Community (Part 2)

As stated in my last post, I recently contributed to a free 10-week Bible study for the North Carolina Baptist State Convention called Patterned. This curriculum explores what it means to be a disciple-maker.

This free curriculum includes a downloadable workbook and videos for each session. Here is a list of the topics covered in the curriculum. I wrote the sessions for week 6 on community.

Week 1: Praying for the Lost
Week 2: Defining Evangelism and Discipleship
Week 3: Studying the Bible
Week 4: Telling your Story
Week 5: Gospel Conversations
Week 6: Community
Week 7: Unreached People Groups
Week 8: Ministry Opportunities/Storying
Week 9: Living Intentionally
Week 10: Transformation, not Information; Sending

Visit the website to find out more: Patterned 

Community (Part 1)

I recently contributed to a free 10-week Bible study for the North Carolina Baptist State Convention called Patterned. This curriculum explores what it means to be a disciple-maker.

This free curriculum includes a downloadable workbook and videos for each session. Here is a list of the topics covered in the curriculum. I wrote the sessions for week 6 on community.

Week 1: Praying for the Lost
Week 2: Defining Evangelism and Discipleship
Week 3: Studying the Bible
Week 4: Telling your Story
Week 5: Gospel Conversations
Week 6: Community
Week 7: Unreached People Groups
Week 8: Ministry Opportunities/Storying
Week 9: Living Intentionally
Week 10: Transformation, not Information; Sending

Visit the website to find out more: Patterned 

Pastors, Let Your Deacons Serve

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I recently wrote a post titled Pastors, Let Your Deacons Serve at For The Church

A few weeks ago I was having lunch with the chairman of our deacons when he casually made a comment that revisited me throughout the day. Our conversation was focused on several upcoming opportunities and decisions that would require preparation and administrative work. As we were making a list of things to do, I “offered” to take care of the tasks so that he would not have to bother with them.

With wisdom and gentleness, he said, “Matt, I know you like to take control. I know you work hard and like to take charge of these things, but allow me to do this.” The operative word in that comment was “control”. In that moment the Holy Spirit quickly revealed that my “offer” was actually a manifestation of my idolatrous bow to control.

Read the rest here.

Teaching and Disciple-Making

Where is the intersection of Sunday School and disciple-making? I recently sat down with the North Carolina Baptist State Convention and shared my understanding of how these two cross paths.

The Sin of Retaliation

Decorative Scales of Justice in the Courtroom

This was originally published at The Biblical Recorder.

The natural mode of our hearts is expressed well in the Latin phrase lex talionis, which means “the law of retaliation.” When someone crosses us or makes demands on us our initial reaction is to respond in the same way. Why not? This is the way we’ve heard that the world works. Right? Retaliation is sinfully seductive and bitterly sweet.

However, as Christians we operate by the laws of a different world, the Kingdom of God. This is why in Matthew 5:38-42 Jesus says, “you have heard it said … but I tell you.” What does he tell us? Jesus demands that when someone insults us, we should not respond in a way that escalates violence. Instead, we should respond in love towards our attacker, in a way that prevents further attacks or stops the progression of violence.

Moreover, when someone takes your possessions, Jesus calls us to respond in the way of love, namely, to go the extra mile, to give freely to those in need. In many cases, those who pursue our possessions have an actual need they are trying to meet.

Doesn’t Jesus call us to give to those who are truly in need?

Now, we can split hairs on this passage and develop numerous scenarios where helping can hurt. Or we can think of many modifiers to these words in order to show how these things may or may not play out. But I think that misses the point of the passage.

In fact, the initial response of counting the costs to respond this way shows that retaliation is our natural desire.

However, Jesus calls us to think differently. Moreover, His Spirit enables us to respond differently.

In a unnatural way – better yet, a supernatural way – our need for retaliation and personal justice is not bound by the “pay out” on this earth.

If our self-esteem is found in our stance before God, we can lovingly stand in the face of sinful insults. If our treasure is found in the inheritance we have as children of God, we are not devastated when our earthly belongings are taken. This is the power of the gospel.

Love Your Enemies

Love Your Enimies

This was originally published at The Biblical Recorder.

The election season is a good time to gauge fears of our fellow citizens. Politicians are experts at exposing and exploiting the suspicions of our culture. Right now, many people fear Middle Easterners because they merely resemble their religious extremist neighbors. Some candidates have proposed that we respond to entire people groups with fear by shutting them out.

However, Jesus calls us not to respond in fear, but in faith. To open our hearts to those who are different that we are. Even to our enemies: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

It is easy to love those who are like us, but what reward is there in that? Is God not sovereign over all things? Does He not allow His sun to rise on the evil and on the good? Does He not send rain on the just and on the unjust?

We know from scripture that God hates those who are resolutely and unrepentantly wicked. Those who do, and intend to do harm against us will face the judgment of God. In most cases, even those who resemble the enemy do not intend harm. Without reservation, we are called to reflect the grace that we so commonly enjoy.

Doesn’t God show grace and care for all of His creatures? Absolutely. Therefore Jesus’ disciples are called to imitate God and love both neighbor and enemy. I recently heard International Mission Board President David Platt say that “Only an Americanized Christianity would prioritize security over the proclamation of the gospel.” We must remember the power of Satan is limited by the prerogative of God. When we face the enemy, and the perceived enemy, our initial response should be love: pray for them; love them; open your hearts to them.

The power of the gospel dissolves fear and empowers us to act in faith. Perhaps the most poignant way to apply this text is to remind us of Christ’s command to love your neighbor as yourself. In other words, love others with the same amount of energy and tenacity that you would for your own well-being. How would you want to be treated?

Conflict and the Christian

Path Broken Between People

This was originally published at The Biblical Recorder.

Unresolved conflict is damaging to our soul. As Christians we know God calls us to pursue peace in our relationships. As Christians, we also know conflict in our relationships is to be expected. The doctrine of sin is most evident when we are angry at one another. The sinful nature of our hearts is often exposed by our thoughts, words and actions. Anger typically occasions a desire to damage or destroy another person. While we are called to love one another sacrificially, when conflict arises, we often lash out at one another relentlessly. Jesus says, “everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment” (Matthew 5:22).

While we all acknowledge unresolved conflict damages our souls, we often fail to recognize it is detrimental to our worship. In Mathew 5:23-24, Jesus teaches that if we intend to offer a gift at the altar of worship, when unresolved conflict is between us and another, we should first attempt reconciliation. This may seem like an odd command at first, but if we reflect on the nature of the gospel, this command is given context.

Aren’t we all, as Christians, recipients of God’s grace in reconciling us to Himself through Jesus Christ? Aren’t we the ones who have wronged God in unimaginable ways with our sin? Hasn’t God offered us grace when we did not deserve it? God offers reconciliation, when we deserve judgment. How can we come to the altar as reconciled worshipers of God if we are withholding the opportunity of reconciliation from another person?

If we have truly experienced the Good News of Jesus, we will see reconciliation with the person who has something against us is a gospel issue. What is interesting about this passage is that the one who initiates the reconciliation here is the one who has wronged the other person. God has taken initiative to reconcile us even when we did not deserve it. We must take initiative in conflict to be reconciled to those we’ve hurt, because they deserve it. This is the power of the cross.

Christian Living as “Salt and Light”


This was originally published at The Biblical Recorder.

As citizens of the Kingdom of God, Christians are expected to live according to high moral standards. However, when we reflect on the ethic that Jesus calls for in the Sermon on the Mount, it can be easy to fall into despair. Who among us can perfectly uphold these holy virtues? If we are honest, all of us fall short more than we’d like to admit.

The Good News of the gospel is that Jesus came to fulfill the totality of the law. In other words, where the Israelites failed, where we fail, Christ has perfectly lived according to every “iota and dot” of God’s perfect law.

Though our righteousness has not exceeded the Scribes and the Pharisees, His has. And it is through Him that we are able to enter the Kingdom of heaven by grace alone, through faith alone.

But do not be mistaken! Christ still calls His disciples to not only teach His commands, but also live according to His commands.

Jesus illustrates this point by using the examples of salt and light. Like salt, Christians are to preserve what is good, and season our lives for the good of the world. As a light to the world, God’s people are called to illuminate the world through good works that bring glory to Him.

This is a call for believers to live a life of worship in response to God’s saving grace.

The law is for our good because it shapes our life of worship to be offered as a sacrifice of praise. Christ did not abolish the law, He fulfilled it. He also empowers us to live out the law through His Spirit. Oh what amazing grace!

We live in a broken world where all that is good is being corroded away by sin. In His power, we are the salt that preserves God’s good presence to those around us.

We live in a dark world where the shadows of sin creep into every area of society. By His power, our lives illuminate the darkness, pointing others to find their way to the light of Jesus Christ.

Christian Character in the Sermon on the Mount

Sermon on the Mount

This was originally posted at The Biblical Recorder.

Throughout the ages the Church has utilized Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount to frame the Christian life. More specifically, one of the essential passages that the ancient Fathers of the church used to catechize new believers was the “beatitudes,” which are short statements that summarized the essence of that sermon. These statements are labeled the “beatitudes” from the Latin word beatus, which means “blessed or happy.” In other words, it is a state of living that is not marked by temporary and circumstantial happiness, but a deep joy that is rooted in one’s relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

  • The poor in Spirit are blessed because they recognize their neediness for grace from God.

  • Those who mourn their sin, also recognize the comfort they find in the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

  • The meek are blessed because they do not feel the need to assert themselves over others to get what they want, but find rest in God’s providential sovereignty over all events on earth.

  • Those who long for righteousness, find satisfaction in the deep wells of gospel empowered and Spirit reliant living.

  • The merciful are blessed, because they, after receiving mercy from God, can offer mercy to others freely.

  • The pure in heart are those who have seen God in Christ, and have received His righteousness as a gift in faith.

  • Those who make peace, (or seek the well-being of those around them) receive the blessing of giving the lost a picture of what is to come.

  • Even those who are wrongly treated and reviled are counted among the blessed, because their reward in the world to come is certainly worth the trials here.

This is a life lived in the power of the Spirit and in response to God’s blessing. We are doubly blessed because we experience God’s blessing in obedience (Luke 11:28; 1 Peter 3:9; James 1:22; Revelation 22:7). But even more so, obedience itself is a blessing! Which one of us would be able to live this way in our own power?

The Bible Studies for Life “Disciple Thru” Event


This past week I have the privilege of participating in the The Bible Studies for LifeDisciple Thru” online event. The event consisted of several video teachings from pastors and church leaders. For a limited time, you can still watch the videos.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the event.

Eric Mason

  • In the Christian life, comprehensive discipleship is a core necessity. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • When you teach the core of the Christian faith, you cannot assume anything. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • Discipleship involves core training both theologically and practically. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We must preach the gospel robustly, but with accessibility and simplicity. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • Jesus in not an option in discipleship, He is the core of discipleship. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We are called to minister to people who are dealing with affliction, namely, the poor, the widows, the orphans. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • All things were made for Christ; therefore everything must be subdued and developed to help the needy. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We are called to disciple from the block to the boardroom. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We are called to preach the whole gospel to the whole person so that we can have whole people in the body of Christ. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We must develop principled pathways based on propositional truth to show how doctrine works out in every area of life. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We are called to made disciples who make disciples. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • God is unique and set apart, therefore God’s people are to be unique and set part as distinct in the world. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • As disciples we have been made holy by God, and yet we pursue holiness to reflect the image of God in this world. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • As God blesses you with resources, utilize those resources to bless those who God has placed in your path. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • How you treat others is just as much a discipleship issue as it is a sociological issue. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • Mission and discipleship are coupled in how we civically engage the sojourner among us. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • The truth of God’s word demands that we treat others with mercy and justice. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • We gather the people of God to disciple them and scatter them into the world to be disciple makers. @pastoremase #BSFL16
  • Discipleship should take place in our families, neighborhoods, and workplaces. @pastoremase #BSFL16

Chris Brown

  • Isn’t it frustrating when people’s actions do not line up with what they verbally “amen” in our churches? @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • The gap between what people say and what they do comes down to a lack of margin. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Where there is no margin, there is no ministry. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Too many of our people are intentioned for ministry, but they are not positioned for ministry. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • We are called to disciple people, even in their finances. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Regardless of salary, 70% of Americans live paycheck to pay check. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • 18% of Americans live worse than paycheck to pay check. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • The reality is, 78% of American Christians live broke or worse. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Over 1/3 of American adults are in the debt collection process. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Church leaders, we are called to model biblical stewardship to our people. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • We are called to manage God’s resources, His way, for His glory. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • We need to understand the difference between the worlds way of handling money, and God’s way of handling money. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Church leaders, we are called to teach God’s way of handling money. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • The world handles money with entitlement. God’s people should handle money with gratitude and contentment. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • When it comes to our resources, we need to believe that ALL things belong to God. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • God owns all things. We are simply managers and stewards. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • As managers and stewards, we are called to be faithful with what God has given us. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • So many people in our churches are aiming at nothing, and hitting it every time. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Did you know that it is possible to give cheerfully! @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • Those who can be entrusted with little can be trusted with much. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • When it comes to stewardship, we have to tell people to, and teach them how. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • When our belief changes, it leads to a different set of actions, that lead to a different set of results. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16
  • As Christians, we don’t worship the provision, we worship the provider. @ChrisBrownOnAir #BSFL16

Matt Capps

  • No matter how many precautions we take, or how much we prepare, hardship comes to each and everyone of us. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Hardship is no respecter of persons. Are you prepared? @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • At any point in our lives, we are coming out of hardship, facing hardship, or preparing to enter into hardship. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • We have been sold the lie that if God really loves us, our life will be easy – full of health, wealth, and prosperity. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • The secular view of hardship is that it is meaningless, an interruption to the victorious Christian life. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Facing hardship is not a matter of if, but when. As the Apostle Peter wrote, “When you suffer.” @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • The sad reality is that many saints are ill prepared to face hardship. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • As Christians we have a deep and robust biblical grounding to persevere through whatever they may face in this life. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • We need to learn how to disciple one another to prepare for, and persevere through hardship. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Christians should not see hardship as meaningless, but meaningful. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Christians should not see hardships as being an interruption, but an opportunity. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • God can and will work all things for the good of those who are called according to his purpose. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • In hardship, we must be ok with no explanation, with the truth that “the secret things belong to the Lord our God.” @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Our initial prayer in hardship should be, “God, how can I use this hardship for your glory.” @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • The opportunity for Christians is to glorify God in the midst of – despite of – the hardships we face. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • The victorious Christian life is not free from hardship; our victory in Christ is shown in our perseverance through hardship. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • One of the most powerful apologetics for the Christian faith, is an unshakable trust in God’s providential hand. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Sure, our hardship will drive us to our knees. But it will drive us to our knees in prayer. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Sometimes it takes hardship to bring you to the place where we see that Jesus is all you need. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Every hardship we face in the Christian life will only enhance our eternal delight in the life to come. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • Christian, there is coming a day where mourning, crying, and pain will be no more. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • One day, we will look back and see that hardship showed us that God’s steadfast love is better than life. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • If you are ever facing hardship and you wonder if God loves you, look to the cross. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • If you are ever facing hardship and you wonder if God will deliver you through it, look to the resurrection. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • If you are ever facing hardship and you wonder if anything can stop the pain and darkness, look to the ascension. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • In the family of God we are able to care, and be cared for, to love and be loved, to encourage and be encouraged. @mattcapps #BSFL16
  • The people of God, filled with the Spirit of God, armed with the word of God, can accomplish the mission of God. @mattcapps #BSFL16

Jackie Bledsoe

  • In our culture the basic foundations of marriage are confusion to people. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • In our culture, marriage is often devalued or treated as a joke. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • If God is the author of marriage, how does our view of marriage reveal our view of God? @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Regardless of the state of marriage in our country, we can hope in Christ. There is no confusion in Christ. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Christians, we have the perfect opportunity to point people to Jesus through our marriages. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • We want hearts and minds pointed towards Jesus because of how we relate to one another in marriage. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • We are called to bring God honor and glory through our marriage relationships. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Today in our churches, marriage is vastly underserved. It is not easy to find marriage ministries. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Church leader, are you modeling what God wants to do through marriage in your own? @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • What good has God done in your marriage? How you share that good news with others? @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Married people, what couples in your church can you invest in and pour in to? @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Model your marriage. Teach on marriage. Equip them for marriage. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • Through healthy marriage, we can show people who God is and His love for us in Jesus. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16
  • We need to reclaim marriage according to God’s original intent. @jbledsoejr #BSFL16

Jeremiah Johnston

  • There are two errors for Christians when it comes to the paranormal: fascination and ignoring it. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Our culture is fascinated with the paranormal world. Leader, can you answer questions related to it? @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • There were both miracles and exorcisms in the ministry of Jesus. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • In the ministry of Christ, we see God invading the kingdom of Satan. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • In the New Testament, Jesus’s name was so powerful that even paranormal priests recognized him. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • The paranormal is attractive and is normal in our society. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • The more education one has, the more likely that person is to believe in the demonic and paranormal world. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • 71% of American’s believe they have had a paranormal experience. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Only 28% of our young people say they have believed anything at church to help them with the paranormal around them. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • As soon as you open the door to demonic activity it becomes really hard to shut it. It is a slippery slope. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • The false gospel of a paranormal world is that life has no meaning. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Fascination with the paranormal will bring you into bondage and greater confusion. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Did you know that there are more than 300 psychics that are ordained as “Christian” ministers? @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • The demonic world preys on hurting people. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Only Jesus Christ can set me free. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Only in Jesus Christ can we find the true purpose for our lives. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • There is power and authority in the name of Jesus Christ. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • Unbelief fears Satan as a lion. Belief tramples Satan as a worm. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • We need the light of Jesus Christ to shine in the darkness of our world. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16
  • When it comes to the paranormal, lets recognize it and know how to respond to it. @JeremyJohnstonJ #BSFL16

Eric Geiger

  • How do you disciples someone through success? @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • Just as God uses trials and pain to sanctify us, He can also use success. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • Most of the people we lead are not going through deep pain, but seasons of success. How will you disciple them through it? @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • We need to remind each other that God is in control and gives authority and success. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • In seasons of success, we need to remind one another that it is a gift of God. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • If someone is experiencing success, it is only because God has chosen to bless them with success. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • The gospel tells us that all good things are because of God, not us. We do not bring anything to the table. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • The Christian faith is something we receive; it is not something we achieve. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • We need to remind one another that God is better than our seasons of success. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • God gives success. But God is better than success. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • God is more satisfying than the promotion. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • God is better than the great business deal. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • God is more liberating than anything this world offers. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • Success pales in comparison to the greatness of God. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • Sanctification through poverty: identity in the struggle. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • Sanctification through prosperity: identify in the gifts. @ericgeiger #BSFL16
  • We find our satisfaction not in the gifts of God, but in God himself. @ericgeiger #BSFL16

Jesse Campbell

  • When we minister to people through tragedy we must teach that God is ultimately sovereign. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • God always has purpose in tragedy. God can take it and write a story of healing and redemption. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • Tragedy often shows that our faith refined by fire may be proven genuine. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • We must call people to respond in tragedy like Job. Though God may slay me, I will hope in Him. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • Even when Satan attacks, our faith in God can remain in tact. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • Do we consider it pure joy when our faith is tested? @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • When we bring about our own tragedy, we must confess that it is against God alone that we have sinned. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • The central truth is that God redeems tragedy. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • God can work all things, even tragedy, for the good of His purpose. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • A moment in God’s presence will alleviate all the pain we have experienced in tragedy. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • God can build a beautiful testimony through our tragedies. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16
  • God can take anything in our lives and use it to prepare us to minister to others. @JesseCampbell5 #BSFL16

Tony Merida

  • Most of our favorite meal times are with others. This is a great ministry opportunity. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • The reason we long for meals with friends is that we were made for these. We are headed to Marriage Supper of the Lamb. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • All of history is moving to a time when Christians will dine with the King. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • One of the ways we can minister to people is to practice hospitality. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Practicing hospitality is not about being nice, its about putting on display the kingdom of God. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • The whole story of the Bible can be told through a meal. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • God provides in the garden, God provides for Abraham, God provides during the exodus, God provides in the Promised Land. God is the ultimate host. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Meals are central, this is why Jesus came eating and drinking. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • In the gospel of Luke, Jesus is either going to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Jesus never started a school or a program, he just ate with people. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Ministry through hospitality is something every Christian can do. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • We can strategically use every meal to put Jesus’ revolutionary Kingdom on display. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • The act of hospitality puts on display the gospel that we believe. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • The proper response to grace is always grace. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • The more we internalize the gospel of grace, the more we should demonstrate it to others. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Jesus brought us in and has shown us grace, we should do the same for others. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Effective ministry involves ordinary people doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • How can we use our homes as a way to show mercy, communicate the gospel, and build community. @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Lives are often changed by asking simple questions like “would you like to come over and eat”? @tonymerida #BSFL16
  • Think of your home as a great means of ministry. @tonymerida #BSFL16

Jonathan Falwell

  • We need to recognize the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • The purpose of discipleship is to become more like Christ. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • Discipleship requires us to take deliberate steps. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • In the midst of life changing moments we need to stay firm in becoming like Christ. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • Do not let the winds of change and uncertainty stop us in our faith walk. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need our roots so deep in the faith that we stand strong in the winds of life. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need to be firmly rooted, established, and locked in the faith to stand strong in hard situations. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need a diligent and deliberate plan to remain rooted in the faith. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need a powerful prayer plan to stand strong in life change. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need a deliberate Bible study plan to plant our roots deep in the midst of life change. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • When we pick up God’s word, He speaks to us and to our life situation. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need a deliberate plan of dependence on God to remain firm during life change. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need to be in God’s word to remain completely dependent on Him. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16
  • We need a deliberate plan of multiplication to help others remain strong during life transition. @jonathanfalwell #BSFL16

Derwin Gray

  • To be a disciple means that you are a part of a story much larger than you. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • The greater story of discipleship informs and transforms how we live. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • We need to think of discipleship in the context of being God’s people, students of Jesus. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Making disciples of all nations means making disciples of all people across the sea and across the street. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Love God. Love Self. Love Neighbor. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • In the New Testament, multi-ethnic church was not just a model of doing church, it was the church. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • The essence of discipleship is about becoming mature in Christ. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • If you want to grow as a disciple you need to be involved in cross-cultural ministry. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • In others differences, we find ourselves, and others find themselves. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • A big part of discipleship is the art of listening to someone else’s story. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Understating someone else’s story allows you to walk in their shoes. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Until you have walked in someone else’s shoes, do not criticize them. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Learn others story, hear what God has done in them. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Proximity evolves into intimacy. It is hard to hate people up close. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • It is easy to hate others from a distance. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • Jesus meets us at different stages of life to conform us to his image through the holy spirit to present us mature. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16
  • God’s goal in discipleship is not information, but transformation. @DerwinLGray #BSFL16

Thom Rainer

  • We need to disciple our children with intentionality. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Every night, we should read God’s word to our children. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Every night, we should pray with our children. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Even when our children are teenagers, we should continue to disciple our children. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • We should intentionally teach our children spiritual disciplines and the basics of the faith. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Some of our best times involved our children asking us spontaneous questions about the Bible. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Church leaders, our children need to see us share our faith. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Church leaders, take your children with you when you visit people. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Church leaders, model servant leadership and acts of kindness to your children. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • We should disciple our children in formal and informal contexts. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Even on vacation, as you walk the beach, talk about the greatness of God’s creation. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Share with and teach your children the beauty of God’s creation. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Be transparent and authentic with your children. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Pastors, what your children see in the pulpit needs to be what they see during the week. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Even in our humor, we can show our children the joy of our faith. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Laughter and joy is an important part of cultivating discipleship in your family. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Joy should shape your home as a safe spiritual haven. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Through our joy we can show our children that God is a loving Father. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • Our children should see that we love our spouses. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • One of the greatest things that gives our children security is to see that we love our spouses. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • We will not do everything right, but God will use us to disciple our children. @thomrainer #BSFL16
  • The greatest opportunity we have is to disciple our children. @thomrainer #BSFL16

Trillia Newbell

  • Men and women are created in the image of God, created equal but different. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Because of sin, women are often objectified in sexuality. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Understanding the fall gives us a foundation for how it affects us. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Did you know that women ages 16-19 years old have the highest rate of sexual victimization? @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Sadly, sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • 1 out of every 6 women in the US have been raped or assaulted at some point in their lives. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Have you considered that your churches are full of people that have been assaulted sexually? @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Sexual victims need to be freed from their disgrace by the power of the gospel. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • When it comes to sexual assault, leaders must be prepared to care for victims through Caesar and the Church. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Our people are inundated with sexually explicit material. Are you prepared to minister to your people in this area? @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Sex was created by God and intended to be enjoyed in the context of marriage. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Because of sin, sex is distorted, twisted, abused and neglected. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • The Bible is clear. Christians are called to abstain from sexual immorality. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • God has called us to purity and holiness! @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Our sin not only affects ourselves, but it also affects others. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Whoever engages in sexual sin, sins against a holy and just God. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • We are called to exercise control over our minds and our bodies. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • We are called to think on things that are true, honorable, and pure. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • In our sex crazed society, we have to push against the culture and take captive of our own thoughts. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Do not buy the lie that you must be sexual to attract the opposite sex. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • We fight against sin because God is worth fighting for. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • We are created to bring God glory! @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • In our fight against sexual sin, we need to preach the gospel to ourselves and fix our eyes on Christ. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • As God’s children, we trust that saying no to sexual sin is the best that He has for us. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • We pursue righteousness and fight sin because of our love for Jesus Christ, and we are His beloved. @trillianewbell #BSFL16
  • Remember there are people around you that are suffering at the hands of others, and are struggling with their own sin. @trillianewbell #BSFL16