Church

girl IndiaRescue girls from the sex trade, prostitution, in India

This is Asia’s largest sex industry center estimated that over 1.2 million children are believed to be enslaved in prostitution in India.

One truly can not comprehend the depth of this issue from the comfort of your home in the US. Nor can you fulfill Jesus’ commands in Matt 25 with your check book. Everyone should Go spend 3 to 4 weeks in this dark place , look upon the faces of these girls, this is real, one of the greatest human tragedies today.

This experience will change you, change how you see the world and it will show you just how great the need for the Gospel is. It will Change your priorities in life, and what you think is really important. This is what Jesus has sent His followers to change, to take on the cause of the fatherless, the oppressed, the downtrodden. Until you visit a third world county, get out of the wall’s of the America Christian life you can not truly have a world vision of what needs to be done, the depth of suffering and needs in the world today.

This is where Jesus would be found if He where on earth today, in fact according to Matt 25, this is where He is right now, waiting for His people to come visit Him, rescue Him. Jesus said He came to set the captives free, and His followers should be doing just that, if they are truly following Him.

So take the time go to India rescue those in the chains of slavery, children being sold for their bodies. Spend a month putting yourself in harms way to save lives, maybe even staying tell the job is done, tell every child is freed.

Part 2 in my series

Visit The Underground Church in China

Why? To see and experience the biblical church model shown us in the book of Act’s. See the real deal, church like you have never have seen, encounter Christianity as close to the time of Christ you will find on earth.

It will change how you understand and define what church is and what happens when the body meets, taste the church you read about in Act’s and see that it can be done today, need to be done today.

And I do not mean the public government sanctioned church meetings, I mean the underground church, your life is at stake if you get caught church. The one people go to prison for being part of, the one you could be killed for pastoring or hosting one. Every Christian should go and spend 3 to 4 weeks in one , really getting a taste for the life, the church. The one that is changing the face of a nation, creating more true followers of Christ than any other place on earth.

This will give you a new compass for your life, for how to have church, everyone I know who has been, came back a different person, could not return to church the way it is done in America.

twoworlds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This image really caught my attention, hit me when I saw it.

This came to mind:

I saw how I feel the church has become to the world, building super mega churches, mega complexes complete with Starbuck in the lobby and La-Z-Boy recliners to keep the attendees well entertained and comfortable. While in the shadows of there multi million dollar buildings people are living in poverty, many starving to death. When I think of all the suffering the churches could alleviate with the money they have!

The thing is the poor people I’m taking about, the ones in the shadows are the ones God said His people have the responsibly to take care of. That Jesus said in Matthew chapter 25 if you do not take care of them you will not enter the Kingdom of God people.

This must change!

house church meeting No money need. Money is not a requrement to have church, ever.

All the free places I have had a gathering of the church at, and that you can find on any given day for free to use. There are so many free places that you can get to meet at, money should never be an excuse for not gathering.

 

 

My house, I can have 30 people with ease in one room (my house church)
The basement of a house
The backyard of a house
A vacant house
Apartment recreation center
Housing development recreation center
On the beach (In Cal weather is hardly ever an issue)
In a park (In many states, weather is hardly ever an issue like Ca, Az, Nv, Nm, Hi, Tx)
A night club / bar (it was closed during the day)
Restaurant banquet room
Hotel banquet room
Warehouse
Vacant retail space (know of someone who used a 35k sq ft building for 3 years tell it sold, yes for free)
Vacant office space
Playhouse (theater)
A Christian High school football stadium

church on the beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can have Church on the beach, always for free!

church in a park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Church in a park, no cost at all.

neon-bibleI have been asked a couple of times the last few days what book I think is the best book on church planting. Well after having helped plant 3 and working on number 4 the book I believe to be not only the best, but the definitive book on church planting, the only book that should be used as a guide is the book of Acts.

Everything one needs to know about Church planning you will find, learn in the book of Acts. The other book, resources are just efforts by the flesh to make happen what is Jesus’, the Holy Spirit job to do, build the church.

the-shepherdIs there a Public Speaker claiming to be a Pastor in your pulpit? God showed me this yesterday, that most of those in the pulpit today are not Pastors, not fulfilling the role of a pastor, but simply are speakers. Look at the chart below showing some clips from dictionary definitions of the two.

 

 

Public Speaker

Pastor / Shepherd

A public speaker is a person who makes speaks in a public setting.

The objectives of a public speaker’s presentation can range from simply transmitting information, to motivating people to act, to simply telling a story.

A public speaker is one who is paid for his appearances do to his expertize in his field and subject knowledge and/or simply do to his speaking ability, charisma or persuasive abilities as a speaker.

A Public speaker’s focus is on building large crowds of followers and to promote his program, material’s, organization, services and self to generate sales of his material’s (books. CD’s) and developing even larger audiences to hear him speak.

   

The actual word in the text translated pastor is Shepherd, the role and tasks of a pastor are the same as of a shepherd over sheep, only his duties are over the body of Christ.

He is someone who has a passion for the Church, body of Christ and a passion for seeing the gospel impact every area of their lives.

One who herds, guards, and tends the needs of the people, One who cares for and guides a group of people.

A pastor is one who takes personal responsibility for the life and welfare of the people put in his care. He is willing lay down his life for the lives of his people. The pastor is in the trenches with the people, living life with them, among them to care for, instruct them and protect them. He keeps the wolves (the enemy, false teaching) from coming in and carrying off or leading his sheep astray. He is to feed the flock the Word of God.

He imitates the life of the good Shepherd Jesus, exemplifies Jesus’ description of Himself as a shepherd in John 10:1-16.

A pastor is intimately connected to his flock. The true pastor will follow the perfect example of the Chief Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ. He knows his flock therefore he knows their needs and can tend to them. He protects them, even at the cost of his own life. He not only feeds, instructs the people with the Word of God. He lives among them, eats with them, washes their feet, heals their wounds, prays with and for them, he knows them by name. If one wonders from the flock, is lost, he goes after them, seeks out his lost sheep to bring them back into the flock, he leaves the 99 to find the one lost sheep. He rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. And this can not be done from the pulpit, like Jesus he must live among, do life with his flock, and a true pastors heart wants to, must do so.

I heard a well known pastor of a large church a while back advise some new young pastors to never make friends with his people, never get personal with them. To hire a staff of people to keep everyone at bay. Never give out your phone number or email address. Never go among your church people, give your sermon and leave. ~ That is not a pastor according to God or the examples in the first church and scripture. It is impossible for a true pastor to be a private man, for he has the burden for his people.

So lets start calling people who, what they really are, lets stop calling a public speaker a pastor. and put them on the speaking circuit and lets get a true biblical Pastor/Shepherd in the pulpits. Someone who will do the job as defied by God, displayed by Jesus.

I feel this might be what is at the core of so much of what is wrong with many churches today, the one in the pulpit is not personally caring for the flock, pastoring. In other words he is NOT doing the job of a Pastor/Shepherd, he is simply a speaker delivering a message to a group of people who he has no real personal connection to.

I think John 10:13 reviles a lot when Jesus says “The hireling (public speaker) flees, because he is a hireling and does not care for the sheep.

days of the week shirtsTo me Sunday is not above any other day, how can that be you might say, what about church and it being the Lords Day, this is how Paul explains it;

One indeed esteems a day above another day; and another esteems every day alike. Let each one be fully assured in his own mind. Rom 15:4

 

This is how it brakes down for me.

  1. For one I hear great bible teaching everyday of the week, because I download podcast of my favorite pastors from all over the world to listen to at the gym, so I get feed by good teaching everyday not just on Sunday. I do not limit it to a Sunday event.
  2. I study the word of God daily, intently and have great in depth discussions with others on what I have studied. So I do not depend on someone else to study the word and give me the cliff notes of it.
  3. I worship the Lord daily, with passionate worship, at home every day and I also go to IHOP (International House of Prayer) a 24/7 place of worship filled with passionate worshipers of God, and enter into not only passionate worship myself, but do so with like minded followers of Christ in the presents of God daily. I can worship God as long as my heart desires, an hour, two, even eight hours if I want (and sometimes do), and anyway my heart desires to, dancing, shouting, kneeling, laying prostate, raising my arms, clap my hands, leap with joy, sing my own songs from my heart, how ever I want.
  4. I pray through out the day, daily, as well as at IHOP where I also engage in passionate prayer in the Spirit both alone and corporately. Enter into prayer for the nations, churches, lost, others, every need under the sun with others for as long as my spirit wants to pray, an hour, two, even eight. And I can do it daily 24/7.
  5. I gather with true followers of Christ daily, people who are living passionately for God, living on His mission, in the battle, living the Kingdom life and busy proclaiming it to others, followers who are on the front line of the battle. People who passionately love and worship God with great passion. I engage in true fellowship with others over a meal, cup of coffee, where ever daily with other believers.

To me church, Christianity, the worship of God, bible study and fellowship with the body of Christ is not a one day a week thing. It’s to be a way of life, the way followers of Christ are to live daily.

So that is why Sunday does not standout, offers nothing I do not do already have access to, already doing daily. In fact most Sunday services are detrimental to my worshiping of God, block my fellowship with God and the body, but that is another whole blog.

hole in our gospelThe Hole In Our Gospel, by Richard Stearns, the President of World Vision published by Thomas Nelson, is a compelling call to Christ-followers to know and understand the whole gospel, and our obligation to take it to the world. This book is amazing; it is one of best books I have read in a long time. In this book we learn of Richard’s personal story, his rise to not only CEO of World Vision but God’s working in him to know and embrace the whole Gospel. We learn of Richard’s ventures into the world, the world of poverty and need. As he states “Poverty, disease, and squalor had eyes and faces that stared back, I had to see and smell and touch the pain of the poor. We learn “The mission of God is now our mission, and the whole gospel is the good news”. That the Kingdom which Christ spoke of was one in which the poor, sick, grieving, cripples, slaves, widows, orphans, lepers and aliens – the lest of these, were to be lifted up.

This subject is one of my passions, world hunger and ending it, so this was preaching to the Choir for me, but helped fuel my passion for the need and for the church to get, know, embrace the whole gospel and do something with it. This book should be a must read for every Christian, in the pew of every church. A required reading for every pastor. Stearns tells a powerful and compelling story of how God transformed him from one who like most Christians believes the American dream is the gospel, Christianity lived out. To one who was changed by the whole gospel, humbled and broken, giving it all up for Christ and to take the gospel to the world.

holy bibleSet out on a quest this past weekend to get a new bible, mine is worn out, starting to fall apart, I usually have to replace mine about every 4 or 5 years. And I must say it has been a journey of frustration and disappointment looking for a new one for two reasons, the choice of verity of style and the quality of the bibles.

First, I will start with the quality, one only has to read the reviews on Amazon to see what I mean. Shabby quality, poor binding, poor paper and printing quality. I found this in every bible I looked at, for all most every publishers. I think one review summed it up well, bible are now being printed in China by the lowest bidder on each printing. Publishers take note, this is the bible, the word of God, not some cheap paperback romance here. Great care should be given to print the highest quality bible as possible.

Second, verity, selection and I am not speaking in terms of versions/translations here. I will only use two translations, the NKJV and the NAS Updated, for the last 20 years I have used NJKV bibles. I prefer word for word translations of the word of God so I use only those two. I am speaking of layout and features.

It seems that today Study bibles are dominating the market now, there are so many versions of them out there, it’s like if you want a bible now days you have to get a study bible. I do not like or want a study bible, why:

When I read the word of God I seek God to speak to me though it. So I stay away from study bibles becouse I do not want all the clutter and noise of someone’s personal opinion and theology in the way while I am reading the word. I’m actual one who studies the word of God and does not rely on someone to do it for me and give me the cliff notes on it, and trust they are right.

All I’m asking for is a nice verity of the bible, just the bible, the word of God, not a book full of someone opinions of what the word says

  • Great cross references
  • A nice concordance with more than 3 or 4 references per word
  • Full size bible with pages large enough to add a few lines of notes here and there, say like 7 x 10in
  • Font big enough you do not need the eyes of an eagle or magnifying glass to read, like a 9 font
  • Some nice maps, maybe helps like a list of the Harmony of the Gospel, the Parables, Major Payers, Prophecies of the Messiah fulfilled in Jesus, daily reading plan, est.
  • And 5 or 10 blank pages in the back for our own references & notes.

Just a high quality bible that contains the word of God (with out someone’s comments) with cross references, that is bigger than a box of cracker jacks is that to much to ask, I mean really.