Archives

Small Groups – A Program with Purpose

Small group ministry is a program. Like any program it should be viewed as a means to an end. If you don’t have a clear idea what you want a program to accomplish its value ought to be seriously questioned. To put it another way: don’t have a small group ministry because you think everyone else has one.

Enlarging Worlds: Hunstville Southwood PCA “Adopts” Strapped Elementary School – and It’s Families

By Amy Sherman. The members of Southwood Presbyterian Church in Huntsville, Alabama, are heavenly minded–and earthly good. The most visible example of this is the giant replica of the solar system they’ve constructed for Lincoln Elementary School, where 94 percent of attending children are poor enough to qualify for the government’s free lunch program.

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Stewardship in a Postmodern World

One issue that makes stewardship a struggle for Christians is the culture of postmodernism. Dr. Albert Mohler wrote, “The postmodernists reject both the Christian and modernist approaches to the question of truth. According to postmodern theory, truth is not universal, is not objective or absolute and cannot be determined by a commonly accepted method. Instead, postmodernists believe truth is socially constructed, plural, and inaccessible to universal reason.” There are ways in which this thinking has impacted the church’s view of stewardship.

Realizing God’s Covenant for Children

In a training session with children’s ministry leaders, a somewhat inclusive question came to us regarding infant baptism, election, covenant and evangelism. Volumes have been written on each of these, but we can only make a short response here. If you read through the PCA Book of Church Order, especially those parts listed below, you will find infant baptism, election, covenant and evangelism are all connected.

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Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church

Our desire is to challenge and encourage Christians in leadership to know some of the issues in the church world. For example, one pastor of a sizeable church recently asked me, “What is this emerging church topic that I am beginning to hear about?” The reason for using this section of Equip for Ministry to review both books is because we have to carefully watch for the pendulum swing scenario. There are some good and valid things those within the emerging church movement are saying, and we need to hear and respond. However, as far as a paradigm, like postmodernism, there is so much missing that will make it a hollow movement and the younger generation, to whom it is trying to appeal, will question its value.

The Use of Knowledge

A head full of biblical data and doctrinal formulations mean little if they are not used by God to influence our behavior when confronted with obvious life-altering decisions. However, if the information isn’t there, it can’t be used. We’ve heard the message but for one reason or another it hasn’t changed us.

Educators vs. Indoctrinators

By Joel Belz. Modern state education, pretending to be valueless, is one of the greatest-and most monolithic-purveyors of a value system in all of human history. As such, while pretending to be open-minded, it is also one of the greatest indoctrinators in all of history. That’s what education does. In fact, the definitions of the two words highlight no radical distinctions. “Teaching,” “training,” and “instruction” are part of both education and indoctrination.

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About the Church and Culture

What role does culture play in determining the church’s ministry? That is a good question, especially when there are so many different ideas and responses regarding it. I would like to build my response around a review and recommendation of Reclaiming the Center, Confronting Evangelical Accommodations in Postmodern Times, by Millard Erickson, Paul Kjoss Helseth, and Justin Taylor.

Be a Kingdom Disciple

Be a Kingdom disciple? Isn’t it hard enough just being an “ordinary” disciple of Jesus? We can take up our Lord’s challenge to be disciples and to make disciples. We can even work at becoming Kingdom disciples because He has the power and He is with us.