Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ran Out of Money and Ideas

From Jared Wilson:

Via Al Mohler, I learn this:

In his 1986 book, Your Church Has a Fantastic Future, [Robert] Schuller provided what he called “A Possibility Thinker’s Guide to a Successful Church.” The book is a manual for a ministry built on pure pragmatism, sensationalistic promotion, a therapeutic message, and a constant and incessant focus on thinking positively.

His message about money was simple: “No church has a money problem; churches only have idea problems,” he asserted.

As most of those who keep up with the headlines know, Schuller's Crystal Cathedral has declared bankruptcy.

I guess he ran out of ideas.

Any church founded on a pastor's good ideas will ultimately fail; but it is spiritually bankrupt from the start.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Back on the Virginia Peninsula

This week I am preaching a revival meeting in Newport News, VA at the Olivet Christian Church. It's really great to be back in this area. I ministered for 12 years with the nearby Northampton Church of Christ, and there are lots of dear friends and good memories here. My good friend David Willis is the preacher at Olivet, and we are having a good time laughing and talking shop. I plan to visit some of my old running routes, and of course some of my fave restaurants like Rocky Mount BBQ and Hot Dog King. But the best part is getting to preach God's Word to His people.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rescued from the Depths

This morning I was reading the paper (yes, I’m still old school that way), amazed at the story about the rescue of the Chilean miners who have been trapped underground for 69 days. The account of the first miner, Florencio Avalos, emerging from the missile-like rescue capsule to a cacophony of cheers, hugging his sobbing 7-year-old son and wife and President Sebastia Pinera was heartwarming. I literally had a lump in my throat. One writer reported, “The miners emerged like clockwork, jubilantly embracing wives, children and rescuers and looking remarkably composed Wednesday after languishing in the depths of a mine that easily could have been their tomb.”

The world is captivated by this story. Everyone is celebrating the rescue. I could not help but think of the stories Jesus told in Luke 15 about the rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents. The words of the father of the Prodigal Son come to mind, “We had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and found” (Luke 15:32).

Each one of those miners is somebody’s son, brother, husband, or boyfriend. Each one is loved, and important to somebody else. Each one’s rescue/salvation is celebrated with great rejoicing. As the last few miners emerge from the depths, the celebration will continue. Miner #33 is just as important as Miner #1. Let’s have this same mindset in the Lord’s church. Every person who comes to know Jesus is reason to rejoice. One more has been rescued from the pit of hell. Praise be to God!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Morning in St. Louis

I spent a day and a half in St. Louis with a couple of minister friends, exchanging possible sermon ideas and best practices. I woke up early this morning decided to go for a run. My hotel was a mile or so from the Gateway Arch, so I decided to run down to the Arch and the surrounding National Park. As I got closer to the monument, the sun was rising up behind it. When I arrived at the park and ran around the Arch there was fog on the Mississippi. It was a gorgeous sight. The city was just starting to come to life, so it seemed like I had the whole place to myself.  It was very cool, and a great way to begin the day.