read this morning which encouraged me and was the basis for this post. Thanks to Pastor David Kemp for his leadership and ministry. It’s titled Choose Greatness and as I began reflecting on that statement I began to realize that my choice of greatness begins with consistency.

    One Theme: Growth

    One theme has been constantly directing my thoughts lately, growth. I am certain that if we are growing we will produce fruit. Fruit is first produced internally then externally. In order for a tree or plant to bear it must first mature. This rolls over into the ministry in that I believe that if someone comes in and sits in one of our services week after week my prayer is that they would grow. Their personal life would begin to reflect the personal change that takes place within them.

    I could go on and on about how I have heard and personally seen cases where good well meaning people have sat for years under good teaching, even sacrificed their time and resources for the church but have never grown past the point of conversion. They have changed a whole lot of externals but the internal has not grown one bit. Outwardly they have the appearance but inwardly they have the same attitude about everything, just dressed a little differently.

    With that said, I want to make it my personal aim in ministry, as a pastor to make sure I am giving the congregation God has called me to watch over the necessary tools and insight in order to grow. It is my desire to see their personal walk with Christ develop so that what is taking place on the outside is only a reflection of the growth that is taking place on the inside.

    As I read, the theme of growth, or better stated, maturity is being brought out. For instance here are a few from a passage I have read from Colossians 1.

    This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.

    We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.

    Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

    But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.

    So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me. -(Colossians 1:6, 8-10, 23, 28, 29 NLT)

    Do We Have A Genuine Concern For Others

    I have noticed the lack of care and genuine concern for others all around me. On a constant basis I see people figuratively “thrown under the bus” whether it be on the job, grocery shopping, crossing the street, etc. Maybe you have noticed that. Have you seen concern for others diminish? Maybe a concern for others has diminished in your life. It is my hope that each believer would display a genuine concern for those around them. When concern for others isn’t shown we are failing to live Practical Christian Lives. The Christian life wasn’t just something to enter into once and then be on our marry way with our entrance ticket into heaven in hand. We are called to practically live out the principles found in our guide to Christian living called the Bible.

    I am getting anxious about our time together at the St George Church of God during the weekly Bible Study on Thursday nights. Honestly, it can’t get here fast enough. Over the next three weeks as we conclude our study on Practical Christian Living we will evaluate how we personally care for those around us. Each individual we come into contact with on a daily basis. I have really enjoyed diving into the topic of Practical Christian Living and hopefully it has revolutionized the way you live out the Christian Life. Maybe you have been a part of the study of the past few weeks. Don’t forget to share what you have learned. Don’t forget to invite someone to be a part of the discussion. Can’t wait to see you at SGCOG.

    Don’t just be concerned…demonstrate a genuine concern for those around you.

    Living the Pursuit | Your Pastor, George Tallmage