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6 Practical Ways We Can Strengthen the Church

A quick internet search for “church planting” will result in a myriad of articles, from research on current statistics and advice from church planters to a whole host of organizations with extensive structures and programs in place to establish and grow new churches. I wonder, though, if it’s meant to be as complicated as it would seem by this mass of information.The biblical view of church planting seems a lot simpler as I read through the book of Acts and the New Testament letters of doctrine and pastoral advice from those first apostles of Christ (Paul, Peter, James). What was their secret? From the humble beginnings of a few hundred believers, the gospel has spread all across our world, and is still as powerful now as it was more than two thousand years ago. How did those early disciples establish new churches, and what was their “strategy” to keep them strong and growing?Paul and his co-laborers were master “church strengtheners.” What can we learn from a practical look at how they carried out the ministry of establishing and strengthening the body of Christ?Looking at the word “strengthen” as found in the New Testament reveals a few simple principles that I believe can help all of us, as followers of Jesus, strengthen the church today. As we unpack these, we’ll discover three Greek words used in the New Testament to describe what it means to “strengthen” the church.Keep in mind, the Church (the body of Christ) is not just your church. It includes all people who have believed the gospel of Jesus Christ, having received salvation according to the Scriptures.Let’s broaden our perspective. How can we fulfill our biblical responsibility to strengthen our own local body, and at the same time, realize our obligation to help new and (possibly) struggling churches in need of strengthening?Here are six simple principles to implement in our desire to be church strengtheners.Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Rawpixel

7 Sneaky Idols Destroying the Church Today

“Put away your idols.”I traveled to India several years ago for mission work. I loved the culture and the people. One of the interesting sights along our travels was how common statues of idols were.India has hundreds of gods in Hinduism, and while we were driving or walking along, we would pass a little shrine with a statue of one of those gods.As a person of the Western world, I don’t see shrines and polytheistic gods dotting the landscape.Or maybe I do. Just because we may not have statues of gods on our streets or in temples, that doesn’t mean we don’t deal with idolatry.What is an idol? An idol is worshipping the work of our own hands. Whether we make a physical idol or bow down to our own intellect and philosophy, we can participate in idolatry in a number of different ways.The scripture is replete with examples of the people of God being told to get rid of the idols in their midst (Genesis 35:2, Joshua 24:23, Isaiah 31:7, Ezekiel 14:6).In essence, it’s mentioned twice in the 10 Commandments: You shall have no other gods before me, and you shall make no graven images. Literally the first two.From Jacob in Genesis to Ezekiel, hundreds of years later, the nation of Israel, Yahweh’s chosen people, the tribes he delivered and protected, continued to go back to idolatry. And God keeps calling the people back to himself.Why is idolatry a big deal? First, because there is only one God, and to worship anything or anyone else is a lie.Second, worshipping other gods has an effect on our behavior. In the scripture, idolatry always coincided with oppressing the poor, violence toward the innocent, and sexual immorality.What are the idols the church should get rid of today? Here are seven.Photo Credit: ©John Mark Smith/Unsplash

Why Do People Stop Going to Church?

If you have stopped attending church, today is the day to deal with your reason or excuse and find your way back. If you know someone that has stopped attending, don't give up on inviting them.


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