What is the importance of Church?

This video was made by a 16 year old high school student from College Church to highlight the theme of 1 Corinthians as Pastor Josh Moody has been preaching through it this year.

You can listen to the sermons here


10 Challenges Most Small Group Ministries Face

  1. What do you do about all the kids?  Babysitting / care for the kids always seems to be a concern, especially for younger parents.
  2. It is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.  Some people will just not join a group no matter how many times you invite them or tell them how great it is.
  3. There are never enough qualified, trained leaders.  Leadership training takes time and effort.
  4. Small groups can easily take on a life of their own if not given constant direction.
  5. Leadership must be involved in a small group in order for people to see the need.  Pastors and Elders must see it as enough of a priority to join one themselves if they are going to expect others to join.
  6. A lot of programs in the church on a number of different nights of the week compete for people’s time and energy.  If small groups are to succeed, leadership must consider how to streamline the schedule.
  7. Groups can become ingrown if they are not challenged and occasionally split to accommodate more people.
  8. The right leader is the most important piece of a successful small group.  It can be difficult to turn away willing people who are not ready to lead a group yet.  Sometimes the most willing are not the most effective.
  9. Small Groups cannot be viewed as one program among many, but an essential means by which the church is seeking to accomplish its goals.
  10. People are busy and it is difficult to coordinate schedules of multiple people.  Just because someone lives close to another might not mean they are in the same group because they might have incompatible schedules.

25 Reasons why your church must have small groups

  1. People do not naturally develop deep relationships without time and intentionality being given to the task.  Unless time is carved out of our busy schedules, we will not make the time we need to cultivate deeper friendships and fellowship.
  2. Marriages grow stronger when couples talk with one another about struggles and pray for one another.  Small groups can serve as a means of protection against bitterness, lust, pride and other besetting sins that could otherwise lead to weakened marriages that are vulnerable to decay and /or eventual divorce if left uncared for. Small groups can serve as a preventative measure in couples lives who would otherwise be found in the pastor’s office or counselors office with their marriage in deep trouble.
  3. Leaders are cultivated and identified in small group settings where they can exercise and develop their gifts.
  4. There is a net of care that can be extended over the congregation whereby those who are in small groups have a network of people who are praying for them and caring for them in the trials of life.  Practically, this means that there is at least one group of people who know you well and are praying for you personally.
  5. People have increased opportunities to engage in effective service and use of their gifts in a small group.
  6. Small groups can provide an entrance ramp for the unchurched into the church.
  7. Small groups can provide an immediate opportunity for connection for those who come to the church and want to be involved.
  8. Pastors have networks of people in which to tap into for specialized opportunities for service.
  9. Outreach can be more effective when it is done in smaller groups of people who live in the area where they are reaching out.
  10. Mentoring relationships can easily develop from small groups as men and women get to know one another.
  11. Pastoral care is easier when there is a group of people that can help carry the burdens of a person who is struggling through a trial or hardship.
  12. People are more quickly aware of the needs (physical and material) of others when they know them better and know their situations.
  13. The better we know someone the more our sin is exposed.  We have opportunities to grow in humility and grace when we sin against those who are close to us, in a small group there is opportunity for biblical correction in love.
  14. When a person undergoes a deep trial there will be little question as to who they are closest to– most likely it will be those in their small group whom they have gotten to know over a period of time..
  15. Small group ministry in a home provides a less threatening environment for people to speak more candidly and provides an opportunity to linger and talk.
  16. Small Group Ministry provides an opportunity for corporate prayer.
  17. Small group ministry provides an opportunity for fellowship around the word that incorporates personal application.
  18. Some gifts come out more frequently in smaller groups where people know and observe one another regularly.
  19. Church plants can come from small groups that are growing in areas that are not in close proximity to the church building.
  20. Small groups provide an inter-generational and co-ed opportunity for people to gather with those different than themselves.  A younger couple benefits from an older, etc…
  21. Small groups provide an opportunity for men who are not yet ready to lead a group to apprentice and grow in leadership abilities while under the care of a more experienced leader.
  22. Small groups can provide specialized training at various points throughout the year more effectively than a large group setting. For example, teaching on how to share their faith, giving, missions etc.
  23. Missionaries can have a group of people adopting them and praying for them regularly and providing care for them when they return on furlough.
  24. Small groups can show mercy to those in their community who are in need and be watching for opportunities to serve those around them with compassion. (neighbor who is sick, elderly who need practical help, etc.)
  25. Most of the concerns that stem from a lack of connection or fellowship can be addressed by a thriving, intentional small group ministry.

Cynics think they can see through anything

Paul Miller writes in his book A Praying Life about cynics:

“Cynics imagine they are disinterested observers on a quest for authenticity.  They assume they are humble because they offer nothing.  In fact, they feel deeply superior because they think they see through everything.  C.S. Lewis pointed out that if you see through everything, you eventually see nothing.

‘You cannot go on ‘explaining away for ever: you will find that you have explained explanation itself away.  You cannot go on ‘seeing through’ things for ever.  The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it…. If you see through everything, then everything is transparent.  But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world.  To ‘see through’ all things is the same as not to see’

A Praying Life, Paul Miller p.91

Strength for Today, Bright Hope for Tomorrow

This is the outline that I preached from as I spoke on Psalm 40 today at a business luncheon.

Strength for today:  Deliverance remembered v. 1-10

  1. God hears our cry- we can wait patiently v.1 (Romans 8:18-25)
  2. God sets our feet on a rock  v.2 (Matt 7:24)
  3. God gives us the song to sing v.3  (Rev 5:9)
  4. God shows how incomparable he is and how he is worthy of our trust v. 4,5  (Heb 2:8-18)

Bright hope for tomorrow: The Lord will deliver again v.11-17

  1. Because of God’s steadfast love he will preserve v.11,12 (Phil 1:6)
  2. Because God has delivered he will protect v.14 (Luke 1:71,74)
  3. Because God is great we can rejoice and be glad in Him. v.16 (Phil 4:4-7)
  4. Because God is our deliverer we can wait patiently v.17  (then back to v.1)

Word + Prayer = Growth

“Without the Word, prayer is nothing, having no source of nourishment. Without prayer, the Word is powerless and does not penetrate into the heart.” Adolphe Monod (1802-1856)

Park Community is Giving Away their [old] Website

What a great use of kingdom resources!  Park Community is giving away their [old] website.

Check out the details.