If I set the sun beside the moon,
And if I set the land beside the sea,
And if I set the town beside the country,
And if I set the man bedside the woman,
I suppose some fool would talk about one being better.
(Wilson, Future Men, 18)
Your children will spit on your pastoring if they miss out on your fathering
More wisdom from John Piper’s son Barnabas here.
Do you think your church is a porn free zone?
A life-with-porn versus a life-without-porn is a poor choice. If you set it up in these terms then you won’t produce lasting change. We need to set it up (as it truly is) as a choice between life-with-porn versus life-with-God. We need to show how God always offers more than porn.
Tim Chester writes here how finding lasting satisfaction in an awesome God through the good news of a crucified, risen Saviour, is the only means of creating deep rooted heart based change that shows pornography up to be what it really is – a cheap, unsatisfying, imitation. We need to overwhelmed by the fact that Christ is better.
Sadly our churches are often far too respectable for us to face up the the reality of the problem of porn.
The quote above is taken from Tim’s contribution to a book, Porn Free Church: Raising up gospel communities to destroy secret sins, that’s free to download – at least for now, from the CovenantEyes Internet Accountability web site
It’s Father’s Day in the UK tomorrow and we’ll be thinking about holy fatherhood tomorrow morning from Ephesians 6:4 and Colossians 3:21. In his post here, Glenn Stanton picks up on Lewis’ words that because our God is a Father, fatherhood is at the core of the universe. What are the implications of our God, the Eternal Father? Stanton says this means
that the universe is not a dark, empty, impersonal place. Just the opposite. At its core, it is an overwhelmingly warm, relational, personal place. This explains why broken and unhealthy relationships, loneliness, and abandonment are among the most painful of human experiences.
God’s essential Fatherhood also means the devil
loathes our fathers and those of us who are fathers. He recognizes fatherhood’s power. He recognizes each earthly father’s iconic nature. He realizes the pain it causes God and his image-bearing creatures when fatherhood is corrupted. And this delights our mortal enemy.
It’s worth reading the whole article, whether you are a father or not.
Earlier this week I pointed to the series of blog posts on gospel centred men’s ministries that the Good Book Company are currently running.
Today they list and explain five steps to take for initiating successful gospel shaped men’s ministries within the church. Clearly a lot of these are transferable to any ministry.
- Church leaders need to own the vision
- Appoint a key man as leader
- Some structure must exist
- Make sure that those involved share the objectives
- The whole church must recognise the importance of men’s ministry
They then list the generic objectives that should underly any men’s ministry. None of this is rocket science but its always helpful to have these things in view.
- Encouraging and developing the knowledge of God and His Word in ways that foster Christian discipleship.
- Encouraging and equipping men to fulfil their roles as men in relationships with others.
- Encouraging and equipping men to share their faith and the gospel to bring others to Christ.
There’s a helpful article here from Rich Clark on How to Respond to the Video Game Crisis. Video games are often demonised by those who have little exposure to them, and glorified by those who feel twitchy without a games controller in their hands.
Video games can certainly distract us from our gospel commission, but so can many other things. Rich sums up his article like this:
Yes, video games are contributing to our crisis of a pervasive entertainment culture. Much of what we watch, listen to, and play encourages escapism. But the problem isn’t so much with the medium as with the naïve and thoughtless ways we indulge ourselves. Neither blindly chasing “cool” video games nor stubbornly rejecting every new form of entertainment can protect us from our sinful disposition. What we choose to play, we must learn to responsibly engage.