Tag: think

"There seems to be conflict with how some churches approach ministry. You have the 'felt-needs' crowd, who are all about appealing to where the surface level needs are. And then you have those who are totally against that, who say 'We only preach the Bible over here.' I believe there's a third way...where the proper preaching of the gospel actually unearths deeper longings in people than the surface stuff they may feel they need. Good pastors, preachers, and teachers, need to start with the 'felt-need', but then go underneath that to show the deeper needs that the gospel is actually intended to fulfill. When we do that, we actually expose and challenge some of the lies that our culture presents regarding how to meet the surface needs."
~ Trevin Wax
"Success seems to be the 'golden calf' of the American church. These days, we measure the success of a church by the 3 B's...buildings, bodies, and budget. When those 3 things reach a certain number, we equate that with a successful ministry. But if we measured Jesus' earthly ministry by that standard, He would be considered an epic failure. That should tell us something about our definition of success."
~ J.R. Briggs
Love was compressed for all history in that lonely figure on the cross, who said that he could call down angels at any moment on a rescue mission...but chose not to – because of us. At Calvary, God accepted his own unbreakable terms of justice.
~ Philip Yancey  
"In the beginning (New Testament times), the church was a gathering of men and women around the person and mission of Jesus. Then it moved to Greece, where the church became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome, where the church became an institution. Then it moved to Europe, where the church became a culture. And it's finally come to America, where the church has become an enterprise. The reason for this is that as the church has moved throughout the world, it has taken on the forms/structures that were dominant in whatever culture it went. In the early church, the dominant organizing principle of the culture was the household...the family."
~ Richard Halverson
"Believe it or not, the breakdown of character in our society has actually caused us to be more legalistic. The decline of character is being compensated for with more laws. So now you can't say something is wrong anymore if it's legal, no matter how morally wrong it may be. The focus then has shifted to making better laws, because as a society, we're losing the ability to make better people. That's what society used to look to the church for."
~ Phil Vischer
"Much of Christianity now in America is really moralistic, therapeutic deism. We appeal to people with the idea of making your life better...that the goal of the gospel is to make you better, to make your marriage better, your finances better, your circle of friends better, and to make you more happy and fulfilled. But Jesus didn't come and die for any of those things...He died to save us from our sin. Those other things are simply potential fringe benefits."
~ Christian Smith
"I believe one of the reasons why so many today are rejecting what Christians have to say is because they sense that a lot of Christian talk nowadays isn't authentic. We as believers today don't do a good enough job of thinking and listening before we speak. We are quick to tell people that 'Jesus is the answer' when we aren't even listening to the questions."
~ Jason Thompson
"Some people do not like to hear much of repentance; but I think it is so necessary that if I should die in the pulpit, I would desire to die preaching repentance, and if out of the pulpit I would desire to die practicing it."
~ Matthew Henry
"Every relationship we have that has any kind of intimacy or trust also has boundaries. Whether it's within a marriage or a friendship, there is an agreement at some point, whether implicitly or explicitly, that there will be boundaries...because that's what makes a relationship meaningful. So, the idea that I want to have a relationship with God, but have no boundaries, is ridiculous."
~ Skye Jethani
"How do we relate to God? Do we seek Him mainly in times of trouble, searching for answers in our distress...but ignoring Him during our seasons of celebration? Are we like the Israelites of old? Easily swayed by the idols of our age, including such things as busyness, success, and influence?"
~ Amy Boucher Pye
"I think the overriding value in a lot of evangelical churches is to set the bar as low as possible in order to get as many as we can to engage. And because we keep the bar so low, we never really expect much from church attendees. We don't expect that they'll be trained in the full Christian worldview, with a healthy understanding of scripture...we don't expect them to learn, nor do we expect them to change. So, I think we've created this tension between wanting to have a big church, and wanting to have committed and deep disciples of Jesus. And I would argue that in far too many of our churches, we've focused on the size of our churches rather than the depth of our disciples."
~ Skye Jethani