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Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between

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Discipleship

Feature Friday (07/06/18)

It’s hard being different. This statement is true in more than one way. First off, in western culture today being different is the new normal. Everyone is to be unique. Be yourself. You do you. So if different is what you are trying to be, different is the last thing you will be.

But there is another way in which being different is difficult. When you are different you tend to stand out. You can be ridiculed, mocked, and even persecuted. And there is not many ways in our world that can get you ridiculed, mocked or persecuted than standing up for your beliefs, especially when your beliefs go against the cultural norm. But take heart, you are not alone. Nor are you the first one to be different in this way.

Jesus called all those who followed Him to be different. To be distinct. To be in the world, but not of the world. I recently preached a sermon on why being different, being in the world and not of the world, being a follower of Jesus is so difficult. One of my points was “following Jesus is harder than you think”. Which is why I loved Benjamin Swift’s article “More Than a Fish Sticker“.

Check out the article be encouraged and challenged realizing that, “living as a Christian involves more than placing a fish sticker on your car…” And as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by salvatore ventura on Unsplash

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Feature Friday (06/29/18)

Sharing is caring! At least that is how the slogan goes. Sharing can be fun. You can share a victory as a team, you could share a meal with family and friends, and you can share a vacation with others as well. In all of these instances, sharing is fun. But sharing can also be difficult, even scary.

Sharing can become frightening when you think about personal information or aspects of our lives. While sharing personal information can be scary in light of all the digital and technological fraud going on these days and hacking involved; I believe sharing is even more daunting when we consider sharing personal aspects of our lives. This is especially true when we think about sharing our faith.

Because sharing the good news of Jesus Christ can be difficult I love Jim Putnam’s article “The Disciple Maker’s Journey Starts with This Step“. Jim reveals a simple step and reality when it comes to sharing the gospel and thus disciple-making.

Check out the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (05/18/18)

This past weekend my senior pastor preached on one of our church’s core values. (You can check it out here). It is the sixth core value we have as a church. While it may not be in the top three, there is one thing that we all quickly realized about this value. One thing that stood out to almost all of us pastors on staff about this value. This core value really defines and describes what our jobs as pastors are all about. So what is the core value?

Paul puts it this way in Ephesians 4:11-13, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,”. We value equipping others to do the work of the ministry. Which brought on a good discussion at our weekly meeting? Who are we equipping? How are we equipping? And what are we equipping them for?

All of these questions really took us to one topic: leadership development. It is a hot topic these days and very much needed, but the truth is the church is the one organization that should be superb at developing leaders. We should eat, breathe, sleep leadership development. Isn’t that what Matthew 28:19-20 is all about? Isn’t making disciples really about making others more into the image of Jesus? And wasn’t Jesus the greatest leader ever to walk the face of the planet?

While we all granted that leadership development is important and we must be doing it. The tough part was how do we develop leaders. There are many systems, formats, and structures to help an organization do that, but I love what Kevin Fontenot and Scott Magdalein discuss in this Thriving Ministry Teams Podcast entitled “Leadership Development Principles for Your Church“.

Enjoy and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash!

Feature Friday (05/11/18)

I remember it like it was yesterday. I had just finished up my first year of college. Freshman year complete and in the books. Now it was time to head home. After one year of “living life on my own” I thought heading home would be nice and that I would enjoy my summer. Well, I did, but there was one thing I experienced that summer that I did not expect. What was it? I missed my church family.

This was a weird and unexpected reality for me, seeing that the church I was “coming home” to I had grown up in since birth. But the reality was for the first time in my life, while I was away at college, I built relationships with other adults who had never known me as a kid and treated me as a friend, adopted grandkid, and more. Thinking this was normal I asked a few of my buddies who had been away at college if they had the same experience. The results of those conversations revealed that I was the outlier. The abnormal one. The one who had a unique experience, but why.

As I dug into these conversations and interacted with my friends throughout the rest of the summer I realized one major theme. All of them believed one of the 4 Myths that Keep College Students from Joining a Church. Which is why I appreciate Jim Davis’ insight in his article.

If you are a college student and probably heading home right about this time of year I have two words of advice: 1) Enjoy your home church this summer (if you don’t have one get one), 2) Begin preparation for next semester – research a few churches close to campus, ask a few college friends where they go, and make a plan for which churches to visit upon your return including dates.

If you are a pastor of a church in a college town or area use this summer to think through and make a strategy on how to best welcome, include, disciple, and give opportunities for college students to serve in the church this next school year.

Enjoy the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (06/16/17)

Crawling. Walking. Feeding themselves. Going to the bathroom without assistance. Getting dressed. Tying their shoes. Counting. The alphabet. And the list goes on and on and on and… The job of a parent can seem daunting…no impossible. There are so many things for your children to learn. So many things that you have the responsibility and privilege to teach. And so little time.

Slow days and long years as I have heard it quoted. Raising children is the quickest and slowest process all at the same time. And with all there is to within such few years, prioritizing must be done. So what gets priority? “A parent’s most basic task is to help their children learn how to live in God’s world.” The good news is: “This isn’t a once in a while task, but an opportunity that is available nearly every moment.”

But how does one go about helping your children learn how to live in God’s world? Garrett Kell offers 8 Ways to Shape Your Family Spiritually. While they may not be all or even most of the ways, they are 8 spot on examples of ways to help your children learn how to live well in God’s world.

Check out the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (4/14/17)

It’s the most important Sunday of the year. The greatest reason for rejoicing as a believer in Jesus Christ. The single most important remembrance and reality for all Christians of all times in all places. Easter! The celebratory day in which the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth is remembered and celebrated.

Churches everywhere will likely see an uptick in their number of visitors. Churches will most definitely have more people in their services than their average attendance. And most churches will have more people use their bathrooms on this Sunday than any other given Sunday of the year. Which is why Aaron Buer wrote a vital article addressing “Why Your Church’s Bathroom Matters“.

Enjoy the read and the challenge on how impression and discipleship go hand in hand. As always, and maybe more so than any other week, be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day! And if you are in the Newport News VA area we would love to have you join us at Denbigh Baptist Church!

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