Today, everything short of glowing endorsement can be counted as hate. If you express concern about transgendered adults using the same changing rooms as children of the opposite sex, someone will accuse you of hate. If you express careful, kindly-spoken disagreement with same-sex marriage, perhaps urging caution to such a quick change to an institution foundational to society, the cries of “hater” will be immediate and loud. If you urge freedom of conscience for people who hesitate to bake cakes or arrange flowers for certain festivities, you’ll be considered full of hatred. Coming to blows is hate, sure, but so is constructive critique. Berating and verbally abusing is hate—no one disagrees with that—but so is measured disagreement. In a few short years we’ve completely transformed what it means to hate.
Some preachers hunker down and hyper-tweak their sermons during and between worship services on Sunday. Is it possible to make as big of an impact in the hall than from your pulpit on Sunday mornings? I don’t say that to take away from the power and primacy of preaching, but I don’t think you need to choose between loving and feeding your people each Sunday.
Here are six reasons to get out of your office on Sunday mornings and engage your people.
This is good for a chuckle.
We hear a lot about “identity” today. People all around the church struggle to figure out who they are. They don’t know how to define themselves, and so they look inward for clues. Who do I feel I am? What do I most intensely identify with? How do I figure this out? All around us, people wear confident looks on their faces, projecting certainty about who they are. But here’s the reality: outside of redemption, we’ll never truly know who we are.
I’m pretty excited about this curriculum, and I’m praying it will be very helpful for many.
The call is provocation. Though translated here as “let us be concerned about one another in order to promote…”, the phrase can also be translated more powerfully – that we should “provoke one another.” The word literally means to sharpen, to stimulate, and to incite. Though it’s used here in a good sense, for we are inciting one another to love and good, the same word can be used negatively.
A favorite from the archives:
Don’t worry about the future. In fact, don’t worry at all. This is one of the most challenging things the Bible tells us—and consequently, one of the ways we most struggle to obey Christ. It’s so easy to become anxious. To worry. To play the what-if game.
Or is it just me?
So how do we get out of this pattern? What does it take to end the cycle of anxiety and worry? Of trying to predict all things before they happen? It takes a right perspective, one that comes only when our eyes are set upon the Lord. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains in his exposition of Psalm 16:8.