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Churchianity?

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

I think I’ll coin a new word: Churchianity.

Sometimes, I don’t see a lot of Christianity. Instead, I only see “churchianity.”

What is churchianity? Churchianity is the busy-ness, spectator sport of attending a weekly corporate worship service or two, but not living out a life fully committed as a follower of Christ on other days of the week. People merely go to church but they do not live out “church” in everyday life! They are looking to be served rather than to serve Christ and others. They are not “missional.”

Sadly, most people are simply “doing church” and “churchianity” rather than following hard after Christ as one of His devoted disciples.

Matthew 28:19-20 reminds us to fulfill the great commission of Christ to: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”*

*The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Mt 28:19-20). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

How does a weekly or twice a week service qualify as Christianity when there is a lost and dying world out there that needs to hear the Gospel? Do we really live in light of the reality of eternal suffering? Does that motivate us? It should.

Christianity is radical by definition. It’s a shame we have to use the term “radical” because it ought to be the standard; however, because of “churchianity,” now we must differentiate and use terms like “radical” to describe what we ought to be doing anyway: fulfilling the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20).

-Mark (using language to bring clarity to our understanding of the Scriptures)

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Missions: how important is it to you to share your faith?

November 9, 2010 Leave a comment

How important should missions work be to us?

Read Matthew 28:18-20 and give me an answer. I think Jesus placed a high value on missions work!

Where does most missional work occur? In our neighborhoods? I would say in our homes. I live with 4 children who I am a missionary to – they all need Christ. Our children are lost. They are born that way. They need to know Christ (John 17:3). Do you realize that?

Hoping our children magically find Christ is not good enough. We must evangelize them which occurs in BOTH word and in DEED. Our actions speak louder than words. Then, we must ask the Holy Spirit to do His work of saving grace to bring them to Himself.

When that battle is won, then I recommend you go to your neighbors (or maybe you do both at the same time – evangelize your children and your neighbors). The world needs the Gospel but it starts in your own home. Share the Gospel with those nearest you today and expect God to bring them to Himself!

-Mark (missional work is important in every way)

A World-wide Message

September 16, 2010 1 comment

Many people have the right heart but the wrong message. The message is what counts. The truth is vital. Without truth, there really is no true love. Here are some examples of the messages we proclaim in this ministry because we proclaim Christ alone (Col. 1:28):

Be Transformed (Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 3:18)

Transformation, not Recovery

Addiction is not a Disease, but a Sin issue with the power found in Christ alone

Knowing Christ, not just facts about Him

Submission to Christ

In Christ alone

God’s Word is Sufficient

The Holy Spirit works in partnership with God’s Word

In World Missions, we preach the Gospel not psychological ideas that may lead people away from the throne of grace!

Do you have the right message in your ministry?

-Mark (these are messages TIL promotes that the world rejects but needs to hear)

Where in the world is Carmen San Diego…er, Mark?

June 6, 2010 Leave a comment

You can tell I have young children when I refer to Carmen San Diego. Some of you have no idea who or what I’m talking about. That’s ok! You won’t get the joke and it’s really no big deal.

One of the features we are working on with the TIL website is a calendar to show you all where I’ll be teaching so that some of you may join us!

One such special event occurs on Sunday, June 13th, when I’ll be preaching on PRAYER at a Kenyan church pastored by Joseph Kirwa here in Birmingham. The service begins at 3 pm and if you have never been to a church with born-again Africans, then you need to come and experience the love, passion, and kindness of these committed followers of Christ!

I am prayerfully considering a trip to Kenya to begin establishing a church and a biblical counseling ministry in that country in the next year. If you want to serve on our leadership team for that particular out-reach, then please contact us at shirley@histruthinlove.org. We are putting the team together NOW!

-Mark (grateful to teach to hungry souls from Kenya)

Religion vs. Faith

December 7, 2009 1 comment

As newborn babies, we want religion. We cry out to God, “where are You, Lord? I need You!” As we grow, we tend to cling to religion and its tangibility. We do not live by faith but by sight. We trust in our good works of going to church, in praying, in reading our Bibles, and in doing good works. We want religion because it provides us with a tangible product.

But God…

God is only pleased with faith that comes from an intimate relationship of knowing Him according to Hebrews 11:6:  “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” – The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Heb 11:6). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

God wants faith in Christ. He wants us to simply trust in the blood sacrifice of His Son who atones for our sins by faith. God wants us to walk by faith and not by sight. God wants us to see our good deeds as filthy rags and then to cling to faith in Christ. When we do, THEN and only then, will the Holy Spirit produce good works and His fruit through us by grace through our faith in Jesus Christ.

Live out your faith and let go of religion!

-Mark (living out my faith by helping others who are blinded by this world, sin, and Satan, to see Him as He really is)

Casting the Vision for TIL

April 28, 2009 Leave a comment

TIL started small and is growing steadily by God’s grace. The vision for TIL is to be a replicating ministry unlike many others. Our vision is grand because our Lord Jesus Christ is able. I’d like to share the vision for making disciples with you below (Matt. 28:18-20).

What TIL would like to do is have a 7 day per week central location that supports the ministry with prayer and finances.

At that hub, our ministry wants to train Christians to do evangelism and discipleship through the context of biblical counseling. If we are helping lost people, we share the Good News with them and point them to Christ. If we are helping Christians, we are strengthening, encouraging, and supporting them through a difficult time so that they might be reconciled to Christ and restored to help others (Gal. 6:1).

From that hub, we would like to send out teams of biblical counselors to help churches to start biblical counseling ministries for the purpose of evangelism and discipleship. We would train the churches people in biblical counseling AND provide opportunities for them to observe and participate in team biblical counseling sessions that deal with real lives. In time, TIL would step away from the church and allow that church to have its own, thriving ministry.

We want to equip the saints to do the work of ministry. We are equipping leaders and challenging lay people to get involved in a unique TEAM biblical counseling setting.

One final piece that we have yet to do but plan to do in the near future is to establish evangelism and discipleship biblical counseling ministries utilizing the local church in FOREIGN countries (like Japan, China and Kenya for example). This is a missional vision that we have always had but not yet implemented due to financial constraints yet we are laying the foundation now to accomplish these goals.

It’s exciting to be a part of a growing ministry that honors the Lord and He alone is providing the blessings.

-Mark (thankful that He alone is producing His fruit through us!)

A Successful Missions Conference!

February 27, 2009 Leave a comment

What a great 2009 Missions Conference we had this week!

First, we had a Kenyan Pastor preach in the Sunday morning worship service and it was powerful! This man is a true Kenyan and will return to his country in the next few years. In the meantime, he and his wife and children are “missionaries” to the United States (if you understand what I mean). They are teaching us a lot about Who God is.

Second, we had a missionary to Venezuela for the past 14 years speak to us on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings! This lady was extremely knowledgeable and encouraged us all to be more prayerful and aware of the need to share the Gospel worldwide.

By God’s grace, we truly were changed as a result of the past few days. We are thankful to these persons for challenging and encouraging us to endeavor to keep the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20.

-Mark (thankful to pastor a church that REALLY values missions!)