06th Aug2016

The Essence of Worship

by admin

Many “born-and-raised-in-Church” Christians that have been or are involved in the activities of Church leadership have very little or no understanding of “true” worship. In fact, often the prevailing correlation is that the more experience one has with Church service, the less likely one is pursue “true” worship at the exclusion of all other types.


What is “True” Worship?
True worship is the response of a grateful human heart to a Divine God. However, all worship isn’t “true” worship.
The Bible describes four different types of worship:
  1. Ignorant worship Act 17:22-31 – (v. 23 – For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you).
In the narrative, as Apostle Paul enters the city of Athens, a major center of philosophy, architecture, and art, he encounters various idols that the Athenians routinely worship; one is marked “the unknown God.”
Characteristics:
Ignorant worship is any worship that loses sight of God as the source of all that is good and perfect. It is based upon superstition, tradition and the imagination of men, not on revelation from God.
  1. Vain worship – Matthew 15:7-9 “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 8 – ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. (v 9) And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
Characteristics
Vain worship focuses ” Relies on traditions of men. Common symptoms –FOCUS is on- Money, Appearance, Numbers, Performance, Building, Music’s emotional impact, rituals (standing or Sitting), Talent, etc –
  1. Will worship – context (Col 2:23) – Paul is teaching the church that rules and requirements don’t make a Christian; we are disciplined in our living because we are transformed through the blood of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit in operation in our lives…
(MSG) “Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they’re just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important.”
Characteristics:
Will worship seeks to impose a “cultish” mindset and structure on the lives of God’s people;
Will worship lacks humility and operates in arrogance; (In 1 Kgs. 14:16, we see the self-inflated attitude of Jeroboam the son of Nebat who devised a worship format “of his own heart” through which he “made Israel to sin”).
Will worship often presents itself as “deep” (reminiscent of those days of Israel’s judges when every man did what was right “in his own eyes” – Judg. 17:6)
  1. True worship – John 4:23-24
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Worship transcends our proclivities regarding culture, style, generation, denomination, music, etc. Worship is our “life response” to our God —Creator, Sustainer; our Jesus—Lord and risen Savior; and Holy Spirit—our comforter and guide.021915GospelHeritage0080

There are (at least three) pivotal questions that we must answer in our daily lives, weekly services and yearly worship celebrations:

  1. How does what we do exemplify (do) and teach others (disciple) “true” worship?

  2. How are the basic principles of “true” worship intentionally modeled in our ministry leadership?

  3. What are we doing to educate the current culture and pass on a healthy culture of worship?

 

06th Aug2016

The Power of Prayer

by admin

10 Awesome Bible Verses About the Power of Prayer

by Josh Wiley

Who is your source of power? This list of awesome power of prayer Bible verses is meant to encourage you today. I pray that you read through these Bible verses and then take them to God in prayer. Ask God for the wisdom and discernment to teach you how He wants you to pray and for what He wants you to pray for. For a great Christian song check out the video to the right Shout to the Lord by Darlene Zschech.

Psalm 107:28-30 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven

Ask

Matthew 7:7  “Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Mark 11:24  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it

Pray in Faith

This list of awesome power of prayer Bible verses is meant to encourage you today.

Mark 9:29  And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”

Acts 9:40 But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.

James 5:14-16 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another,that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

Always & With Thanksgiving

Ephesians 6:18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Christian Quotes About Prayer

Prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan. ~ John Bunyan

23rd Jul2016

GH Worship 2017 Sponsor Info

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GH Worship Sponsor Info

05th Jul2016

The 6 Top Factors in Growing Churches

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By Gary McIntosh

The 6 Top Factors in Growing Churches

The Good Book Blog

The Good Book Blog is the faculty blog of Talbot School of Theology at Biola University.

A recent check on Amazon.com discovered that over 25,000 books are listed under the category of Church Growth. This is an amazing number of books given the fact that the North American Church Growth Movement is only forty-one years old. In comparison consider that just over 6,900 books are listed under the category of Church Renewal, even though the Church Renewal Movement is about fifty years old.

With such a large number of books written on the topic of church growth, it is only natural to ask if there is any consensus on what factors are found in growing churches in North America. One recent study discovered that those who have studied what makes churches grow note 115 different factors. However, only six (5%) of the numerous factors are mentioned by 70% of all authors. To put it another way, two-thirds of everyone who has written about what makes churches grow agree on just six factors. What are those factors? I thought you’d never ask!

The following are the consensus factors that are found in growing churches in North America:

Spiritual Dynamics

In spite of the criticism that church growth ignores the spiritual dynamics of growth, researchers over the last forty years name this as the number one factor found in growing churches (actually it was a tie with the next factor).

What is included in spiritual factors? The following aspects were mentioned the most: bold faith, biblical commitment, Christ centered, passionate spirituality, regenerated membership, Holy Spirit empowered, personal prayer, corporate intercession, loving relationships, emphasis on spiritual disciplines, and obedient lives.

Effective Evangelism

This aspect of growth tied with spiritual dynamics as the number one factor. Since churches must reach new people for Christ in order to grow, the fact that researchers mention evangelism is not surprising.

What is included in effective evangelism? The following aspects were mentioned the most: lifestyle approach, concern for needs, desire for conversion growth, focus on families, concern for new disciples, outward focus, interest in church multiplication, and evangelism training.

Strategic Planning

The third factor that was highlighted the most was planning and goal setting. Growing churches buy into the concept that what is measured improves. While most churches measure money, growing churches make bold plans and then measure their results.

What is included in Strategic Planning? The following aspects were mentioned the most: strategy, multiplying ministries and groups, finances, functional facilities, decision-making, analysis, evaluation, appropriate risk, set direction, objectives, established vision, right discernment of the church and community, and monitored results.

Excellent Leadership

The next two factors tied for the fourth most mentioned component of growing churches. It is a well-accepted understanding that everything rises and falls on leadership, and church growth students agree.

What is included in Excellent Leadership? The following aspects were mentioned the most: commitment to growth, effective use of authority, willingness to let others lead, expectation of growth, dealing with obstacles, contextually away, value on continual learning, motivational, trustworthy pastor, pastor stays long enough, and understanding and application of growth principles.

Productive Assimilation

Also tied for fourth place was productive assimilation of newcomers into the life of the church. Growing churches keep more people than they lose out the back door. They also help newcomers identify and use their spiritual gifts in serving those inside and outside the church.

What is included in Productive Assimilation? The following aspects were mentioned the most: newcomers involved quickly, welcoming climate, attempts to close back door, multiplies groups and classes, offers ministry training, stresses spiritual gifts, mentoring relationships, uses small groups, and builds a people flow strategy.

Inspiring Worship

The final factor that was noticed by over 70% of church growth researchers was inspiring worship. This factor included everything that helps make corporate worship dynamic, such as preaching, music, atmosphere, etc.

What is included in Inspiring Worship? The following aspects were mentioned the most: a pastor who loves people, biblical preaching, passionate communication, authentic leadership, being alive spiritually, contextually appropriate, and team ministry.

Other factors most certainly play a part in the growth of a local church, but these six factors garnered a consensus of all researchers over the last forty years. A church that emphasizes these six factors will most assuredly be better off than a church which does not.

Which of these factors is strongest in your church? Which one or two are the weakest? Which factors do you need to work on this coming year?

For more, visit the Good Book Blog, a seminary faculty blog from Talbot School of Theology.

25th Aug2013

FIVE DISTINCTIVES OF TRUE WORSHIP

by admin
  1. True worship is always initiated by God.

Throughout history, God has consistently and continually saved his people through calling them out from the world into worship. In Genesis 12:9, “The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. “

God calls His people to be separate and set apart for His use and His blessing. In Exodus 3:12, God informs Moses that the purpose of delivering the nation of Israel is so that they may worship God.

  1. True worship requires unity—first with God then with other Christians.

The New Testament makes several references to the people of God as the “Body” of Christ. (Rom 12:4, 1 Cor. 12:12).

  1. True worship the Word of God is proclaimed.

Through God’s word comes revelation of God’s truth. When Truth is illuminated error is eliminated. In Neh. 8:9, God’s word so powerfully impacted the people that they wept as it was read. In Acts 2:42, the early Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

  1. True worship demands personal commitment to a growing relationship with God, Jesus and Holy Spirit.

Worship is the response of a grateful and humble person to the living God where submission, sacrificial service, praise, profession, testimony and gratitude are freely expressed in innumerable ways.

 

  1. True worship is characterized by sacrifice.

The sacrifice symbolically ratifies or seals the covenant relationship with God. In the Old Testament, the system of sacrifice required that the God-Man Covenant be sealed with the blood sacrifice of an animal; in the New Testament, the Lord’s Supper became the symbolic act. Paul encourages us to ratify this covenant daily by presenting our “bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Rom 12:1)

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Other definitions of worship –

“Worship is the believer’s response of all that they are – mind, emotions, will, body – to what God is and says and does. (Warren Wiersbe, Real Worship, p. 26)

“Worship of the living and true God is essentially an engagement with him on the terms that he proposes and in the way that he alone makes possible. (David Peterson Engaging with God, pg. 20)

The Greek word “worship” in John 4:23-24 is proskuneo, to throw a kiss toward someone in token of respect or homage, to adore, to show respect, or to kneel or fall prostrate before in reverence.

Paul says – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God; (AMP – I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God,) bcz God has been sooo merciful — that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Rom 12:1-2)

16th May2012

Post with right sidebar and embeded video

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Vivamus convallis

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12th Apr2012

Different size for post thumbnails

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02nd Mar2012

Finibus Bonorum et Malorum

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“At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat.”