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Desculpe-me, mas sou um péssimo pastor…

CHICCO - FOTINHO NO LONATTO - RECORTE2

POIMENIA

…porque eu não vou mudar a minha voz para que você sinta segurança, achando que tenho alguma autoridade, quando eu falar;

…porque eu não vou pensar por você para facilitar sua jornada espiritual;

…porque eu não voufalar mais alto do que você precisa para ouvir;

…porque eu não vou lhe ensinar a determinar ou dar ordens ao Pai, como um filho mimado o faz;

…porque eu não lhe dizer que você é um vencedor quando o a sua espiritualidade está falida;

…porque eu não vou lhe ensinar a temer a Deus mais do que a amá-lo;

…porque eu não lhe direi que você é especial simplesmente por estar frequentando uma Igreja;

…porque eu não alimentarei o seu ego pregando somente as coisas que você gosta de ouvir;

…porque eu não lhe ensinarei a ser próspero a qualquer custo enquanto o mundo morre de fome;

…porque eu não lhe ensinarei…

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Publicado por em 11/06/2015 em POIMENIA

 

10 Distractions Regarding Worship Music

Worship doesn’t have to be perfect, but it shouldn’t be unnecessarily distracting.

Worship doesn’t have to be perfect, but it shouldn’t be unnecessarily distracting.

A few weeks ago, I posted findings on common worship distractions. Since that time, some readers have questioned me more specifically about our findings regarding the musical component of worship. So, the goal in this post is to respond to that request.

Let me be honest about my qualifications up front, though: I am not a musician or singer; I am a church consultant only reporting what our teams have found in more than 15 years of consulting. It is not my intent to be judgmental or offensive. I have utmost respect for those who lead us in worship. With those caveats in mind, here are 10 distractions we’ve encountered in the music element of worship.

  1. Incomprehensible choir or praise team words—I start with this distraction (a repeat from the previous post) simply because we face this issue so often. The sound system may be poor, the singers may not enunciate well or the music may drown out the lyrics—but in any case, we miss the message while straining to understand the words.
  2. Unsmiling faces leading worship—Some solemn hymns may not necessitate smiles, but something is lacking in singing about the joy of the Lord when the singer’s facial expression suggests something different. We have seen entire praise teams show little expression as they lead worship.
  3. Poor musicians or singers—I hesitate to include this distraction because I realize the level of talent varies by congregation. Nor do I want to suggest that only the most talented musicians or singers should be permitted to lead worship. I’m simply stating what we’ve experienced: sometimes the musical component of worship lacks quality.
  4. Unprepared singers—Here, level of talent is not the issue; lack of preparation instead appears to be the problem. Sometimes it seems—right or wrong—as if no one practiced this component of the worship service. In fact, we’ve occasionally heard it stated publicly: “Please pray for me before I sing today because I really didn’t have time to get ready for singing.”
  5. “Preachy” music directors—Some folks leading worship do a great job of succinctly and effectively speaking between songs. Others, though, seem to use interludes to preach a sermon in preparation for the sermon still to come. Too much talking may actually disrupt the worship more than facilitate it.
  6. Songs disconnected from the sermon topic—It seems strange, for example, when the sermon series is about family but none of the song selections moves in that direction. On the other hand, worship is often facilitated—and the teachings of that service’s content are easier to recall—when the musical selections and the sermon content focus in a single direction.
  7. Difficult songs to sing—Again, I am not a singer, but I do know when I’m struggling to sing a particular song. Some of our more gifted consulting team members are singers, and they at times question song selections on the “singability” of the song. What works for the gifted singer doesn’t always work for the typical person in the pew.
  8. Weak use of media for lyrics—This distraction is a corollary to the previous one. Lyrics on the screen are most often helpful. If, though, the phrase and sentence breaks on the screen don’t match the breaks in the singing, the worshipper may still struggle with knowing how to sing the song. Lyrics on the screen do not generally help worship participants learn the melody.
  9. Poorly done blended style—Anecdotally, we are seeing more churches move to a blended style of worship rather than offer multiple distinct styles of worship. That approach is not bad, but it becomes problematic when the worship leaders are strong in one style but weak in the other. Often, that difference is noticeable.
  10. Introducing new songs without teaching them—Numerous good songwriters are producing strong worship music today. Introducing new songs to a church, however, requires intentionality that often seems lacking. Many of us welcome a worship leader’s taking the time to help us actually learn the song as a congregation.

What other distractions regarding worship music have you seen?

Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on Twitter @Clawlessjr and on at facebook.com/CLawless.
 
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Publicado por em 29/05/2015 em POIMENIA

 

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Billy Graham fala sobre tecnologia, fé e sofrimento

 
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Publicado por em 25/05/2015 em POIMENIA

 

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10 Things We Need to Hear From Young Leaders

Learning is a two-way street.

Learning is a two-way street.

I have the privilege of spending much of my life with young church leaders. As a seminary dean and missionary trainer, I hang out with people younger than I am.

I’m the teacher, but I learn from the young generation as much as—if not more than—I teach them. Sometimes they teach me something new, as with technology and social media. In other cases, they simply remind me of something I’ve forgotten or have taken for granted.

Of course, all young church leaders have room to grow, and nothing I say here can be applied to every young leader.

With that understanding in mind, here are some of those general reminders that I, and perhaps other older leaders, need to hear from young church leaders.

1. The Bible is still our guide.

My own denomination spent several decades affirming the inerrancy and authority of the Word of God.

Today’s young church leaders were not part of that struggle, but they are the recipients of that teaching.

They may at times differ with us in interpreting and applying the Word, but it is not because they doubt the Bible’s veracity. They read it, study it, believe it and teach it with passion.

2. Christianity is intended to be life-on-life.

This generation understands that no Christian is to live in isolation. Accountability is non-negotiable. Small groups are centers of life transformation rather than only weekly fellowship gatherings.

To young leaders, calling someone “brother” or “sister” means much more than, “I’m sorry, friend, but I don’t remember your name”; it is recognition of members of the family of God.

3. Authenticity is critical.

Young church leaders have watched other leaders fall. They have been raised in a culture of political games.

For many, even their families of origin have been marked by duplicity. They want to trust other church leaders, but, frankly, they have seen too much.

Anyone whose life models authenticity will catch their attention.

4. Mentoring matters.

The most common request I hear from young church leaders is, “I want someone to mentor me. I need someone to walk with me through ministry.”

Given that Jesus and Paul discipled others primarily through mentoring, we older leaders cannot ignore this request. If we do, we share the blame if those following in our steps fail.

5. Christianity is a “doing” faith.

For my generation, Christian commitment has sometimes been limited to church attendance and monetary support, with little attention to service and ministry.

Young leaders, though, assume a “hands on” personal faith. Christianity without action is at best an incomplete faith, at worst a false one.

6. We cannot ignore social ministry.

We older leaders have often neglected social ministry, for fear we would lose our focus on evangelism.

The young generation, though, is striving to correct our omission. Their faith is a Great Commission faith (Matt. 28:18-20) that does not miss the hurting and disenfranchised (Matt. 25:31-46).

7. Church discipline is biblical.

Leaders of my generation have largely ignored church discipline.

Not so with young leaders today. They may at times lead too quickly into discipline, but they are willing to tackle this biblical responsibility. They understand that ignoring this need is neither loving nor godly.

8. The local church is the missions sending agency.

We older leaders often delegated this responsibility to other agencies and organizations.

Young church leaders recognize the church’s mandate to raise up missionaries and church planters, send them out, and then care for them while they are on the field.

The wise missions agency will invite these leaders into the conversation and seek to work alongside them.

9. Denominational loyalty must be earned.

Many in my generation have invested in a single denomination. Young leaders, though, do not share this loyalty.

We must take some responsibility for this reality, for we have not adequately convinced them of the value of cooperative work. Rather than judge them, we must hear them, teach them … and be willing to adjust if needed.

10. If faith requires death, that’s OK.

This commitment is perhaps the one that most grabs my attention.

Young church leaders are often less concerned about big church buildings and earthly recognition; they are most burdened about getting the gospel to the 1.7 billion people who have little access to the gospel. If doing that work requires moving their families to the most dangerous places in the world, they are ready to go.

That kind of faith often puts mine to shame.

What other insights have you gained from young church leaders? What else do we need to hear?  

Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on Twitter @Clawlessjr and on at facebook.com/CLawless.
 
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Publicado por em 12/05/2015 em POIMENIA

 

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People Don’t Want to Sit and Listen Anymore: 4 Ways to Connect With a New Generation

Most people who leave the church aren’t leaving God. Many of them are leaving the way we do church to try and find God.

Doing church together is an essential aspect of what it means to be a Christian. But church attendance rates keep dropping in most of the developed world. Why?

I often hear it’s because people aren’t as spiritually minded as they used to be. After all, if it’s not their fault, then some of it might be our fault. And that can’t be.

But the evidence doesn’t support that. In fact, it suggests that people’s spiritual hunger may be growing, not shrinking. Spiritually-themed books, movies, TV shows and blogs are having a major resurgence. Alternative spirituality is booming.

Spiritual hunger isn’t a cultural thing. That God-shaped hole is hard-wired into every one of us.

Church attendance isn’t down because people have stopped caring about spiritual things. It’s because we haven’t done such a great job at showing them how church attendance will help them answer that longing.

As the character, Amy Farrah Fowler, said on The Big Bang Theory, “I don’t object to the concept of a deity, but I am baffled by the notion of one who takes attendance.” No, we don’t take our lead from fictional characters on TV sitcoms. But is the person who wrote that line trying to tell us something?

Disconnect and Distrust

There’s not just a growing disconnect between spiritual hunger and church attendance; there’s a growing distrust in church leaders who pay too much attention to it.

To the average pastor, counting and promoting attendance numbers seems like good stewardship. To the average non-clergy, it feels more like ego. This is especially true among younger people—both Christian and not.

And they’re right.

No one cares about helping us reach our attendance goals. In fact, the more they hear about them, the less they trust that we have their best interests in mind.

As I wrote in The Grasshopper Myth and I tell my congregation regularly, God doesn’t take attendance. What we do after we leave church matters more to God than how we behave when we’re there—or how many people we jammed into the room at one time.

But we’re so ego-driven when it comes to church attendance, it’s become a running gag among ministers about how we count people. Thom Rainer even wrote a recent post about this, entitled “Five Ways to Avoid Lying About Church Attendance.” Yes, we need a list to help us stop doing that.

As Rainer wrote, “Sometimes church leaders lie about the weekly church attendance. Sometimes the lies are the result of an inflated ego where a leader gets his self-worth by leading a bigger church. Sometimes it’s the result of the sin of comparison with other leaders and other churches. Sometimes we rationalize it because our denominations or publications make such a big deal about it. In all cases, it’s wrong. Inflating attendance numbers is committing the sin of lying.”

The Shift

We used to be a society of clubs and groups. Fraternities, sororities, community service clubs, political parties, you name it. We loved meetings and the structure those meetings provided.

Not any more.

A recent article in FaithandLeadership.com titled RIP Average Attendance tells us about this change: “Average worship attendance was once such an important number. … Today that number means much less … The growing lack of dependability on attendance is a sign that the virtuous cycles that have sustained congregations since the end of World War II are collapsing.”

We no longer identify ourselves by clubs, groups or denominations. And we don’t like going to meetings, either.

More and more, people don’t think they count when the crowd is being counted. Every number may be a person, but people don’t want to be numbers. It makes them feel devalued and manipulated. More like a commodity than a person.

Coffee shops and restaurants are going back to calling people by name instead of saying “take a number.” Sure, the Starbucks barista may write your name wrong half the time, but even a wrong name is better than a number.

But the church keeps taking attendance. And telling pastors that increasing the number of those nameless, faceless people is the best proof that we’re doing our job well.

No one else is buying it.

Most people who leave the church aren’t leaving God. Many of them are leaving the way we do church to try and find God.

Doing Matters More Than Attending

So what can we do to inspire people to a greater spiritual commitment? Here are some starter ideas:

1. Give people the chance to make a difference.

If you think people today won’t commit to anything, check out a Breast Cancer Awareness March. The Susan G. Komen Foundation has helped people see a direct link between wearing pink while walking up to 60 miles together and funding breast cancer research. People want to make a difference, and the Komen Foundation has shown them how they can.

The church has a lot to learn from that. We haven’t done a good job at showing attenders why their presence matters. How it fills their spiritual hunger. And how they can leverage their time in church for the blessing and benefit of others.

2. Make the communication two-way as often as possible.

People want to be active participants, not just passive consumers. They want to talk with, not just be talked to. Even if it’s just the chance to tweet about the sermon. They want to know that their voice matters.

3. Tell stories more than statistics.

Let’s change from “we count people because people count” to “we tell stories because people matter.” For more on what that means and how to do it, check out Donald Miller’s blog. No one addresses this issue better than he does.

4. Make the connection for them.

People no longer see the connection between paying for a pastor’s salary or a church mortgage, and how that feeds the hungry or answers their spiritual longing. So we need to make that connection for them. If we can’t, maybe we should stop doing it.

The desire to make the shift from passive consumer to active participant is a good thing. Maybe not for a lot of our church mortgages or retirement plans. But for the church as a whole.

People don’t just want to sit and listen anymore. They want to learn, grow and take part. Let’s help them find what they’re looking for.

SOURCE: SERMON CENTRAL

 
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Publicado por em 06/05/2015 em POIMENIA

 

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4 Realities to Help Discern a Vocational Call to Ministry

“In fact, I’ve several times in my call sensed God was even giving me freedom to choose where I served.”

“In fact, I’ve several times in my call sensed God was even giving me freedom to choose where I served.”

Discerning a call to vocational ministry can be a tiring and trying experience.

I’ve had the privilege of speaking with numerous young people and couples who are possibly experiencing a call to full-time, vocational missions or ministry. They don’t always know what they are supposed to do — usually not — but they know their vocation is to be a part of the mission of Christ.

Talking with people at this stage of life is one of my favorite things to do. It fuels me in ministry to help others process their call.

Having also wrestled through this issue years ago with two teenage sons makes this something very personal to me. Obviously I have my own experience in this area of wrestling through a call to vocational ministry. My wrestling was a 10 year process.

The counsel I gave my boys came to me suddenly one day. I’m not pretending it was inspired, but it certainly is a product of my personal experience and time spent with God struggling through this issue. I’ve used this teaching many times since then.

Basically I like to help people understand that the “call”, in my understanding, is not a call to a group of people or a geographic location as much as it is to a person; the person of Jesus Christ.

That’s important, because a lot of times someone begins to sense a calling after a mission trip to a certain area and feel as if that is the place they must go to serve God. That may be the place God wants to use them, but it could be that God just wants their availability, right where they are or elsewhere and God used the specific place to stir their heart towards serving vocationally.

I’m not saying He doesn’t send people to specific places or groups of people, but I do believe He reserves the right to change that at any time, because ultimately a person is called into a relationship with God first and a location second. In fact, I’ve several times in my call sensed God was even giving me freedom to choose where I served

After establishing that the ultimate call is to the person of Christ, I share a few principles. These are actually realities — based on my experience — of the vocational call. These won’t make the decision for the person. I can’t do that. They are intended to help someone think through their calling. The person who is sensing a call can often begin to discern that this IS the call based on the way they respond to these four words.

Four realities of call of God on a person’s life is:

Irresistible

You can’t refuse this kind of call and still live at peace with God. He will still love you. You may even be successful in what you are doing, but something will always eat at you until you surrender to this type of call. (Think of Jonah on the boat, attempting to run from God — even before the storm came.) That was the case in my situation. As much as I wanted success in business — and I had some — none of that brought me peace until I surrendered to God’s will for my life.

Irreplaceable

Nothing else will satisfy a person like this call. Nothing will fill that void — that emptiness. If God’s greatest desire for a person’s life on whom He places the “call”. I found no real joy in my work, until I was serving in the career choice God wanted me to serve.

Irrevocable

God doesn’t take this call away from a person once He has placed it on their life. At times, especially when things are stressful in ministry, I have glanced at other opportunities, but I know I cannot go backwards from this call God has placed on my life. I may serve Him in a number of capacities and places over the years — I believe that could even be in business if He chose that. It doesn’t necessarily have to be as a pastor or in a local church — but I know one decision in my vocational career is solved — I work for Him. My end “product” of my life is advancing His mission — not mine.

Immediate

The call of God on a person’s life begins at the moment of the call. Often people want to get the right degree or start drawing a paycheck before they live out the call God has placed on their life. I don’t believe that’s the call. The call is to “Go” and the time is NOW. (Jesus taught this reality in Matthew 8.) That doesn’t mean the person shouldn’t gain education, experience, or even a paycheck, but if a person has received a call from God on their life the time to get started doing something towards that call is now! When I realized a vocational call to ministry was being placed on my life, I started immediately; with no promise of income or position. I simply started serving people. Opportunities and specific assignments quickly followed.

Are you feeling those four words heavy on your heart? Perhaps God is trying to get your attention.

For a Biblical example of this type calling which includes each of these four points, read Jonah’s story again.

Have you wrestled or are you wrestling through a vocational call to ministry? What was your experience?

Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he’s been helping church grow vocationally for over 10 years.More from Ron Edmondson or visit Ron at http://www.ronedmondson.com/

 
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Publicado por em 04/05/2015 em POIMENIA

 

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10 Ways to Improve Your Ministry Right Now

You have many options to strengthen your ministry.

You have many options to strengthen your ministry.

You have many options to strengthen your ministry.

Read a book. Attend a conference. Talk to another leader. Take a class, or earn another degree. Listen to a podcast. Watch a web seminar. All of these are worthwhile options, and I encourage you to consider them.

At the same time, here are some simple ways from the ministry of Jesus to improve your ministry today:

1. Agree up front to be obedient to God.

It was in the Garden of Gethsemane that Jesus prayed, “Not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39), but this cry marked His entire life. He left heaven and set His sights on a cross in Jerusalem from the beginning.

Your ministry can be stronger today if you can say with integrity, “Your will be done—whatever that is.”

2. Get over yourself.

Jesus was the Son of God, yet He pointed away from Himself to the Father. His desire was to please the Father always (John 8:29), following His commands even to His death (John 10: 17-18). Likewise, the Spirit of God points toward the Son (John 16:14).

Decide today that you are not the most important person in your ministry, and your work will be stronger.

3. Teach with clarity and relevance.

Those around Him said nobody ever taught with authority like Jesus did (Mark 1:27). He taught, though, with simple images relevant to His hearers. A farmer sowing seed. A mustard seed. Loaves and fish. Vineyards. A fig tree. Salt and light. Moths and rust. Houses and foundations.

If you want to improve your ministry today, remember your responsibility is to communicate the gospel, not impress with your knowledge or ability.

4. Take the gospel to nonbelievers.

That’s what the coming of Jesus was all about. He took on flesh to live our life and die our death. Jesus came so sinners could be redeemed. He came for the sick, not for the well (Matt. 9:12).

Take time today to tell somebody about the story of Jesus. You’ll likely find your ministry to be much more exciting because you did what Jesus did.

5. Develop gospel sensitivity to others.

Maybe you remember the story of the bleeding woman who touched Jesus’ garment in Mark 5. The Lord was quickly on His way to the home of Jairus, where a seeming emergency awaited: A little girl was dying. A large crowd pressed around Jesus, but still He felt the distinct touch of a desperate woman.

If you want to strengthen your ministry, ask God to help you today not to walk past hurting people.

6. Take somebody with you when you do ministry.

Jesus called His disciples to walk with Him, watch Him and listen to Him. Paul, too, followed Jesus’ model by sharing his life with Timothy (2 Tim. 3:10-11).

Inviting others to do ministry with us is time-consuming and often draining, but doing so is both protective (it provides accountability) and productive (it provides training). Find somebody to help you today.

7. Invest in two to three others.

Jesus had 12 disciples, of course, but He focused on Peter, James and John. He took them to the home of Jairus (Mark 5:35-43), the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-13) and the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-42). They saw Him in His glory and in His agony.

You can strengthen your ministry by deciding to pour your life into two to three others today.

8. Release others, and then hold them accountable.

Too many leaders select others to serve with them, but then do everything anyway. Not so with Jesus. He modeled faithfulness for His followers, gave them instructions and sent them as His representatives (Luke 10:1-12). Upon their return, He corrected their misplaced priorities as He held them accountable (10:17-20).

Today, let your church members do their work, and then help them through supportive accountability.

9. Pray for your co-laborers.

Jesus prayed all night before calling His disciples (Luke 6:12-13). In His most intimate recorded prayer, He interceded for them and for those who would believe through their work (John 17). He taught them to pray (Matt. 6:5-13), including praying for laborers because the harvest is ripe (Matt. 9:37-38).

Spend significant time today praying for your co-laborers, and you might find their ministry boosts yours.

10. Get alone with God when you need it.

That’s what Jesus did. Even when the crowds wanted to hear Him and the sick wanted His healing, He prioritized time with the Father (Luke 5:15-16).

Push away from the crowds long enough to be renewed today, and then get back to the task. Your ministry will be stronger.

Tell us which of these 10 you want to work on, and we’ll pray with you. 

Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on Twitter @Clawlessjr and on at facebook.com/CLawless.
 
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Publicado por em 04/05/2015 em POIMENIA

 

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