No one actually claims to be good! We just comfort ourselves with the idea that we’re “good enough.”
We have some reference point in mind; a comparison to people that are below where we are. And as long as we stay above the base population of the “bad” people, that we can say we’re “good enough.”
Of course the irony is that bar that separates the “bad” people from the “good enough” people is always defined by where we’re standing!
Still though, there’s a nagging feeling that being “less worse” than everyone else, or “good enough,” doesn’t actually give us the confidence that we’re “good.”
An honest conscience always looks for a Redeemer.
Where should you start when you start reading the Bible?
Are you picking the Bible up for the first time?
Can you remember picking up the Bible for the first time?
If you’re reading the Bible, you probably take for granted how awkward it is to start. It’s a big book. It spans 2000+ years of history, dozens of authors, and a handful of literary genre’s.
I usually tell people to start in the middle, with stories of Jesus; but how weird is that? Most people start at the beginning of books; a few like skipping to the end; but who’s ever started in the middle?
All of the Bible is intelligible. Everyone can learn from it. But a little background on the section you’re in saves a lot of frustration.
Better than choosing the right place to start, is simply choosing to start. We got to get to all of it some time or another anyway!
My approach at Lakepoint Church right now is to teach how to best read a certain portion of the Bible, encourage them to try it out, and then after a few months try it all over again in a different spot. Little by little, I believe people can see reading the Bible as normal and helpful.
I’m in a teaching series right now covering the big topics of immediate family dynamics: Parenting, Marriage/Remarriage, Dating, Siblings.
By far, I expected the sibling topic to be the light one… but I was wrong. It’s really a major issue for a lot of people.
I shared a message last Sunday from the life of Jacob and Esau… how Jacob was always fighting and stealing to get ahead, and take what was rightfully Esau’s. I elaborated on how hurtful it is to be caught in rivalry, and what it took for their families to get a second chance at being brothers… 2100 years later.
All sorts of people wanted to talk after the message. Some siblings wanted to share how hard they had to work at becoming great friends as adults. Others talked about the hurtful comments and blame game that is still going on. Parents started catching a picture of how they can mediate amongst their kids and make the relationship healthier. It was just a flood of comments from a variety of angles.
Is sibling dynamics a hot topic for the people you know? Is it a relevant concern for you?
Read an interesting article in Fast Company on leadership… keeping up with change and trends that are happening faster than ever.
One of the more interesting themes amongst those interviewed was there comments leadership structure. Pretty much unanimously, the leaders that have been successful with our ever changing context have been the ones to involve the voice of those from the “bottom.” In other words, executives aren’t an untouchable class protected by a receptionist and corner office, they listen and invite innovative ideas from a wide range of people.
As much as innovation is welcomed from all, leadership is not. Top leaders aren’t necessarily making a flat org-chart… there are people at the top; and very few of them. Change happens with greatest agility with smaller boards and fewer people with decision making capabilities. Some of the giant corporations have failed to keep up because they can’t pull the trigger fast enough. The tiny start-ups with less than 50 employees and 1-5 leaders have had a field day in this context and market.
Pair of things I believe non-profit leaders such as myself can take away from this: 1) Listening is a valued practice that never gets old, and 2) Don’t apologize for being leader – someone has to make the call if stuff is going to get done.
I recently read Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow. It was a great read. It primarily gave insight into why there are typically fewer men than women in churches.
Murrow did point a few ways forward though, and I thought one of the more insightful observations on how to speak to men was his recommendation to put things into risk & reward terms.
It’s easy to treat church like tylenol. Church is a place you find healing and comfort when your hurting. But it’s more than that too, it’s a place where warriors gather before engaging the battlefield for the kingdom of Jesus.
We need to promise risk. Jesus insists that a life of faith is a journey of sacrifice. You have to lose your life to find it. Anything and everything you have, most likely will be a casualty along the way.
Rewards are an equal promise to the risks. Life in Jesus is not poverty in all areas; poverty in certain areas is your richness in others. This is what the flip side of the beatitudes was all about. This is why Jesus tells his closest followers they’ll receive 100x as much as they lost. It’s not just a heaven thing. He said, “In this life, and the life to come.” Let’s not make Christianity out to be a race to the bottom; it’s actually the way to the top, although the path to get there is quite paradoxical.
Got has given the male spirit the will to thrive within scenarios of loss and gain; risk and reward. To move his plan forward within men, we need to speak to each other as such.
It’s a good question, even though the “good church-goer” response is a quick and undivided “yes.”
So the answer is yes, but I think there’s a roundabout layer we need to acknowledge.
God has delegated free-will to people. In other words, he’s given some power away. We as his image bearers affect the future. He’s choosing not to step in and steal the show every time our decisions fall outside of his. Continue reading
I get tired of people getting nervous about evangelism. In most churches, evangelism is a dirty word. Maybe rightfully so. The average person inside or outside the church thinks of it as a pushy thing.
But that’s just it. Do you have to be pushy to share Jesus with people?
I don’t think so.
I’ve really been talking it out with God about evangelism… what’s the simplest and most natural approach? Here’s how I’ve been trying to explain it to my church. Continue reading