All tagged Gospel

Cultivating a Healthy Team Culture.

"You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia." - Acts 20:18

Leading a healthy team requires living in healthy relationship with the people on your team.

When the Apostle Paul met with the Ephesian Elders in Acts 20 he was able to speak out of the depth of the relationship he had built with them. Paul was not the kind of leader that barked orders out of isolation, but a pastor who "lived among" his people.

Unfortunately, many of us are trying to lead teams in the absence of any real relationship.

 

Mental Illness - The New Leprosy

THIS IS PART ONE OF A TWO PART GUEST SERIES BY DR. ZACHARY SIKORA, PSY.D. HE'S A GODLY MAN, MY DEAR FRIEND & A GIFTED PSYCHOLOGIST. 

In a context where suffering and hurt should be welcomed, the Christian church has largely dealt with those suffering with mental health problems like modern day lepers: excluded from the camp and stigmatized. 

With suicide, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions making the front pages and lead stories of our media outlets, society is ripening to the idea that psychological malady is universal and in need of attention. The Christian church needs to follow. 

Jesus Christ directly called those who labor and are heavy laden to seek him for rest. As followers of Christ, it is therefore the responsibility of Christians to care for these souls and the Church’s obligation to cultivate an environment that welcomes this process. However, it must first be understood the missteps that have led the Church to separate themselves from this calling.

Here are three overarching mistakes that have led the Christian church to make outcasts of those with mental health problems.

BIG IDEA |

"The shape of your prayer life is determined by the size of your dependence."

The Real Reason We Don't Pray

Few things breed discouragement in the heart of a Christian like the topic of prayer. We experience an ongoing disconnect between the Bible’s clear command that we pray and our consistent failure to do so.

Our failure to pray is fraught with excuses. See if you can find yourself in one of these five reasons we fail to pray:

 

We've all experienced one of those seasons we simply didn't believe we could endure. One of those seasons where life was hard and we were so tired we just weren't sure we could take any more. A sickness. A job loss. A divorce. A death. The seasons change, but the fatigue remains.

I don't know about you, but my prayers tend to be more fervent in these seasons. Typically, they sound like this: "Lord, please deliver me out of this season. I can't take any more. I just want this to end. Please make it stop!"

We live in a culture largely void of honor. In short, honor is dead, both in our culture and in our churches.  We use our freedom of speech to dishonor public officials, people in positions of authority, and anyone else we choose without giving it a second thought.

While this should not surprise us culturally, the commonplace nature of dishonor amongst Christians is, frankly, shocking.

 

At Redemption we are meticulous about keeping track of our numbers. This is NOT because we find our identity in, nor measure our worth by the numbers, but because behind every number is a name.  Every number is a life that has been influenced and impacted by Jesus.

Last week we had a members meeting and Ashely Herr, one of our elders, put together a presentation that served as a celebration of God's grace in and through our church, as well as an incredible blessing to our church family.

Here are some of the things we celebrated in a few areas of focus at Redemption:

 

We've all done it. We've all compared ourselves to someone else at some point in our lives - other Christians, other pastors, other parents, other husbands, other wives, other students, other men, other women...the list goes on and on. We compare ourselves to everyone around morally, spiritually, intellectually, and physically.

Though it's common place in our lives, our constant comparison is killing us. NOTHING good comes from comparing ourselves to anyone else. Think about it...comparison kills you because it inevitably leads to one of two places...

 

At Redemption we celebrate the sacrament of communion nearly every week. We do this because it puts the sacrificial work of Jesus in our place at the very center of every worship gathering. One of the potential dangers for a church that celebrates communion each week is that without great care it can become a religious formality - one of those this we do because "that's what we always do." Regardless of how often we take communion, it ought always to be taken seriously. It's not a game. It is not a sad expression of worship, but a serious one. In 1 Corinthians 11:27 the Apostle Paul warns in writing, "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord."

So the question is, how can we take this important expression of worship seriously and properly prepare our hearts for it? Here are the four steps I encouraged our church family in yesterday:

 

I hate to see my kids suffer. Ever since Ava and Ryder were born, some of my least favorite memories have been taking them to the pediatrician for their regular check ups and the dreaded...SHOTS! Even though they couldn't talk when they were infants, they would look up at me with that confused and pained expression that asked, "Why are you allowing me to experience this pain?" The answer, of course is, "Because it's for your good. I know it hurts and I know you don't understand, but trust me, it's for your good."

But, if I'm honest, the reason I hate it when my kids suffer has less to do with them and more to do with me.