THIS SUNDAY, 10/17
- Sammy wraps up his series based on his vision for BHBC. This week’s focus is “Go.”
Between Services and After the 10:45 Service IN THE COMMONS
Information About BHBC Ministries & Mission Opportunities will be Displayed!
You can also pick up OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD BOXES
- One table will represent our small group ministry (Sunday School & Wed. evenings).
- Should you have anything specific you would like for me to include let me know.
The question is not only, “Was there strong Bible teaching?”, but also, “Was there strong Bible learning?” This week’s tip: Spiritual Growth Inventory
Notice I didn’t say Spiritual GIFT Inventory, but rather Spiritual GROWTH Inventory.
I mentioned in a long-past, previous email how important it is to have realistic, reachable, measurable goals. Most leaders find it easy to create realistic goals, but a solid “system of measure?” Not so much.
We’ve spent a good amount of time visiting in staff meetings about this very topic. I would like to share the System of Measure our University Pastor, Shawn Coleman, has used for several years.
First, and very importantly, an inventory of one’s spiritual growth should be between God and the individual, private and confidential. A Spiritual Growth Inventory is not designed to be shared or seen by any person other than the person who it concerns. Simply put, it’s between them/us and God.
Now, here’s Shawn’s System of Measure:
- At the beginning of each semester, Shawn hands out a sheet of paper and an envelope to each student.
- He asks the students to write down areas in their life in which they desire to see themselves grow in their Christian faith. Perhaps they see a need to begin a spiritual discipline, or remove an area that is impeding their spiritual growth.
- He allows as much time as necessary for this, and encourages them to take it home and finish if necessary.
- He asks the students to seal the envelope and hand them in to him. He simply keeps them in a safe place, unopened.
- At the close of the semester he distributes the still-sealed envelopes to the students so they can read them privately and take inventory of where they are in light of their desires expressed a few months prior.
One caveat: Because of society’s ethos for “works-based approval” i.e. “If I perform well enough, I am love and have value,” any Spiritual Growth Inventory can potentially turn legalistic. Help your class understand the doctrine of grace without compromising devotion and spiritual discipline. God’s love for us is not based on what we do and don’t do – God’s love for us is fixed, inexorably, on Christ’s work on the Cross. But, God longs for us to “leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity.” This is a command, not a suggestion.
So, consider this System of Measure. And, if the Holy Spirits leads, implement it.
WE ALL HAVE THEM: Ministries we neither asked for nor wanted.
Is it really possible? Can God bring miraculous glory out of unspeakable pain?
You bet he can. If we’ll let him. (Everyone of the biblical prophets will testify to this being true.)
I have two quick, personal examples I am strongly convicted to share with you:
- Dallas Baptist University: Jonathan Mansur is a youth pastor friend of mine (he’s now lead pastor at FBC, Willow Park, near Ft. Worth). Jonathan and I served at Super Summer (a huge youth camp) on the campus of HSU in Abilene together for several years. He is a cherished friend. This past Spring, he texted me with the link I’ve provided for you below. It’s the testimony of a young man named Carey Williams, a former student of Jonathan’s, during chapel at DBU. If you would listen to what Carey says beginning at the 22:40 mark and listening until the 28:30 mark (only 6 minutes), you will (1) hear Carey’s brutally honest story of holding a gun to his head, and (2) better understand how making the difficult choice to accept a “ministry we never wanted” can change the world. Listen to Carey’s story here.
- Lubbock Christian University: I have enjoyed attending the Lanier Lectures at LCU. They continue to bring in renowned, engaging and relevant speakers. The first time I attended, I listened to Oxford’s Alister McGrath. And just yesterday evening, 10/12, I listened to professor/author/apologist, Dr. Paul Copan, who holds the Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy & Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University. I have four of Copan’s books so I was very interested in hearing him. The venue was full. And his lecture was outstanding. After his lecture I was headed back to my car, but the Holy Spirit kept telling me, “Go introduce yourself to Dr. Copan.” I did not want to. But, I did. He was so kind and personable. I very quickly shared how Jesus used Christian apologetics to help me find my way back “home” after my son took his life. He looked at me and said,
“I speak to so many people who have suffered so much pain in so many different ways. Could I have your contact information and use you as a resource? There are people I come in contact with that you will be able to help better than I can.”
- I stood there in stunned disbelief. And then said yes. He graciously allowed me to get a photo with him. Have you suffered in life? (Of course, you have.) Stand back and watch God use it for the saving of many lives. Only God can give this kind of purpose to our pain.
Well, why not use a comment Dr. Copan stated during his lecture?
During opening comments, Copan addressed neo-atheist/author, Daniel Dennett. Dennett is famous for his book, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. Copan said,
“Dennett asserts that anything that is not scientifically verifiable is not true. Of course, his assertion is self-defeating since it cannot be verified scientifically. To be clear, Dennett’s statement is not scientific, but philosophical.”
Science is necessarily agnostic. It offers no opinion as to whether or not God exists. What science does is provide information – evidence. And the evidence is overwhelming for the existence of God.
QUOTE(s) of the WEEK
This week’s first quote is short – yet profound. For all facing uncertain or unsettling seasons of life. From Lewis’ Chronicles…
I’m currently reading Jared Wilson’s, The Gospel According to Satan: Eight Lies About God That Sound Like Truth. In a world of rampant relativism, biblical truth is in short supply. Satan knows the Bible cover to cover. As such, he is a master at subtly twisting its meaning, including just enough truth to make it sound right. He operates no differently today than he did in Eden: “Did God really say?…” But, we all know that a half-truth is still a whole lie.
“Before there was death, there was the lie. But before the lie, there was the Liar.” – Jared Wilson; The Gospel According to Satan
LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE
This one never gets old. I laugh at it every time I see it.
SOUL FOOD: How to silence a fool
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick