Archive for September, 2015

Church and Culture

Posted: September 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

culture341

The following is quote from a Perspective class I am taking:

When the church is isolated from society, or is seen as foreign, it cannot transform society and is in danger of elimination.

I first took this course in college in 1998. Looking back I now see how God used it to shape so much of my pastoral ministry here in the U.S. My wife and I had planned to be overseas missionaries. That has not yet come to be. God has, however, used us as missionaries here in the U.S. As our culture becomes increasingly unchurched churches seem to be struggling ever more with growth and how to effectively reach the lost.

As organizations grow older, it is natural for them to become inwardly focused and insular. The majority of my ministry life has been either in church planting or helping churches to view their own communities as a foreign mission field and become engaged with the culture around them.

For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
1 Corinthians 9:19-23

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Life is a Battlefield

Posted: September 19, 2015 in Family, Life

The summer after 8th grade my parents moved our family from the city to a house on five acres, twenty minutes away from a small mountain town with only one stop light. I was a bit bitter about leaving friends and conveniences. I didn’t understand all that went into that decision but I believe it saved our family. I’m fairly certain it saved me. Now with a family (and young teenager) of my own, my wife and I find ourselves contemplating a similar move.

The city has been beneficial in some ways, but there are forces at play, tearing at our family, which would be more easily mitigated against in a smaller, more rural community. Such a move would entail great sacrifice and tremendous inconvenience. But what are the hearts, minds, and souls of my wife and children worth? 

We’re not talking of an attempt to flee and hide from the world. The war cannot be avoided. Nor did Christ instruct us to withdraw from the world (quite the contrary). Rather we are seeking to choose a battlefield which is advantageous to our cause.

Which battlefield depends on our strategy. And the battle plan is what we are developing now.