Saturday, July 23, 2011
Is the Church of Jesus Christ doing a good job or a poor job of communicating to her members the need to incorporate the principles of faith into every aspect of their life, home life, work life, and social life? I contend that the Church of Jesus Christ is suffering from "Compartmentalized Christianity" meaning that when it's time for corporate worship and ministry related activities, alot of Christians un pack their faith, but as soon as corporate worship and their ministry related activity has come to an end, they fold up their faith and neatly tuck it away until the next worship service or ministry activity. This has been weighing heavy upon me and I'm wondering if it's just me. Well, I've been wrestling with launching a series entitled, "Conquering Compartmentalized Christianity". I would love to hear your thoughts, feedback and even suggestions as how to best approach building and presenting the series. Thanks in advance. By the way, I'm back!!!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
The call to salvation is a call to Christian ministry. Yet, as a pastor, I wonder if we truly understand this great Christian truth. Well, based on the 80/20 principle, the answer is a resounding no. With this reality, God has impressed upon my heart to mobilize more of our members to engage in ministry. God has given us (pastor and people) the specific charge of Ministering to the Whole Man: Mind, Body & Soul. I Thessalonians 5:23-24. For the next several weeks and months, we will be placing great emphasis on this theme in pulpit and Bible study ministry. I wanna post for your viewing, use and edification the past two messages:
The Measure of Effective Ministry
Effective ministry is measured by the churches ability to transform the lives of men and empower them to spiritually stand and walk on their own.
Many churches and pastors are guilty of measuring the effectiveness of their ministries by the size of their membership, budgets, facilities and ministry programs. Yet, Willow Creek Community Church and Bill Hybel will tell you that these are the wrong criterias to measure ministry effectiveness. The truth of the matter is, many of us will never pastor or be a member of a 20,ooo--multi-million dollar congregation. And so, we must measure the effectiveness of our ministries not by the aforementioned criterias, but we must measure our ministry effectiveness on our ability to transform the lives of men and empower them to stand and walk on their own. Acts 3:1-10, provides for us a picture of what, I think effective ministry looks like, upon effective discipleship.
Transitional Sentence: If the church is going to transform men lives and empower them to stand and walk on their own, the church must be...we must offer... we must...
I. Attentive of the Lame in our Path-(4-5)
A. We must be Attentive to the Appeal of the Lame
B. We must be Attentive to the Antidote for the Lame
II. Alternatives for the Lame to Ponder-(6)
A. We must offer the Lame an Eternal Alternative
B. We must offer the Lame an Empowering Alternative
III. Apprehend the Lame Personally-(7)
A. We must Apprehend the Lame Personally to Fully Elevate Them
B. We must Apprehend the Lame Personally to Firmly Establish Them
A Heart For Ministry
II Corinthians 8:16-17
Godly love will motivate the hearts of Believers in Christ Jesus to personally and passionately engage in redemptive ministry
Transitional Sentence: A heart for ministry is...
I. Supernaturally Produced-(16)
A. God Implants a Heart for Ministry
B. God Influences the Heart towards Ministry
II. Stimulated by Passion-(16b)
A. Titus had Passion for the Saints of God
B. Titus had Passion for the Service of God
III. Satifies the Petition-(17a)
A. Shares the Load
B. Serves the Lord
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Today, we had a great worship experience. God be praised for the warm fellowship, inspirational singing and the ministry of the word!!! In addition to great worship, we shared in the Lord's table and baptized a new member. Today, I finished up a two part message entitled, "When a man encounters Jesus". Here is a skeleton outline of the message from Luke 19:1-10.
When a man encounters Jesus
Thesis: When a man encounters Jesus in salvation his nature and way of life will change
I. when a man encounters Jesus in salvation, it's DIVINELY CALCULATED-(5)
A. Jesus Sought Zaccheaus
B. Jesus Selected Zaccheaus
C. Jesus Saved Zaccheaus
II. when a man encounters Jesus in salvation there is DEMANDED COMPLIANCE-(6)
A. Zaccheaus Complied to the word of the Lord
B. Zaccheaus Complied to the will of the Lord
C. Zaccheaus Complied to the weight of the Lord
III. when a man encounters Jesus in salvation there will be DEMONSTRATIVE CHANGE-(8)
A. Zaccheaus personally Gave in to Christ
B. Zaccheaus pledged to Give up what he Cherished
C. Zaccheaus promised to Give back to those he Cheated
IV. when a man encounters Jesus in salvation there is DIVINE CONFIDENCE-(9)
A. Jesus Assures Zaccheaus of his Salvation
B Jesus Assures Zaccheaus of his Sonship
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Last night, the Missionary General Baptist Convention of Texas, the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., and the Louisiana State Foreign Mission held a joint worship service as a apart of M.G.B.C. T December Board Meeting in Texas City, to partner together to bring relief to those who have been displaced and devasted by hurricane Ike along the Texas Coast. To witness the cooperation and feel the passion of these groups come together to bring about hope and healing in a tangible way, renewed my faith in the work of "conventions". God be praised for this demonstration of what it means to be followers of Christ!!!
I also praise God for Dr. Wallace S. Hartsfield, Pastor Emeritus of the Metropolitian Missionary Baptist Church in Kansas, MO and Vice President at large of NBCA, Inc., who preached a challenging, electrifying and timely message entitled, A Hopeful Vision in the mist of a Painful History from Ezekiel 1:1, Mark 6:34;45-51. He brought the house down, as he challenged us to expect God to show up and in due season, make everything alright. Also, he challenged us to be compassionate, put our resources in the hands of the master and envision ourselves as servants of Christ that give ourselves for the relief of others. Also, Dr. Stephen J. Thurston, President of NBCA, Inc. was present along with representive leaders from Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention.
Last night, I witnessed the fleshing out of Ecclesiastes 4:9, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work" NIV. Again, God be praised for these various groups standing as one to affect change and provide much needed relief and hope to people who seek to resurrect their lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Hello, my fellow bloggers. I know, it's been awhile, but in the words of Jack Nicholson, I'm Back. For the past month, I've been preaching, planning two national conferences, traveling and not to mention my pastoral and family responsibilities. I dont profess to have the preaching schedule of a Frank Ray, H.B. Charles, Jr., or Clinton McFarland, but I've been busy. Well, that's my story and I'm sticking with it.
This past sunday, I finished up a series of messages in which I entitled, Be-Attitudes. The first message came from Acts 27:21-25, entitled, Be of Good Cheer. The second message came from Philippians 4:4-9, entitled, Be Careful for Nothing. The third message came from Romans 12:1-2, entitled, Be Ye Transformed. The fourth message came from Philippians 4:10-13, entitled, Be Content and the final message came from I Corinthians 15:58, entitled, Be Ye Steadfast. Those who are interested in receiving the full outline to any of the aforementioned messages, I'll be glad to share them with you freely.
As I prepare to lead our congregation to close out the year strong, I'm torn between starting a series of messages on prayer or on the I am statements of Jesus. I will tell you that I've already begun studying John 6:35;48-51, but please pray that the Lord's will be done.
It has been my custom for the past three years to intentionally operate from my home office during the last two months of the year, as I seek God's direction for this incoming year. This year, our theme was Back To The Basics through Evangelism, Discipleship and Missions based on Matthew 28:16-20. This incoming year, our theme will be Ministering to the Whole Man: Mind, Body and Soul based on I Thessalonians 5:23-24.
I praise God that he has brought us to this point in human history and used us to win souls to Christ, disciple believers and support 4 missionary pastors in West Africa. I pray that God will use pastor and people to minister to the whole man in 2009. Fellow pastors and preachers, please keep us in your prayers and i will do the same. In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, I'll Be Back.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I know that worship is a lifestyle and is not restricted to the sanctuary. However, every sunday, I look forward to corporate worship with my Matthian family. Ok, I must confess that there have been a few occassions, when I wanted to stay home and enjoy the warmth of my bed. But on this Lord's Day, I was truly excited about corporate worship and was eager to continue our sermon series, "Be-Attitudes". I mean, I woke up perky, I offered a word of thanksgiving, showered and tuned into the live broadcast of Pastor H. B. Charles, Jr. I was fired up and then corporate worship begun and so did my frustration. My frustration was the result of a fading microphone system, a dragging song service, poor worship flow and not to mention a lukewarm atmosphere.
As a worship leader, I believe that the over all worship service should communiticate the gospel of Jesus Christ and not just certain aspects of the worship service. Therefore, I believe every aspect of the worship service should be carefully planned with allowance for the Holy Spirit to breathe upon it. I believe that every aspect of the worship should move towards a central theme or message for that particular Lord's day. I know that certain aspects of the worship service carries more weight than other parts of the worship services with those who attend worship services any given sunday. But, I contend that the average visiting worshiper, weighs the over all message of the worship service as a decisive factor for church membership.
Well, how does a preacher overcome his personal frustration and offer his preachment as an act of worship to the Lord? Prayer and faith. Pray for spiritual focus and trust the providence of God. I thank God for the spiritual discipline of prayer and the assurance of answered prayer. The Lord answered my prayer and I was glad about it.
Here is the message outline for message #3 in the sermon series entitled, "Be-Attitudes."
Be Ye Transformed
Thesis: God commands believers in Jesus Christ to participate in their own spiritual transformation by placing their lives at his disposal once and for all.
Transitional Sentence: Spiritual Transformation that results in holy living and services to God, requires..., requires that we... and it requires that our...
I. Absolute Commitment of Self-(1)
A. The Motivation for our Commitment-(mercies of God)
B. The Measurement for our Commitment-(living, holy and acceptable)
C. The Mentality of our Commitment-(reasonable service)
II. Avoid Conformity to Society-(2a)
A. Avoid Conformity to the Pressures of Society
B. Avoid Conformity to the Patterns of Society
C. Avoid Conformity to the Passions of Society
III. Attitude Changes Spiritually-(2b)
A. A Spiritual Attitude is Demanded by the Word of God
B. A Spiritual Attitude is the Divine Work of God
C. A Spiritual Attitude Discerns the Will of God
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The Pastor/Preacher, especially in the African-American church is widely and ignorantly sterotyped as being money lovers. Over the years, I have heard my share of saints and aint's, but mostly saints, who purport the notion that all the Black Pastor/Preacher wants is the churches money. I must confess that there have been times when this sterotype has been true of some black and some white ministers. However, in a larger demographic context, this sterotype is simply untrue. There are countless Pastors/Preachers across this nation, black and white, who faithfully fulfill their calling and stewardship responsibilities without regards to money. Speaking from an African- American perspective and as an African-American Pastor, most African-American churches fall short, when it comes to their stewardship responsibility towards their Pastor. This in no way justifies the behavior of a few, but it does offer a talking point as why some feel tempted to do so. I believe, that if more congregations understood their biblical stewardship responsibility towards their Pastors and more Pastors taught biblical stewardship to their congregations, the number of ministers who are tempted to steal money will be greatly reduced. I believe biblical stewardship must become a priority of both pastor and people. I further believe that those pastors and congregations who fully understand their stewardship responsibilities towards each other will be more fruitful for the kingdom. Fellow pastors, remember that we have no earthly union rep or lobbyist, but we do have God's word. I have discovered in my limited tenure in pastoral ministry that if we take care of God's buisness, he will take care of our buisness. So preach on preachers!!!