Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Pastor - love your family

There are times when it seems like you have to choose whether to be a good dad and husband or a good pastor. Good pastors choose to be good dads and husbands.

Taken from 9 Marks 'What are some practical ways for a pastor to love his family?'

An overseer... must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?)
1 Timothy 3:4-5

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Does membership matter?

From Airdrie Baptist Church Newsletter Sun 16th May 2010

Today we will be welcoming Jo and Elizabeth into membership of the church. God-willing we will welcome a number of other new members in the coming weeks.

This should cause us to think about the significance of church membership; does membership matter?

We can certainly say that the church matters. The church is called ‘the Bride of Christ’ and the ‘Body of Christ.’ We cannot claim to love Christ if we do not love his Bride, his Body. To love and serve Christ we must love and serve the Church. Real relationship with Christ demands real relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

But does membership matter? Can’t we be committed without formally recognizing it, much like you can commit to your partner without making them your spouse? “We don’t need a bit of paper for our relationship to work” is a common mantra today’s society. Much as I believe marriage matters, I believe membership matters. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. We get to publically ask for God’s Help in being faithful to our church family

Loving, forgiving, serving. Being a church member is about more than singing the songs and enduring the sermons! It’s hard, and we need God’s help. As we welcome people into membership we acknowledge that.

2. We get to declare publically that we’re not ashamed of our church family

If someone is committed to me- I want them to feel comfortable stating that in a crowd.

3. It avails us of the benefits (yes benefits!) of church discipline

Discipline may not seem desirable, but imagine where you would be (who you would be) without it. We need discipline. If you are not in membership then technically you are not under the authority of the leadership of the church. (Read 1 Cor 5 or Matthew 18 for more)

4. It means we can have a say in the direction and decisions the church takes

Imagine the church were considering appointing a minister who believed something utterly abhorrent to the Lord. You should have a say in that. Baptists are big on the ‘priesthood of all believers’ therefore Baptists are big on church membership.

5. It acts as a witness to non-Christians

In an age of what Mark Dever calls ‘Commitment-phobia’ to commit to something (especially something unfashionable) is a real witness. To see people who have nothing in common with one another but their love for Jesus, committing to one another, is a great testimony to the power of Jesus in their lives.

Next Week- Is membership meaningful?

Grace and peace,


Monday, 10 May 2010

Post Election Blues

Well I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that the election proved to be a bit of an anti-climax! Here are some reasons to be thankful for the Lord Jesus in the aftermath of the election.

1. He Wins!

No need for wheeling and dealing, no bargaining or bartering. Jesus is victorious. No discussions, no deliberations, no concessions, no compromises. He wins. His victory is decisive, complete and eternal.

Death has been defeated, every knee will bow and tongue confess that he is Lord.

‘He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.’ (Colossians 2:13-15)

2. He understands

One common complaint (rightly or wrongly) is that politicians don’t really understand what it’s like to be an ‘ordinary’ person. The public perception is that they have never had to struggle to pay the bills, to face redundancy or live in a community with serious social problems.

How good to know that Jesus understands. He took on flesh. He was born into poverty in an occupied land. He faced injustice, and temptation. He suffered; he was misunderstood, mocked, and murdered.

Not only does he understand, but he sees all that we face, and he hears our cries for help when we call on his Name.

‘…we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’ (Hebrews 4:15)

3. He knows the way ahead

Not much was clear in the election, but what was obvious, was that the British public are not completely convinced by any of the politicians or parties wanting to lead our land. Who knows how best to proceed, what decisions will lead to a future of peace and prosperity in a confusing and confused world?

The Good Shepherd knows the way ahead, and continues to lead his flock to green and pleasant places. He is never surprised or worn-out by the journey. He is always in control, always leading and guiding.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

(Psalm 23:1-3)

4. His Kingdom is Coming

As Christians, we are not just citizens of the United Kingdom. We are, in Christ, citizens of heaven. And what a future we have. Though we are grieved by the problems of our own nation and world, we await a day where we will live in the fullness of that other Kingdom. There will be no more sin or sickness, poverty, injustice, disaster or death.

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (Phil 3:20)

What cause we have to be a thankful people!

Grace and peace,


Friday, 7 May 2010

John Piper leave - prayer points

Watch this and learn how to pray for Piper (and other pastors!)

1 Thes 5:25!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Matt Redman on romance in worship

Continuing on from thoughts on the overly-feminised church, Matt Redman discusses romanticism in modern worship songs. I was very impressed by his candour and humility in this interview. See what you make of it…