Author Archive for: admin_paul

Colossians 2

06 Jun
June 6, 2013

I am really excited to be speaking on Col 2  this Sunday at Stonebrook! The more I study it the more important this passage seems to me.

Do you ever struggle with your motivation as a Christian?

Do you ever feel like we do to much?

Do feel like a failure as a Christian if you don’t do __________?

Do you ever feel like your relationship with God has become a list of rules?

Do you feel judged by others because you don’t do ______________ or do _____________?

Do you ever feel twisted around by all the conflicting ideas out there in the world on self improvement?

We so often focus on the externals. Externals are easy to measure and sometimes the only way to measure where we are at. But focusing on them draws us away from what is the substance, the heart, the base of our faith- Christ and his work.

We desperately need Col 2 before we get to Col 3 with its commands to put off and put on. Col 2 is the motivation and heart of how Col 3 starts with “seek the things that are above”.

The LT Greenhouse – An Artificial Structure

30 May
May 30, 2013

A summer leadership training program is an artificial structure – it’s not “real life”.
I told the students that in Wisconsin Dells as we kicked off the Dells LT. We live in very close quarters, meet daily for prayer, music, sharing the word and all eat together for breakfast and dinner. Many people even work together and reach out to their coworkers together. During college, summers afford us these sorts of opportunities. The opportunity to enter a greenhouse to encourage spiritual growth, to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones and to build new relationships across regional lines.
In Acts when 3,000 people were added in a day God used an artificial structure in order to establish his young Church. They met together daily in the temple courts and from house to house, devoting themselves to the apostles teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and the prayers.
In “real life” we simply cannot maintain this lifestyle and as we see in Acts they didn’t either, they got chased out of Jerusalem and went about living out the lifestyle of disciples and disciple-makers.
Our goal with the Dells LT is to spend this summer in a greenhouse growing together and then head back to real life in the fall as disciples and disciple-makers.

Wisconsin Dells

24 May
May 24, 2013

Well we’ve been up here in the Dells for about a week now working hard at getting this program off the ground. We’ve had most of our 32 students show up, got them moved into the motel that we rented out for the summer, secured a meeting space and a place for meals complete with second hand stove and two refrigerators and started in on training in evangelism and all the rest.

We told the students from the beginning “it’s an artificial system” – this is not real life. We have the opportunity to live close to one, another share meals, hear great teaching and receive extra training, work together, reach out together… just like they did early in Acts!  In Acts persecution drove them out of Jerusalem, for us it will be school, work and different home churches – basically real life will return. God used that special “artificial system” early in Acts to get his church trained up and sent out. That’s our goal here too – let’s get people trained and sent back to their campuses on fire to make disciples.

Yesterday I took the 10 or so students who weren’t working to a park where we spent about three and a half hours spending time alone with God. Above is a picture of the Wisconsin River that runs along the park we were at. It was a beautiful spot!

Do the work of an Evangelist

10 May
May 10, 2013

2 Timothy 4:5 (ESV)
As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Paul is readying Timothy to be without him so he rapid fires commands at him here calling him to be serious, suffer, evangelize and fulfill his ministry. Some think that Timothy had the gift of an evangelist and they then exclude this as a command for all elders (or even believers as a whole). Others will go that distance and call everyone to this role of an evangelist.

We are obviously all called to make disciples in Matt 28, so I think there is a lot of room here to take this command and apply it broadly. Also Paul seems to imply that Timothy was a timid person (2 Tim 1:7). The timid are rarely thought of as those gifted as evangelists.

What do you think?

Should we all do the work of an evangelist? Why wouldn’t we?

Believe – Serve – Mature

02 May
May 2, 2013

I’ve been reading a book lately that is advocating getting people out in the gospel and discipling others quickly. I’m all for that – but felt like one of their reasons for doing so was a little … different.

The book states that there is an order to the events in Eph 4

Ephesians 4:11-16 (ESV)
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

NOT “believe – mature – serve” BUT RATHER “believe – serve – mature”

Maybe it’s because I’ve never heard this before but this has made me think. It’s coming at the process from a different perspective certainly.

The book doesn’t seem to be saying that it has to be this way, just that we can (and should) grow through serving – that it is more healthy for the church to do so.

I’m still thinking it through…

What do you think?