Monday, August 31, 2009

Why Does a Church Need Multi-Generations?

Milbre and I had a day off yesterday and took the opportunity to visit a church in Seattle we had heard so much about. We visited Mars Hill Church at the Ballard Campus. Lead Pastor Mark Driscoll was on vacation. Pastor "Bill" was the speaker. We were both struck by the enormous crowd of young people! Hundreds of twenty-somethings. What a testatment to this local church reaching this younger generation. The only anomally was there were almost no older people. I noticed only 4 or 5 couples (out of hundreds) that I would consider "Middle-Age".

Pastor Bill brought a great message on living the Christ life. I observed the youth in that service were totally immersed in the message. The service began at 11:15 AM. There were two worship choruses with up-beat music. Pastor began his message at 11:30 and wrapped up at 12:15PM. I thought that was a good balance--weighted to the Word.

After service, Milbre and I discussed the service and agreed that it was a terrific outreach--but where were the older people? It is my belief that church should represent and include all generatons. The elders need the younger set and the younger set need the influence of elders in their life. This is not criticsm, but a question of what happens if you do church with only your generation? Is this the trend? I know of a church in Phoenix AZ that has only 55 and older.

If you have thoughts or comments on this trend, please let me know. I believe that everyone needs Jesus Christ and no one should be left behind.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Teachable Spirit

1 Samuel 26:8-11 (NIV)

8 Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of my spear; I won’t strike him twice.”
9 But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?
10 As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “the Lord himself will strike him; either his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish.
11 But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let’s go.”

Abishai couched his comment in spiritual language:

“Today, God has delivered your enemy into your hand…”

I call this spiritual manipulation. Manipulating the Scriptures for a desired result. I think that is a danger we all must be careful of. That’s how cults are formed and false doctrines begin.

Abishai could withstand and accept correction. He had a teachable spirit. It is a requirement of those who would be serious followers of Christ.

Beware the Christian who thinks they have an inside track on spirituality and knowledge from God. Sometimes, in an effort to find acceptance, I have watched some as they tried to establish themselves as “the” spokesperson that God wants to use.

If God has told you something or directed you, then that word can stand challenge or correction from leadership. I am a little wary of those who constantly say, “God told me this, God told me that, I know what God wants.” Sometimes, God will speak to us for our own needs—not to show the world how spiritual and how close to God we are—or to set the church straight.

No one stands alone and no one person has a patent on the Word of Knowledge or the prophetic Word. God sets these gifts in the church “as He wills.” The gifts are not necessarily resident in the person—they are resident in the Body—the Church.

Denny points out that “every heresy has its beginning in the heart of an unteachable believer.” Because God anoints them for a special purpose, spiritual pride can enter their heart and they feel they have ownership of that gift in the Body.

The Abishai anointing is willing to receive teaching and correction.

A teachable spirit inhabits those who walk in humility and Godliness. As Paul admonished Timothy, “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them.” He seems to indicate that it can mean the difference between being saved and reaching others as well.

King Saul in the Old Testament is an example of an unteachable spirit. It started long before our story in this book. It started when he was a young king and began to feel the power of his position. The first indication was when he became impatient and disobedient and stepped into the role of Priest and offered the sacrifice. On top of that, when he fought against the Amalakites, God told him to destroy them all—every living thing. Pride taught him that he knew better—so he spared the best of the flock and also King Agag. This led to Samuel’s challenge: “Does God delight as much in burnt offerings and sacrifice as much as he does in obedience?”

If Saul had possessed a teachable spirit he would not have found himself in this predicament of being told “Your kingdom will not continue.” “To obey is better than sacrifice and to listen is better than the fat of rams.”

Monday, August 17, 2009


Isaiah 65:1-10 (The Message)
1 “I’ve made myself available to those who haven’t bothered to ask. I’m here, ready to be found by those who haven’t bothered to look. I kept saying ‘I’m here, I’m right here’ to a nation that ignored me.
2 I reached out day after day to a people who turned their backs on me, People who make wrong turns, who insist on doing things their own way.
3 They get on my nerves, are rude to my face day after day, Make up their own kitchen religion, a potluck religious stew.
4 They spend the night in tombs to get messages from the dead, Eat forbidden foods and drink a witch’s brew of potions and charms.
5 They say, ‘Keep your distance. Don’t touch me. I’m holier than thou.’ These people gag me. I can’t stand their stench.
6 Look at this! Their sins are all written out— I have the list before me. I’m not putting up with this any longer. I’ll pay them the wages
7 They have coming for their sins. And for the sins of their parents lumped in, a bonus.” God says so. “Because they’ve practiced their blasphemous worship, mocking me at their hillside shrines, I’ll let loose the consequences and pay them in full for their actions.”
8 God’s Message: “But just as one bad apple doesn’t ruin the whole bushel, there are still plenty of good apples left. So I’ll preserve those in Israel who obey me. I won’t destroy the whole nation.
9 I’ll bring out my true children from Jacob and the heirs of my mountains from Judah. My chosen will inherit the land, my servants will move in.
10 The lush valley of Sharon in the west will be a pasture for flocks, And in the east, the valley of Achor, a place for herds to graze. These will be for the people who bothered to reach out to me, who wanted me in their lives, who actually bothered to look for me.

Peterson, Eugene H.: The Message : The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, Colo. : NavPress, 2002