10 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Ministry – part 1

Does ministry involvement ever become more of a chore than a ministry? I’m starting a two-part series titled 10 Questions to Ask Yourself about Your Ministry. Recently I went to lunch with a man who is very involved in various aspects of ministry here at Bethel Baptist. I walked away so thankful for a man who loves the Lord and his local church! Part of what is so refreshing is that he has taken on himself the burden that Pastor has given from the pulpit and has begun to own the vision himself. Here is the beginning of the 10 Questions… Continue reading

Confused?

Given how much time has been spent in the media discussing health care reform, you would think the average person would have at least a basic understanding of what took place when the President signed the Senate bill into law last week.

Unfortunately, much of what has been written (or spoken) on this issue seems intended to confound–rather than promote–people’s understanding.

One point of confusion is the claim that many reporters are perpetuating that the bill doesn’t finance abortions.

Reality is that the bill establishes some $9-11 billion dollars in funding for Community Health Centers (CHC). Till recently, these centers were forbidden from performing abortions because their funding was governed by the Hyde Amendment.

The funding in the current legislation is not governed by the Hyde Amendment, or anything similar. So while the CHCs don’t perform abortions now, there is nothing stopping them from doing so–with federal money–in the future.

By the way, President Obama’s Executive Order does not change this fact. The opinion on both the Right and the Left is that the Executive Order is practically useless.

I’ll refrain from editorial comment except to say that we ought to be praying for our nation and its leaders.

There are perhaps thousands of articles online that discuss this issue, and they can be difficult to sift through. Two I found very helpful are here and here.

Cool Picture

I took this picture on a hilltop in Israel about 2 miles from Nazareth.  The town is down to the right out of the picture.  The valley to the left is where Gideon defeated the Midianites.  The hill we were on is where people tried to hurl Him from because He taught He was God.  This week I came across the verse on the picture in the ESV and turned it into a screen saver for my computer.  This verse is used in connection with Jesus leaving Nazareth to live in Capernaum. Praise God for the Light of Jesus!

Understanding the New Testament

Over the past couple of Sundays Pastor has given to us a helpful structure of the New Testament. Understanding how all the books of the New Testament work together is essential when attempting to understand what God is communicating to us as His people. I hope this small chart is helpful to you.

Overall Theme of the New Testament:

the Person & Work of Jesus Christ

  1. The Gospels (Matthew – John): the Gospels serve as the Introduction to the Person and Work of Jesus Christ
  2. The Book of Acts: the book of Acts serves as the Proclamation of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ
  3. The Letters (Romans – Jude): the Epistles serve as the Explanation of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ
  4. The Revelation: the book of Revelation serves to Reveal the Person and Work of Jesus Christ

Insights from the Unchurched

In light of our church’s emphasis to invite families and friends to our upcoming Easter services I found some interesting statistics that you will find encouraging. Thom S. Rainer gives some surprising insights in his book The Unchurched Next Door.

  1. The unchurched are not anti-church. (4 of 10 have a friendly attitude; only 16% are negative.)
  2. Over 17 million Americans will accept Christ if presented with the Gospel. Another 43 million are close.
  3. Most unchurched persons believe in the existence of both heaven and hell. (79% and 70% respectively.)
  4. Unchurched persons are nervous but willing to talk about matters of faith. Continue reading

11 Things I Love About Bethel Baptist Church

Well, it has been almost three months since my family joined the staff here at Bethel Baptist Church.  It has been a wonderful transition for us.  Here are eleven of the many reasons why we are excited to be at Bethel Baptist Church. 

  1. Bethel is a wholesome encouraging atmosphere for my children to grow in. 
  2. Bethel makes children’s ministry exciting.  I often hear the hopeful question “Daddy, Is it church- day today?” 
  3. Bethel gives helpful training to parents at all stages of life.  
  4. Bethel has preaching that is God-centered, helpful, accurate and challenging.
  5. Bethel continually, actively, purposefully reaches out to the community.
  6. Bethel strives for excellence to the glory of God.  I’m “proud” to invite people to visit church here.
  7. Bethel is sensitive to the needy, sick and hurting.
  8. Bethel fosters a healthy respect for their godly, faithful heritage.
  9. Bethel is passing on the ways of God from one generation to another.
  10. Bethel has a fantastic group of young energetic families who love God and enjoy Him. 
  11. Bethel has very generous, ministry-minded people.  There are so many people involved here!

Summer Adventure Club 2010

In case you weren’t able to stay after church last night, we announced the name and dates for this year’s Summer Adventure Club, Restaurant Rumble (July 12-16; 9am-noon). Here is the video we created to break the news: