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Preaching vs. Prayer

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Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 2:23 PM

"It is on prayer that the promises wait for their fulfillment, the kingdom for its coming, the glory of God for its full revelation . . . Jesus never taught His disciples how to preach, only how to pray. He did not speak much of what was needed to preach well, but much of praying well. To know how to speak to God is more than knowing how to speak to man. Not power with men, but power with God is the first thing." (Murray)

Death Spiral by Seth Godin

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Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 2:04 PM


Great Article I read from Seth Godin's blog....

Death spiral!

You've probably seen it. The fish monger sees a decline in business, so they have less money to spend on upkeep and inventory, so they keep the fish a bit longer and don't clean up as often, so of course, business declines and then they have even less money... Eventually, you have an empty, smelly fish store that's out of business.

The doctor has fewer patients so he doesn't invest as much in training or staff and so some other patients choose to leave which means that there are even fewer patients...

The newspaper has fewer advertisers, so they can't invest as much in running stories, so people stop reading it, which means advertisers have less reason to advertise which leaves less money for stories...

As Tom Peters says, "You can't shrink your way to greatness," and yet that's what so many dying businesses try to do. They hunker down and wait for things to get better, but they don't. This isn't a dip, it's a cul de sac. It's over.

Right this minute, you still have some cash, some customers, some momentum... Instead of squandering it in a long, slow, death spiral, do something else. Buy a new platform. Move. Find new products for the customers that still trust you.

Change is a bear, but it's better than death.

And I’m convinced that individualism is one of the most corrosive and destructive forces of modernity. The Christian answer to individualism is recovering the centrality of the life of the body of Christ. Our salvation involves us in a covenantal community. Paul says we’re given gifts for building up the body; that seems to me to counter modern individualism. But churches now tend to be configured as providers of religious goods and services, and are often told to think of themselves that way. That’s a commercial model, rather than a communal model. Ken Myers

Love this detailed description explaining (koinōnia) fellowship. over at "The Assembling of the Church" from Alan Knox

Bridge of Grace

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Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 1:20 PM


The bridge of grace will bear your weight, brother. Thousands of big sinners have gone across that bridge, yea, tens of thousands have gone over it. I can hear their trampings now as they traverse the great arches of the bridge of salvation. They come by the thousands, by their myriads, e’er since that day when Christ first entered His glory. They come and yet never a stone has sprung in that mighty bridge. Some have been the chief of sinners and some have come at the very last of their days but the arch has never yielded beneath their weight. I will go with them, trusting to the same support. It will bear me over as it has for them. - Charles Spurgeon

from Of First Importance

Coming to Christ

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Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 8:14 PM


to become a Christian is to esteem the judgment of others for nothing, accepting the judgment of God upon ourselves and hoping in His grace. To confess Christ includes, that we lose ourselves and all that is ours, our name and our honour, our good and blood, our soul and our life - Herman Bavinck

“…when a man does learn the meaning of the work of Christ in the present life, a new door is open to him. And this new door then seems to be so wonderful that often it gives the Christian, as he begins to act upon the knowledge of faith, the sense of something that is as new as was his conversion.” - Francis Schaeffer

Book Review: The Rabbit and the Elephant, Why Small Is the New Big for Today’s Church

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Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 6:26 PM


Book Review: The Rabbit and the Elephant, Why Small Is the New Big for Today’s Church by Tony & Felicity Dale, George Barna.

First, may I say this is the best house-church book I have read, and I have read a dozen or so! I’ve highlighted half this book! I love the author’s excitement and the stories were overwhelmingly encouraging. The spiritual gift of exhortation from the authors was in full affect while reading this book. I appreciate the honesty of the authors as they told their struggles to help bring this biblical movement to America. Whether you agree or disagree this is just a great book and I was fascinated by every page.

A little about the authors: Tony and Felicity Dale were trained as physicians at Barts Hospital in London, where they pioneered simple church concepts while in medical school and later in the East End of London. Now living in the United States, they are actively engaged in church planting. They founded House2House magazine and have authored several books, including Renewing the Mind, Simply Church, and the Getting Started manual on planting house churches. They live in Austin, Texas. George Barna was born in New York City and later worked in the Massachusetts state legislature and as a pollster and a campaign manager. Introduced to Jesus Christ during his grad school years, he moved to California where he worked in media research and then as an executive in an advertising agency. George and his wife, Nancy, founded the Barna Research Group in 1984. To date, Barna has written more than 35 books, predominantly in the areas of leadership, trends, spiritual development, and church health.

Let me share with you a little from this gem of a book. The title of the book and how they start it out is the story of the elephant and the rabbit being locked in a room for 22 months and how many offspring would come out after is amazing. Of course we would have only 3 elephants (mom, dad, and baby) but we would have millions of rabbits!! That was in the introduction of the book as analogy of simple church.

The first chapter goes into the story of how they struggled spiritually moving from a growing house church revival in England to coming to Texas and waiting 9 years before God began to work. They called it “God’s wilderness training school”. I personally can relate to this story and I think millions of pastors and church leaders can relate to that time of silence where you feel like “God has abandoned us” pg 5. I recognize their explaining the premise of the New Testament Church as not an event to attend or a place to go to on Sunday morning but a “vibrant community of Jesus followers, a 24-7 Kingdom lifestyle.” Pg 6. They further explain it as “simple, vibrant communities of believers who are meeting in homes, offices, campuses, or wherever God is leading them.” The authors give it another analogy as being like a liquid church “a type of church, that, like water, is seeping into every crack and crevice of our culture.” Pg. 37 They write of a re-forming church from “an event-based institution to life- and relationship-based” pg. 30.

In chapter 6 “a radical church life”. They speak about legalism and grace. “The grace and love of Jesus operating inside us causes us to want to do what legalism or shame-based religions says we ought to do.” I would like to be honest, for me there were a few concerns with the charismatic flavor of the book. I would disagree with their interpretation of how the Spirit works individually and collectively in community. I feel that any cessationist or noncharismatic should read this book to understand this movement. I am in favor of this phenomenon and am personally transitioning our traditional church into an informal book of Acts missional community. If you are wanting to transition, I would put this book at the top of your list!

Chapter 13 was my favorite!!! I will be using this and teaching the “Luke 10 principle” to our church family. Getting this biblical principle down is priceless and well worth the price of the book! Please read this book…you will leave encouraged and excited about what God is doing in our country!!!

Jason Rigby

http://northwestpastorjason.blogspot.com/

Book Review: Coffee House Theology

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Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in , , | Posted on 9:06 PM



Book Review: Coffee House Theology by Ed Cyzewski

Coffee House Theology is a wonderful book that engages a conversation with the postmodern Christian mind in asking questions about theology. I felt it was more of an introduction to contextual theology than an in-depth study. It left me wanting more depth from this writer. The book gave a clear description of what contextual theology is about… I love this statement “Our local settings and cultural values-in other words, our context-influence how we read God’s Word.” Pg. 19 The Global viewpoint of our view on God and scripture was insightful. On pg. 62 Ed raises an important point about culture, “Every culture has opportunities and challenges.”

The author Ed Cyzewski (MDiv Biblical Theological Seminary, BA Taylor University) is a freelance writer and speaker who has contributed to numerous magazines and book projects. He blogs at the Christian Post, as well as his personal blogs on writing (www.edcyz.com) and theology (www.inamirrordimly.com).

My favorite chapter was Chapter 3 titled “Mission why the church needs theology” by far is worth the price of the book. I love this excerpt taken from pg 34--“Instead of asking how we can get people to church, mission asks how we can get church to the people.” It would be great for the author to write a book using only Chapter 3!

To compare The Andy Griffith Show to the Real World on MTV was a great analogy of how modern and postmodern viewpoints exist and clash. I was challenged to reinvent the way I dialogue with nonbelievers in this new postmodern world. I appreciated his clarity in that sometimes the Word of God will be prophetic and go against the grain of culture. The goal as stated on pg. 101 was to be relevant and prophetic. I had to repent from this truthful statement “We can’t hope to keep the church precisely like its early predecessors anymore than we can keep bell-bottoms or togas in style.”

Being a conservative orthodox Christian I had concerns over several liberal ecumenical undertones. Chapter 11 dealing with catholic and charismatic experiences was for me extrabiblical. I would not discount the book for this as I believe the church needs to begin dialogue in a postmodern world today more than ever! This book begins that needed discussion. The end of every chapter had a web link to the author’s blog to further study that chapter out…that is just too cool!

Jason Rigby

http://northwestpastorjason.blogspot.com/

The Blessings of Grace

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Posted by Jason Rigby | Posted in | Posted on 8:05 PM


My fairy tale castle
Originally uploaded by Bеn

“Justified believers enjoy a blessing far greater than a periodic approach to God or an occasional audience with the king. We are privileged to live in the temple and in the palace. Our relationship with God, into which justification has brought us, is not sporadic but continuous, not precarious but secure. We do not fall in and out of grace like courtiers who may find themselves in and out of favour with their sovereign, or politicians with the public. No, we stand in it, for that is the nature of grace. Nothing can separate us from God’s love.”
—John Stott, The Message of Romans