Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Rockets Rain Down on Israel

...After Killing of Top Jihadist



So far 150 rockets have hit the south and central regions of Israel, including the Tel Aviv area

The day began with air raid sirens across the northern Negev and the Greater Tel Aviv area.

Overnight, the Israel Air Force (IAF) had taken out Bahaa Abu al-Ata, a high-ranking Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza. Al-Ata was responsible for numerous attacks on Israel in recent months and years. He is also believed to have been planning further larger attacks against Israeli population centers.

The Islamic Jihad response was not long in coming. At 5:50 AM, the first air raid sirens sounded. The terror group openly declared that it was at war with Israel.

Soon after, the rocket fire began and then spread north. At first, they hit the cities of Sderot, Ashkelon, and Ashdod. By 7:00 AM, rockets were being fired at the central Israel towns of Rishon Letzion and Holon. All across the south and in the heavily-populated Greater Tel Aviv region, schools were closed and families were warned to remain near a bomb shelter. Most places of business also remained shuttered, and security officials banned any large public gatherings.

Israel’s surgical strike against al-Ata destroyed only the bedroom where the terror chief was sleeping.

By 8:00, more than 30 terrorist rockets had been fired into Israel. In Ashkelon, shrapnel fell near a sports field, and in Sderot, a residential building suffered a direct hit. There were no physical injuries, but a number of people were treated for shock. Around this time, the first rocket hit the Greater Tel Aviv area.

At 11:00 AM, Naftali Bennett was scheduled to take the post of Minister of Defense. The coming hours will reveal how the situation develops, though most are assuming that this new “round” of fighting could take a few days, and might develop into another major military operation in the Gaza Strip. Of course, whether or not it comes to that often depends on the number of casualties on the Israeli side.


By mid-afternoon, the number of rockets fired from Gaza had reached 150, while the vaunted Iron Dome anti-missile system had intercepted at least 60 of those rockets that it’s algorithms deemed most threatening.

Monday, 11 November 2019

Shock Missionary Move Announced Francis Chan

Moving to Asia to be a missionary

Pastor and author Francis Chan delivers remarks as part of the Q Commons event, broadcast internationally on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. Courtesy of Q Ideas/Parker Young

“I’m going to come under this because I’m going to stand before Him one day and I’m going to be judged by Him, and I don’t want to be judged as a coward,” Chan concluded. “That’s the greatest joy you’re going to find in life, is when you understand you have a holy, holy judge for a Father who is rich in mercy and full of love for you and is knocking on the door.” 

Former megachurch pastor Francis Chan has announced he will be moving to Asia in order to become a full-time missionary.

Chan delivered the shocking news during a sermon at Azusa Pacific University on Wednesday, to the great surprise of those in attendance.

“A few months ago, we were in Myanmar and my wife and I and kids, we were just with a translator going from hut to hut in these slums, trying to explain to people who Jesus is,” he explained, according to the Christian Post. “These people had never even heard of Him. And the eagerness, the way they listened, seeing people get baptized — it was just like, wow, what do we do on a normal day that even compares to this?”

Chan went on to describe the moment that he and his wife knew they had to go. “As we got on the plane home, I was like, ‘Honey, I think it’s time to move,’” Francis explained, noting that he felt he had “been fishing in the same pond my whole life and now there’s like thousands of other fishermen at the same pond, and our lines are getting tangled and everyone’s fighting over stupid things.”

The pastor continued: “What if I heard of a lake that’s like a five-mile hike away, and no one’s fishing it. And they’re saying, ‘Man, the fish are biting — just throw a hook in there and they’ll go for it!’ Man, I’ll make that five-mile hike if I love fishing.”



Continuing with the same analogy, Chan went on to note that there were many things keeping him in the United States. “I’ll tell you what would keep me at the pond is. I built a house on the pond, and all my friends have houses on the pond. And we don’t even fish that much, we just go out, and we hang out, and we talk, and we play, and I don’t want to leave my friends.”


“But if my calling is to go fish, and there’s no one fishing over there, why wouldn’t I go?”

Chan, the best-selling author of “Crazy Love,” hit the headlines back in 2010 after announcing that he would be resigning from his position as senior pastor of Cornerstone Church — a 6,000 member congregation in California which he himself founded.

Speaking to the Relevant Podcast in September 2018, Chan said he “got tired of hearing [his] own voice,” and felt as if the congregation was relying on him too much instead of seeking God for themselves.

Chan and his family are set to move to Asia in February of next year.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Churches can boost revenue through preaching and teaching

Show thee the money: churches can boost revenue through preaching and teaching


Talking money at church can be a scary prospect for ministers but overcoming that fear may bolster overall congregational health, according to a new survey of American churches.

The National Study of Congregations’ Economic Practices (NSCEP) found that fellowships that engage in frequent, transparent conversation around receiving, managing and spending money often create giving cultures that multiple income streams.

But it isn’t easy for many clergies.

“They talk about this being something they were unprepared for in their education, so they didn’t have training on budgets and stewardship and finance in seminary,” said David King, director of Indiana University’s Lake Institute on Faith and Giving, which produced the study.

The survey highlights the benefit of taking up the subject. It found that 48 percent of the 1,231 American congregations studied from 2014 to 2017 experienced an increase in revenue during that period, compared to 35 percent that reported a giving decrease.

Congregations established after 2000 saw membership and income rise 66 percent and 69 percent, respectively. Black churches also reported strong gains in both attendance, 62 percent, and giving, 59 percent.

Catholics, at 56 percent, and mainline Protestants, at 38 percent, led among those who experienced declines in giving, the report said.

King spoke with Baptist News Global about other key findings in the report, and about the congregational attitudes they uncovered. His comments follow here, edited for clarity.

Were any of the findings particularly surprising to you?


The financial health of congregations is not quite as bad as we might have thought. We hear of scarcity and closings, and that is the case for many. And the narrative oftentimes is one of rising religious disaffiliation, which is about individuals. But we focused on institutions and we saw a slightly different story: 39 percent of congregations are growing; 38 percent are declining in the number of participants, and many others are holding steady.

Millennials are said to reject traditional tithing. Did the study bear that out?


We don’t know too much from this study about how Millennials are giving in general. Most congregations are not made up of just one demographic. Most arguments for giving don’t strike the connection point Millennials are looking for. They and the next generation want to be connected. Just doing their fair share or contributing to the overall mission of the congregation doesn’t motivate them as will a particular cause. While there is no one way that inspires everyone, we may need to reassess and reimagine how to motivate people to give.

Is the revenue decline among Catholics and mainline Protestants mostly driven by membership decreases?


Catholics and mainliners are declining in numbers and in revenues, Catholics the most strongly – in both numbers and revenues. Mainline churches were declining in numbers but less so in revenues. Catholics are often more dependent on general offerings and often don’t talk about pledge campaigns.

Why are newer churches doing so well with giving?


If newer churches are bringing in non-churched people, there may be an open imagination among them for participating in congregational life through giving and volunteering. There is a newness to it. A lot of newer churches are probably willing to ask because it’s part of the DNA of a new venture, so they can be flexible in establishing those traditions. If you are a more historic congregation, it may take longer to rebuild or expand giving traditions – but it is doable.

How has that been doable according to your research?


Congregations that have multiple forms of giving – such as text-to-give or a mobile phone app – are more likely to be growing. Second, those who are talking about money regularly, teaching about giving, specifically talking about higher levels of transparency in congregational finances and budgets – they are growing more than those who talk about it just once a year.

How can clergy and lay leaders push past the off-limits attitudes around this topic?


There is this taboo, a sacred-profane divide where money is considered to be worldly and we are supposed to be talking about spiritual things.  I think it’s often a nervousness and anxiety.

That’s where transparency and honesty are important. Knowing what’s happening allows these types of congregations to be out front on these issues. Lay people are hungry for conversations on these kinds of topics. They want guidance for themselves and their families on how to teach their kids about personal finance and how to share with others. That opens the door to other kinds of streams.


By Jeff Brumley
Jeff is assistant editor for Baptist News Global. He is based in Jacksonville, Fla.

SOURCE LINK

Saturday, 9 November 2019

British Editorial urges non-Jews to not vote for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn


UK Jewish paper publishes editorial urging non-Jews not to vote for Jeremy Corbyn

The United Kingdom’s Jewish Chronicle published a front-page editorial message to non-Jews expressing Jewish concerns about Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn possibly becoming prime minister.
“Putting oneself in the shoes of another person, or another group can be difficult. But we believe it is important—and urgent—that you do that,” the paper said, citing a recent poll that found 87 per cent of British Jews consider Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to be an anti-Semite.

“Throughout his career, he has allied with and supported antisemites such as Paul Eisen, Stephen Sizer and Raed Salah. He has described organisations like Hamas, whose founding charter commits it to the extermination of every Jew on the planet, as his ‘friends.’ He has laid a wreath to honour terrorists who have murdered Jews. He has insulted “Zionists”—the word used by antisemites when they mean ‘Jew’ because they think it allows them to get away with it—as lacking understanding of ‘English irony.’ ”

That is why we are seeking your attention. If this man is chosen as our next prime minister, the message will be stark,” the editorial concluded.

Meanwhile, two former Labour Party MPs are telling voters ahead of the country’s election on Dec. 13 to support current British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and stop Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn from becoming prime minister.


Ian Austin, who left the party in February over claims that it failed to do enough to tackle anti-Semitism, said in an interview with BBC Radio 4 on Thursday, “I think Jeremy Corbyn is completely unfit to lead our country. Completely unfit to lead the Labour Party. … It’s really come to something when I tell decent, traditional, patriotic Labour voters that they should be voting for Boris Johnson in this election. I can’t believe it’s come to this, but that’s where we are.”

Austin also said Corbyn “always picks our country’s enemies” to side with, adding that the Labour Party has “been poisoned with anti-Jewish racism under his leadership and it is a complete and utter disgrace.”

Former Labour MP John Woodcock expressed the same sentiments by saying, “The choice to keep Jeremy Corbyn away from Downing Street, to stop him getting his hands on the levers of national security and defence, has to be to vote Conservative in this election, and that’s what I’ll be doing as well.”

One day earlier, Labour MP Tom Watson announced his resignation as the party’s deputy leader, a decision that the Jewish Labour Movement called “shocking and saddening” since Watson was “a strong ally in the fight against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.”


SOURCE LINK

Friday, 8 November 2019

Creating Space for The Weak

THE VERSE MOST CHURCHES IGNORE

In America, cultural Christianity has led to some serious problems. As a result, Christian America has become more and more post-Christian America.  One of the greatest reasons for our fall is our unwillingness to obey one particular verse in the Bible.  “Accept the one whose faith is weak….” – Romans 14:1.

By failing to include and disciple those without faith along with our impatience with those new to faith, we have caused people with genuine doubts and issues to give up or no longer come to us for help.

Too often Christians have been seen as judgmental and an increased pressure to embrace a facade to look like a “good Christian” has been cultivated.  As a result, churches have been tempted to operate under more of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Many who follow Christ want everyone to have it together or at least act like they have it together.  In the end, people who struggled with their faith or struggled with sinful choices have felt a need to go in one of two directions:

  • Hide their struggles and never get help.
  • Embrace their struggles and leave the church.


The antidote to this slide away from faith is to follow Paul’s command to the Roman church to “Accept the one whose faith is weak….” – Romans 14:1.  Romans challenges the church to create space for those weaker in faith; this exemplifies the love of God and the missional essence of the church.

JUST CONSIDER, WHAT IF…?


  • What if churches followed through on Paul’s direction to the Romans to accept those who are weak?
  • What if churches allowed people to belong before they believe?
  • What if churches communicated to the world in words and in action to truly “come as you are”?


Accepting the weaker person and creating the space for the unbeliever to be among us is difficult and challenging.

The realities of including the weak more intentionally in our church family have multiple facets:

  • Struggling people don’t often think of the church as their go-to place to find healing.
  •  For those who are part of the community, people who are struggling are messy.
  • Hurt people hurt people.
  • Many of the “more mature” people who follow Christ are looking for a church community in order to hide from the struggles and broken people of the world.
  •  “More mature” Christ-followers give money to be “fed” rather than looking for ways to invest in skeptics and new believers.


  CONSIDER MORE OF THE PASSAGE:

“Accept the one whose faith is weak…. without quarreling over disputable matters….

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself…

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  – Romans 14:1, 15:1-6

CONSUMER CHRISTIANITY

It appears consumer Christianity is not an issue only in America. Paul challenges the Roman Christ-followers to “bear with the failings of the weak and not please ourselves.”  Our human default is towards selfishness and pleasing ourselves.  Our American default is to pursue “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” more than anything else which leads to a consumer Christianity. The way of Jesus is to build up others – no matter how weak they may be.  As spiritually-minded people, another way to say this is that we need to join the mission of Jesus and His Church.

Unfortunately, we have misconstrued this word: “Church.”  The Church is not a building. The Church is not a service on Sunday. The Church is not an institution. The Church is not a religion.

We’ve been tricked and confused by distorted views of the Church. Additionally, the stereotype of the world religion known as Christianity often does not represent Jesus well.


  • Rather than loving others, religion judges others.
  • Rather than inviting others in, religion excludes others who look differently or make different moral choices or believe differently.
  • Rather than acknowledging our need for God’s love and forgiveness, religion reeks of hypocrisy and pride.


Instead, the true meaning of the word “Church” literally means “the called-out ones.” The Church is the community of people who follow Jesus!  The Church are those who give up their entire lives to follow Jesus. We are set apart from the world by our behavior and sent out into the world to bring new life!

We are wounded, healers!


There is a universal church – everyone on the planet who follows Jesus and there are local expressions of the church like Gateway.  If you follow Jesus, you are part of the Church!

Erwin McManus, our pastor in Los Angeles, used to say: “The Church is not here to meet our needs. We are the Church, and we are here to meet the needs of the world!”

THE TRUE CHURCH

How differently would the world view the Church if we chose to live as we were created to live – loving and serving and meeting the needs of the world around us?  The Church’s mission is to advance Jesus’ invisible kingdom. His invisible Kingdom is advanced through the faith, love, and hope expressed by those who follow Jesus!

We do not advance the Kingdom of Jesus through violence, arguments, protests, posts on Facebook or tweets on twitter.  We advance His Kingdom through a willingness to lay down our lives to love others as we exemplify Jesus by living godly, holy, and selfless lives.  We do this not so that God will love us. He already does! We do this in response to His love – out of gratitude for His love!

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:


  • Evaluate:  When are we or our ministry leaders operating out of religious tendencies and obligation as opposed to a relationship?


  • Invite a friend skeptical of faith to attend a Sunday service. Ask him or her to share what elements resonated and what elements were off-putting and not helpful.


  • Challenge your leaders to evaluate their ministry areas to consider if they are creating space for those who are weak in their faith.


  • Challenge your leaders to evaluate how they are challenging and helping Christ-followers in fully following Jesus rather than succumbing to cultural Christianity.

Written by Eric Bryant is the pastor at Gateway Church in South Austin, a professor with Bethel Seminary, author of Not Like Me: Learning to Love, Serve, and Influence Our Divided World, creator of churchgrowthworkshop.com, and founder of ericbryant.org

First published by SEND INSTITUTE

Word of Grace to you

Hear God’s Word of Grace to you


“And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness…”(Acts 28 vs 2). That is the Focal Scripture of Streams of Joy Devotional Today.

Today’s Focal Scripture introduces the people Paul encountered when he escaped from the shipwreck. He ran into the midst of barbarous people. The barbarous people were non-Jews and were said to be unlearned and uncivilized. They could be hostile and mean. So, Paul found himself in the midst of uncivilized and hostile people.

Friend, hear God’s Word of Grace to you: Every ‘Barbarian’ in your destiny will turn around and show you kindness. Every person who seemed poised to cut short your destiny will turn around and work in your favor. The same enemies who have been plotting your downfall will serve as servants that will push you to the next level. People who have a history of being hostile to everyone will show you kindness.

The same people who have vowed to keep you miserable and uncomfortable will soon become caring and loving; the same people who have vowed to make you cry will turn around to make you laugh with joy.

Dearest Beloved of the Lord, the ‘barbarians’ will show you kindness in this season in Jesus name!

Pray with me, “Lord, may every ‘barbarian’ in my destiny turn around and show me kindness in Jesus name”.

Have a Restful day!

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Today's Controversial Topics in the Church

Top Controversial Topics n the Church Today


Discernment is unquestionably necessary, even among several believers in the current culture.

What's the Christian take on gay marriage? Are spiritual gifts scriptural? Can Christians consume alcohol? These are the topics that frequently cause heated debate inside the church today. Christians take completely different opinions on these problems and each side makes reference to Scripture to aid their views.


Whatever your thoughts about all these topics, hopefully studying their list from the places that the church frequently encounters division will encourage us as Christ-supporters to shoot for unity inside our own places of worship as well as across denominations, because although there are much division and debate one of the broader church, there are also core doctrines that unite us.

ABORTION

Initially, one may think this subject isn't so questionable inside the church because it is between individuals within the church and individuals without. However, like a recent Pew Research Center study shows individuals who tell you they are religious yet don't affiliate themselves having a particular denomination really are mainly in support of abortion, with simply 17 % opposing it.


Still, most Christians are pre-existence, however, the subject remains a questionable one inside the church, especially with regards to the argument that pre-existence should mean more than merely "pro-birth."

GAY MARRIAGE

Gay marriage and whether it ought to be permitted within the church is unquestionably towards the top of their email list of contemporary-day questionable subjects. One do not need to search current headlines for lengthy to locate proof of this debate.


This problem is responsible for division among many denominations. The Presbyterian Church (USA) supports it, as the Presbyterian Church in the USA (PCA) yet others don't support it, for instance.


But possibly nowhere may be the debate surrounding this problem more widespread compared to the Anglican Church. Recently (as well as several weeks), the Anglican Church has softened its stance toward gay marriage and gay clergymen, but there's still much opposition. Some have known as around the church to become more welcoming of Gay and lesbian individuals, some go-to date as supporting gay local clergy and granting them the legal rights to do same-sex marriages, while some remain firmly dedicated to the standard meaning of marriage.

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP

The problem of ladies teaching/preaching in the church can rapidly become heated. Again, more conservative denominations are usually against women in leadership roles, while more liberal denominations have a tendency to accept it.


Lately, there's been a specific crisis about this problem with an upswing of Christian women bloggers. The internet presence and follower they have is substantial and it has caused some within Christianity to question their authority, while they aren't preaching/teaching inside a traditional church setting.

TYPE OF WORSHIP MUSIC

Contemporary or traditional? Hymns or modern worship songs? This really is certainly an element that has a tendency to spark debate within many places of worship. It's frequently a deciding factor if somebody chooses a church to fit in with. This problem also has a tendency to divide believers between older and more youthful generations.


Even certain instruments could be questionable. A drum kit may not be considered acceptable in certain places of worship, while another church might have a whole praise band having a full-range of instruments.

Some places of worship have tried to resolve the debate by utilizing both contemporary and traditional songs intermixed throughout their worship services.


SPIRITUAL GIFTS

Although spiritual gifts are pointed out several occasions within the New Testament, different church denominations have different interpretations of the items it genuinely way to have and employ a spiritual gift.

The spiritual gift of speaking in tongues is commonly probably the most questionable associated with a spiritual gift. While Pentecostals fully affirm this spiritual gift, other denominations go to date as so state that speaking in tongues as offending the Holy Spirit.


Other Christians embrace spiritual gifts as well as encourage congregants or church staffers to consider spiritual gift tests to determine where they're best equipped for everyone.

BAPTISM 

Although basically all places of worship practice baptism, baptism rituals in different denominations not just vary used however in theology. There's been a heated debate inside the church for hundreds of years on if the Bible promotes infant or only believer baptism.


More liturgical places of worship even tend to own the impression that baptism is important for salvation, while some don't appear to place lots of weight onto it. Some places of worship also baptize infants, but view it less proof of salvation, but instead like a commitment through the child's family and church body a single article the kid within the anxiety about god. In this manner, a baby baptism is much more just like a dedication from the child.


Still, other places of worship only baptize individuals who're of sufficient age to create a profession of belief that belongs to freedom.


Christians also provide opinions on where and how baptisms should occur--by sprinkling water, by flowing water on someone, or by full immersion.

POLITICS FROM THE PULPIT

Should ministers discuss politics or endorse a particular political party or view in the pulpit?

Churchgoers have completely different views about them, however, the debate is not limited to the church. Just recently President Trump signed a professional order ceasing enforcement from the Manley Amendment, which prohibited a church like a nonprofit entity from endorsing and promoting a specific political party or candidate. Many championed the manager order, stating that it gave places of worship more religious freedom, but others maintained that siding having a certain political party isn't something a church ought to be doing.

ALCOHOL

Can Christians drink alcohol? This question opens up all kinds of debate within the church. Many churchgoers believe Christians should completely stay away from alcohol, bars, and anything that has to do with drinking since the Bible condemns drunkenness and instructs Christ-followers to be sober-minded.

Other churchgoers, however, believe that consuming alcohol in moderation is not a sin. These Christians often argue their point from 1 Corinthians 8 in which the Apostle Paul says that "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak." Many take this to mean, by the context surrounding it, that drinking alcohol is permitted, but Christians should just be careful not to cause someone who is prone to alcohol abuse or someone who believes it is a sin to stumble in their faith by seeing another Christian drinking.


A church's views on alcohol can even be seen sometimes in the worship service; some churches use grape juice for Communion, while others use wine.


Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Equipping Women to Thrive

Is There a Place for Me? Equipping Women to Thrive

Is There a Place for Me? Equipping Women to Thrive
“Until I saw you, I didn’t know there was a place for me here.”

I had just finished hosting our services on Sunday morning, and a young woman came rushing up to me in the lobby to share this thought. I was a bit caught off guard. After all, I was simply facilitating the transition moments within the service. I wasn’t leading worship. I wasn’t preaching the message. I was for all intents and purposes doing the announcements.

Later that day her comment was still echoing in my mind. Something about a female being present on stage, sharing information, leading the congregation through something as simple as announcements spoke to her.

A few weeks later, I invited her to coffee because I needed to better understand what was resonating with her. Why did my presence on stage matter? As she drank her latte, she expressed that although she grew up in the local church, she never really felt like her gifts had a place. Her experience with the church suggested that the opportunities for women to serve were limited to children’s ministry of hospitality. While she respected and valued those ministries, they weren’t areas where she felt like her gifts were a great fit. As a young professional she loved communicating and leading. She flourished in sales presentations and leading teams. While she loved her local church, she had grown comfortable with attending regularly but found herself less and less involved.

She expressed to me that seeing another woman serving in a different capacity within the church helped her envision a place for her beyond her past experiences.  This gave her hope that there was a place in the church where she could contribute and thrive in her gifting.

Over the years I’ve heard countless stories like this one. I’ve also heard stories of women who didn’t see opportunities for them to serve inside their local church, so they devote their time and energy to other organizations in their community where their gifts are more visibly valued.

A PLACE FOR ALL

These stories all point to the same reverberating question: “Is there a place for me?”  As network and church leaders, this is a question we must address.

Do the women in our churches and in our communities know there is a place for their gifts and their talents to be unleashed in the local church?

Have we made it obvious in our network or church that every individual, male or female, is valued and vital to the church family? Can someone walk in on any Sunday and see women serving and flourishing in various areas within your church?  Is your network incorporating the gifts of women to maximize the efforts for Kingdom growth?

Today’s modern young woman does not see her place inside the church or church planting.  Her talents, gifts and God-given calling are walking out our doors and into the hands of businesses and other non-profits where all her gifts are welcomed and celebrated.

CREATING A CULTURE OF VALUE

Are you creating a culture at your network or church where women feel like their gifts are welcomed and valued?  I want to challenge you to be intentional and create a plan to more actively involve women in ministry.

Young women operate under the assumption that hospitality and kid’s ministries are the only areas for them to serve.  These were the opportunities they saw when they grew up in the church, and so they assume that those are still the acceptable options.

Will you accept the challenge to show them differently?  Will you show them that the church is eager for them to be a part of God’s Kingdom work through a variety of facets?

Women leaders will only know of other opportunities if we are actively showing them innovative and creative pathways for women to serve and flourish in their giftedness.

ACTION/REFLECTION

Wondering where to start?  Here are some questions for your leadership team to consider:


  • Where do women most visibly serve in your network or church?  The cafĂ©, the nursery?  How about production, on stage, on leadership teams?  How can we incorporate women into various facets of your network or church plant?


  • What percentage of your key leaders are women?


  • When do you offer women’s groups or training, and at what times?  Are they mostly during the day and targeted to moms?  Or do you have evening groups and subjects that connect with professional women and singles?  If you are not consciously creating opportunities for women, then you’re subconsciously marginalizing their value.


  • If you were a single, professional young woman would you be able to easily identify where you fit inside your church or network?


These questions will help you identify where you may be unintentionally communicating that there is very limited space for women to lead. I encourage you to think through these questions, discuss them with your leadership team, invite some women in your church or network to share their perspective, and then build a plan to more clearly create opportunities for women to serve.

The church needs all of the body, men, and women, using their gifts for the glory of God and the good of others!


Written by JENNI CATRON and first published on Send Institute website
Jenni Catron is a leadership coach, author, and speaker. Her passion is to lead well and to inspire, equip and encourage others to do the same. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults organizations on leadership, team culture, and organizational health.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Three Reasons Christian Men Should Love Strong Women

 Reasons Christian Men Should Love Strong Women

Women, if you are at all like me, you’ve most likely heard such things as “you’re too intimidating to guys” or “you must strong of opinions” or “men don’t want smart, strong women as if you. Inches Should you haven’t heard this stuff, I’m so glad for you personally. Comments such as these appear to point out that it is wrong to become a strong lady, or that it is looked lower upon to become brave, opinionated, blunt, or well-educated.

The choice is weak women. Simply writing individuals' words together makes me cringe. Is the fact that what we should want in today's world today? Really? Is the fact that what Christian men ought to be desiring?

Paul Maxwell asks exactly the same question: “Do we would like women to become weak? And also the answer must forever be, based on Scripture, ‘May it not be.’ Strong women are as critical as strong men to God’s purpose within the church.”

It isn't simply because I’m a lady who I accept him. After I browse the tales of ladies within the Bible, I do not see weakness. I do not see women being quiet or holding back or residing in fear. I see women like Mary humbly and fearlessly giving their lives for that will from the Lord, saying “May your word in my experience be satisfied.” There is nothing timid for the reason that lady, and that I don’t want there to become such weakness in females today either.

In my opinion, women ought to be strong, which real men of belief should love strong women for those they're.

Strong women raise believing men

In 1 Timothy 1:5, we have seen Paul reference the force and belief of both Timothy’s mother and grandmother. A lot of us have fathers who're absent or disengaged, and the existence of strong women within our lives is really an effective one. “We reside in a world where we want strong women to create men strong,” Maxwell states, “because sometimes there are simply no men there to get it done. Inches For those who have a powerful lady inside your existence that has helped shape your belief and lift you right into a believing adult, thank them and praise God on their behalf. “In a time where fathers frequently neglect to give the present of belief for their children, the long run frequently hangs on the effectiveness of women to achieve that gospel work,” states Maxwell.


Strong women expose evil men 

There are many tales through the Bible that illustrate this well, and Maxwell highlights Jael’s story in Idol judges 4. This lady drove a tent peg with the temple assertive who had been an opponent of those of God-- “Thank God Jael wasn’t meek and submissive and sincere toward this friend of her wayward husband,” he states. “She wasn’t someone to be trampled on. Strong women reject the demands of evil men.” I’m advised from the story of teen Malala Yousafzai who “spoke out from the Taliban regime which had surpassed her rural township and banned women from schools,” Crosswalk.com adding author Jeffrey Huston stated in the overview of the film about her existence. “By the time she was 15, Malala’s voice became so influential the Taliban released a murder attempt on her behalf existence - and nearly been successful.” She, too, would be a strong lady prepared to risk her existence to talk out from the evil men around her, and also the world knows her name due to her bravery.

Strong women rebuke good men

Let’s take a look at Abigail’s story present in 1 Samuel 25. David was getting down to kill Nabal (an average, surly man) who had been married to Abigail (referred to as intelligent and delightful). Abigail knows what is going to happen, and she or he would go to David by having an offering of food, wine, and sheep to try and change things. “In short, Abigail cautioned: ‘Be careful. Don’t make use of your power in a manner that could make you guilty,’” Maxwell states. I know it was not what David desired to hear for the reason that moment, as he desired to lash out, use his pressure, and finish the existence of the foolish man… however, it was what he required to hear. The finish of chapter 25 shows David thanking Abigail on her good judgment as well as for keeping him from bloodshed. “Strong women rebuke good men, who require assistance in their weaknesses, who require someone to assist them to observe how to become strong,” Maxwell states.


Women, be strong. Be bold and brave inside your belief, and live humbly operating to the good Father. And men? Pay attention to what Maxwell states: “Real men love strong women, because God’s glory is gorgeous, and ‘woman may be the glory of man’ (1 Corinthians 11:7).” Never be afraid of women of strength, but recognition them and provide your lives alongside these to bring God praise.


Let’s celebrate strong, brave, beautiful, effective women of belief. And men, love individuals strong women well.

The Reason Theology Matters in Business

A Quick Guide to Christian Business Theology


When I attended theology school (2008-2010), the professors never discussed business. (Although most of my former seminary classmates are now working in for-profit companies, in seminary, we were instead becoming prepared for pulpit ministry or to become seminary professors.)

When I attended business school (2010-2011), the professors never discussed the Bible. (Although I didn’t attend a “Christian” business school, I have learned that one could scarcely tell the difference of the teaching in a Christian business school classroom from that of a secular business school. Usually, Christian universities are simply content to find someone who can teach business who will identify as a Christian by signing a “statement of faith”, ensuring that the professor is at least a Christian in name only.)

I can’t blame my professors for not helping me to develop a well-formed theology of business. In most cases, they simply didn’t have one themselves. Their own professors probably didn’t have one, and their pastors likely didn’t have one either.

It wasn’t until after my theology and business schooling that I realized I had not yet done the deeper work of discovering what the Bible says about business matters. Since then, I have written two books, recorded over 110 podcast interviews, written dozens of blog posts, and produced an entire course to highlight what the Bible teaches about business.

During this time, I have discovered that many others share this same hunger to know God’s will for the marketplace and for our individual assignments within it.

How we see God is how we see business


Richard Hooker, a prominent 16th-century Anglican priest, defined “theology” as “the science of things divine”.

Augustine of Hippo defined the Latin equivalent, theologia, as “reasoning or discussion concerning the Deity”.

Theology literally means “the study of God”, and none of us will completely figure God out on this side of eternity … no matter how much we study Him. What’s important is that we never stop our pursuit of knowing Him. We must never settle for assuming we’ve reached some sort of enlightened nirvana state where we don’t need to keep learning and growing.

The Bible says “we know in part” (1 Corinthians 13:9a). This limited “part” is what you know about God and how you view the world in relation to Him. As a Christian, this “part” is your theology, and my “part” is my theology.

Within the framework of your theology, there is a certain way you view the issues of life in relation to God (e.g. business, politics, parenting, education, congregational worship, etc.). The way you view God focuses (or distorts) the lens through which you view all the issues of life.

This is why medieval scholars viewed theology as the “queen of the sciences”. Logically, they believed they couldn’t master any other fields of study in creation, whether commerce or otherwise, apart from knowing our Creator.

And neither can we.

Elements of a Well-Formed Theology of Business


While we all have a theology of business, far fewer of us have what could be considered a “well-formed” Christian theology of business in relation to the Bible.

A well-formed theology of business must include a robust, Bible-based perspective on issues such as these:

*The purpose of business
*How marketplace Christians fit into church structure, government, and mission
*How spiritual gifts apply to the marketplace
*The intrinsic value of work
*A biblical framework for all business disciplines: economics, innovation, management, marketing, sales, accounting, finance, entrepreneurship, human resources, strategic planning, business law, technology, negotiations
*The Holy Spirit’s activity in the marketplace
*Evangelism and apologetics strategies/methods for the marketplace
*Church history that highlights key marketplace Christians, Christ-centered companies, and marketplace movements
*How to approach ethical quandaries in business from a Holy Spirit-led, Bible-based perspective
*Biblical teaching for business owners, managers, customers, investors, advisors, consumers, and all other stakeholders of a company
*The role of business in shaping culture

Modern Expressions of Business Theology


If you were to interview Christian business professionals and ask them how God, the Bible, and the Christian faith relate to business, many different concepts would emerge–whether explicitly or implicitly.

Going further into the interview, you might be able to categorize the Christian’s predominant theology of business into one or more of these seven categories, which tend to emphasize certain element(s) of business theology over others:

1. Evangelism focused: business as mission, business as/is a ministry, marketplace ministry
2. Ethics focused: ethical capitalism, biblical business
3. Philanthropy focused: strategic philanthropy, Kingdom builders (typically a ministry of an institutional church aimed at increasing donations to the local church)
4. Goodness-of-work focused: the theology of work, work as worship
5. Social-justice focused: social entrepreneurship, community capitalism, liberation theology
6. Culture-shaping focused: Seven mountains mandate, Kingdom business
7. Employee-care focused: servant leadership

Certainly, there are more, but these are some of the categories that seem to be most commonly espoused by Christians. As you will notice, some of their expressions are more consistent with orthodox Christian theology than others.

How would you categorize your personal theology of business?

Factors That Form a Person’s Theology of Business


Even if we’re not aware of it, we all have a theology of business, which is shaped (or warped) by many different factors. Here are a few of the major ones:

-Family upbringing
-Religious, denominational, and church background
-Political affiliation and background
-Conversion story
-Spiritual gifts
-Negative experiences in business
-Positive experiences in business
-Personality
-Presence (or absence) of an admirable or dishonorable Christian business owner in a person’s life
-Socio-economic and cultural context

To be sure, one’s theology of business also makes a reciprocal impact on many of the items listed above.

Our Opportunity


The academic field of business theology is both fertile and somewhat uncultivated at present, and the People of God (aka., the Church) are in great need of Christians who are equipped with a robust Christian theology of business. I am not aware of an area with a more urgent need for disciple-making than the marketplace.

Currently, the aim of the Theology of Business Institute is to present a biblical framework for every major topic that is taught in MBA programs today.

We are also focused on developing a more robust perspective on the courses being taught in today’s seminaries and Bible schools to ensure that the marketplace receives the theological attention it so desperately needs.

Would you consider your theology of business to be “well-formed”? In which areas does your theology of business need to be developed?


By Darren Shearer


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