Monday, August 18, 2008

Is your church like an overflowing toilet?

If it is your idea and plan to destroy your church, then practice and exercise pride! Pride is defined as the attitude that one is superior to others, even to the extent of regarding others with contempt as if they were unworthy of any relation or interaction. Pride shows the basic thinking that "I am better than you are!" Other Biblical synonyms for pride are arrogant, insolent, boastful, stiff-necked and haughty. These aspects of pride clog us up and away from our loving Savior as they restrict the flow of His character in our lives and inhibit goodness from flowing to others through us. Why is it so bad? It does not allow Jesus Christ to be the ultimate plumber and unplug our spiritual drainpipes. So, all we can do is pour our waste all over the floor of life, and refuse to allow godly characteristics to flow in our relational pipes and thus have a church like an overflowing toilet, a stinky mess that gives God no glory.

Pride is evil because it unveils and lifts our self-interests and our self-sufficiencies, which seem necessary and good. But, when we are self-sufficient, we will not only fail to see our need for redemption, but also fail to see our need for growth in spiritual matters. Therefore, self becomes the god, and any work of the One True God is muted and put aside. When this happens, all of our relationships—from church to family to work—will be distorted and eventually, utterly destroyed. A person’s pride comes between him and God and distorts the Word and work He has for him. It cancels out relationships, growth, and purpose in life. People who practice arrogance and condescension toward others will not surrender to God as Lord. They think of themselves as self-reliant, which is a slap to the face of God. Self-reliance is an oxymoron and has no place in healthy relationships!

We need to see the imperative God warns us of in regard to pride. Why? Because, we are still in rebellion against His decrees and His best for us when pride rules our thoughts and actions. We cannot see the value nor get a grasp of the promises of God until we surrender our pride and will to His preeminence. Make the determination to be His; do not allow your self-will to be in His way! Allow Christ to take you beyond your hopes and dreams (John 3:5).

Why People in Church Fight?
How and why churches breakdown, the Synopsis of the Research and insights from Schaeffer himself.

How often do these defense mechanisms take place in your relationships?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Who do you say I am?

Building your Church from Matthew 16: 13-20...

This is perhaps the greatest question you can ask yourself and the rest of your church’s leadership. Why? This is the navigational beacon that will lead your church! Christianity is relationship driven: Christ to us, and then us to others around us. Everything we do and are to do must be lined up to Him. We have to know Him first and foremost before we can point our church to the lost, start a new emergent congregation or gathering, or do anything significant for His Kingdom (Gal. 4:19; Col. 1:27).

This passage gives us a look into a postmodern mind and directs us as a church to go to them and reach them. We are to be a magnet to draw those who are confused or hardened to Christ in the best way we can. He places a call in us; it is like a magnet that is on a compass that always points north, except ours points to Christ, leading us by the Holy Spirit as He, as well as His Word, is our compass. We need to form a heart for the lost and disenfranchised. In such a way, you as a leader, alongside the church, are the epistle to a new emerging generation—one that will be read, one that needs to point to Truth. His Word and precepts need to be a part of who we are so we have something to say as we lead others. Then, we are to metabolize it to new cultural changes and find new ways to present this truth without dilution. This is what the original Church was meant to do, and what we are called to do (2 Cor. 3:3).

In this Matthew passage, Jesus is surrounded by a crowd of people who are all probably wondering, who is this Guy? Perhaps, in the wonder and excitement, the crowd is perplexed and confused, yet willing and able to give their opinions. This is what the people around you need to see—this Guy. Jesus uses this as an opportunity to test His Disciples. Who do the people say I am? Who do you say I am? Are they ready to know? Do they know? The women from Canaan knew (Matt. 15:21-28). And, the previous passage seems to indicate the Leaders must have known, but refused to accept the Truth. Peter boldly steps up with his opinion, which does not adhere to the opinions of the crowd; he rises and proclaims his faith. He takes a risk, and even, perhaps ridicule from both the crowd and the other Disciples as he proclaims, He is the Great I Am.

This serves as a lesson to us that we have to remain in His truth and not worry about what crowds or trends have to say. Their wonderings and musings are conflicted opinions that are rooted in mere ideas rather than facts. Presumptions give into assumptions that tend to be absent of truth or effectual reality. Would they want to know the Truth if they knew their beliefs were wrong? Or would they not care, desiring rather to stay in their wrong beliefs? What about you and the people Christ has called you to go to? This passage is about not following the crowds, rather, allowing the Father to reveal, by the work of the Spirit, who Jesus is. He is the One who reveals; no person or opinion, no matter how good and informed, can take the place of His revelation.

More here:

What do you think?