Wherein I (Pastor Greg) look back at the last week and unload my brain of at least 13 random thoughts…my apologies in advance.
Sunday was one of those days. One of those days where you wake up and think, “How did I get myself into this?” and go to bed thinking, “I can’t imagine doing anything else.” Sunday was long, stressful, emotional, exhilarating, frustrating, powerful, beautiful, you name it. In a word, it was ‘ministry.’ And I loved every minute of it.
With thanks to Dave Ferguson, I began a sermon series called ‘Finding Our Mission,’ and I’m excited to see what God is going to do in and through us as a church. In a nutshell, we looked at three aspects of the mission of Jesus (which I believe is the mission of the church, and also our personal mission), as told in the gospel of John, chapter 4:
- Reach: we are called to reach the world. You are, more than likely, called to reach someone in particular.
- Restore: people are in desperate need of restoration, both with God and with each other. We are to reach others with the intent of offering restoration.
- Reproduce: But it doesn’t stop there; the ones who are brought to restoration are to be equipped and empowered to go forth (reach) and touch others (restore).
The flu has hit our area pretty hard; many in our church and community have been affected. This is the first year I have ever considered getting a flu shot and, for anybody who knows how much I hate shots/needles/pain/etc., this is a big deal. I said ‘considered,’ by the way…
I love to have Pandora playing while I work. I know there are other online music ‘stations’ out there, but I love my Pandora (I’m listening to some pretty bangin’ Celtic tunes as I write this). Music sets the tone for our worship experience, it inspires performers and athletes before the big show, and it surely gets my blood flowing. Check it out if music is important to you (there are free and pay platforms; I pay so I don’t have to hear ads, but you still get the same great music with the free package).
I’ve been blessed and inspired recently by the thoughts and writings of a Toronto-based pastor/leader, Carey Nieuwhof. I know, he’s Canadian, but show Carey some love. Check out his blog here. I know you’ll be blessed, too.
Life is hard. It stinks sometimes. We are challenged daily. To help us keep it in perspective, read this amazing post from a father struggling to do life with a profoundly disabled child. Be encouraged and lifted up after reading this.
One of my prayers for our church in 2013 is that we become known as a ‘Herd in the Word,’ a people who take scripture seriously, and build our lives on that foundation. Tim Challies shared the following, which says it better than I ever could:
There is an inescapable unity between God and the Word. The Word is where God is and God is where the Word is. God’s Word is the presence of God among us. What is the implication of this? We’ll turn one final time to John Frame. “God’s word, wherever we find it, including Scripture, is an object worthy of reverence. I’m not advocating bibliolatry, which is worship of a material object with paper, ink, and so on. The paper and ink are creatures, not God, and we shouldn’t bow down to them. But the message of the Bible, what it says, is divine, and we should receive it with praise and worship.”
When we read the Bible or come under the teaching of the Bible, we are hearing from God himself. We do not worship pen and ink—this would be to lower the Bible, not elevate it—but we do treat Scripture with reverence, regarding it as the very presence, power and authority of God. Really, it is difficult to imagine how we could have too-high a view of Scripture. It is much more likely that our regard for Scripture is too low, too human, too safe.
Off The Bookshelf…book(s) I’m reading this week: Disturbing the Peace– Vaclav Havel, and The Magic Lantern– Timothy Garton Ash, books by and about Havel and the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia. Hoping to cull some leadership nuggets from both. Plus, I love history! And I continue to re-read and review Andy Stanley’s Deep & Wide.
Raleigh-area pastor JD Greear (Summit Church) posted some concise thoughts about evangelism and the church. As always, good ideas remain simply ‘good ideas’ unless we implement them. So go read this and go implement!