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Archive for the ‘Body Ministry’ Category

Fourth Sunday of Eastertide-May 8

04 May

Fourth Sunday of Eastertide-Explore- One of the most important ways to find what our gifts are is to experiment in different areas of the church to find what we enjoy doing and do well. This is one of the most neglected areas of the church today. Most churches are run by a small group of people who have always filled the same positions. While they complain that no one wants to work, they give very little opportunity for new people to become involved. The church must provide opportunities for members to become involved in various areas of the church so they can find their interests and talents. One way is through a requirement that limits everyone to two three-year terms and requires everyone to take a sabbatical every seventh year. This helps prevent workers from becoming burned out and enables new people to become involved. It also gives members on their Sabbatical time to shop around to see if there are other areas that might interest them. Some churches have a Sunday where each church work group has a booth in the fellowship hall and members can wander from booth to booth talking with people who belong to that work group. Some churches even invite Christian community service groups to have a booth for those called to serve beyond the local church. There are also interest surveys available. I have written a booklet, “The Important I” which helps with determining what would be a good career (part-A), but also outlines areas in the church and community that offer opportunities for volunteer work (part-B). It includes an interest survey and can be obtained by E-mailing me at robert.barr34@yahoo.com, requesting the booklets, “The Important I” and put “booklet” in the subject line.

 

Second Sunday of Lent-Mar 13

09 Mar

Matthew 18:1-5 Like A Child-Many people now think that Sunday school is for children. When they grow up, they don’t need to go anymore. Jesus says that unless you are converted (born again) and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. When we are born again, we become like a child and need to learn how to walk in the way God wants us to, just as a child has to learn to live the way society expects him to behave. Children are not apathetic about the world around them, they are fascinated with everything around them. They want to see everything, feel everything, and try everything. We should be just as eager to learn about God and how to walk in His ways.

 

Sixth Sunday of Epiphany-Feb 13

11 Feb

Lack of Social Interaction Many single mothers are under tremendous pressure with no one to help them. They are often working and trying to keep house as well. Many are constantly tied down with the kids and have no one to watch the kids while they shop or attend other activities. Providing child care during church programs can free such women to relax and enjoy the activities and may enable them to attend where they might not otherwise be able to. With many families having no more than one or two children, children are often isolated. Child care will also provide opportunity for children to interact with other children in informal activity. Older Christian women can watch the kids for short periods or two mothers can take turns watching both sets of kids while the other one shops or just has some quiet time. Women’s activities at church with child care also helps.

 

 

Fifth Sunday of Kingdomtide-Oct 3

01 Oct

– While those who see marriage from their own perspective, see it only as a source of immediate pleasure and convenience, those who walk with God are able to see beyond that to the long-term benefits to them and to society. Those who see it only from their own perspective are often ready to abandon it if they see no immediate benefit, while those who see the long-term benefits are willing to endure a few problems to gain them. Many of the social problems we face today are directly related to a loss of fellowship with God and the resulting loss of respect for marriage. The church can do a great deal to strengthen the marriages in its church families, but many churches today are failing because they do not support the families in the church.  The subject is too broad to cover here but I have written a series on God’s design for His people including “God Made Them Male & Female” (about differences between them), “In Defense of Marriage” (about benefits of marriage), and “What is Normal” (Problems we have today due to the breakdown of marriage) which are available electronically upon request at no charge.

 

First Sunday of Kingdomtide-Sept 5

01 Sep

 Growing in faith by watching Kingdomtide is a time when the church should be active in helping new converts grow deeper.  While few new converts are coming into the church this is vitally important today when so few churches teach members how to live a life pleasing to Christ. Many members who transfer in from other churches where they were members for many years come with very little spiritual depth. As a result, I was asked to develop the lecture series  “In The World But Not of It” (published by Outskirts Press). Surrendering to Christ does not automatically bestow maturity in Christ. When we are born again, we are like babies in the faith and must grow to maturity. Children learn by observing adults and copying the way they do things. In the same way, new Christians need to observe more mature Christians in the faith and interacting with them. It is very hard to explain in a sermon or Sunday School class how to love others or to humble ourselves. It must be learned by watching others who are more spiritually mature, and interacting with them, as they live out their faith day by day, however few churches today have the close relationships needed to help new Christians grow in Christ. With very little spiritual training, new Christians have few mature Christians to learn from. There is also no close interaction of members with spiritual leaders to enable them to grow spiritually as they see them in action. There needs to be active mentoring of new members by those who are spiritually mature,  however  many church leaders today are chosen for their financial management skills and popularity rather than their Christian maturity and do not provide good spiritual role models to follow.

 

 

Sixth Sunday of Eastertide-May 9

05 May

 Of One Accord As the discipled prayed for power, they were united in one purpose.  They concentrated on the job ahead and focused their attention on what was needed.  Summer is a good time for the church to concentrate its resources on reaching the lost while children are out of school and younger workers have the time. However, many churches have lost interest in Pentecost and no longer focus on reaching the lost during the summer.   As a result, they not do anything during the rest of the year when people are often busy with school and other activities.

 

Fifth Week of Eastertide-May 2

29 Apr

Develop New Ministries

Our society glorifies personal accomplishments, but we are limited as we try to accomplish things alone. The church needs to take this time to help members discover where they can use their gifts in current ministries and survey the community to discover the needs around it so it can develop new ways to minister to those in need and use the gifts of those who don’t fit in current ministries. Many churches continue to put their effort into the same old ministries it has always carried out and fail to take advantage of newly discovered gifts and the changing needs around it.

 

Third Sunday of Eastertide-April 18

16 Apr

You shall receive power-Acts 1:4-12-Jesus’ appears to the disciples in Jerusalem-Jesus promised He would not leave them alone but would send the Holy Spirit. He promised that the Holy Spirit would be with them until He returned and would guide them and strengthen them. He then commanded them to stay in the city until they received the Holy Spirit. We are not to set out to be His witnesses until we receive the Spirit for we cannot do it effectively without the guidance and strength of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

Fifth Sunday of Lent-Mar 21

21 Mar

If We Love Him God doesn’t call us to believe a theology but to have a relationship with Him. The theology just helps us understand the relationship. If we truly love God, we will also want to obey His Commandments. God set down His commandments as guidelines to show us how to live a life that is pleasing to Him and that would bring us peace and fulfillment. He knows what is best for us and did not give us the Commandments to spoil our fun but to help us avoid that which creates strife and dissension among us. When we ignore His commandments, we throw away that peace and fulfillment and stray into things that create strife and dissension.

 

 

Fourth Sunday of Lent-B

05 Mar

(Matt 5:21-26) Jesus said, “You have heard it said…., you shall not kill….., but I say to you, everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.” It is not killing that creates division, it is the anger that precedes the killing that creates the division and God hates anything that creates divisions among His people. Therefore, Christ says that we should not be angry with our brethren. While few church people are guilty of murder, there are many who are angry with each other and won’t speak to each other. You can not regulate hate because it can be hidden and not easily observed, so the law must forbid killing. However love goes beyond the Law. He who loves his brother will not hate him and so will not desire to kill him so the law forbidding murder will never be applied to them, however the law must still exist to control those who do not love each other and are liable to kill someone in order to prevent them from doing so or to punish them if they do. Love is only learned as God changes our heart.