Je li Osama bin Laden Spremljeno?

Osama Bin LadenThe cover of Time magazine recently featured Pastor Rob Bell and his controversial new book that hones in on the weighty issue of eternity. Unatoč Bellova intervjuu zaobilaženja jer je knjiga objavljena, the book flatly endorses Universalism – the notion that all will get a chance to come to Christ after death no matter what beliefs they held to in this life. I find that position impossible to hold in light of a multitude of scriptures.

I see the heart of God broken for the Lost, but they are still the Lost as the Bible addresses them.

The Lord is…not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Pet. 3:9, NKJV) Clearly the heart of God is that all come to know Christ and spend eternity in the presence of God. Will that choosing of God be violated? Clearly yes.

For many are called, but few chosen. (Matt. 20:16, NKJV) Based on the context of Jesus’ words we could easily restate that concluding statement to this: “Many are called but few choose.” Most want to choose their own way forward and violate God’s choosing of them for relationship with God. It is particularly true that religious people choose their own way versus the way of humility into relationship with God. Few choose the way of humility. Few (something less than 50%) find authentic relationship with God through Jesus’ atoning death for them.

Bottom line, was Bin Laden a follower of Jesus? Of course he wasn’t. I don’t mean to be a party pooper but here’s what I think. Though millions of Americans are celebrating the shooting of this notorious criminal, there is a sense in which God is not celebrating. Da, evil has been judged. For that we are grateful. On the other hand, this man has gone into a christless eternity. For those who understand the heart of God, this is nothing to get overly excited about, regardless of the evil he stood for.

& Nbsp;

Biblijska Predanost zahtjevi kulturni Relevantnost Paul Alexander

Mnogo je toga rečeno i napisano u posljednjih nekoliko godina, nudi sve vrste kritike suvremenih crkava za kompromis pridržavanja Evanđelja Isusa Krista za suvremenim metodama ga komuniciranje. Zanimljivo je da je velika većina ovom pitanju kritike putem drugih Crkava. Typically it comes from Churches that are not growing criticizing Churches that are growing. After all, if a Church is growing, they’ve got to be doing something wrong don’t they?

I have a tendency to go the other way on this one. Zapravo, I’d go so far as to say if a Church isn’t working hard to be culturally relevant, it isn’t working hard to remain true to the Scriptures! You can’t be radically committed to the Scriptures without being radically committed to communicating the Scriptures in a culturally relevant manner.

It’s an easy statement to make because God has always communicated his message to people in a culturally relevant manner. Language, the time, place, ethnicity, gender, community, governance, and more has always been taken into consideration as the message of God was communicated to a particular audience.

The Apostle Paul, a master missionary, knew this about the heart of God and understood that the Gospel must be contextualized to each specific culture:

#1 Take time to understand the culture of your audience.

"…for as I was walking along I saw your many altars…” Acts 17:23

#2 Be positive, not negative, about the culture of your audience.

“So Paul, standing before the Council, addressed them as follows: ’Men of Athens, I noticed that you are very religious…” Acts 17:22

#3 Use the culture of your audience to connect with the heart of your audience.

“His purpose in all of this was that the nations should seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As one of your own poets says, ‘We are his offspring.’” Acts 17:27-28

#4 Relationally speak truth to your audience.

“For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:31


About The Author

Paul Alexander is a Pastor, Leader, and Church Strategist. He has spent the last ten years of ministry serving in three mega-church settings as a Youth Pastor, Executive Pastor, and Lead Pastor. He has been married to his wife Lisa for 14 godine. Together they have three children Kennedy, Mia, and Lincoln. You can follow Paul on Cvrkut or at his blog.

Šest Molitve za povećanje Outreach IQ Steve Sjogren

prayer in outreachObično se misli da je nečiji IQ je prilično statična broj, da se ne može se povećati, ali ne u slučaju Outreach IQ. Kad je riječ o radu na terenu možete povećati razinu inteligencije. It’s a matter of doing some practical things—prayerful things. 

Prayer is the lifeblood of all vital outreach. You can pray without doing outreach, but you can’t do outreach without prayer.

You can pray without doing outreach, but you can’t do outreach without prayer.

It is easy to fall into the trap of being busy in outreach activities without walking in a spirit of prayer. Such a routine will only stir up lots of activity but little lasting fruit. Operating in this mode won’t yield the results we seek. 

God communicates with us all the time. The only hold up is on our end—the receiving end of things. As we pray we are able to hear his voice clearly. There are certain prayers that bear more fruit than others. Some prayers are easy to answer. They are the kinds that express his heart without hesitation.

If we hope to be effective in outreach we need to offer up prayers in faith, with no reservation.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting. James 1:5,6 NKJV & Nbsp;

We are wise if we choose our prayers well. If we hope to pray enthusiastically our prayers need to express the heart of God as revealed in his word. Consider the following as part of your prayer arsenal.

Prayer 1. “Bring People To You O Lord”
Pray for the Lost.

God shapes our hearts by the things we pray. 

The beginning point of prayer for outreach is to focus on THE point of it all—the Lost. Pray for the Lost around you. God will sensitize you to their plight, their pain, their struggle as you lift them up to God. Until we pray for the Lost we will likely only be irritated by the them. We are likely to lose patience until we enthusiastically welcome them in—in word and action.

Prayer 2. “Capture My Heart”
Molite Boga da Move Your Heart.

God will take a risky prayer like that seriously and move in your life. This can be a dangerous prayer to utter—at least dangerous if you don’t wish to participate in the action of the kingdom. Once God has gotten hold of your life he will take you, use you and send you to do his work. 

Prayer 3. “Increase My Anointing
Ask God for more power.

Praying this prayer is Part A. Being available to obey is Part B.
Practice doing the will of God. Practice a LOT. We get better at any skill as we do it frequently. Evangelism works in the same way. Get among others to practice your outreach chops frequently. God will build his momentum in you as you walk out his power. 

Prayer 4. “Stir Up My Gifts
Ask God for greater skill.

The Bible says the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance. God has clearly gifted you whether you can see the extent of his gifting in you or not. Life is about seeing more of the gifting he has given us and we explore our way forward. Flow with your gifting. Allow him to explore your gifting. Allow him to pour more gifting into you. Don’t demand perfection. If you do you will miss out on the majority of what he has for you. God will use you in new ways as you pray to that end. 

Prayer 5. “Give Me Favor
Ask God for greater effectiveness.

As God moves in your life, he gives you his favor and you are able to move forward with momentum. One of the first things you will need is a cadre of people to support you in your mission. You will need a team to help carry out the mission God has called you to. His favor needs to rest upon you if you hope to walk out the vision he has given. 

A prayer that goes hand in hand with this one is this:

Prayer 6. “Bring Contagious People To Me”
Jesus prayed this with slightly different wording.
After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. 2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. Luke 10:1-3, NKJV& Nbsp;

The key verse is Luke 10:2, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” A friend of mine encourages people to set their watches and cell phone alarms to sound at 10:02 every day to remind them to pray in agreement that the Lord would send laborers into the harvest. Thus twice a day (AM and PM) people all over the globe are praying in agreement that God will send out workers into the harvest field. A great reminder!

Spend time with those who have the outreach virus. We catch it from others more than we are taught it in a head-to-head fashion. It’s about catching outreach. You don’t so much learn about it in a classroom setting. It’s vital that we walk with those who are already fluent in outreach. Catch on as you catch it from those who have it. Better yet, let’s pray our way forward.

Let Love Flow! Steve Sjogren

Love for Valentine's Day
Love for Valentine's Day

Kao što smo doprijeti s Isusove ljubavi, to ne uzeti jako dugo to shvatiti: Ormar je ponekad gola.

Kao što nam je cilj izvan sebe čini se postoje redovite nestašica. S vremena na vrijeme ima premalo pomagala. Zatim tu je problem premalo ljudi za obavljanje misije. Sometimes we come up short on vision. As my grandma used to say, “It’s all too little too late!"

No matter what your apparent limitations there is great good news. Be encouraged: God’s favor rests upon those who reach out to those He loves with acts of mercy. God anoints us when we reach out to love the not-yet included. Love is our only asset. Love has ALWAYS been our only asset.

When we act as though we have other tools and strategies going for us to accomplish God’s mission we make it clear we don’t understand the basic strategy of Jesus. I recently read a book that bemoaned the loss of the so-called Emergent generation in the Church today (those between ages 18 i 40). The author of this bestselling book examined the situation and then offered a number of responses to this dilemma the Church is facing. It struck me that the most obvious solution to connecting with this generation was not touched upon. What about plain old love?

It may sound cliché but as I understand the theory, it’s love that causes people to respond to the life of Christ. When love is present among God’s people, and through God’s people, those on the outside are drawn to Jesus in magnetic ways.

Da, we need to learn to listen to those outside the Church far better. Da, we need to stop judging non-Christians as they make their way into relationship with Jesus. Those are vital skills to develop. There is a need to repent for shabby attitudes in the Church these days. But those skill sets aren’t going to patch the leak in the bucket that is causing Emergent people to leave the Church.

First Century Believers lived at a time similar to ours, but the concern wasn’t just for a single age group. They were concerned for all the age groups of all the world. There was enormous concern. No one outside the Church was listening at the time. There was a real possibility that Christianity might be a one-generation thing. Peter addressed that concern the best.

“Love one another deeply for love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Pet. 4:8). That love is not limited to just those who think like us, who believe like us. Loving those outside the Church will happen spontaneously as we walk in the Spirit, as we walk in the example and power of Jesus. He exported his practical love and mercy to all who were open hearted who crossed his path.

There are open-hearted Believers and Not-Yet Believers right around you now. Let love flow!

Idemo napraviti posao Randy Bohlender

Let's Make A DealJedan od mojih ranih sjećanja iz djetinjstva je u TV kvizu, "Idemo napraviti posao,"Domaćin Monty Hall. Generalna ideja je bila da se ljudi, odjeveni u kostime čudan, would try and attract attention to be chosen to play some sort of game that involved trading things and making a blind choice of what was between door number one, door number two, or door number three.

Drugim riječima, make yourself look goofy, roll the dice and take your chances on the outcome.

Psalm 45 offers another deal…one that seems costly but pays out at a crazy rate. Verse 10 says “Hear, oh daughter, and consider, and incline your year, forget your people and your fathers’ house, and the king will desire your beauty.”

In a patriarchal society like the Old Testament, the cost of this is clear. Forget your people. Forget your father’s house. Walk away from all that spells security to you. Take a chance on the unknown when the known is where you draw your sustenance…where you glean your identity. An unmarried woman may grow old and lonely, but she’d always be taken care of…at least as long as her father was alive.

father and son on a beachIn our world, where fatherlessness is rampant, many people walk away from their father’s house prematurely. Those with a healthy father/child relationship to point to are far and few in between, and even in those cases, the child does not look to the father for security and identity once they reach adulthood. In many ways, our own culture has taken place of the patriarchal leader. We are not told what to do or believe or manage our lives by an earthly father – we learn those things from a television, a movie screen, or the latest music group. We take our value cues from actors and musicians. They preach a fatherly message of self worth and self inflation that is the support structure of all sorts of our social mores, including the second house, the third car, and the fourth wife. We believe in these things more than we believe in ourselves, and we’ll pay any price to get them. We’re made to believe that these things make us who we are.

To walk away from your fathers house in 2010 certainly means to walk away from all that makes us comfortable and feels normal – to live abnormally, even uncomfortably. I’m wrestling this one out myself right now. What do I do, how do I spend my money, where does my time go based on what the culture tells me is important, is a must-have gadget or a must-see tv show.

If we can learn to escape that house, there is a promise – a better deal. It’s called an audience with the King – but that’s not all.

Verse 16 promises us “In place of your fathers shall be your sons; you will make them princes in all the earth.” In other words, it may cost us our comfort, but the payoff comes in the form of sons. One translation of the word used there for ’sons’ is ‘children of unrighteous men’.

Which of course, leads me to adoption. Adoption in not cheap, not easy, and not without risks (although we’re working on all three of those…). Međutim, even at it’s most expensive, it’s most difficult, it’s most risky moments, if we step beyond the ‘take care of ourselves, feed the machine mentality’, we get an amazing payback.

In adopting, we collect the sons of unrighteous men and place them in the house of prayer. We make princes in the kingdom of God out of paupers. Beyond changing destiny, we change their current reality. Everything becomes different for them – and everything becomes different for us.

The Blind SideMy favorite line from the recent movie, “The Blind Side” came during one of the lunch scenes. The adoptive mother is having lunch with her friends, who remark “You’re changing that boys’ life!” Quietly, Sandra Bullock responds “No. He’s changing mine.”

It’s true. And all it costs is everything.

Let’s make a deal.

Challenge:

What expense, gadget or indulgence do you have in your life that you could do without. Maybe it’s a purchase you were about to make or a Christmas gift you were going to return for exchange. As a first step, pray about doing without it – for a while, or maybe forever. Is it really a must-have, or did you just buy what you were sold by your father’s house?

If you can find it within yourself, do without it and seed it adoption by giving to an adoptive family or setting it aside as the beginning of your own adoption fund – then retweet a link to this or post it on your own blog. It gets easier to leave your fathers’ house when there are others going with you.


Randy BohlenderWho is Randy Bohlender?

I’m a Christian. I know the vogue phrase is Christ-follower and Christian has a lot of baggage, but so do I. I’m doing the best I can (most days) to reflect Jesus to the world. Some days I get close. Some days, He’s unrecognizable by my reflection, but I’m trying.

I’m a husband. July 2009, Kelsey and I will mark our 20th anniversary. She is an amazing friend who challenges me to new heights every day. I married up. Most men do. U 20 more years, she and I will still be laughing. Maybe at you. Definitely at ourselves and our expanding tribe.

I’m a dad. We have three sons and three daughters with a baby on the way. Da, I know. We look too young. It’s the internet – it takes ten years off of everyone (ask anyone who met someone through eHarmony). Having a family of this size gives a blogger a lot of material. If you read here long, you’ll learn a lot about my kids. Perhaps more than you’d ask. I make no apologies. I’m learning a ton about life and love from them.

I’m an Early Adopter. And I mean this on several levels…words, gadgets, and children. Kelsey and I launched The Zoe Foundation for reasons cited ovdje. You cannot know much about me without understanding my heart for this.

I’m an intercessory missionary. I work with the International House of Prayer and TheCall, laboring in a 24/7 prayer room as well as organizing day long solemn assemblies across the nation.

Šest pitanja o Doing Outreach u manjim mjestima Steve Sjogren

Small TownsBio sam nedavno u New England području iz SAD-a. Ja sam bio u zadnje vrijeme razmišljajući jedinstvene aspekte rade službe u manjim stanovništva područjima kao što je to. Postoje mnogi aspekti rade doseg koji su univerzalna – as we step out to serve others we are going to find that people are pretty much the same everywhere. At the same time, there are unique features present when we are aiming at people in these areas. What do we need to keep in mind as we reach out in to rural people?

There are six basic questions we must be answer well before we are able to deeply connect with smaller communities. These are the pressing questions we will be asked when we approach the small town audience.

“Are you here to stay?” People will ask if you are doing something that is just going to be a “ship passing in the night” or if you are going to commit yourself to this area. You will be dinged effectiveness points if you come across as someone who is doing things in order to just connect initially but not at a deeper level. It is important that you connect with people in a way that is going to be perceived as lasting and deep versus light and passing. We tell our community we are here to stay partly by the atmosphere we create when we are doing outreaches. Each time you go out to do SE you have the opportunity to tell people “We are planning on living the rest of our lives in this town. We love this place!” We communicate this message in a variety of ways. At a practical level, put on your “friendly face” and you will do well at connecting with the small town audience.

“Do you love me or are you just trying to build your church through me?” If people think you are trying to use them as building blocks of your church they are less likely to warm up to you. You will be evaluated by how you connect with others. Most people who live in smaller towns feel a sense of pride about what they have accomplished in making a living for themselves in that context. There is a sense of accomplishment in these people you won’t find among urban dwellers. If you honor that sense of smaller town USA you will come across as a friend, an ally in the fight for meaning.

“How do you treat people?” In the smaller town context the way we connect with people will be under the microscope more than when we are in a larger context. The good news about doing servant evangelism in a smaller context is that people will take more notice to the way you connect with your city. To, there is the possibility that you will make an even more enduring impact upon people than if you were merely connecting with people in a larger city. In big cities we are doing virtual stranger-to-stranger outreach. In small towns we are connecting with people who likely consider themselves friends or at least acquaintances.

“How do you see the future?” People who live in smaller communities see the future in a unique way. It is common that they view what will take place in the future through the lens of staying put in the current community. That is different than the way people in larger communities see things. Since they have typically lived in the larger context all their lives the notion of city or town size as a flexible factor in evaluating moves. Most who live in a smaller community have committed themselves to the notion that they will persevere in staying in a smaller setting. When we are doing outreach in these settings it is important that we convey that we are going to be here for the duration. Those in smaller communities will plainly ask what we plan to do if we grow as a congregation. The fear is that growth will compromise the quality of the church. If we do grow as a church it is important that we convey that are going to continue to hold strongly to the value of putting people first. We don’t plan to change.

“How do you relate to money?” Money is viewed a bit differently in smaller contexts. Servant evangelism is all about doing things for free. This important concept will have even more impact in smaller towns than in bigger cities. People are generally impressed with the notion of serving for free. When we serve for free in small towns we have the opportunity to literally amaze people.

When doing servant evangelism we sometimes are approached by people who attempt to pay us for our gift or services. We generally make it a point that we never accept these attempts at giving back to us. We are going to be approached more often in smaller towns by people who wish to give to us when we serve. I recommend you have a standard response to those who are flabbergasted at our project. It is good to spin people a bit with our projects. It isn’t good to leave them overly frustrated. One possible response to those who are blown away is to recommend they give to one of the children’s sponsorship programs that are typically seen on TV on Sunday evenings.

“Are there projects that work especially well smaller settings?” Da, there are projects that work well in a smaller context. In general, anything that can impart the value of the individual will help get you better mileage. Doing give away projects is a hit no matter where you are located, but this approach seems to work better in larger cities. In a smaller context it is important that we convey to people that we are in the business of serving. Projects that allow us to connect with the value of the individual will make a bigger impression.

Some projects that connect well include:

* free carwashes (I would stay away from the dollar carwash in a small town setting – that is a bit over the top and might come across with too much pizzazz),windshield washingis an amazing project that can touch a lot of people in a relatively short time

* restroom cleaning teams(stick to gas stations, restaurants and fast food joints and other public venues)

* feeding parking meters(make sure you are able to actually feed parking meters – you may need to attach a quarter to your outreach card and place that next to the drivers handle)

* shoveling snow

* giving away deicer to residents(provide a one gallon plastic milk container that is cut away – then return to fill the salt or deicer every couple of weeks)

* window washing at homes and businesses.

The best is yet to come! God is on the move in small settings. If you live in a rural setting you might find that you have special blessings resting upon your outreach efforts. There are unique challenges that accompany a focused outreach in a smaller context. It is not impossible to be effective in this setting. My advice to you is to take heart. It is encouraging to learn the ropes and then to reach out with effectiveness. In some ways it is easier to reach out to a smaller town. Once you have paid your dues, so to speak, you will find it is in fact easier to reach out in this context versus a larger city. You will find it is possible to create an atmosphere that will grow to envelop your entire town. In a smaller setting it is possible to set attainable outreach goals that will see you touch every person in town more than once. Ultimately the name of the game in outreach is your ability to connect with many in a repeated fashion.