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Revitalizing Pastors

Encouraging Christian Leaders through the Abiding Life

Taking Time To Rest

by Chip Ingram  (reposted)

You might be overworked, overwhelmed, and overcommitted if:

  • You can’t remember the last time you took a nap without feeling guilty…
  • You’ve bumped into someone at church and wanted to get together, but didn’t have room in your schedule for the next six months…
  • Your family meals together consist of McDonald’s drive-through on the way to several activities during the week…
  • You live from one “to-do list” to the next with the illusion that someday, in some way, things will slow down and then you’ll take that time to build relationships and serve God. But that someday never comes.

I used to live this way 30 years ago. Until one day, my doctor looked me in the eye and said, “Chip, you’re either going to die a young man, or you’re going to learn how to live very differently. You live at a pace and at a level that will kill you if you don’t change.”

Continue reading: Livingontheedge.org

A 2 Timothy 2:2 Strategy

An introduction to “Becoming a Disciple-Maker’s”
Life-to-Life process

Most of us are familiar with the term discipleship. “Becoming a Disciple-Maker’s” ministry focuses on a more descriptive term, disciple-making. What sets these two terms, discipleship and disciple-making apart? 

Discipleship typically describes traditional Christian education in general

Disciple-making describes effective Christian follow up by establishing a one-to-one discipling process at your church. A group of more mature believers are selected and trained to become equipped Disciple-Makers. When a new Christian or new member joins your church, they are offered a friendship with one of these trained Disciple-Makers. They meet one-to-one once per week, usually for coffee, breakfast, lunch, or dinner for about 1 ½ hours and learn to develop spiritual growth skills. The goal is for each new Christian to establish a friendship – become a self-feeder from the Word of God – grow spiritually – and then share their faith with others resulting in spiritual multiplication!

Chuck out their web site and tool kit here: https://disciple-maker.org/home/

 

Who are You?

As Pastors and ministry leaders, we tend to identify ourselves by our role and title. But even when these circumstances are good, this identity is changeable and insecure. Instead, we need to more fully discover and appropriate our new, spiritual, unshakeable identity in Christ. Rose Publishing produces a pamphlet: “Who I Am in Christ: 14 Keys to Understanding Your Identity in Christ.” Here is a sample in PDF: Rose Bible eCharts WhoIAm 14Keys

One Story

As we preach from the Bible, especially the Old Testament, we need to uses bridges to reach the hearts of the congregation:

*The bridge from the original language to English (translation)
*The bridge from ancient culture to modern culture (contextualization)
*The bridge from old covenant to new covenant (interpretation)
*The bridge from from doctrine to practice (application)

A book that helps sensitize us to the need to orient all biblical preaching and studies to be presented in a Christ-centered way is this volume published by Cru:

One Story, by Tim Henderson and Tom Sperlich

“All of Scripture is telling one story. It’s a story about Jesus and our need for Him. The great story is comprised of many little stories found throughout the Old and New Testament narratives, and it is reinforced in the law, poetry, prophecy, and epistles. Every passage in some way draws our attention to our fallenness and Christ’s solution to our fallenness. St. Augustine said, “The New Testament lies hidden in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New Testament.”

“In the One Story Guidebook you’ll learn how to study various genres of Scripture “Christocentrically.” A genre is a category of composition that has its own style or form and therefore its own rules of interpretation…

For details and ordering information visit Cru here.
-JBW

Deeper Life Quotes

One of the features of the deeperChristian e-newsletter is the quote section:
Men are God’’s method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.
– EM Bounds

I am afraid of only one thing—that I should become a grain of wheat not willing to die.
– Young Missionary Girl (as told by Corrie ten Boom)

If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.
– CS Lewis

Our Guilty Silence suggests that one of the main reasons for our silence is because we lack either a thorough knowledge of the Gospel or a conviction about its truth or both. There can be no evangelism without an evangelist, no mission without a message.
– John Stott  from Our Guilty Silence

Not to be daily mortifying sin, is to sin against the goodness, kindness, wisdom, grace, and love of God, who hath furnished us with a principle (and means) of doing it.
– John Owen  from The Mortification of Sin

A true leader must have enough backbone to stand alone—even when the crowd wants to take the easy road home. A true leader cannot be dependent on companionship for his or her security, but must learn to trust in God alone.
– Leslie Ludy from When God Writes Your Life Story

One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organization do no constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team. The first requisite is life, always.
– AW Tozer

You can subscribe to the e-newsletter here and search their quote archive here.

Simplify

From ChurchLeaders.com:

Exhausted. Overwhelmed. Overscheduled. If this sounds familiar, then this free Sermon Series from Bill Hybels is for you. We’ve put together some awesome resources — and they’re free. So dig in!

Complete MP3s
Sermon Transcripts (for those of us who like to read)
Simplify Chapter 1: Moving From Exhausted to Energized

Download now

The Power of Acceptance

by Pastor Jeff Barbieri

“Some accept the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord and then spend the rest of their lives trying to get him to accept them.”  – Dr. Charles Solomon [1]


That is a profound statement from Dr. Solomon. I have personally heard him say, “A Christian must accept their acceptance in Christ.”  But…
•    What is our acceptance in Christ?
•    Why is it hard for many to rest in it?
•    How can I accept my acceptance?
•    What positive outcomes will occur in my Christian life and ministry when I accept my acceptance in Christ?

In this Thought of the Week and the next few installments, I want to answer these important questions about God’s acceptance of us in Christ. The key verse for our discovery together will be Ephesians 1:6

to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved”(NKJV).
This verse states that believers are accepted by God in the Beloved, that’s Jesus. The word “accepted” means to highly favor, to honor. It is an intense word, stated in the Greek past tense, indicating a complete action, statement of fact. No matter what your sin, no matter how bad you were or are, when you accept Jesus as the God/Man who died for you on the cross and rose again from the dead, you were accepted by God in Christ. But how can that be? Is that fair?

I think the following real life situation will help clarify these questions. A childhood friend recently called me seeking answers about the gospel. Some Bible-believing Christians had shared with him that eternal life, acceptance by God could not be earned by good works, but only by faith in Jesus (Eph. 2:8-9). The teaching of God’s grace troubled my friend who protested with this question, “Does that mean that if Hitler believed on Christ he would be accepted by God?” 
I replied to my friend that he was looking at the question from the wrong perspective. He was looking at how bad Hitler was instead of how incredibly awesome Jesus is. I pointed out that :
•    Jesus is God and Man in the flesh ( John 1:14)
•    Jesus lived a perfect life ( Hebrews 4:15-16)
•    Jesus died on the cross for every sin of the world ( I John 2;2)
•    Jesus rose again from the dead ( I Cor. 15:1-4)

I counseled my friend not to look at the gospel from the human perspective but to consider it from the divine perspective; God’s provision of Jesus is greater than all sin.

I would counsel you the same way. If you can’t accept your acceptance in Christ, you are giving your sin more power than the work of Jesus. Yes your sin, my sin, and Hitler’s sin is real and horrid. We should not debate that. But neither should we dismiss the greater truth that God’s provision of Jesus Christ to deal fully with all of our sin is equally real as the writer of Hebrews states:

“…for by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified” (Heb. 10:14 (NASB).

You are perfected forever not by good things you do, nor are you rejected because of bad you do. You have been perfected forever by one sacrifice and therefore you are accepted in Christ by God (Ephesians 1:6) … He has made us accepted in the Beloved.
Our salvation is restoration of relationship where God accepts us in Christ. Accepting your acceptance is the foundation of growing and living a vibrant Christ life. Please know that the foundation of your life here and into eternity is your complete acceptance by God in Christ!


 

[1] Handbook to Happiness, p.21

http://mountainviewbiblechurch.com

For more on this theme, see the article by Miles Stanford here.

Helping Troubled Youth

Pastor David Bosley shares a testimony of how the revelation of our identity in Christ impacted his family and ministry. He is the founder and director of Masters Ranch Christian Academy, a residential ministry in Missouri for troubled boys. mastersranch.org

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