We are living in a day when Christians could have some cause for concern over the state of the church in our country. Specifically, its health and growth. As Thom Ranier recently noted in an article entitled “Why American churches are at a tipping point,”
If current trajectories continue, American churches will pass a tipping point. Our congregations will likely begin an unstoppable path toward decline that will rival many European churches of the past century. If there is not a significant movement of revitalization, there will be an accelerated rate of decline and death.
Or consider a warning from pastor Mike Woodruff to his fellow pastors of churches in his home state of Illinois, in an article entitled “Churches brace for Illinois exodus,”
“…most Illinois churches are unprepared for [the decline] that is going to happen…in these challenging times.”
How do we reconcile such realities with the Biblical vision of an expansive and growing kingdom of God? Further, with the teaching that the church is to be the means for that expansion? I believe that Luke’s goal in writing, in part, is to provide both a picture and a confidence for how the kingdom will grow, no matter the opposition arrayed against it. And I invite you now to watch or listen to the sermon on Luke, where we learn that the whole book could be summed up this way—God’s Not Done Yet.
If you’d like some additional resources on Luke, head on over to the Bible Project page for this story. You’ll also be interested in a fascinating series of videos on both Luke and Acts, two books which are meant to be read together. You can find that here.
I look forward to gathering with you on Sunday.
Just a brief reminder that a great way to prepare for the service this coming Sunday is to read the text we will be studying together.
One of the dangers of reading the stories of those followers of Jesus that we find in the Bible is we can treat them as if they are almost super-human.
Preparing For Sunday May 12, 1 & 2 Thessalonians
This last Sunday, I preached the first of two sermons on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians. Here was the sentence I began unpacking, which is my summary of both letters:
Martin Luther warned that the people of the church are always in danger of their hearts straying from the truth of the good news of the kingdom of God found in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
First, it is Palm Sunday. Which means it is the beginning of a week of remembering the most important events in the history of the world: the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, his last meal with his disciples, his death at the hands of sinful men as the result of a sham sentence in a kangaroo court, his burial by those who loved him, and his resurrection from the dead just three days later. All of it for the salvation and rescue of the world.
The Whole Story: Ephesians-Week Two
I attempted to show in the sermon this past Sunday that Paul offers us two anchor points for our lives, and upon which our lives depend.
Preparing For Sunday 19 May 2019
What do you think of when you see these two words together?...