GIVING FISHERMEN SOMETHING TO DRINK/Missionaries to India
There's nothing small about the love of God
A tract ministry based on lee mcintosh's cartoon characters...
Jeremy sams specializes in christian art, church portraits, murals and painting the gospel: a visual presentation of the gospel.
Tammy Swanson-Draheim speaks to CT about the mission ahead for the diverse denomination. When Tammy Swanson-Draheim began serving in the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), it was difficult for women in ministry to find lead pastor roles in the denomination. Twenty-three years later, she became the first female president in its history.Over her ministry career, Swanson-Draheim said she was drawn to challenging circumstances that have forced her to rely on God.“It’s going to sound strange, but I’ve always enjoyed challenges because I think they’re really God’s opportunities,” said Swanson-Draheim, who was elected at the ECC’s 136th annual meeting last month.“In the challenges, you can’t rely on yourself, but it’s a time to get on your knees. God has always provided, so one of the things that’s poignant about my call is just being attracted to places where there are challenges and being used of God to be part of what he’s doing to resolve them.”Now, the North Park Theological Seminary alumna will return to the ECC’s headquarters in Chicago to lead the denomination that renewed her faith and inspired her call to ministry.“Tammy’s appreciation for the diversity of the church and her outstanding leadership skills, heart for relationships and relational health, and belief in our mission are essential qualities that are needed now,” said Steve Dawson, chair of the presidential nominating committee.Founded in 1885 by Scandinavian immigrants, the ECC spans 850 congregations in the US and Canada and has long been devoted to the mission of making disciples and building a multiethnic, intergenerational church body.Swanson-Draheim served as a lead pastor in the ECC for eight years and has been the superintendent of the denomination’s ...Continue reading...
A newÂ Gallup surveyÂ reports that for the first time in American history, church membership nationwide has dropped below 50 percent.Â This past year has been a challenging one for pastors and churches. Although there are multiple factors that have contributed to decreased church attendance and membership, the Covid-19 pandemic has certainly brought them to a head.Â Consider these reasons that may factor into the decline:Â Government mandates and media:Â Having liberal governors and secular news media tell people for months on end that they should not to go to church has taken its toll. Some of the decrease in membership we're seeing is a result of the onerous activities of overreaching government and fear-mongering media.Â Â Broken homes:Â In our church, we have many single parents who are raising their family in church. I greatly respect them and thank the Lord for their faithfulness. But across our nation, as the fabric of the family is being torn apart, one staple of life that has fallen by the wayside is church attendance. Where there used to be continuity of values passed down to children through the family, now there is strife and sometimes even a ridiculing of those values.Â Secular humanism in education:Â After more than a generation of secular humanism being taught in public schools and universities, the unavoidable result is young people believing they don't need God. In fact, as you look at the church membership poll from Gallup, you see that while the majority of Baby Boomers and older are holding strong in church affiliation, the younger generations are seeing less of a need for God or church.Â Retiring leaders:Â Many pastors are retiring, and fewer younger men are responding to God's call to ministry. The two-fold result is that more churches are left without pastors and fewer new churches are being planted. The churches without a pastor struggle to sustain meaningful gospel outreach. Meanwhile cities around our nation are expanding, but church planting efforts are not even close to keeping up. Simply put, we need more young men to surrender their lives to preach the gospel and to train for soulwinning-based ministry. This is why we continue to train laborers for Christ atÂ West Coast Baptist College.Laodicean church:Â It's no surprise that unsaved people would become less interested in things of God. The real grief is that churches, like the Laodicean church of Revelation 3:14â€“20, are lukewarm to the Lord and to the needs around them. In fact, it may be that the real story behind the decreasing church membership is decreasing gospel outreach. If fewer churches are passionately and strategically saturating their communities with the good news of Christ's death, burial, resurrection, and offer of salvation, it stands to reason that fewer people would be trusting Christ and following the Lord in baptism and church membership.So, considering the data and these contributing factors, why do I say that local churches can flourish in 2021?Â 1. The World Needs the Message We HaveThink of it this way. The first three factorsâ€”government mandates, broken homes, and secular humanismâ€”are all reasons peopleÂ needÂ the Lord more than ever.Â You may remember aÂ Gallup survey in DecemberÂ that revealed the only group of Americans whose mental health improved during the pandemic were those who attended church frequently.Â It may be that the decline in membership represents churches that didn't actually preach the gospel of Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation from sin. Or it may be that churches that do preach that message have become less bold in doing so. In either case, the fact remains, Bible-believing churches still have the only message every person in this world needs.Â 2. The Lord Is Able to Revive His ChurchBut if the first three reasons point to aÂ worldÂ that needs the Lord, the last two point toÂ churchesÂ that need the Lord.Â Where we have become lukewarm in our zeal for Christ and sharing the gospel, we need to heed our Lord's words to the church at Laodicea and repent:And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:14â€“20)Could it be that fewer young people are surrendering their lives to gospel ministry because they are not exposed to a fervent faith?Could it be that when Bible-believing churches return to their first love for Christ that the young people in these churches will have a desire to invest their lives in that which will last for eternity?Â Could it be that our communities are full of people who would gladly respond to the message of the gospel if people from our churches would go into the community and share our faith?Â AÂ Fox News articleÂ commenting on the below-majority church membership poll pointed out similar possibilities:The poll suggested that major factors in helping spiritual leaders regain some of that lost membership included â€œspiritual programs geared toward children and teenagers, community outreach and volunteer opportunities, and dynamic leaders were also factors in their attendance.â€â€œA focus on some of these factors may also help local church leaders encourage people who share their faith to join their church.â€3. We Live in the Perfect Moment to Declare the GospelI believe that God has allowed this past year with the Coronavirus pandemic, in part, to expose our need for Him and for His power in ministry. I also believe that there are people in every city in whose heart the Holy Spirit is already working (Acts 20:23) and who will respond to the gospel if you and I will share it.Because our world needs the gospel and because the Holy Spirit will empower Christians to witness (Acts 1:8), gospel-preaching churches canÂ flourishÂ regardless of the cultural religious apathy of our day.Â So, I encourage you, pastor, preach the gospel this Sunday. People need the Lord. There are plenty of news articles to discourage you. There are statistics to distract you. But you have a message this world needs. Lift up Christ!And I encourage you, Christian, share the gospel this week. Don't let the media tell you the world is hopeless. You and I serve a risen Savior who gives hope and renewed purpose for living. And you and I know Him and can introduce others to Him.Â The church can flourish if we will, in the power of the Holy Spirit, declare the gospel.____________If you would like to be encouraged in both motivation and methods for declaring the gospel in this moment of history, I invite you to join us October 3â€“6, 2021, forÂ Spiritual Leadership ConferenceÂ here in Lancaster, California. Our theme for this year's conference is â€œDeclare the Gospel.â€ Every service and every session will be centered on Christ and the why and how to share the good news of His death, burial, and resurrection. Additionally, we have added some afternoon opportunities to connect and collaborate with every conference speaker as well as the staff of Lancaster Baptist Church. I believe this will be the most encouraging and equipping Spiritual Leadership Conference we have ever had. I hope you will join us.Â
I consider myself to be like most American citizens. Contrary to what the national news media portrays, I believe that most Americans families, while flawed, still retain some core values. I understand that we are on a downhill slide morally and we are losing our children with breaknecking speed; however, I still cling to the somewhat antiquated idea of the quiet, small town American family who leads a typical, traditional life. I don't believe that everyone has a meth lab in their basement. Neither do I believe that most postal workers live with suppressed and untreated psychotic tendencies, just waiting to slaughter unsuspecting patrons and co-workers.No, deep down I hold the conviction that most Americans believe in God Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that is taught in Sunday schools around the country. I trust that most Americans want a job, and a home, and a family, and I trust that most of us want to work for those things. I dare say that most Americans hold dear fireworks on the 4th of July, homemade apple pie, and mom. Most of us are law abiding, flag saluting, and tax paying citizens. I assume that most of us, excluding politicians, for the most part, are decent people. From now on, I draw the line at politicians. From now on, I don't trust any of them. They have no ethics. To them honesty is relative, and they only serve those who have the capacity to line their pockets and advance their careers. I'm sorry Mr. Nixon, but you were a crook. Blagojevich? Daschle? Neither of them would I refer to as honorable. This goes for both sides of the aisle. The elephants and the donkeys are both as rotten as a soiled diaper in the noon day sun. Our elected officials regularly prove themselves to be tax cheats, liars, and adulterers. The best they can do after they are caught red-handed is juke at a half-hearted apology, make an excuse, promise to do better, and ask you for their vote in the next election. You know it is true and so do I. The problem I have is this: have they always been crooked or does the position inevitably shove them into a shady, sleazy, fraudulent life? How long has it been since each of the latest string of potential cabinet appointees paid their actual taxes? We might be able to pay for an actual economic stimulus package if all the politicians just paid what they owed the IRS. It is important for me to know if we are electing convicts who just have never been caught or if we are breeding them once they are in office. Yet, I don't think I am the only one with these questions. Inquiring minds want to know. My best guess is that, generally speaking, good, honest, morally upright people never pursue a career in politics because of all the huckster politicians that are already there, and as despondent as it may appear, I only see it getting worse. Let them prove me wrong, and I'll write a retraction. Until then, politicians, as far as I'm concerned are guilty. Like waiting for the other shoe to fall, we have only to sit and wait to discover which particular villainy will be committed. Yours for Portugal, Bro. Michael Andrzejewski Bro. Michael Andrzejewski currently serves with his wife and five children as a missionary to Portugal and is sent out of Milledgeville Baptist Church in Milledgeville, TN. For more information about their ministry please visit MBC Portugal Missions.
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