MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

I Wish She Came With an Owners Manual

July 6th, 2014 Viewed 836 times, 1 so far today
This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series The Complete Husband
737353: The Complete Husband
The Complete Husband
By Lou Priolo

Guys, let’s face it. There are some times that you wish she came with an owner’s manual. Something that would tell you all kinds of things about her:

  • Proper care and maintenance.
  • How to read her emotional meters.
  • Ways to make her run at optimal efficiency.
  • What to do when something goes wrong.

The truth is, she does come with a manual, it just needs to be extracted and written down:

The reason that you’ve never seen it is because it’s tucked away in her heart. Deep down in her heart is all the personal information you need to understand and nurture your wife according to the Bible.

Was That Really the Holy Spirit?

January 12th, 2010 Viewed 1021 times

Bible I know that we should always judge what we experience by what the Bible says. An experience that did not come from Him must come from somewhere else. But when I read something like this in my comments on preaching I’m left with a question:

Will do! My daughter has to preach in four different churches EVERY Sunday – one of them in a foreign language. Well, foreign to her. She has six parishes in all. But I know that once (at least) she felt the Holy Spirit prompting her to preach quite spontaneously on a different subject to the one she’d lined up. I’m sure He’ll do the same for you if necessary.

So, my question is… if I don’t believe the Bible supports women in the ministry, who gave this woman’s daughter the words to say? Or, to ask it a different way, if she attributes the call of the Holy Spirit to a natural phenomenon, what does that say about others that do the same?

What Should a Baptist Think of Widening Pentecostal Influence?

July 1st, 2008 Viewed 1646 times, 1 so far today

praises 5

According to a 2006 poll, a 10 nation survey found that Pentecostal and charismatic Christians are considered to be the fastest-growing stream of Christianity worldwide.

The poll released Thursday by the Washington-based Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that “spirit-filled” Christians, who speak in tongues and believe in healing through prayer, comprise at least 10 percent of the population in nine of the 10 surveyed countries.

Are We Too Much Fun?

July 26th, 2007 Viewed 1484 times, 1 so far today
This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series VBS in the 21st Century

One of the hardest questions I think that a church activity has to answer is are we trying to be too much fun.  The question that I believe we are trying to answer, though, is scary in its bluntness:

“Why should someone want to come to my church activity?”

Our answer to this question will say a lot about our ministry, what we think of God and the message that we have to give.  What I find interesting is that traditionally the feature that “sold” Christianity was salvation from sin.  Sure, there’s the promise of Heaven, and the chance to escape Hell, but when a preacher came on the scene and proclaimed the Word, people came forward, lives were changed, and a world was impacted.

Now, we have to hope that we can get a famous person to come.  Or we have to stress about what activities we have planned.  We’re concerned about if children think that we’re fun, and we’re moving as quickly as we can out of the lesson and to the times that we think the kids enjoy more: refreshments, crafts, game time, and openings/closings.  Does something seem amiss here?

Tuesday, Michelle Potter, commented that a community that she was involved with held an all day VBS.  The more I think about this, the more interested I become.  If you start to think about parents sending kids with enrollment forms (relieves the pressure of wondering whether the kids will come back), different classes you could have, more exposure, and leveraging the Christians in the community you think– whew– that’s a lot of work.

But after you get over that, you begin to wonder why we don’t do this more.  Partner churches together.  Maybe make it more than one week.  Esp if you have a church school.

Or are we just not really all that serious about reaching the lost as we say we are?

Who’s the Target?

July 25th, 2007 Viewed 1748 times
This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series VBS in the 21st Century

One of the biggest questions we must answer when it comes to Vacation Bible School is who the target audience is.  There are two audiences that always vie for attention in the Christian church– the churched and the unchurched.  The one that you’re targeting makes all the difference in your approach.

Targeting the Unchurched Child

This target has many advantages.  They don’t know most of the Bible stories, so everything’s fresh and new.  They have interesting questions that churched children may already have the answers to or may never thought of.  They may be looking for answers.  They may be lost and in need of a Savior.  They’re not going to a church, so they could join your church.

In this setting, it’s important to have simple Bible Stories that focus on sin and forgiveness.  You don’t need to dwell on the Hebrew and Greek.  Your goal is simply to show them their need for a Savior and pray that the Holy Spirit does His work and they come to a saving knowledge of Christ.

Targeting the Churched Child

The churched child is a different ball game.  They know all the Bible stories and can probably tell you parts that you didn’t even remember.  They are familiar with all the leaders, and don’t have a problem “spoiling” the climatic ending.  They generally have already expressed faith in Christ for salvation, and therefore do not benefit as much from the reminders of their faith.

Here I believe that the biggest benefit to them would be in learning life application lessons– or even better, that they would learn how to study the Word of God themselves.  Too many Sunday School classes and other places where they hear about God’s Word are focused on the stories, but not how to draw life lessons out of it.  These children need to be equipped to be reaching their peers.  They could be a valuable aid to reaching the lost, but they don’t need to hear the salvation message again.

Mixed Targets

If you have a mixed audience you have to choose your topics carefully, or offer separate classes.  What you will need to do is always have a strong salvation message, but offer life application messages as well.  You may also need to incorporate some discipleship training into your presentation so that everyone can learn to read from the Bible.

What’s the target of your church’s VBS?  How well do you think your church does in reaching the target?

Prayer

June 24th, 2007 Viewed 1481 times
This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series How To Reach Them

The biggest impact that we can ever make is getting on our knees before the Throne of God.  You see, we can think of great plans, and try to do many things in our own strength, but without the working of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those we are trying to reach, our efforts will be in vain.

Pray for the Lost to Seek Christ

The size of the hurdle that is between the Lost Soul and Christ seems to grow higher each day.  Secular Humanism is running rampant in our schools, our colleges, and from society.  The concepts of “if it feels good do it” and the “I’ve got to have it my way right now” are in full force through advertisements, money, etc.  Philosophers have declared God dead.  Science has tried to explain how we got here through chance.  And churches are trying to become like the world in order to reach them.

Friend Day

June 10th, 2007 Viewed 1944 times
This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series How To Reach Them

One thing that we tried this year (to little success, I’m sorry to say) was to have a Friend Day.  This is a day that’s planned well in advance so that you have time to talk to your friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc. about coming to church.  The point of the service is to have a strong evangelistic message while going out of our way to make visitors feel welcome.

There are many different ways to do a Friend Day.  One of them suggests the Pastor inviting someone from the local city with some degree of position (i.e. the Mayor, Police Chief, etc) and then showing the congregation a letter that the person will be attending.  Then the Deacons would do the same.

Meet Them Where They Are

April 29th, 2007 Viewed 4324 times
This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series How To Reach Them

An often misused piece of Scripture is Paul’s statement that he has become all things to all men that he might win some.  I say misused because people have taken this Scripture to give them liberty to do things that would harm the name of Christ and emphasizes a “ends justifies the means” mentality.

Still, it will no longer do to just sit in our churches and expect the unsaved to come to us looking for answers.  Seriously, there are few instances now where the unsaved are turning to the churches for anything. There is no natural respect for the church or what it stands for, and this generation does not have the desire to return to church.  Since this is the case, we need to be out meeting them where they are.

Three Keys to Witnessing Like an Apostle

March 18th, 2007 Viewed 1639 times

The effect of the Apostles on the first century landscape was incredible.  They were able to see 3,000 people come to know Christ on Pentecost.  Everywhere they went they saw people following them, coming to Christ, and creating churches.

What is the difference between our time and theirs?  Well, there are few things that they did differently that come to mind, and I’d like to share these observations with you and see if you have some others.

They Spent A Lot of Time in Prayer

After Christ went back to Heaven he gave the Disciples a command to wait for the Spirit.  So, what did they do?  They went back to the Upper Room and prayed.  They did this constantly until the Spirit came on in power– but they didn’t stop praying.  In fact, we see through out Acts that when they were captured, they went back to where everyone was praying.  They realized that they would only be able to do what God wanted them to with His strength.

Godly Wife: Who Trains the Children?

February 6th, 2007 Viewed 3442 times
This entry is part 10 of 18 in the series Godly Wife

Being bored and having a television is a bad combination. You can find yourself watching things that are borderline or that you only find acceptable because “you have nothing else to do.” That being said, I have learned something important from the Nanny 911 / Supernanny combination about raising children– the parents have a whole lot more to do with it than they usually think.

The few times that I have seen this show, the nanny who has to come in to straighten out the mess finds two parents that are not on the same page as far as discipline, privileges, involvement, etc. They are either detached, the kid’s friends, or they simply do not agree and the anger between the parents shows in the children.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.