Question suggestions for a self-examination letter anyone?

If you preach, no matter how small the congregation is (expect the whole two or three tally) then you know this to be true: the entire congregation rarely comes together as a whole to worship or study the word of God together. There are numerous reasons for this, but regardless of the reason the result is the same when it comes to matters of attendance. This situation can be frustrating to a preacher who seeks to preach the whole counsel of God to the whole congregation. At times, entire series that deal with a spiritual issue (perhaps for first or last time in a certain time period due to context) are missed. There is the option of recording the lesson, or even doing a personal Bible study with the individuals who missed the lessons, but even these options come short due to the fact that there is something about a congregation that considers a topic together at the same time…which, again, can be a difficult thing to accomplish.

So what can be done in such situations? I believe that I have an idea that I’m going to try, and I’m looking for some suggestions in connection to that idea. One solution, to me, is to write the same letter that every individual member of the congregation will receive, regardless of age or marital status or even attendance habit, in order to do some personal examination. The intent of the letter isn’t for it to be filled out and then turned back in, but rather for it to be read so that the individual can personally consider the question(s) in such a way that their answer cannot be ignored regardless of how they respond to it. Then after a pre-scheduled period of time, a series of lessons from the scriptures that discuss the topics that were personally considered in the letter would follow.

The reason I’m putting this idea in “post” form here in TFR is because I’m looking for ideas. It’s not that I’m failing to come up with questions, after nine years of preaching I have plenty. Like I said before, I’m just looking for ideas. My experience in the church, and in the study of God’s word, has shown me that the perspective of others matter. So with that being said, whether you serve the church as an elder, a deacon, a preacher, a Bible class teacher, a congregational “Barnabas”, a card-sender, a head-counter, or through whatever other function you can think of, what are some questions that you believe would be good for an individual to personally consider and answer in letter form when it comes to the topic of a personal spiritual examination? Any suggestions?

#congregations, #ideas, #personal-examination, #survey

It’s No Jigsaw Puzzle But It Does Have A Lot of Pieces

Here’s a picture of a bulletin board that I did not too long ago. I thought it might be a little inspirational for someone else. You can make up whatever words you want, as long as they’re in the official rule book – aka the Bible. If you decide to make a bulletin board like this make sure you start out with a really long word that you can build on. It’s a lot of cutting and planning (I should have done a little more), but if you do it right it’ll be worth it because a triple word score on this board will be the sweetest ever!

Scrabble Bulletin Board

A merry heart does good, like medicine,…” (Proverbs 17:22)

#bible-knowledge, #bulletin-board, #ideas

False ideas of faith

At our congregation, we’ve discussed what faith is and we’re preparing to discuss what faith is not.

One of the best ways this has ever been handled is in Roy Deaver’s book, “Ascertaining Bible Authority.” In lesson five, Deaver discusses the meaning of faith by discussing what faith is and what it is not. He wrote faith is the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1) and is the thing that anchors or ties us securely to those things “within the veil,” (Hebrews 6:19).

Deaver listed statements made by people he had known who had wrong ideas of faith. He very kindly discussed those ideas and why they were in error. Some of them are:

  1. There is no way to prove God exists. We are compelled to accept the idea by faith.
  2. The man of faith believes as if he knew.
  3. Faith transcends what can be proven, therefore it is an assumption that God exists. (This is the “leap of faith” for which Kierkegaard was famous.)
  4. The atheist has a faith and I have a faith.

Faith is not just believing what is seen, as Thomas in John 20:29, but it is believing that which man cannot see. Noah believed though he had never seen a worldwide flood (Hebrews 11:7). Abraham believed not knowing where he was going because he knew the unseen God (Hebrews 11:8-10). Moses chose to suffer because he considered the unseen to be greater riches than Egypt (Hebrews 11:24-26).

People are weak in faith today partly because they’ve been led to accept a false idea of what faith is. One of Brother Deaver’s greatest contributions to the world and to the kingdom is that he tried to educate people what faith truly is.

#faith, #false-doctrine, #ideas

How do I rest? By taking long walks by m…

How do I rest? By taking long walks by myself. It is during these long walks, that I can best reflect on my life, my family, my priorities, and my spiritual goals in life. Some praying is in order as well. It’s also a time when I come up with some ideas for future articles.

#articles, #family, #goal, #ideas, #life, #prayer, #reflect, #walk