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Archive for the ‘church attendance’ Category

Creative-Dinner-Party-Table-Setting

“No, Hanging Out With Your Friends Is Not Church” is the title of a post that provides a needed response to the issue of “What is church?” that some are asking today. There is plenty of misunderstanding of the church in today’s narcissistic society, and this article helps to begin to clear it up. Give it a read!

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Here are a few good links that will get you thinking, just like they did for me.

Creation-Evolution Debate: Ken Ham and Bill Nye recently debated at the Creation Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rick Phillips, a pastor, has some thoughts on what lessons we can learn from the debate. You can read it here. It’s true that debates normally don’t change many people’s minds, but that’s not the point. The point of any debate is clarity. In other words, you know precisely what both sides are saying (beyond all of the trimmings and trappings). From the reaction on the web to the debate, it seems there are a lot of “Christians” who are quite angry with Ham for daring to say out loud that our ultimate authority is God and His Word. Al Mohler has good comments, too.

“Lessons Learned in the School of Suffering”: Darryl Dash says there are lessons God teaches us through the instrument of suffering, You can read it here.

Donald Miller saying he doesn’t attend church much anymore: Miller, who wrote Blue Like Jazz among other best-sellers, wrote on a blog post that being part of a church isn’t part of his life anymore. One of the reasons he gave is that it isn’t compatible with his “learning style.” Denny Burk gives a strong but correct response here. If you go to the homepage of Denny’s blog, you’ll find a second post on the subject. It’s hard, but I agree with Denny.

Enjoy these articles and think about what’s said. It’ll definitely start a conversation.

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This is interesting and worth thinking about for those of us who are a bit on the shy and introverted side of the spectrum. don’t just think about it, though, act on it!

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Daniel Darling has some very interesting thoughts about Christians going to church on Sundays. Read it here and think about it. In my book, he’s absolutely right.

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200px-ArthurPink

I’ve always enjoyed the writings of A.W. Pink (The Sovereignty of God, among others), but have always had some serious reservations about him personally. This article explains why. Read Pink, but proceed with some caution. What he wrote is true – the vast majority of it , anyway – but his life didn’t reflect it.

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“How many people go to your church?”

I get asked that question a lot, but I’m never quite sure how to answer it. I could give a strictly factual answer, but don’t want to encourage the “bigger-is-better, bigger-means-God-is-blessing” attitude that’s so prevalent today (especially since the church I pastor is not large by any stretch of the imagination). I could avoid the question altogether. Finally, I could give an answer that helps people ask better questions and focus on more important issues.

Tim Challies has written a piece that helps us ask and answer this question better. You can read it here.

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When we come to church on Sunday mornings, how can we give more and get more from it? Should we simply come and sit or come and serve? The answer should be obvious. Michael McKinley of 9Marks recently posted some helpful comments from Colin Marshall on the subject.

Before the service

  • Read the passage in advance.
  • Pray for the gathering
  • Greet newcomers (act like you’re the host)
  • Think strategically about who you should sit with
  • Arrive early

During the service

  • Sing with gusto (even if you can’t sing)
  • Help with logistics (if there’s a problem, help fix it)
  • Don’t be distracted
  • Listen carefully
  • Be aware of your facial expressions (you may affect others and discourage preachers)

After the service

  • Connect newcomers with others
  • Get newcomers information
  • Start a conversation about the sermon
  • Ask someone how they became a Christian
  • Stay late

These are all excellent practical suggestions about how our time at church can be made more meaningful. We come to worship our Lord, but we also come to serve one another.

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