“There is an app for that.” While that certainly seems to be true, I have found some apps to be especially helpful. Here are some of them!
Here is one I use on a daily basis. This app enables me to have a plan for reading or listening through the Bible. I also love its ability to create church events on it for free. We are testing it our with our Acts series.
This is an app that I have been using for about a year. Essentially it is your public library at your fingertips—anytime, anywhere. This gives you access to TONS of digital content for free. I have been blessed to listen to many Christian audio books from great preachers and writers in the past and present.
This is an app that I have been watching for a couple of years and seems to be making great improvements. It is a soulwinning management app. Recently testing it for our church’s outreach.
Ever wish you could pull up a tract on your smartphone and use it to give the Gospel? Well, now you can. You can even keep a prospect list on it! It is a fantastic Gospel tool.
What you listen really influences you! Many times Christian radio does not sound so Christian. I have enjoyed listening to this internet radio station through their app. Give it a try! You will find the music to be Christ-centered and spiritually nourishing.
The work of the ministry calls for frequent sharpening. One of the ways I sharpen myself each year is by attending the Outreach Conference at Faith Baptist Church in Avon, Indiana. Here are some reasons I make this conference a priority.
- Solid Preaching—As pastors, we need to hear preaching. I have enjoyed hearing men like R.B. Oullette, Mark Monte, Kurt Skelly, Doug Jackson and Cary Schmidt. God has used these men to challenge me to keep growing spiritually.
- Meaningful Fellowship—I enjoy reconnecting with pastors that I don’t get to see throughout the year. Whether it is sharing ideas or just talking about the ministry, I am encouraged by the fellowship we have together.
- Genuine Motivation—Sometimes you get the sense that conferences are hosted in order to show off rather than to give sincere help. This conference is born out a genuine desire to just be a blessing. I have observed this over and over again.
- Encouragement for My Wife—Some conferences focus so much on the pastor that they forget the pastor’s wife. Every year my wife has been encouraged and leaves refreshed and charged.
- Helpful Workshops—Practical workshops give an opportunity for pastors and ministry leaders to sharpen themselves on multiple subjects. The workshops are about a half hour in length so that you can get more information in a short amount of time. No doubt you will leave with useful material.
Would you take the time to participate in the Outreach Conference March 6-7, 2017? You will be glad you did!
This past Monday, our church was able begin phase one of our Auditorium Enhancement project. For over a year we have been praying about and raising funds. It is so exciting to see a fresh, new look taking shape. I would like to praise the Lord in several specific ways in regards to this project.
- Jesus is the Motivation
It may seem obvious, but I want to praise the Lord that Jesus is the reason and the motivation behind this project. Jesus is the reason we exist as a church, He is the one whom we serve and the one whom we desire to magnify in every venture we undertake.
- Believers with a Heart for God
Praise the Lord for believers who have had a heart for God and a willingness to sacrifice, giving of their time and finances. I am thankful for those who have prayed. I am grateful for the spirit of unity that the Holy Spirit has given to God’s people.
- Wisdom from God
Many have co-labored on this project to this point with a heart to be guided by God’s wisdom. Praise God for wisdom for each step of the way! God’s wisdom allows all of us to carry out His will and to exercise our gifts in a skillful manner.
May God continue to guide and use Grace Baptist Church to impact Kettering and our world for Jesus Christ.
Can you think back to the day you accepted Jesus as your personal Savior from sin? Can you remember the person God used to point you to Christ? Maybe it was your mom or dad, your pastor, a faithful soul winner at your door or maybe it was an unknown person who left a tract in a public place. Whoever it was, they cared for you!
Today, you and I will have opportunities to connect with people. People who are doomed to spend eternity in the fires of hell. Would you care enough to give the truth to them? Would you care enough to tell them of what Jesus did for you? Would you care enough to invite them to attend church with you?
Would you be someone who cares?
John 5:7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
I always enjoy spending time with my wife. She is my best friend, cheerleader and soulmate. This was our second annual couples retreat at Grace Baptist Church. I would like to share several blessings of having and attending couples retreat.
- Growing Together—Couples retreat is an awesome opportunity for God to work on a couple together. My wife and I hear the same Bible truth together and are given opportunity to respond to that truth together. It seems that God gives a focused openness to each other and an excitement about putting into practice what has been received.
- Gaining Wisdom—We do well to listen and accept the advice of those who have walked with God for many years. We were privileged to have Dr. Bob Taylor and his wife Joan as our speakers. God used the wisdom they have gained from fifty plus years of marriage to give Biblical insight. I appreciated men in the older generation being willing to share all that God has taught them over the years.
- Encouraging Others—It is exciting to see God’s people edified. In a day when Biblical marriage is under attack, what a blessing it is when marriages are strengthened! I praise God for the work He did in mine and what I heard testified that He was doing in other’s.
In addition to these blessings, I want to give a two fold encouragement.
- If you have not yet attended a couples retreat, plan to attend one! You will be blessed. Begin now to plan and save to be able to attend.
- If you are a pastor and do not have an annual couples retreat, prayerfully consider beginning one. Strong families make up strong churches. Time investing in the marriages in your church will never be wasted time.
There is no end of talk about the characteristics of the millennial generation. As a millennial myself, a characteristic that I am burdened about is the willingness to criticize the older generation. Sure, every generation, including the millennials, has its blind spots and failures. You would be hard pressed to find a preacher in his 60’s who would not readily admit theirs. My question is this. What should the focus of millennials be as we are taking the mantle of ministry? It seems that many of my generation are so focused on the issues of the past, valid and invalid, that they have forgotten the present mission. Many would rather sit behind a keyboard and criticize than knock on doors and preach the Good News. God did not commission us to be critiques but to be couriers. I believe we need to refocus and set our priorities right.
- Focus on Continuing
Paul commanded Timothy to continue not critique in the things he had learned. Let’s not be so in love with “new” that we ditch what is good old, real Christian practice. I hear so many criticize the last generation’s standards as legalistic throwing them out the window not realizing they have just ripped out key protections of purity wisely put in place. Check your heart when you find yourself zealous to disregard that which you have been taught. Be careful to follow the wise advice of the Apostle Paul to continue in the things you have been taught.
- Focus on the Commission
In these last days, we must use the strength of our youth to preach Jesus boldly, publicly and constantly. The devil would love to sidetrack us with the wrong doing of a preacher, a vendetta against standards or a desire to be accepted. Bottom line, Jesus has called us to follow Him so that we could be fishers of men. We need a laser focus on the great commission influencing others to follow suit and turn our worlds upside down. Have you stopped to think that the time taken to write that criticizing blog may have been better used planning an outreach campaign or just getting some tracts and going soul winning. Let’s be busy for Jesus and for souls!
- Focus on the Christlikeness
This is the ultimate goal of every believer. Jesus has clearly revealed Himself in the Word and commands us follow His example. Let us be passionate about following His commands to hate sin, to be holy, to love not the world, to preach the Gospel everywhere, to walk as children of the light and to prove all things. It saddens me to hear millenials criticize the older generation’s practices as legalistic and unbiblical while many of them simply had a desire to follow Jesus and obey his commands—to be Christlike. We must personally focus on following and becoming like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.