Wednesday, February 24, 2010

6 Questions When Your Child Needs Discipline

From Bruce Ray's Withhold Not Correction:

  1. What did you do?
  2. What does God say about this? (teach them the Word)
  3. Was what you did right or wrong according to the Scriptures?
  4. What happens when you disobey?
  5. What must I do as a parent under God's authority?
  6. What ought you to do in the future?

One Book Per Week 9: Book 3 - "Withhold Not Correction"

Check out my website/blog - "One Book Per Week"
It has been fun to discipline myself to read in this way.

Most recently I am reading this book on parenting (I give it 5 stars):

Week 9: Book 3 - "Withhold Not Correction" by Bruce A. Ray (One Book Per Week)

21 Questions to Ask About Your Church

21 Questions I’ve Been Asking (Myself) Lately
Several of you will find these questions familiar, but their familiarity does not minimize the piercing factor for this pastor. I wanted to put them out there in case others might find them helpful.

1. If our church would cease to exist in our city, would it be noticed and missed?

2. If all the pastors were tragically killed in a car accident, would the church’s ministry cease or fall apart?

3. If the only possible means of connecting with unbelievers were through the missionary living of our church members, how much would we grow? (I ask this because the early church did not have signs, websites, ads, marketing, etc.)

4. What are the subcultures within the church? Do they attract or detract from the centrality of the gospel and mission of the church?

5. Is our church known more for what we are not/against than what we are/for?

6. What are we allowing to be our measuring stick of church health? (attendance vs. discipleship; seating capacity vs. sending capacity; gospel growth, training on mission, etc.)

7. Are the priorities of our church in line with the priorities of Christ’s kingdom?

8. If our members had 60 seconds to explain to an unbeliever what our church is like, what would you want them to say? How many do you think are saying that?

9. If the invisible kingdom of God became visible in our city, what would that look like?

10. In what ways have we acted or planned in unbelief instead of faith?

11. As a pastor, is my time spent more in fixing people’s problems or helping people progress in faith through training/equipping them for ministry?

12. Are the people we are reaching more religious or pagan?

13. What can we learn about our evangelism practices by the kind of people are being reached with the gospel?

14. What will it take to reach those in our city who are far from God and have no access to the gospel?

15. What percentage of our growth is conversion growth (vs. transfer growth)?

16. How many people know and are discharging their spiritual gifts in active service and building up of the body of Christ?

17. How many people do I know (and more importantly know me) on a first name basis in my community and city who do not attend our church?

18. Am I using people to get ministry done, or am I using ministry to get people “done”?

19. Is the vision we are casting forth honoring both God’s heart for the lost (builder) and God’s passion for a pure church (perfecter)?

20. If money and space were not an issue, what is one thing we ought to dream for God to do in our midst where it is impossible for anyone to get the credit except for the omnipotent hand of God?

21. If being a church planting church is comprised of disciple-making disciples, then how are we doing?

Got any other questions that you could add? Please pass them along!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Join us at 10 AM Sunday Mornings for Prayer

Dear Grace Church and people from the Wyoming-Forest Lake, MN community:

Every Sunday morning at 10 (immediately following the Sunday school time) we spend time in prayer in the sanctuary. We pray for the morning service, for the sermon in particular, the coming week and the special prayer requests of people in the congregation.

Please join us. This is a helpful way of preparing your hearts for the corporate worship of God's people (the service starts at 10:30).

Don't pass over the gracious and amazing invitation that God has given to us in prayer. Last night I was talking this over with my oldest son, Paul, and he said it this way (in answer to the question - why do we pray before the service?) - "because God does the work and He told us to ask." Amen! Do we really ask? Do we really believe that He will do the work? Do we really know Who we are talking about when we doubt?

God does the heavy lifting and He instructs us to ask, seek and knock and it will be answered, found and opened to us.

Imagine what God intends to do in your heart, in the heart of your family, in the hearts of the people of Grace Church, and in the hearts of our community when we give ourselves to corporate (and private) prayer.

Here is a helpful prayer and meditation to ponder that helped my heart and spirit this morning. Please pray this for yourself and others this morning as you come to the Worship of God in the Word.
Psalm 119
25 My soul clings to the dust;
give me life according to your word!
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me your statutes!
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word!
29 Put false ways far from me
and graciously teach me your law!
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your rules before me.
31 I cling to your testimonies, O Lord;
let me not be put to shame!
32 I will run in the way of your commandments
when you enlarge my heart!