A theology of ministry…pictured

This morning the sermon dealt with the theology that undergirds GBC’s philosophy of ministry.  The statement, “Shepherding God’s people by God’s grace for God’s glory,” is shaped by 13 theological truths. Here is a diagram that illustrates what we mean by shepherding God’s people, and how those theological truths relate to our philosophy of ministry.

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Sermon: A Theology of Ministry

A Theology of Ministry — Thirteen Core Values that Undergird GBC’s Ministry Selected Scriptures October 12, 2014 Over the next six weeks, we want to think with you about what church ministry looks like. There are two motives behind this: It is good to regularly remind ourselves of the purpose and foundation of ministry — […]

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Let’s do good to one another

“So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good [morally] to all people [not only being useful or profitable to them, but also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage]. Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith [those who belong to […]

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Praise the Lord

Indicators of skewed priorities in churches abound.  Yet this morning’s newspaper contains a statement from a pastor of a “sound,” “evangelical” church that pinpoints the problems in too many contemporary American churches:  “We’re really building a community center, more than we are a worship center.” It’s rare to read or hear such an open acknowledgement […]

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An unusual commendation?

We all like to be complimented.  We identify with the boy who said to his father, “Dad, let’s play darts.  I’ll throw.  And you say, ‘great shot!’” We want people to say we’ve done a job well, that we look good for our age, that it looks like we’ve lost a few pounds, that our […]

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Remember Jesus

I am afraid it is true.  I have done some time in jail. I was young.  Very young.  And by the grace of God, the time I did was short.  I did five minutes as a six-year-old first-grader.  We had gone on a field trip to the county jail, and to give us a sense […]

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Kindle afresh the gift of God

In a story that echoes the adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” U.S. News & World Report related the following story a few years ago: For most of the last decade, Chicagoans who worked in the Loop, the booming downtown business district, could easily ignore the city’s budget crisis; Washington’s […]

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Who’s who in the early church

The apostle Paul’s letters often conclude with lists of greetings from or encouragements to particular people.  The list of generally obscure names in Colossians 4 is typical and reveals the kinds of people God uses to accomplish his purposes. Consider Aristarchus, a captive man.  He was from Thessalonica and went with Paul and Tychicus to […]

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A commendable ministry

As you look at churches, pastors, and various ministries, many kinds of criteria are used to determine effectiveness and credibility. Just this morning I received an email advertisement that asserted, Long before anyone in your community meets you or is impacted by your ministries, your buildings and campus have sent a clear message to everyone. […]

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Be steadfast

I like baseball.  I have for as long as I can remember.  I’ve suffered through four decades of mediocre baseball following my favorite team, the Texas Rangers, before they qualified twice for the World Series (without, alas, the victor’s rings).  I’ve acquired thousands and thousands of baseball cards.  I still reach first for the sports […]

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Principles of building

For the third time in five years, today we are receiving new flooring in our kitchen and hallways.  The first time, we laid new wood floors over some old, tired laminate.  We were thrilled with the way it turned out and loved it. Then one Saturday night at 9:00 I went to get a drink […]

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Since we believe the cross…

Though the cross is foolishness to unbelieving men (1 Cor. 1:18ff), it is the power and wisdom of God for those who believe (1:18, 21ff).  Men look at the cross and ridicule it and shame and despise it.  “How might anything good come from a cross?” they mockingly question.  Yet the believer understands that there […]

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The work of ministry

Many years ago, when I was a first-year seminary student, a retired pastor in our church cornered me in a hallway one day, and knowing I was preparing for vocational ministry, asked me, “why do you do what you do?” I was perplexed.  He pressed in closer, both physically and metaphorically.  “Why do you do […]

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