I know, I know, there is a lot more to being a preacher and a pastor than keeping people from sinning, but if you become obsessed with sin prevention, it begins to take over everything you do and teach. Pretty soon you become a police officer and the crime is sin. You spend your time trying to discern what is and what isn’t sin, you emphasize “sin prevention” by teaching how to avoid sin and stay pure, and you create a disciplinary process whereby sin is punished in the name of Jesus and “for their own good.”Here’s how Steve said this crept into his ministry over the years… and how it made its ugly face known in his leadership: keep reading
Pastor Interview Questions (sample list):
- There are many who profess to know Christ who are mistaken. What evidences do you have that you have been given life by God?
- What does it mean for a person to love God? In what ways do you see true biblical love toward God demonstrated in your life? Do you see true biblical love toward God in the lives of your wife and each of your children?
- How does your wife feel about your commitment to pastoring?
- Why do you believe God wants you in the pastorate?
- Closely examine each of the Bible’s qualifications for pastors and deacons (1 Tim. 3; Titus 1:5-9; Acts 6:1-6; 1 Pet. 5:1-4). Which are you strongest qualities? With which requirements do you have the most trouble? Why do you believe these areas of difficulty do not presently disqualify you from ministering? (Note the phrase “must be” in 1 Tim. 3:2.)
- A pastor is charged by God to preach to the church and to shepherd the people in a more individual way. Which aspect of the ministry appeals to you the most? What are some specific ways you could be helped to develop your skills in either of these areas?
- What are your methods for involving yourself in the lives of your people as their shepherd and overseer of their souls?
- What activities characterize your evangelistic interest? What is your approach to personal evangelism? corporate evangelism?
- What is your approach to counseling? How do you handle your counseling load?
- What are your specific and regular practices regarding the spiritual disciplines (e.g., personal prayer, Bible study, meditation, stewardship, learning, etc.)?
CNN article: Jesus was a lot more like you than you think, and a lot less clean cut than this iconic image of him that floats around culture. You know the image. It’s the one where Jesus is walking like he’s floating in robes of pristine white followed by birds singing some holy little ditty. He’s polished, manicured, and clearly – God. But despite the Christian belief that Jesus was both fully God and fully man, Jesus was a rather dirty God. He was the “earthly” son of a carpenter, and life in the first-century was both more lurid and unfinished than our collective religious memory seems to recall. To that end, I suggested recently to several astounded colleagues of mine that Jesus actually had to go to the bathroom, perhaps even on the side of the road between Capernaum and Jerusalem. What tipped them over the edge was when I insinuated that Jesus, like almost every other human being living in the rural world in that time, might have even had dysentery on an occasion or two. Someone said, “You mean that Jesus might have had severe diarrhea?” “Yep,” I replied, “That’s exactly what I mean.” It seems like an obvious statement if you believe that Jesus was “fully God” and “fully man” (as most evangelicals believe and call the Incarnation), but to some of us it seems in the least, inappropriate, and at the most, sacrilege, to imagine Jesus in this way. We might believe that God was also man, but we picture him with an ever-present halo over his head. But, actually, the Jesus of the Bible was more human than most people are conditioned to think. I call this the dirty side of Jesus. He was grittier, and a lot more like us than maybe we believe, and that’s one of the reasons why so many thousands of people followed him so quickly. They could relate to him.Johnnie Moore is the author of Dirty God (#DirtyGod). He is a professor of religion and vice president at Liberty University. Keep track of him @johnnieM . Johnnie thinks that Jesus was a lot more like you than you think, and a lot less clean cut than this iconic image of him that floats around culture. He thinks that despite the Christian belief that Jesus was both fully God and fully man, Jesus was a rather dirty God. Matt Steen and I discuss the book and the concept in this short video.
ThinkProgress reports. In the sermon, available on a Christian website, Giglio says the Bible clearly teaches that “homosexuality is not just a sexual preference, homosexuality is not gay, but homosexuality is sin,” and it is among the factors that “prevent people from entering the Kingdom of God.” He also says, “The only way out of a homosexual lifestyle, the only way out of a relationship that has been ingrained over years of time, is through the healing power of Jesus.” When the item was posted, Giglio had yet to respond to a ThinkProgress inquiry about whether the sermon represents his current thinking. The Advocate has also asked the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which plans the ceremony, for comment on the choice of Giglio, but there has been no response so far. A “Beliefs” section on Passion City Church’s website describes the church as “conservative and evangelical,” apparently with a literal view of the Bible, as it says, “We believe in the accuracy, truth, authority and power of the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God.” // Read more here…I’m not sure that Louie wanted all this publicity after being chosen to pray at the inaugural. He’s now being lamblasted as antigay. From the Advocate: The most LGBT-friendly president in U.S. history will once again have a minister with a history of antigay statements deliver a prayer at his inauguration ceremony. Pastor Louie Giglio of the Passion City Church in Atlanta, chosen to give the benediction, or closing prayer, January 21 at President Obama’s second inauguration, gave a sermon in the mid 1990s in which he said being gay is a choice and a sin that merits eternal damnation and that Christianity can help gays can become straight,
- Preach through two books of the Bible
- An expository topical series on the family
- A theological expository series on a major doctrine of the Bible
- Individual holiday sermons or short series
- Standalone messages dealing with specific issues in the community
Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, an online collection of 5,000 images of scroll fragments. Among the texts is the Book of Deuteronomy, which includes the Ten Commandments, and part of Chapter 1 of the Book of Genesis, which is seen in the picture above and measures in at about 10 cm. Google said the initiative will shed “light on the time when Jesus lived and preached, and on the history of Judaism.” “Millions of users and scholars can discover and decipher details invisible to the naked eye, at 1215 dpi resolution,” Google said in an official blog post. “The site displays infrared and color images that are equal in quality to the Scrolls themselves. There’s a database containing information for about 900 of the manuscripts, as well as interactive content pages. We’re thrilled to have been able to help this project through hosting on Google Storage and App Engine, and use of Maps, YouTube and Google image technology.” // Read more here…Google is partnering with the Israel Antiquities Authority to launch the
5 Reasons People Aren’t Giving Faithfully To Your Church. What do you think are the main reasons people aren’t giving consistently to YOUR church? ToddCasey Graham thinks that there are 5 key reasons people aren’t giving as faithfully or consistently to your church as you want them to: 1. People don’t feel NEEDED At one time, I remember church funding being ALL about need! The “weekly need” was published in the bulletin and the goal was to meet the weekly need. I believe we have swung the pendulum too far away from this. We don’t want to be “that” church so we try to make our churches look like everything is professional and “done”. People park the cars in the parking lot, we have nice signs, and have great children’s workers. We are trained to create a culture where everything feels “done” and people feel welcomed more than needed. 2. People don’t understand I truly believe if people just had a clear picture of where the church is headed, you could solve most of your funding issues. People need VISION and CLARITY about the future more than we think they do. People’s giving rarely increases unless you give them something to stretch for. We find that when a church has 3-4 objectives they want to accomplish through their operational budget and they highlight them to the congregation and make a SPECIFIC ask, people move their giving! Ask this question: 3. People feel like the church wants something from them, not for them I have found that pastors think they are closer to their people than they really are. You know who I learn the most from when meeting with staff teams? The spouses. The spouses that are not on staff give me more insight into the relational credibility of the senior leadership more than the staff team. Here is the deal; most of the time we stay quiet about money until we need some. This is why you have to create RELATIONAL EQUITY with your donors each day, week, month and year. 4. People aren’t educated I have met with over 1,000 people in a 1-on-1 financial coaching environment. I never met with one person that was tithing. Most people would say to me, “We can’t tithe.” About 90 minutes later they would walk out of the meeting knowing they COULD tithe, but they are choosing not to. In reality they are choosing five magazine subscriptions over giving to God. That is just reality. 5. People don’t know what is expected It is so funny that we want to reach all these lost people, but we rarely tell them what the Bible says about giving. It is 100% expected of us to give to God & be generous. How are you helping people understand the theology of giving and all the Bible has to say about it? When people know what is expected, they will often times meet that expectation. // Read more from Casey here…