I’ve read some good posts recently from the blogger at ScribblePreach, Nicholas McDonald. Here he gives 9 Reasons to Reconsider Preaching Verse-by-Verse from the Biblical text. (Please note he does not mean preaching just on a single verse at a time!) (more…)
Over at GoThereFor.com, Carmelina Read has kicked off a short series on how to cultivate a culture of prayer in small groups—how do you encourage and equip people to pray out loud when you meet together?
There are lots of reasons why people find it hard to pray out loud in small groups. Maybe English isn’t their first language, or they’ve never prayed out loud before. It could be that they’ve just become a Christian and don’t know what to say. Some people are shy, or they worry about what people will think of them if their prayers are short or they stumble over their words. Other people have grown up in a church culture where prayer is a private activity.
So how do we help them overcome their worries and pray out loud in our small Bible study groups? Before we jump in with some ideas (which I’ll get to in a couple of subsequent posts), it’s worth thinking about why we want people to pray out loud. Why can’t we just pray at home or in silence? Here are a few reasons why corporate prayer is beneficial and worth pursuing in our small groups…
She outlines reasons why prayer is beneficial in this context, and in a couple of future posts will give some practical tips for fostering that sort of prayer.
Matthias Media Publishing Director, Tony Payne, explains what GoThereFor.com is all about…
In many previous generations and still in some places today, Christians might be surprised that a pastor has to write in this way. But recently I had to remind the congregations I serve that there is something more important than charity. (more…)
Everyone needs encouragement. It’s pretty tough doing a job on your own without the support of others spurring you along. Growth group leaders are no different. They require training and resources, but they also depend on encouragement. In a church with many leaders, no one person can be relied upon to provide all the encouragement. (more…)
I was reminded today of a tremendously important and compelling argument against redefining marriage—not from a Christian point of view, but a libertarian one. The case was made—cogently, I believe—by Jennifer Roback Morse last year. (more…)
Reproduced with permission from the reviewer. Copyright 9Marks, February 2013. (more…)
On Tuesday evening, our mid-week church group enjoyed an American-style Thanksgiving dinner together. The Thanksgiving dinner has been a group tradition for a number of years now, although this is the first time our family has been part of it (we joined the group in January). It was a great time of fellowship and fun. We had a couple of real live Americans and a Canadian present, and I’m pleased to say that the dinner—complete with turkey, stuffing, corn bread, mashed potato, pumpkin pie and other tasty & filling dishes cooked by group members—received thumbs-up for authenticity! (more…)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12:9-10)
I know what I want. I told God so today. I’d like a guarantee that things are going to get better. We’ve reached the end of this particular time of suffering. Happiness is on the other side of the door, knocking. But the days go by, and, yes, things do get better – my son learns to manage his condition, my sorrow and bewilderment retreat – but life is still draining and difficult. Tears are never far away. We’re not yet in the land where leaves heal sorrow (Rev 22:1-4).
Maybe I’ll find the guarantee I want in the Bible. (more…)
We live in a time of unprecedented change. For the first time in history we have access to the world in our pocket. The Internet has changed everything. The way we work and learn, communicate and connect has dramatically altered. And while some may argue that this is not good, it’s here and we can’t turn our back to it. How can we possibly ignore the billions of people who use social media every day?
This raises many questions. One of the most important is: how will the church adapt to make the most of this new situation to advance the mission of Jesus? (more…)
This year the Christmas decorations had well and truly appeared in our local department store by September! Could be a chance to despair over the consumerism of Christmas, or a reminder to prepare early and make the most of the wonderful opportunities Christmas brings. Last year our family managed to get ready early. This year we thought we’d share what we did. (more…)
When the biblical documents were originally written, the authors didn’t include section headings. The headings that appear in our modern Bibles were added later, by translators and editors. These headings are designed to divide the text into more manageable chunks, and to make it easier for us to look up passages. Although these headings can be helpful, they do have pitfalls. For example, a heading can create a break in the text which prevents us from seeing links between what comes before and after the heading. Even worse, at times, the heading is not an accurate summary of the passage at all; indeed, occasionally the heading implies something opposite to what the passage is saying. (more…)
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.”
In the midst of being busy—busy at home, busy at work, busy at play—it can be so easy to not keep the main thing the main thing. This can be our experience today, and it was certainly the experience of the church in Corinth, which had gone off-centre. They claimed to be wise, but they hadn’t wised-up to what Jesus did for them. They claimed to be mature, but they didn’t have any problems in abusing their sexuality. They claimed to be gifted, but they neglected the greatest gift of all, love. (more…)
I have never migrated from one country to another. The farthest I have ever moved was 500 miles from our family farm to go to university in Sydney. It was more than 30 years ago, but I can still remember the swirling sense of excitement, anxiety and disorientation of those early months in the Big Smoke. New streets, new transport, new housemates, new church… new everything. (more…)
We are thrilled to see people from all across the globe subscribing to GoThereFor.com and using the resources available to grow their churches. Dr Mervyn Eloff was one of the first to sign up, and our first subscriber from South Africa. He shares with us why he chose to join GoThereFor.com. (more…)