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Showing posts from June, 2016

The Problem with Being Too Nice in Ministry

"Go tell that fox!" said Jesus one time.

"Fox" is a crafty or tricky person, like how unscrupulous politicians are. It's not a good word to describe the top leader of your nation. Jesus was referring to King Herod who supposedly wanted to kill him.

Not very nice of Jesus, was it? Well, not very nice of Herod, too.

Jesus was frank and honest. He wasn't one to flatter people with nice but inapt words. When Jesus spoke, you always got what you deserved, although his grace made sure you didn't get it full-swing.

Most pastors have been accustomed to being too nice to people, sometimes even overly too nice to the point of aiming to over-please everyone at all times. In fact, most ministries are actually PR organizations designed primarily to keep people feeling good about themselves and pampered and spoiled---so they'd keep coming back to church every Sunday.

I've always wondered why Jesus was different. He was a good guy, no doubt---he grew up in fa…

You Can Only Raise Up People the Father Draws to You

You can grab as many people as you want to become members of your church. But those you can actually raise up to be fruitful disciples of Jesus Christ depends on how many people the Father draws to you.

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. [John 6.44] The principle applies to Jesus and all his true followers---no on can come to you to be raised up by you unless the Father draws them to you. If say, the Father draws only 10 people to you and you have a thousand church members, the 990 others will just play church. They may be very active members and "supporters" in the eyes of men, but they will never bear good fruit, fruit that God looks for in a believer.
Aside from the fruit of the Spirit [Galatians 5], the fruit God looks for is this:
If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing...This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves t…

Why are Some in Church Rich and Some Poor?

There are those in church who are rich and there are those who are poor. There are rich churches and poor churches. There are rich pastors and poor pastors. Why is this?

God has a wonderful plan here. If we obey his Word, no one in the body of Christ would be too rich or too poor. We see this in these passages:
"However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today."[Deuteronomy 15.4] But what if there were poor people among them nonetheless? This was God's formula: "If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need." It's clear. God's will is that there should be no poor amon…

The Most Modern, Hi-Tech and Updated Church I've Ever Seen

I also like to title this article, "How a Church Becomes Obsolete" or "How a Church Becomes Useless."

Most church people do not understand that Jesus' ministry---what he did in the bible---is the model. It is the highest and most superior. It is most advanced.

Some ministers think that we ought to improve on what Jesus did. They think that Jesus' ministry was too simplistic, so they need to do something better, something more sophisticated, yet make Jesus' ministry its "foundation."

Actually, it should be the reverse---all our ministries today should veer towards having the form and essence of Jesus' ministry. Our ministries should gradually transform or metamorphose into a Jesus' ministry.

So, you'll easily see how our ministries should get rid of a lot of non-essentials---buildings, programs, aimless activities, entertainment, gimmicks, titles and degrees, seminary, bible school, concerts, elections, parliamentary procedures, an…

The Antioch Phenomenon: Why Your Church Needs It

They didn't expect the sudden twist. What most Christian Jews at the time had been doing was sharing the Gospel only to fellow Jews. They thought all along that God's chosen people were confined to the Israelites.

Very few realized how Genesis 22.18 was then coming to pass: "...and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." Very few in the Acts church knew that this prophecy, which was at the time the present move of God, was then happening. The believers from Cyprus and Cyrene saw this and, led by the Spirit, ventured to Antioch and shared the Gospel to the gentiles there.

Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you." [Galatians 3.8] It was a first! Not only that, they were attuned and updated to the present move of God in real time!

How did they know the present move of God? "The Lord's hand …

Why Jesus Never Pursued After People or Bothered with Membership

Even when I was already actively doing ministry the denominational way, I'd been questioning some things we were doing. My question was, why didn't Jesus do them?

Sure, the things church denominations were doing resulted to increased church membership and increased church income, plus increased number of churches planted. But I saw that these increases didn't really mean the Gospel was being spread and people really getting to know the King and his Kingdom. Often, it only meant people were becoming more aware of the church denomination and gradually getting involved there.

What I saw more was the spread or expansion of the church denomination using God's Word as cover or front. Honestly. And I was beginning to be disappointed. The goal then was really to get more people into the church so there would be more money to build more churches elsewhere for the denomination and be able to say, "Hey, look how our church denomination is growing!"

It's all to feed…

Why Jesus Never Did What We Do in Ministry Today

Here's Part 1

So, while waiting for the Father to start things for his ministry, Isaiah 53.2 says Jesus just "grew up before him" (the Father)". He "grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" [Luke 2.52].

He never desperately went around the neighborhood looking for someone to invite to his ministry. He never did any visitation work.

He just grew up.

I used to do things the traditional denominational way. I'd go around the neighborhood, introduce myself as a pastor and invite folks to my bible studies, prayer meetings and then later to church. Sometimes I forced them, pestered them with my visits, or made them feel guilty if they didn't come. But then one day, in my quiet time, God showed me something in his Word.

I saw how Jesus never did any of the things I was doing. Neither did his apostles in Acts.

That served like a bright bulb that suddenly lighted amid black darkness. What did Jesus and his apostles do then? Like Jesus, the …

Starting a Church the Way Jesus Did It

This has been a challenge to me---start a church the way Jesus did it. After all, Jesus is the Author of it all---the church. He is the only Way to please the Father.

If we want a church pleasing to God, we have to do everything as Jesus did it.

So, how and where do you start it?

You start with yourself.

Well, the usual way is to go around the neighborhood, tell people you're a pastor and invite them for bible studies or prayer meeting.

But Jesus never did it like that. Filled with the Spirit, he was first sent to the wilderness to be tested and then came out in the power of the Spirit.

That's always step one---you have to be taken and exposed to the wilderness and there defeat the devil. A lot of people who want to serve God in church have never been to the wilderness and never defeated the devil there.

Some had their wilderness experience, but instead of defeating Satan there, they were deceived. They joined him do the ministry.

Anyone who wants to serve God should first li…

Why Many Christians Despise Reading the Bible

Many pastors would deny it, but if you're honest enough, you'd admit that a lot of Christians today despise reading the bible. Young people or adults. They'd bury themselves in various church activities but not in seriously studying the bible.

I always study people's attitude toward the Word of God when I visit churches.

You'd see them seriously involved in the choir, worship team, fellowship, church concert or cantata (or other stage ministries), medical mission, feeding program, gifts giving, social work or community outreach, etc.

But it's different when it comes to serious bible studies.

Listless During Bible Studies

When bible study comes, they show disinterest, sluggishness, lethargy, don't pay much attention (you always catch their thoughts wandering far from the topic) or don't show up at all. Or they'd show up late, when bible study is almost over.

Others go there just to see their crush in church, or be recognized, or because they have res…