Ministry Chats

Living Invitations Part 5 Ministry Chat

May 26, 20170 Comments

We do these ministry chats on Online Ministry Training as a sermon preparation tool for the weekend message. We are in a series call Living Invitations and we are currently in a little sub-series on the armor of God. We will be looking at the breastplate of righteousness this week and talking about the difference between His righteousness and self-righteousness. There is a parable in Luke 18 that will be one of the focal points:

Luke 18:9-14 (NIV)
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

I think it is fascinating that verse 9 makes it clear that people who are self-righteous look down on everybody else. If we are self-righteous we will not be living invitations.

Living Invitations Part 4 Ministry Chat

May 13, 20170 Comments

This Sermon prep Ministry Chat on Online Ministry Training is bout integrity. During our celebration services this weekend we are going to begin a discussion on the spiritual battle we are engaged in on behalf of our neighbors. We are going to looking at the armor we have for the battle and this week it is the belt of truth. When I think about being a person of truth I think about integrity. Integrity is about doing the right thing, regardless of who is watching. Since we talk about living by dong the next right thing all the time, I thought this was very interesting and that it was worth all of us thinking about. Integrity is a heart issue. While at some level I want to do what is right because of my family and friends and church, is that enough if my heart really isn’t in it? If I thought that a wrong decision could be done so no one would know, would I still choose to do what is right? And that is what I think integrity is about. I think most of us have experienced justifying and rationalizing our wrong choices. No one will know. I deserve it. Life isn’t fair. Who will it hurt? I am tired of waiting. And of course, the biggest rational lie of them all, “God wants me to be happy doesn’t He?” He does, but not at the expense of your integrity.

Living Invitations Part 3 Ministry Chat

May 8, 20170 Comments

The hope of these ministry chats on Online Ministry Training is to help prepare everyone to get the most out of our time together during the message on the weekend. This week I am going to talk about the importance of hospitality. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said,

“The Church is the Church only when it exists for others…not dominating, but helping and serving. It must tell men of every calling what it means to live for Christ, to exist for others.”

Last week I said that the church is ultimately about relationships. Relationship with God, relationship with the people of God, and relationship with those who do not yet know Jesus. I want to spend the next few weeks talking about developing our relationships with the people who do not yet know Jesus. I am going to use the parable of the Good Samaritan to start this discussion.

Luke 10:25-37

So who is your neighbor? They are the people that we encounter in the course of our lives who need the mercy of God.

Living Invitations Part 2 Ministry Chat

April 29, 20170 Comments

Here on our online ministry training website we are adding a new feature we are calling “Ministry Chats“. We hope to do a ministry chat every week to help you prepare for the weekend celebration. This weekend we are going to be continuing our series called living invitations. We started our series by looking at what the church is. The church is people. It either refers to the group of all Christians who have ever lived, or it refers to a group of believers in a specific place. So, if you are a follower of Christ, you are a part of the body of Christ, the church. We also talked about being a people created for good deeds. We are a people of mission. This week we are going to develop the concept of being a people of mission.

Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

As you prepare for this weekend, I would encourage you to take some time to think about what it means to have mission and purpose. Also, think about how amazing it is that Jesus is with us always, He has given us the keys to the Kingdom and we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to be witnesses. Looking forward to exploring this together with you!

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