Thursday, April 24, 2008

Equipping the saints

In class today and tomorrow. Class is called equipping strategies. We have two great books for our texts:

Jane Vella, Taking Learning to Task
- A book that seeks to teach teachers how to put learning at the center.

R. Paul Stevens & Phil Collins, The Equipping Pastor
- This book focuses on the role of pastor as equipper of the Body of Christ.

Questions we are seeking to answer
- What are characteristics in a leader that motivate people to work/to minister?
- How do leaders mobilize, motivate other ministers in the Body to minister?
- What does the Bible say about the role of a pastor and equipping others?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Commitment (part 2)

Last week we began a conversation about commitment and Ruth. Hopefully you were able to sit down sometime and read through Ruth. Great book! This week we turn to Jesus and His commitments.

Jesus Commitment
I am certain that Jesus struggled in His commitments. He was fully human and experienced everything humans experience. He prayed in Gethsemane to the Father, asking Him to take this cup from him if it was possible (Luke 22:39-46). But Jesus is fully submitted to the Father and carrying out His will. It is interesting that Jesus would even talk about such a struggle if He were fully committed to following through with it anyways. Could there have been another way? A good point from this event in Jesus’ life is that although we make commitments, we may still struggle with following through with them, even if we are fully committed to them.

If you get a chance, read through the book of Ruth. It shouldn’t take you long because it’s only 4 chapters! A very quick read. A very amazing story of humans showing the type of commitment God shows to us every day.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Last night we conversed and listened to Ruth. She actually showed up to youth group to tell us about her life. We focused on and discussed her commitment to Naomi, her mother-in-law, despite having an easy way out.

Story Re-cap
For those of you not familiar with this small Old Testament book here’s the story. Ruth was married; her husband died; and her mother-in-law, Naomi, gave the option of going back to her family if she wanted to…she chose to stick with Naomi. In Old Testament culture, Naomi would have been worthless because she had no sons and was a widow. Later, after returning to Bethlehem, Ruth meets a man named Boaz. Naomi helps Ruth develop a plan to win him over and a relationship with him. Ruth succeeds and they get married and have a son and Naomi is redeemed.

What Ruth teaches us
This is a story about loyalty and love and the commitment they require. Ruth could have easily left Naomi and returned home like her other sister-in-law, Orpah, did. Instead she made a commitment to Naomi (1:16-17). She decided to stick with Naomi and make her her family. Ruth exemplifies something rare these days, commitment. She left her hometown to live with her mother-in-law with no indicators that things were going to turn out well for her. She didn’t know she would get remarried. She made a commitment and stuck it out.

Commitments today are dime a dozen and thick as a puddle. Everybody makes them; nobody keeps them. If you don’t like your spouse, get a new one. If you don’t like your church, find a new one. We can say that about everything and sit back and watch such things happen all around us. Ruth teaches that real commitment goes beyond feelings and is actually an example of God’s commitment to us. It would probably be a good time to say a prayer, thanking God that He doesn’t commit to us like we commit to Him and others. I thank God for the commitments others have made to me and have followed through with. I experience commitment to this degree every day. My wife is so good at following through with her commitments that it sometimes annoys me. I am constantly saying, “Just because you said you were going to doesn’t mean you have to!” But you know what? I need to be annoyed, because my level of commitment needs to be challenged. During such times, I have to think long and hard about giving my word and the things I say I’m going to do.

Next week we'll discuss Jesus commitment. Until then, read Ruth (it's only 4 chapters!).