Deflecting Honor to the One Who is Honorable

Tuesday is for Preaching Assuming you are a) called to preach, b) work and pray hard over and in the text, and c) lean into the Holy Spirit as you preach, you will receive many “pats on the b…

Source: Deflecting Honor to the One Who is Honorable

Ten Reasons You Might Need to Read this Little Book

Ten Reasons You Might Need to Read this Little Book

  1. Your passion for Christ has lost its edge.
  2. You long for revival in your own heart.
  3. You wonder if there is more to the Christian life than you are currently experiencing.
  4. You are looking for meaning and direction in life.
  5. You wonder if God has bigger plans for your life.
  6. You know that something is missing in your life but can’t put your finger on what.
  7. You desire to make a difference in the world.
  8. You have a growing suspicion that the drive to be comfortable and secure is sucking the joy out of your heart.
  9. You have sensed that you have left your first love for Christ.
  10. You really didn’t need to read all of these, #1 was enough.

But don’t take my word for it. Listen to what others are saying.

The temptation to pursue a safe and easy life is pervasive. With the Bible as his guide, Marty Schoenleber shows us we weren’t meant to settle into this world, but to sojourn for Christ–no matter the cost. This is timely counter-cultural teaching.”

—Steve Burchett,
Christian Communicators Worldwide,
http://www.CCWtoday.org

Order from Amazon in paperback or for Kindle readers.

Settlers or Sojourners Cover for BlogThe Church is on a rescue mission in hostile territory. Wherever in the world we sleep each night, unless we are in heaven, we are not home.

It is good to be unsettled and dissatisfied with the transience of this passing-away world and to resist our pursuit of its deterioration.

We are citizens of heaven, but our feet still walk upon the earth. We are sojourners craving to unpack our bags and settle down somewhere. But not yet. ‘Reject earthly anchors’, says Marty Schoenleber. I amhomesick for the ‘celestial city’ of God and Marty has spiked my (already) hearty appetite for it in this compelling booklet.”

—David Sitton, Founder
To Every Tribe Mission

You might want to read it once a week!

What hinders rapid church multiplication?

I just spent the last 36 hours analyzing a potential site for a church plant in IL. It is a thrilling opportunity for the right church planter. The discussion with the district leadership of the denomination and with some of the potential core group members reminded me of this post from three years ago. With that in mind, here is a fresh look at what hinders rapid church multiplication.

Becoming a Rabbit Church vs an Elephant Church

*comments in red are Ed Stetzer’s; comments and points in black are mine The following are comments and notes …

Source: What hinders rapid church multiplication?

Tozer’s Critique of Evangelical Christians

Gif image of TozerTozer was writing about the Christianity he observed in the years before the assassination of President Kennedy. It is shocking to see how relevant his observations continue to be of the church in America today. 

In fact, I wonder if Tozer wouldn’t have a heart attack if he saw the lazy, superficial, feelings-oriented, smarmy, and unbiblical approach to much of what passes for Christian discipleship today. O how we need to hear his Christ-entranced voice today!

“Evangelicalism as we know it today . . . does produce some real Christians . . . but the spiritual climate into which many modern Christians are born does not make for vigorous spiritual growth. Indeed, the whole evangelical world is to a large extent unfavorable to healthy Christianity. . . .  We are making converts of an effete type of Christianity that bears little resemblance to that of the New Testament. The average so-called Bible Christian in our times is  but a wretched parody of true sainthood. Yet we put millions of dollars behind movements to perpetuate this degenerate form of religion, and attack the man who dares challenge the wisdom of it.”

A. W. Tozer, Of God and Men

Why So Many Celebrity Pastors?

In this video, Skye Jethani draws an analogy between President Eisenhower warning about the growing “Military Industrial Complex” and the growing and troubling phenomenon of the “Celebrity Pastor.”

I think he is spot on. Listen and see what you think. And then, spend some time praying for pastors in America to seek Jesus, not fame; to seek integrity and passion for justice, not applause and comfort. Pray that they would seek to be faithful expositors of the Gospel commending all men and women everywhere to repent and believe in Christ.

Schoenleber Family Update

 

After 21 Miles on the Bike
Haven’t Been on My Bike in a Week But I Will the Road Tuesday

I’m sitting in the airport in Atlanta at the mid-point of a three-hour layover after a weekend in South Carolina, meeting folks and getting to know a community that might be our next stop in our journey of faith. It has been a good weekend. The church and its people are marvelously mature and spiritually healthy. The previous pastor had a good and appreciated ministry. (Sometimes, those don’t travel together, but they certainly did here.)

 

The congregation loves and reads their Bibles. They are poised for a new challenge and are yearning to grow with a new vision that will take them beyond the four walls of the church and out into the community. Stephnie and I have a lot to talk about and process and a lot more to research and pray over but we are encouraged.

One of the exciting things at this church is the number of engaged younger couples in the ministry and the number of young men who have or are pursuing theological education. The opportunity to step in and begin to mentor and extend these men’s and couples ministry into Kingdom service is thrilling. Architectural plans are already drawn up should God give the church the growth they are praying for and beginning to envision. 

So here is an updated prayer list:

  • I’m beat! Tired is not a big enough word. Pray that I can sleep tonight.
  • Pray for Stephnie as she drove down from West Virginia (caring for her mom after surgery), and now has another week or two before she returns to Watseka. Keep her safety in your prayers as well as her heart as we prepare for the future.
  • Pray for our children. That they would walk with the Lord and prosper in their parenting, jobs, and friendships.
  • Pray for our discernment of God’s will. Is God calling us to South Carolina, to Indiana, to southern Illinois, or to someplace else? We need wisdom.
  • Pray that our hearts would continually rejoice in Christ.

Our Next Move

 

Marty at Outside Preaching EventThis weekend I will be going on a vision trip to examine a potential church for our next appointment. I would appreciate your prayers.

  • Wisdom in analyzing the community and  the church needs.
  • Wisdom in discerning God’s call.
  • Wisdom in how to be most helpful to the church while I am there.
  • Wisdom for the elders and search team that I will be meeting with there.
  • Safety for my bride as she drives to the same location from her mother’s house where she is caring for her mom as she recovers from surgery.
  • Wisdom in sifting through three other opportunities that have presented themselves.
  • Protection of our hearts as we prepare to say goodbye (potentially) to so many friends and family in the midwest.
  • Wisdom as I continue to mentor some young men around the country and here in IL.

Our God is trustworthy.

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord,
.     “You are my Lord;
.       I have no good apart from you.”

Psalm 16:1-2