Tuesday, 30 June 2009

How to be a superhero youth pastor/worker

by Jeremy Zach (STYP, 30 Jun 2009)

A really interesting blog I've discovered and have been following recently is Small Town Youth Pastor, by Jeremy Zach. Here he writes about being a superhero youth pastor/worker. I've summarized the main points here.
  1. Do not let civilian life get in your way.
  2. Listen ... Observe ... Read ... Assess ... Implement ... ACTION.
  3. Break rules, traditions, patterns, and schedules.
  4. Genuinely and authentically fall back in love with the true superheroes: Jesus and His Word.
  5. Absorb and go after criticism.
  6. Become the expert.
  7. Get excited.
(read more)

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Monday, 29 June 2009

Survey: Churches Losing Youths Long Before College

by Lillian Kwon (Christian Post, 29 Jun 2009)

Survey done by America's Research Group and findings published in a book, Already Gone, by Ken Ham, founder and president of Answers in Genesis and a Young Earth creationist.

According to ARG's survey, 95 percent of 20- to 29-year-old evangelicals attended church regularly during their elementary and middle school years. Only 55 percent went to church during high school. And by college, only 11 percent were still attending church.

(read more)

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Sunday, 28 June 2009

Opening of new Bartley Christian Church building

Bartley Christian Church, founded in 1962, opened the doors of its new building today. With a church population of about 1,000, they embarked on this 3-year project from Aug 2006 to Jun 2009 with the challenge of raising a building budget of S$12m, eventually revised to S$16m due to rising construction costs. The new building boasts a new 1,124-seater main sanctuary, a 450-seater John Willis Hall, and a basement carpark, along with a newly-opened Bartley MRT station, as part of the new Circle Line, right at its back doorstep.

See related articles
An American we are grateful for (Biography of Ps John Willis launched)
Singapore is blessed with religious diversity and harmony (CNA, 27 Feb 10)
$16m miraculously collected for church building (Christian Post, 15 Jul 09)

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Earmarks of the future youth ministry

by Jeremy Zach (STYP, 28 Jun 2009)

  1. Places and spaces that encourage belonging.
  2. Focused theological identities that have clear trajectories.
  3. Adults surrounding clusters of students.
(read more)

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Saturday, 27 June 2009

Christianity and sexuality

by Christopher Ash (Christ on Campus Initiative)

An excellent research article that discusses sexuality from a Christian, biblical perspective. Ash covers topics ranging from creation order, service of God, sex as a substitute, and the disordered world we live in.

(read more)

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Tuesday, 23 June 2009

The importance of a good example

MacArthur relates a sports article of a high school basketball team from Rockville County, Georgia. They had won the state championship, but the coach later discovered one of his players had failed some academic courses, and was technically ineligible for the team. He reported the infraction, and the team forfeited the championship.
I'm sure it was painful to give up the title, but the coach believed his first responsibility was to be a good example to his team. If he covered up the truth, his players would believe he had flaunted the rules. Winning a state championship at the expense of his integrity was not worth the price. Too many young lives could be adversely affected. "Winning means nothing anyway unless you do it by the rules," the coach told incredulous reporters.

He goes on to remind us that young people represent a sacred trust, and that we can be a good influence.

(read more)

Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. ~ 1 Tim 4:12

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Saturday, 20 June 2009

Movie Review - Religulous


A review of Bill Maher's new movie, Religulous. Along similar lines as Jesus Camp, but more political and sexual humour.

(read more)

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Thursday, 18 June 2009

Reader's Digest searches for a contemporary niche

by Stephanie Clifford (NY Times, 18 Jun 2009)

NY Times ran an article about Reader's Digest publishers moving towards a more niche, focused market, and aims to centre its articles towards traditional, conservative social values. There is also a move to include more articles related to spirituality, beginning with the launch of Purpose Driven Connection, a quarterly magazine with religious workbooks, training DVDs, membership to social networking sites, and prayer pointers. This is in partnership, of course, with Ps Rick Warren of Saddleback Church. According to Mary Berner, president and chief executive of Reader's Digest Association,

If the new direction works, Ms. Berner said, she may consider introducing magazines around Rick Warren-like religious personalities, along with increasing the amount of spiritual content in Reader’s Digest itself.

However, the article also goes on to quote Ms Berner as being inclusive and welcoming of all religions and faiths.
“As far as I’m concerned, I don’t care what the religion is, what the spirituality is, as long as it’s legitimate, there’s a built-in community and it’s global,” Ms. Berner said.
(read more)

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Sunday, 14 June 2009

The depths of God's love

As we return from the church retreat, I trust that we have been thoroughly blessed as Ps Pax Tan brought us through the theme of “Experiencing God as Father”. As we reflect on God's love, I am often reminded of the words in 1 John 3:1, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!

As Christians, we can all recall the day that we first placed our trust in Christ, and received Him into our hearts and lives. I remember experiencing first-hand God's deep and abiding love, and breaking down in tears of gratitude and joy, knowing that I am truly His beloved child, as well as having the promise and assurance of God as my heavenly Father. To know that nothing can ever separate us from His love (Rom 8:39), and that He will never leave nor forsake us (Heb 13:5), gives us the confidence and motivation to live our lives pleasing and holy towards Him.

Likewise, He mandates us to love as He loved us. We read on in 1 John 3:16, "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers." As we ourselves experience God's love in our lives, may it lead us not only to be transformed by Him, but also to be channels of blessing and influence to others around. As we walk and grow in our faith, as we experience more of Him each day, may Christ's love truly compel us no longer to live for ourselves, but for Him who died for us (2 Cor 5:14, 15).

As we take back life lessons from the retreat, I pray that God will speak and convict our hearts, and that we will respond and obey whatever He calls us to. I leave us with these words from a modern hymn by Stuart Townend:
How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

See related articles:
Behold the man upon a cross (Challies, 10 Apr 09)

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Saturday, 13 June 2009

What is Simple Church?

What Is Simple Church? from Expectation Media on Vimeo.

This is the official full length documentary created by Expectation Media.

In "What Is Simple Church" we traveled around America, visiting multiple Simple Churches, discovering how they function, and keep faithful to God in their communities. The Purpose of this documentary is to give insight on how Simple Church looks today, but also to show how Simple Church is another valid and effective church planting option.

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Friday, 12 June 2009

8 common problems with evangelism

by Colin Adams (Unashamed Workman, 12 Jun 2009)

  1. Church members cannot articulate the gospel clearly.
  2. Church members have few non-Christian friends.
  3. A lack of evangelistic motivation.
  4. Members are unable to answer friends' questions.
  5. Lifestyles of members do not commend the gospel.
  6. Outsiders see the church as judgmental and lacking compassion.
  7. Only professionals evangelise.
  8. Don't know what to do once someone is interested.
(read more)

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Cal.vini.st Free Anniversary Giveaway - Bibleworks 8


Nathan Bingham announced today on his Cal.vini.st blog that in conjunciton with the first year anniversary (12 Jul) of his blog, he will be giving away 2 copies of BibleWorks 8. Do visit his site for more details on how to qualify for the grand draw!

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Thursday, 11 June 2009

When God doesn't answer prayer

by Matt Waymeyer (Expository Thoughts, 11 Jun 2009)

Waymeyer lists down nine hindrances to fruitful intercessory prayer.
  1. Cherishing unrepentant sin in your heart (Ps 66:18)
  2. Asking with selfish motives (James 4:3)
  3. Failing to ask in faith (James 1:5-7)
  4. Failing to pray according to God’s will (1 John 5:14-15)
  5. Failing to care for your wife (1 Peter 3:7)
  6. Failing to ask in the name of Jesus (John 14:13-14)
  7. Failing to abide in Christ (John 15:7)
  8. Failing to let Christ’s words abide in you (John 15:7)
  9. Failing to be persistent (Luke 11:5-10; 18:1-8)

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    Monday, 8 June 2009

    A thought on bibliolatry

    by Tim Bertolet (The Voyages, 08 Jun 2009)

    (read more)

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    Danger in the pews?

    by Manya Brachear (The Seeker, 08 Jun 2009)

    An article in the Seeker discussing increasing danger in light of recent shootings and security issues in places of worships, particularly churches.

    (read more)

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    Saturday, 6 June 2009

    Bio: Eric Liddell

    Eric Liddell, born 1902 to Scottish missionary parents with London Missionary Society in China, Scottish athlete, missionary, returned to England for studies from 1908-1924, served in China 1925-45, died 1945. Won the 400m gold and 200m bronze in 1924 Paris Olympics.

    Related articles
    Daring to be peculiar
    Wikipedia - Eric Liddell

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    Friday, 5 June 2009

    How Tim Keller found Manhattan

    by Tim Stafford (CT, 5 Jun 2009)

    A CT article about how Ps Tim Keller founded Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, New York in 1989 with 15 members, and how God has blessed the church to grow to a thriving 5,000 average attendance 20 years later.
    When Tim Keller came to Manhattan in 1989, New York City had a well-deserved reputation as a snarling, scary place. Violent crime, drug dealing, and other urban pathologies had weakened or chased off many of the faithful. While a barely perceptible renewal was under way, it seemed as if the few remaining orthodox Protestants were huddled together in historic buildings. All of Keller's formal pastoral experience had happened in a small, blue-collar town in Virginia.

    Yet today, almost 20 years later, he steps onstage before a packed auditorium at Hunter College on Manhattan's Upper East Side. His church, Redeemer Presbyterian, has five crowded Sunday services in three rented locations—Keller dashes between them—with an average total attendance of 5,000. The service at Hunter is the largest, the "tourist service." (For many years, Redeemer deliberately avoided publicity, but word has spread lately, and Keller estimates that hundreds of out-of-towners show up each Sunday.) Well over 2,000 people—mainly young whites and Asians you would expect to be sleeping off a late Saturday night—have come to this morning's service.

    (read more)

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    Thursday, 4 June 2009

    Inerrancy history

    by Tim Bertolet (The Voyages, 04 Jun 2009)

    (read more)

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    Tuesday, 2 June 2009

    Singapore evangelists found guilty in first sedition trial

    by Nathanael Ng (Christian Post, 2 Jun 09)

    A Christian couple has been found guilty of distributing seditious or objectionable material to three Muslims and being in possession of seditious publications.

    The case of Ong Kian Cheong, a SingTel technical officer, and Dorothy Chan Hien Leng, a UBS associate director, marks the first time in the republic that a full trial under the Sedition Act has been heard.

    In 2005, a man was jailed for a month for posting inflammatory and vicious remarks about Muslims and Malays on the internet. The following year, an accounts assistant received a stern warning for posting an offensive cartoon of Jesus Christ on his blog.

    For many years, Ong and Chan had been involved in mass-mailing evangelistic tracts to members of the public. Three recipients of some of the booklets found them seditious or objectionable and lodged complaints.

    They received the two evangelistic tracts titled The Little Bride or Who Is Allah? in December last year and told the court they felt angry, insulted and offended and believed a Christian group had sent them.

    Ong and Chan were arrested on January 30 last year. The couple was also found to be in possession of 439 copies of 11 publications deemed sedicious at their Maplewoods Condominium.

    (read more)

    Related articles:
    Couple sentenced to 8 weeks jail for distributing seditious publications (CNA, 10 Jun 09)
    Couple deserve jail: DPP (ST, 5 Jun 09)
    Couple guilty of sedition (ST, 29 May 09)

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