March 14, 2012 • 10:27 am
In the Great Commission at the end of Matthew 28, Jesus instructs his disciples to “make disciples.” He does not instruct them to make converts who are only later to be discipled. That’s an important distinction with regard to how we view evangelism and something Jonathan Dodson picks up on here.
Filed under: Discipleship, On the links, Sermon prep
Many of us now do our shopping online and even for those who don’t like to actually buy things over the Internet, almost all of us spend time researching the items we are going to invest in, in front of our screens.
It’s the same with church.
Unless they have been personally invited by a Christian friend, virtually every new person we welcome into our church services today will have found out about us on the web via the church website. For every person who walks through the doors on a Sunday morning for the first time, how many more have looked at the church website only to invest their time elsewhere?
There’s a good article here from Trevin Wax on what a church website should accomplish.
Rather than just a series of links to news stories and announcements about upcoming events, the website should be a means of revealing your church.
He then lists the following 5 ways how a good website can effectively reveal a church to those who are looking for a place to worship.
1. A clear, easy to find “Statement of Beliefs”
2. Basic boring information – contacts / what’s on / directions
3. Staff and leadership page
4. Podcasts and/or sermon videos
5. Social media buttons
Increasingly the church website is our shop window.
Filed under: General stuff, On the links
Following on from yesterday’s post on Children in gathered worship, here’s a link to Jason Helopoulos’ tips on how to go about helping children worship with the rest of the church. There’s no rocket-science involved but as I mentioned yesterday imagination and preparation make a world of difference.
In the few years experience we’ve gained in raising our own children, we’ve been repeatedly confronted with the fact that the biggest obstacle to training their hearts is the poor state of our own hearts. And that’s why parenting is so hard at times.
If Monday through Saturday, we as parents aren’t preparing for and passionate about gathering as the church of Jesus Christ come Sunday, why would our children ever be? If gathered worship is something we endure, little Jonny won’t take long to catch on.
Filed under: Children, Ministry
There’s a lot of wisdom in this article by Jason Helopoulos on why children should worship with the rest of the church, a practice which the biblical authors seem to assume will be the case.
However, if anything I’d want to say I don’t think Jason goes far enough. We shouldn’t just be content to get our children into and out of gathered worship without any loss of limbs and surely we’d want our children to be more than mere observers. With some imagination and preparation we should be able to encourage even the youngest of children to interact and participate rather than resorting to mints and offering envelopes.
It may seem like mission impossible, but help is on hand. A book we are currently reading through and that so far we’ve found to be full of great ideas on how parents can better nurture their children in this way is ‘Parenting in the Pew: Guiding your children into the joy of worship,’ by Robbie Castleman.
Filed under: Children, General stuff, Marriage & Family
Discipleship is truth transferred through relationship.
That’s a helpful definition of discipleship. However, lot’s of us might think ‘discipling’ is something for only ‘the professionals’ or church leaders to be involved in.
Here is a helpful article by Justin Buzzard to show how we can all be involved in making disciples of Jesus.
Filed under: Discipleship, Ministry
Here’s the next one of Tim Challies’ excellent Visual Theology creations – a visual genealogy from Adam through to Jesus. You can find others here and here.
While printing this one out in a way that’s manageable might prove challenging, it is a great way of accessing (and even memorising?!?) this information.
What I particularly like about it is the way it’s been designed to look like an underground map. The Jesus Line perhaps?
Filed under: General stuff, On the links, visual theology
If you’re waiting until the supermarkets get to the stage where they’re offering four eggs for a couple of quid, here’s an opportunity to rethink your plans and point your children / grand-children to Jesus – his death and resurrection.
You’ll have to shell out a bit more money, but at least you’ll avoid the last minute scramble around the shops!
Filed under: Children, General stuff
1 March – St David’s Day.
Even google has a Welsh doodle
Those who know me will know I’m not the most patriotic Welshman you could bump into. I’m sure I’ll cheer the men in red shirts in the 6 Nations rugby for as long as I’ll live, but my sense of Welsh identity is weak and right now I’ve lived as much of my life in England as I have in Wales.
For every 10 things I could list that I admire about Wales, I could list at least another 20 that frustrate and infuriate me.
But I do know Wales is a nation that desperately needs the gospel of Jesus Christ. Wales needs men who will unflinchingly preach the good news of a crucified, risen and exalted Christ. Wales needs men and women who are ready to weep over and with their non believing friends, and who are ready to die for their Saviour King. Wales desperately needs God’s Spirit to own his word and work and awaken a hard, proud, comfortable, deluded nation.
Wales is no different to England, Ireland or Scotland in any of the ways above.
But on St. David’s Day, pray for the work of the gospel of Jesus Christ in Wales.
Filed under: General stuff, Ramblings