Andy Stanley writes in an article, “Why ‘The Bible Says So’ Is Not Enough Anymore” offers some interesting challenges as Christians strive to share God’s Word in today’s North American context. Stanley writes,
As I explain in Deep and Wide and Communicating for a Change, I approach a message series like a single, two- or three-hour message divided into four or five parts. I’m comfortable with tension, unanswered questions and leaving people hanging. Not everybody is.
But to recap, yes, I believe the Bible is without error in everything it affirms. Yes, my approach to preaching is not traditional. Yes, my approach at times leaves those outside our local congregations wondering if I’m still an evangelical. So in light of all that, along with the fact that here I am once again having to explain myself, shouldn’t I consider changing my approach?
Actually, I would like you to consider changing yours.
The world has changed.
The approach most of us inherited doesn’t work anymore. Actually, it’s never worked all that well. In a culture that had high regard for the Bible, the traditional approach held its own. Those days are over. They’ve been over for a long time. If you think I’m using culture as an excuse to maintain a flawed hermeneutical approach, consider this.
To read Stanley’s article in its entirety, click on: “Not Enough Anymore.”
Mission Training Center develops people for God’s mission through training opportunities centered in the Bible and taught through the lenses of God’s mission. Participants confidently and competently reach into the community with appropriate and contextual proclamation and disciple-making ministry, as well as train and develop other apostolic disciples for God’s mission. So, if . . . .
- You want to be better prepared to join God in His mission by serving more intentionally in your congregation or community, or
- Your congregation is in need of well-trained missional leaders, or
- You are interested in serving in organizations which require or expect a level of missional Biblical competency & knowledge, or
- Your organization is interested in trained deacons for ministry, or
- You are on a track to enter a seminary program or another organization in order to take further steps toward trained and/or professional ministry . . . .
How are courses offered?
MTC offers three ways to access the learning:
- Online courses are taught using GoToMeeting, a voice-to-voice, live, synchronous method on evenings during the week or Saturday mornings. Courses are offered continuously throughout the year.
- One-on-one courses are taught locally, face-to-face. Courses are offered as scheduled by the participant with a local instructor (normally a local pastor).
- Field MTC courses are taught locally, face-to-face, at a local geographic site in a classroom setting to a group of people. Courses are offered as scheduled by the field site. Check with the MTC Administrator to identify Field MTC locations.
To check out the course offerings, visit: Courses.
NOTE: The Mission Training Center is affiliated with the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod and serves many LCMS Districts in equipping a certified lay deaconate.
THRED is Lutheran Hour Ministry’s new digital outreach project. THRED is a place to go for open, honest conversation about life and faith — and Jesus. Blog-style posts and in-depth articles cover an array of topics (e.g. marriage, God, Faith, etc.). Visitors are encouraged to join conversations that begin in thought-pieces whose titles include, “What’s My Convenience Worth?” “Making Peace with a Violent World,” “The Day I Accidently Rejected Christ.”
THRED is more than conversation. Participants will be able to join online interest groups to explore ideas at greater depth with THRED volunteers who interact from a Christian viewpoint.
THRED also has a number of videos in which people with a variety of viewpoints discuss Jesus. These videos can serve as a great discussion starter in your church Bible study group, especially, if you are tired of hearing “canned” answers and you are genuinely interested in sharing your Christian faith with others.
Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM), through the International Ministries Partnership program, offers unique short-term volunteer team opportunities for groups such as a congregation, district, school, youth group, Lutheran organization, or even a group of friends. Teams work alongside local LHM staff and volunteers in projects such as outreach events, ministry to children, construction, healthcare training, skills transfer, etc.
LHM oversees all logistical details and manages the project in the host country. LHM also provide high quality DVD based short-term team volunteer training prior to the trip.
To discover what current volunteer trips are available, visit: Mission Trips.
According to the February edition of the Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) National News, “CTV reported that 744 people have been killed by euthanasia in Canada since it was legalized on June 17, 2016. That was in six months, and doesn’t include those who received permission from a court to be killed by a medical professional before euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide were legalized. About 40% of the deaths were in Quebec.”
The CLC article quotes University of Toronto law professor, Trudo Lemmens as saying, “There is a concern that people who are vulnerable or who find themselves in a situation of vulnerability may be pressured consciously or unconsciously to opt for medical assistance in dying either because of financial circumstances or because the medical help that they need is not necessarily available.”
What are your thoughts on medically-assisted suicide? What is morally and ethically wrong with the practice? What does God have to say on the subject? Here are some resources you may want to read:
The Voice of the Martyrs Canada magazine (February 2017) recounts the story of Kelly, whose husband Pabel, was a Christian in the southwest area of Colombia who spoke out against pagan rituals and practices that were contrary to the Bible. Needless to say, Pabel had many people who hated him.
On one particular day, Pabel disappeared and was later found dead. He had been strangled to death by two men. Instead of harboring hate for these two murderers, Kelly forgave them. Kelly said, “I know that if they repent and seek the Lord, He will forgive them and welcome them home. I can’t let anything in my heart get in the way of that.” (p. 6)
To hear the rest of Kelly’s story, you can watch a video featuring Kelly’s testimony.
For more than thirty years the Haiti Lutheran Mission Society has been working to help the people of Haiti. The Lutheran Church of Haiti has grown, with thousands of members who have joyfully received God’s gift of faith through Holy Baptism. They proclaim in their beloved country, “He [Jesus] lives!”
The Haiti Lutheran Mission Society provides items like kitchen utensils, garden tools, cloth and hygiene items for children in orphanages. The Society also assists with the support of seminary training of pastors.
To learn more about the ministry of the Haiti Lutheran Mission Society, visit: Haiti.
The spring 2017 edition of LifeDate will be going to press very soon. LifeDate is another way to share the For Life message with your congregation! Order LifeDate in bulk quantities at no charge. (Donations for shipping cost will gladly be accepted.) Call 888.364.LIFE (5433) to order!
Regarding LifeDate, a reader sent this note: “It is such a blessing to read LifeDate, and I appreciate that you put value on God’s gift of life in its full spectrum. Thank you for the many thoughtful perspectives your writers share … The issues that your publication addresses are ones that every family will face in one way or another. Thank you for the guidance and godly wisdom that your articles give. May the Lord continue to bless your work.”
LifeDate is Lutherans For Life’s quarterly journal of news and commentary offering a biblical Law/Gospel perspective on life issues, such as abortion, post abortion, adoption, end of life, bioethics, creation, family life, worldview and culture, and more.
There are a limited number of copies of back issues of LifeDate that are free upon request. Please call 888.364.LIFE (5433) or email email@example.com to order.
Two Days of World-Class Leadership Training (August 10-11; October 19-20)
- Gain exclusive access to the HD telecast of the Summit at one of 600+ location
- Get a unique blend of vision, inspiration and practical skills you can immediately apply
- Learn from Bill Hybels and the diverse 2017 faculty
- Leverage the Summit as a resource to transform yourself and your community
- Join with people from 125 countries and 59 languages who attend the Summit around the world
For more information and/or to register: Visit 2017 Global Leadership Summit.
The latest issue of the Lutheran Mission Matters journal is now in print. Articles will soon be added to LSFM.global. The inspiring articles center around the theme of Science and Mission. Read this article about Lutheran mission’s contribution to the eradication of smallpox.