Month: October 2015

They don’t count.

Our new Sunday evening discussion-based worship service has been blessed. After just a few months, we average upper teens in attendance. This last Sunday we had eighteen people, ten of them not members but regularly attending and regularly hearing the Gospel. If it is our mission to proclaim the Gospel to those who have not heard it and those who have heard it and rejoice… our new service is a success.

“They don’t count.”

Saturday morning. I’m talking with a member who attends Sunday morning worship, our traditional worship service. And for the last month, attendance has been… low. Dismally low. Depressingly low. The church looks empty.

He tells me he’s getting tired. That maybe it’s time to give up.

I point out that while Sunday morning isn’t being attended well, our new Sunday service is reaching new people for Jesus.

“They don’t count.”

That’s what he tells me. (more…)

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Pushed to Share the Gospel

A future of worship?

She wants to go to my church. She can’t.

It’s not the normal excuse. “Oh, well, I just keep forgetting to get up.” Nope, she’s actually awake early enough.

“I don’t have a ride.” Nope; I always offer rides to anyone who gives that excuse (And it’s always something else then). I actually can’t give her a ride.

Nope. She’s going to college a number of hours away, and a good distance from the nearest church she’s in fellowship with. She really can’t get to my church. She doesn’t have a car. And even more… she wants to be in on our evening service, the discussion-based service we’ve been running since late May. (more…)

A Failure to Preach the Cross

Who is sufficient for these things?

Not me. I am not good enough.

Tonight for evening service we covered John 19:16-30. That’s the crucifixion. That’s Jesus dying on the cross. That’s…

…it’s too big.

It’s too much.

I put together an outline or discussion tonight. I figured I’d cover the “easy” things first – the physical aspect of the crucifixion. The part that everyone usually focuses on. We watched a video:

And then we talked about that aspect for a while. I stressed that there were a lot of people that were crucified. I’ve got a history buff in the group that appreciate that; he piped up some stats I don’t remember about how many people the Romans put on crosses. Look, this was a method of execution that was relatively common. Jesus’s physical pains on the cross were great, make no mistake, but those pains aren’t want make this special. (more…)

“What does ‘Crucifixion’ mean?”

Christ crucified

“It says, ‘They crucified him.’ What does that mean?” The kid’s in fifth grade. He looks confused. He has no idea what he’s just asked.

I love teaching these teens. These teens in the center our congregation hosts and supports with three others from our city. Every day there’s a Bible study, and this week we’re covering Jesus dying on the cross. And many of these kids… they have no background in Christianity at all. They don’t know.

I described how they would send a nail between the two arms of the bone, locking it in place. I try not to get too graphic – these are kids, after all, but I also don’t want to pull my punches. A hard line to walk. (Sometime let me tell you about the fallout from the abortion presentation I wrote about last time.) I talk about crossing the feet and sending the nail between the heel bones.

We talk about the soldiers gambling for Jesus’s clothes.

We talk about Jesus, even in extreme pain, honoring his mother. “Who do you usually think about when you’re in a lot of pain?” I ask.

“Me?” one of the girls responds.

“Yep. Me, too.” I answer. “But look at Jesus. Who is he thinking about? Wow. Just wow.”

And they’re right there with me. (more…)