Archive for the ‘Ministry’ Category

The short lived fashion trend of wearing a WWJD bracelet has been dead for years. If you’ve been a Christian a decade or more you probably owned one in your life. If not, be grateful that you can be asked that question without immediately thinking of an armband.

So, “What would Jesus do?” If Jesus were living in America in 2012 just before an election of our next President, with debates about homosexuality raging, and the national debt climbing out of control…what would He do? How would He vote, what issues would He comment on, what plan of action would He suggest to climb out of the hole we have dug for ourselves financially as a country?

Nobody can really answer that question, but it’s fun to pontificate…

Have you ever heard about a servery overweight person getting kicked out of church for being a glutton? Why don’t Christian picked buffets? Are divorced people told to stay home by pastors until they are remarried to their original spouses? Do we make liars pass a polygraph before they can take communion?
If the Bible teaches the borrower is a slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7), that immigrants are to be treated as one of our own (Leviticus 19:34), and that If God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), a gluttonous son was to be stoned (Deuteronomy 21:20-21), and liars are destined for a lake of fire (Revelation 21:8)…why has an issue like homosexuality so easily divided us? With this many Biblical convictions to consider, can we really pick our leaders based solely on their political party?

Maybe, Jesus would stay out of politics and hide behind His “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above” comment (John 19:11), because His Dad puts people in office. Maybe, He would simply say, “Then neither do I condemn you” (John 8:11) to the woman who has had an abortion or the man who has committed adultery. It’s even possible that he would hangout with people who would prefer to murder people with fire from Heaven (Luke 9:54) rather then send them away until they matured.

So, here is my WWJD conclusion…

We are not called to judge the type, severity, and quantity of others sin. We are called to love people and share the truth. The truth we share shouldn’t be “YOU ARE A SINNER and headed to Hell!!” The truth they need is that even if you are dying for the crimes you’ve committed (Luke 23:39-43) Jesus loves you and will save you. In other words…there is hope! Hope for salvation, unification, finding our purpose, and a better future (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Advertisements

Train Wrecks

Posted: October 25, 2012 in Church Leadership, Ministry, Theology

There is a sentiment that continues to be perpetuated in Christian circles that we need an amazing testimony to relate to people who have made amazing messes of their lives.

I’ve often wondered, “Why are we so infatuated with the ‘train wreck?’” and I think I understand it now.

Do you really need to have an affair, embezzle money, or just do something stupid to help people who have messed up respond to the Gospel? Would Jesus have done better if He killed off a few pharisees or stolen money out of the Temple to fund His ministry?

On one side it’s true that our sin resume isn’t a ticket to rapport with others who have failed. It shouldn’t be our catalyst to being a guest speaker at a local church or conference. I’m convinced that we love the “train wreck,” because it helps us feel better about our failures when we compare our stories to others. This just shows we don’t understand happens to our sin through the Cross. An axe murder deserves the same thing as a liar, because grace is not getting what we deserve. We all deserve Hell, but get Heaven through Jesus.

So what’s so fascinating about those with gaudy testimonies of God’s grace? Why do they have an audience and have our rapt attention when they share? Why don’t we see the Gospel  as the unifying standard that shows us all that we need God’s grace. The answer might shock you…

People who have messed up just may love Jesus more than you…and that’s contagious. See Luke 7:40-43

Migrant Workers

Posted: November 4, 2011 in Ministry

I’ve heard lots of times people say, “If Jesus was on Earth today _______ is who He would be helping.”  Obviously you can fill in the blank with whatever stokes your passion and if it’s a worth cause you can feel justified in making such a bold statement. I’m not going to go there…

Maybe Jesus would help illegal and legal immigrants who make sure you get your vegetables, watermelons, while keeping your grass mowed, and roads paved.  Maybe he would turn His head, because they snuck in our country, can’t speak English, and took jobs we don’t really want anyway.

I’m not running for office, so I’m just going to tell you why Axiom Church is going to turn our effort, resources, and our passions at helping Migrant Workers and their families.  BECAUSE THEY NEED OUR HELP.

I’ve done block parties, outreaches, random acts of kindness.  Giving a guy who makes $50K+ a year a light-bulb isn’t likely to make them drop to their knees and accept Jesus.  Buying a lady with $100 earrings a $4 coffee probably won’t quicken her soul to the Holy Spirit’s calling. But, giving a Migrant Worker a pair of shoes or a warm jacket just might make them ponder God’s love shown through your kindness.

According to our sources there are 500+ children and 1000+ adults we can help in North Central Florida, so here is what you can do to help:

  • Send men’s shoes (size 7-9) to 5745 SW 75th St. #172 Gainesville, FL 32608
  • Send men’s jackets (small or medium) to the above address.
  • Send children’s size jackets (boys and girls).
  • Send school supplies like pencils, pens, erasers, colored pencils.
  • Send toiletries like toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, soap, deodorant, and nail clippers.
  • Finally, you can donate through PayPal and earmark it Migrant using the “Make a Donation” button under Axiom Church on this page.

Benchmarks

Posted: November 1, 2010 in Church Leadership, Ministry, Theology

Lots of different ways to see the principle of benchmarks in the world and in the Christian faith.  Accordingly, they can become idols if viewed as more important than our present relationship with God.  Yet, I think Joshua’s leadership in asking the appointed leaders of Israel to gather stones was a powerful tool for recalling God’s miracle.

If you look at the story of Israel it was one of constant backpedaling.  Kind of like the saying, “2 steps forward, 1 step back.”  Of course in their case it might have been more like: “1 step forward and 3 steps back.”  Either way, they struggled to see God’s hand of protection, His will for their nation, and to stick with His guidelines for living.

We are no different today.  Accordingly, we need to write, mark down, or even get a tattoo when God speaks to us about what He said and what happened as a result.  Nothing is more powerful than God’s voice in our lives for knowing what to do.  Our sinful nature makes it tough to continue on the path He gave us and we often need reminders that God neglects to give…with just cause.  It’s like a President having to remind his staff by text about his last instruction after clearly conveying it in a meeting.  I think the best thing we can do is to go back to last time he spoke, moved, or did something in our lives as fuel to carry on…instead of asking for Him to repeat Himself.

Israel didn’t gather stones for exercise they did it for recall.

Got rocks?

Are you a spleen?

Posted: October 23, 2010 in Church Leadership, Ministry

One of the greatest questions a person that follows Jesus should tackle once they have chosen to follow Christ is the following: “What has God the Holy Spirit gifted me to do?”

You may have been told that it’s easy to answer and you should just do what you already know you are good at doing.  That’s partially true, but it misses some pretty clear Scripture from 1 Corinthians 12…especially verse 11.  God didn’t just give you the ability to organize so you could be a good manager.  He didn’t help you develop a sense of empathy for people in tough spots, so you could be a good social worker.  God the Holy Spirit hand picked spiritual gifts to help the Body of Christ, the Church, reach the world and make disciples.  Plus, you might not even be using your gifts at work!

Going through life with no knowledge of what God the Holy Spirit has armed you with would be a mistake.  More than likely you will also be frustrated and discouraged as you fizzle out in various roles in the church.

There are various ways to figure out what you have been given.  You can guess based on what you like to do, what you do well, or you can get some assistance from people that know how to pull it out you.  I’d go with three to be on the safe side.

Two free and easy ones are Gifted 2 Serve and  Team Ministry.  Don’t take the inventories alone…you will need someone there who can help you answer what is actually true, not what you wish was true.  🙂

A Haunting Reminder

Posted: October 5, 2010 in Ministry

I’m not sure if there are verses in the Bible that haunt you or keep you up at night, but one in particular haunts me.  I’m not sure if it was Jesus intention, but it’s a nice side-effect.

The parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25 makes me wonder how our church can better serve the “least of these” in our community.  Let’s get serious, giving someone a bottle of water in the majority of places our community is just convenient random kindness, not real ministry.  We have to work hard to find people who have legitimate needs.

So, here is my proposal…

Axiom Church is going to give the people or teams that comes up with a ministry, project, or event that they are passionate about anywhere between $100-$1000 to fund their idea.  The hope is to inspire creativity, to reinforce passions, and help people serve the least of these in our community.  Giving Starbucks coffee to a the people who work at a law firm wouldn’t make the cut…just saying!

The sooner the better, so start inspiring good deeds for the Kingdom’s sake, in the name of Jesus, through Axiom!!