If so, how do we do it that we don't attract attention to ourselves, but to Him?
John Piper lays out the two ditches to steer away from and highlights the middle way in between:
Acclaim for Christ vs. Craving Praise
Dear Friends,If you'd like to know more about Bridge Church, or send a gift to encourage them in the work, you can find out more at their website: lovingpeoplemore.org.
So many things have happened since our last update...it is hard to know where to begin. I guess the best place to start is where we last left off and to go forward from there. In January, we had isolated a key problem with what Grace Church had become...we had become a church that repelled people. With the clarity that often comes after a serious look within, we began to move forward addressing these problems:
Grace Church had become a place where people quit caring about each other.
The Grace Church building looked like a place where people quit caring.
The history of Grace Church left a trail of wounded people who remembered this as a place of pain instead of peace, memories of hurt instead of healing.
The solution was to quit being “Grace Church.” We made it our mission to love people more and to love Jesus most. Grace Church was a place where children had become unwelcome, but at our new church, Bridge Church, children were going to have fun and learn about God. Each person put their hand to the work, to help teach weekly children’s classes during the worship hour. As Bridge Church grew, people began to engage one another...week after week, we began to hang around after service, standing and talking with each other. God had worked in our hearts and we were starting to love people again.
Then we began to take a fresh look at the cold and unfriendly walls of the church building that God had given to us and we began to clean, to paint and to decorate in order to create a more warm and welcoming space. For several weeks, we tackled the task of transforming the old Grace Church building. Again, God began to work in incredible ways as the members of Bridge Church banded together, spending weekends and weeknights at the church—seeing vibrant, new life emerge out of the dust of the old.
Finally, on March 9th, Grace Church did, in its last moments of its life, what it had failed to do for years— it became a place of healing. We invited every former member we could find to a Reconciliation Sunday —a chance to make right the wrongs done in the past. Restoration bloomed as God brought together the hurting, the wounded and the outcasts in renewed communion. Grace Church’s last service was the largest, most glorious it had seen in years.
On Sunday, March 16th, Bridge Church was born. On March 23rd, while we celebrated resurrection, three children entered into a new relationship with Christ. On March 30th, yet another accepted the gift of salvation. On April 6th, we welcomed our new worship leader, Ben Zornes—a very talented and exciting young man who has been the answer to many months of prayers. On April 13th, yet another child was drawn into a relationship with Christ.
God has done marvelous things. He continues to draw new families to our church and to draw new children into His family. Please pray that God will continue what He has started in Bridge Church.
Loving people more,
Loving Jesus most!
This book convicted me of some of my sin, and directed me to the only Lord who can save me from my sin. This book, by God's grace, will make me a better pastor, husband, father and person - most especially by making me content to be an ordinary pastor who serves an extraordinary God.Read his full review.
This life is short, but it matters forever. And we have wonderful promises in the Bible, every one of which will prove entirely and gloriously true, promises of his presence now and his reward forever, promises which can hang like plaques on the walls of our minds every time we turn around, telling us this truth: "You're not crazy. Go for it, baby. You're not crazy at all. You are so smart to trust Jesus, lean on Jesus, obey Jesus, look to Jesus, live for Jesus, rejoice by faith in Jesus, promote the cause of Jesus. He's a good boss to work for. He rewards well. You are so not crazy!"Read the whole thing.
Dan Ledford on Ephesians 4:1-6.
Great story from the sermon:
One day a dad sat down with his son and explained with great pride that his grandfather was a preacher, his great-great grandfather was a preacher, and his great-great-great grandfather was a preacher. To which his son replied, “Wow! We sure come from a long line of grandfathers.”
Apparently, a slovenly lech is more likable than a character that strikingly resembles me.