Pies

April 28, 2008

Here are a few pictures of our reward for a year of service as AWANA commanders.

Family Mission Statment

April 25, 2008

Do you have a family mission statement? Check out my post on SBC Witness about this topic.

What is yours?

A recent Lifeway survey and corresponding article underscores the importance of intentional, relational evangelism. In other words, Christians need to spend more time hanging out with non Christians in an effort to build relationships with them to where they can tell those people about Jesus. Check out the following charts:

The above chart shows that 83% of church switchers will visit a new church on their own. Not surprisingly, only 49% of unchurched will do the same. I suspect that these unchurched are probably more so “formerly churched.” Therefore, the possibilities of a non-Christian visiting your church on their own is slim. This makes sense because we are called to “go and tell” not “wait and see.”

Also a higher percentage of unchurched are more likely to visit a church’s website. Therefore, churches should be putting much effort into maintaining an attractive website.

You’ll also see that unchurched people are more likely to attend a church if they do so by invitation or recommendation of a friend. This makes sense because most people trust their friends’ opinions. Take a look at this graph:

Formerly, Christians have often asked non-Christians, “If you died today would you go to Heaven?” Well, interestingly enough, 52% of non-Christians have never even thought about that. The Lifeway article implies that this means that we should not ask this question. However, I say why not ask them a question that they’ve never thought of? Of course, this question needs to be phrased differently and should be appropriately asked during the context of the conversation.

The bottom line is that people are far more likely to accept Christ if Christians would spend more time with them and invite them to church. What a novel concept!

Catholics

April 23, 2008

With all of the attention that the Pope is getting this week by making the first papal visit to the U.S. since 1979, here is a little primer on a few major doctrinal distinctions between Catholics and Southern Baptists.

Catholics believe:

— the same as Protestants about God’s nature and about the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

— in the same 66 books of the Protestant Bible, but they also affirm the apocryphal texts. In addition, they hold that authority is found in the teachings of the apostles as they’ve been preserved in the Catholic Church apart from the Bible. Thus the office of the pope has “full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church” (CCC, no. 882).

— “through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ” (CCC, no. 1213).

— priests can forgive sins

— grace is administered through sacraments during Eucharist (Mass).

— Mary was perfect.


Click here for entire story

Creation

April 21, 2008

Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church Seattle recently preached a very good sermon on the doctrine of creation. For an in depth analysis of the six views of creation as well as an outline of that sermon click here. Below are the six views.

View #1 – Historic Creationism

View #2 – Young Earth Creationism

View #3 – Gap Theory

View #4 – Literary Framework View

View #5 – Day-Age View

View #6 – Theistic Evolution

Discuss these views as a family and try to come up with what you think best adheres to biblical fidelity.

Pastor Rob Bell of Mars Hill Bible Church recently took part in a interfaith conference entitled, “Seeds of Compassion.” The dominant theme that seemed to be talked about (and not argued against by anyone) was that of universalism. This is very synonymous to what Oprah Winfrey has been spreading recently.

Rob Bell is a very influential pastor. His church in Grand Rapids, Michigan reaches thousands and his NOOMA videos are watched by many Christians, including people at First Baptist.

Check out this link at the website, “A Little Leaven” and watch Bell’s comments….

Is he being too vague? Is his silence, as well as his answers, agreeing with the universalistic message of the entire conference? You would think a Christian pastor would have used this venue to tell the full message of the Gospel…

I Want to Know

April 14, 2008

Since the inception of this blog, it has been primarily an educational venue. I’d like to get a little more conversation on here. So, help me out. Here is a question and I’d like to know what you think. This question is open to anyone – church members, floaters, lurkers, etc. Please respond. (I know all are out there – this blog gets at least 80 hits a day somehow…)

Question: What is your largest daily struggle and why?

You don’t have to go into any details. Just experimenting to see if this gets any feedback. Let me know how I can pray for you.