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C&CW Ep. 13 - Christian Podcasting pt. 2

Odysee:

Telegram: https://t.me/c/1331568347/50

Episode 13

Show Notes:

I know what you’re thinking. You listened to our first episode on Christian podcasting, and you got offended . . .

How can we tell Christians to reconsider podcasting?

You may not have started yet, or you may have more experience than we do.

But are we arguing from our technical expertise?

No. It's about God's Word.

You might have the technical know-how, have resources, have high-quality productions.
But what we are talking about is content.

It’s about knowing Christianity more than knowing how to podcast.

Your decision needs to be based on your competence with the Bible.

Another aspect: the appearance of authority that automatically comes with having a podcast.

They think they should be listened to. But are they a credible source? Do they know what they are talking about?

Maybe they want to “lead” something. They don't have a church or Bible study, so they'll blog or podcast instead.

What does your pastor think about it? You mature family and friends?

Seek honest critique from people before starting a podcast.

"Just because you see it on TV, read it on the internet, don't believe it." Same thing with podcasts.

Use that discernment on yourself.

Are we taking podcasting too seriously?
It’s not a hobby—you’re talking about eternal matters. The Word of God is your content.
For that reason, it requires serious thought—and it will affect others.

Allow people to correct and teach you. Be a Berean, and be open to other Bereans.

If you’re not equipped, get equipped!
Read the whole Bible. Find solid sources. Learn. Get a grasp of the whole system of theology, first.

Christian podcasters in general have bypassed the training and evaluation that other teachers must go through.

At the very least, find someone who knows and seek counsel.

You'll be criticized by people who did not bypass training.

Besides the fact that you want to be truthful, and not talk about what you have not studied, you also don’t want to be caught flat-footed because you don’t know what you’re talking about. People who do will call you out.

"Only talk about what you know."

Will you just regurgitate what you learned? What do you have to offer?

Do you have a unique audience that you can reach? Are you able to contextualize sound theology to a new audience?

You need to be able to source all your content in the Bible.

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1PointPreacher Ep. 5 - A Bible & Outline

Odysee: https://odysee.com/@1PointPreacher:8/A-Bible-and-Outline:b

Telegram: https://t.me/c/1239255816/23

1 Point Preacher
Episode 5

Show Notes:

I [Nate] preached from a physical Bible for the first time in years [2017]

My brand new Legacy Standard Bible, New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs
[https://316publishing.com/products/lsb-new-testament-with-psalms-and-proverbs]

My sermon text was not combined with my sermon outline on a digital document.

I am out of practice having a physical Bible in my hand while preaching.

I preached with a physical Bible in my hand and on a half-sheet of paper my sermon outline.

It was a fun and slightly jarring experience to not be looking at one place.

I want to preach from a physical Bible, from now on.

I [Ronnie] won't do that.
I prefer customization. Larger font.
My style for such a long time has always been no notes, with a skeleton outline.

God has given us certain gifts.

My method is extemporaneous. The outline is the text.

Study every day, talk about it, think about it. It's practicing the sermon. It's retained by the time you get to the pulpit.

Don't misunderstand this as "winging it." Extempore is not impromptu.

Trust your brain, trust your mind. Like when you walk, ride a bike, or drive.

Of course you should study, research, pray, even write out a manuscript.
What you don't have to do is use that as a method for preaching. That doesn't follow.

It's a personal challenge to preach from a physical Bible with the outline separately on paper.

It's like learning how to preach again.

In regards to reading the text and knowing where you're at—have multiple backups. For electronic notes: text, chat group, etc., in addition to memory.

Always study, always. Speak out loud.
Sitting silently for 3 hours straight is not the only way to study. That's a popular myth.

The Bible was written in such a way for people to listen.
For more: listen to "Hearing the Voice of God" by James B. Jordan
[https://youtu.be/Sb0ZIrIltLk]

Physical Bible, digital Bible. Amen.

In terms of preaching and personal growth, you can practice something new.

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C&CW Ep. 12 - Christian Podcasting pt. 1

Odysee:
https://odysee.com/@CoffeeChristianWorldview:a/Ep.-12%2C-Christian-Podcasting%2C-pt.-1:e

Telegram:
https://t.me/c/1331568347/47

Coffee & Christian Worldview
Episode 12

Show Notes:

This podcast episode is about podcasting!

Should you, oh Christian, start a podcast?

Similar to asking, "should every Christian start a Bible study?""

Christian podcasting is booming in the Philippines. There's some encouragement that if you are a Christian, you should start your own podcast.

What could go wrong?

Let's consider some factors that play into making this decision.

We should not hear from every Christian, yet.

Can this person accurately represent God?

Regarding maturity—we don't have a panel of elders to say who is allowed to podcast. Like a certification board.

Is this Christian willing to talk to people?

We want to accompany our zeal with knowledge.

We are zeroing in on the content of the podcast.

A Christian podcast. A podcast devoted to the subject of Christianity—the content is the Bible.

Two questions:

  1. Is every believer able to accurately discuss and represent Christianity?
  2. Should they broadcast that out for everyone to hear, and should everyone listen?

We have been here before when blogging boomed.

Maturity, not just enthusiasm.

Truth should excite us. However, that doesn't mean we are ready to communicate it in a way that is edifying, or even clearly understood.

Knowledge of Scripture as a whole, and how to explain and apply it.

Know how to communicate. Do people have trouble understanding you?

Can you handle being in the hot-seat?

You need a skill set.

A podcast is not made up of private voice notes.

If you haven't read the Bible cover-to-cover, don't even think about starting a Christian podcast.

If you will podcast your journey through Scripture for the first time, be prepared for correction.

There must be seriousness in your speech, because you are talking about God's Word.

If you have the same cavalier attitude with Scripture that you have with any other topic, or you always have to make jokes in every conversation (i.e. are never serious), then just don't.

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1PointPreacher Ep. 4 - Choosing a Book to Preach

Odysee: https://odysee.com/@1PointPreacher:8/Choosing-a-Book-to-Preach:b

Telegram: https://t.me/c/1239255816/19

1 Point Preacher
Episode 4

Show Notes:

Time to talk about text selection.

You need to think through the process of deciding "what" to preach.

Having the biblical conviction of preaching consecutive expository sermons, preaching through books of the Bible, there's the choice of what book to preach from beginning to end.

What book am I going to preach next?

We'll go through the various factors involved.

  1. What was/is preached
    What did you just finish preaching?
    *If your church is blessed with more than one preacher, what is he currently preaching?
    In other words: what has been the diet of the congregation so far?
    Example: imagine 3 preachers on rotation all preaching a different Pauline epistle. Would that be a wise decision for a balanced preaching diet?

  2. Congregation
    Gauge the people: what are the conversations like? What foundational truths are missing?
    Example: choosing 1 Corinthians to address wrong understanding of offering and tithing.

The responsibility of the shepherd is to care for his flock. He must be among them, and be acquainted with their level of understanding and maturity.
The primary means of feeding and protecting his flock is by preaching. He must preach to meet their real needs.

Maybe at this moment, the congregation is in need of rebuke. Or correction towards a popular false teaching.

  1. Book Length Some books are very long. Take the synthetic approach—the bird's eye view. Example: Genesis outlined by characters. The length of the book doesn't determine how long it will take to preach. The depth you choose will determine that. We're convinced that sequential exposition is the right way to preach: from beginning to end—section by section, segment by segment, pericope by pericope, phrase by phrase. That does not mean only one level—one verse at a time.

Length is important, especially if the congregation is not acclimated to sequential exposition. Don't commit them to a two year preaching plan through a book. You can pick a long book, without taking two years to preach through it. Take a bird's eye view. It's allowed.

  1. Proportion Balancing the Old and New Testament. We are to be whole-Bible churches and whole-Bible Christians. The whole Bible is the diet of the people. If you have more than one service, then have one preaching in the Old and one in the New.

Did you just finish a NT book? Consider an OT book. Alternate.
That will show and communicate the unity of the Bible. All of Scripture is profitable.

Proportion both Testaments. A whole-counsel-of-God diet.

Recommended: preachers should not share a book series—preachers rotating in preaching the same book.
To do that carefully would require meeting every step of the way.

  1. Genre Consider the various types of literature or genres. Letters: NT epistles, didactic literature. Narratives: Gospels and OT historical books. Poetry: much of the prophetic literature are in poetry. Job, Psalms, wisdom literature—Proverbs, Ecclesiastes. Sub-Genres of Psalms: ascent, wisdom Psalms, and the majority of Psalms are laments. What genres have been preached recently? Check those boxes off. Preach a new genre. Provide a whole-Bible diet.

Acquaint your people with the diversity of Scripture.

Example: I just finished a Minor Prophet. Josh is preaching Romans, an Epistle. Ronnie is preaching the Sermon on the Mount—a narrative book, but it's a didactic section.

So what will I choose now? Not an epistle, narrative, or prophetic book.

The poetic books have a lot of variety.

Example: A series made up of selections from the Psalms. Is that allowed?
There are five books of Psalms.
Within those are so many kinds of Psalms.
Each Psalm is a unit unto itself. This is the inspired hymnbook of the Bible. Psalms is not composed like the other books of the Bible. It doesn't have chapters. They are songs.

The whole Psalter has a structure. It's not a random collection.

From the structure and the five books, I can choose a selection from all of the sub-categories of Psalms, and make a sequential expository series, giving everyone a taste from the whole Psalter.
The introduction and concluding Psalms, and one or two Psalms of each genre from each of the five books.

Here's a factor for this particular choice: we recently incorporated the singing of Psalms in our worship service. We use the 1650 Scottish Psalter, the free app.
iOS app: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/1650-split-leaf-psalter/id1198280376
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.charisdevelopment.thesixteenfifty&hl=en_US&gl=US

Considering that, the congregation can more fully appreciate the singing of Psalms because they are having the Psalms preached to them.

We don't discern that many pastors get this: if you aren't good with Hebrew Poetry, don't choose Hebrew Poetry yet.
Buy Godfrey's book. Study. Find sound resources, free resources. Free recorded seminary classes.

Poetic books are not easy to break up.
If you are not good with figurative language, don't get into poetry yet. Learn first. Buy a pastor coffee and have him teach you.

Take a language course.

Study your culture's use of figurative language, so you can teach them well.

  1. YOU One of the factors is YOU. You are, perhaps, the biggest factor. If you simply don't have the skills and training for a particular genre or part of the Bible, you need to get that first.

There's a tension: between setting a good challenge for yourself. Not avoiding the hard things in Scripture. The whole Bible is your territory as a pastor and your responsibility to preach.
However, you're not preaching all 66 books at the same time. It's your discretion what to preach when. If you don't have the tools, or are not as confident as you should be, get that training.
Don't just default to the literature you are comfortable with. Like seminary graduates defaulting to epistles, because they did not practice with the rest of the Bible.

Challenge yourself, but will you be unprepared, rushed, irresponsible? Then put that challenging book on hold, give yourself the time to prepare.

  1. Preaching Method Another factor: preaching method. This podcast is about 1 Point Preaching. I adopted this method recently. What I consider is what genre I have not preached yet, using this method. I first chose a narrative text, then a short prophetic book. And then an epistle. That leaves several genres left to practice. What are you skilled at? What can you get prepared for? What can you preach responsibly, given your time? Because you are the biggest factor.

What are you good in, what are you weak in?

Remember that the whole counsel of God is your responsibility. If you're not there yet, get there. You need to be ready at any point to preach any part of the Bible.

If you have a congregation that is reading the Bible, they will inquire of you regarding the difficult parts.

Teaching doesn't only happen behind the pulpit. Your teaching and feeding of the flock should happen beyond the pulpit, weekly.

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C&CW Ep. 11 - Defining the Parachurch

Odysee:
https://odysee.com/@CoffeeChristianWorldview:a/Ep.-11%2C-Defining-the-Parachurch:2

Telegram:
https://t.me/c/1331568347/43

Coffee & Christian Worldview
Episode 11
Show Notes:

"Parachurch"
That term is used often. Is everyone using the same definition?

What is a "parachurch"?
And who needs it?
Are parachurch organizations necessary for Christians?

Para-church: with/alongside, church.
A parachurch organization is distinct from the institutional church.
Parachurch is an institution, but it is not the church.

Most parachurch organizations don't remain distinct from the church because of what they do and how they do it.

How is it "with" or "alongside" the church?
Parachurch organizations are dedicated to Christian principles, a Christian religious organization.
Such as a library that only has Christian books.

To make it easier, we'll name a few things that parachurch organizations should not do.

  1. Ordaining ministers
  2. The Lord's Supper
  3. Baptism
  4. Gathering for the Lord's Day as a parachurch, instead of with a local church. These belong to the visible church, alone. No other institution is authorized to do them. But they do. That's why it's easy to accuse parachurches of supplanting the local church.

You are there to help the church, not be the church.

Another way the parachurch crosses the line is in "evangelism."
After "outreach," where are these "converts" going? To the parachurch, not to be shepherded by real elders, to be fed by real preaching, and nourished by the sacraments.

If you want a church, just plant a church.

Parachurches often want to distance themselves and supplant failed churches. They want to give you what you need, without the church. A replacement, until the church is fixed.

"There's been a failure to follow the Bible, so we're going to make up our own way."

This often comes with an anti-institutional bias.

Many "churches" are not churches at all.
But that doesn't mean you create a replacement. You do it right—true church.

Analogy: because the father is a failure, the wife takes over—instead of calling the husband to repent.

Be part of the solution. Don't replace it, but fix it.
No shortcuts.

How does the parachurch remains distinct?

Don't do the work of the church:

  1. Pure preaching of the Word
  2. The pure administration of the sacraments.
  3. Practice of church discipline. Parachurch may do none of those 3 marks. They have no authority.

Stay away from the 3 Marks of the Church and you're good.

Many people will overstate the case and call for the dissolving of all parachurch organizations.
My response: start with your seminary.

A seminary is not a church. The qualifications for membership (enrollment) is different. Seminaries discipline students according to different rules than the church.
It's a school, not a church. But its work is decidedly Christian—training pastors for the church.
Therefore, it is a parachurch organization.

All the abuse among parachurches doesn't justify wiping them all out.

Ligonier Ministries is a parachurch. Christian book publishers are parachurches.
Confessional people love certain parchurch organizations.

Are parachurch organizations necessary for Christians?
Obviously no. Christ has given us all we need in the marks of the church and means of grace.

Don't jump to the opposite extreme, that parachurches are not helpful. We don't live by necessity.

Seminaries are not necessary.
But they are helpful.
Christian book publishers are helpful.

Only the church is necessary—that is how God has designed you to grow.

Parachurch organizations are helpful when they stay alongside the church.

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1PointPreacher Ep. 3 - Easy to Listen to

Odysee:
https://odysee.com/@1PointPreacher:8/Easy-to-Listen-to:6

Telegram:
https://t.me/c/1239255816/15

1 Point Preacher
Episode 3

Show Notes:

If you have listend to our preaching critiques, we'll say (if it was good) that the sermon was "easy to listen to."

We don't ask "did you like it."
So what do we mean by "easy to listen to"?
Isn't that subjective?

Mortimer J. Adler was saying that it's not fair for someone to disagree with you if they don't know what you meant.
And listening is much harder than reading.

"Easy to Listen to"
Using words that are accessible.
The content could be high level, like God's Word.
Preachers can be accused of being "heady." Or "intellectual" or "cerebral."

"Easy to listen to" applies to concepts being explained well; reasons provided.

1 point preaching is easy to listen to.

"Easy to listen to" also applies to delivery—was it easy to listen to because the preacher was speaking in a way that was designed for listening.
An oral presentation. Good public speaking, at minimum.

Preaching is good public speaking that is biblical in content.

The preacher needs to deliver his sermon in a way designed for hearing.

Preaching is verbal communication, not written.
Most preachers preach as they write; their sermons are essays.
Many preachers are not trained for oral communication.
This hand in hand with reading manuscript sermons.

We don't structure sermons as essays.
Hence 1 point preaching: sequential in outline.
The listener is led to the conclusion with the sermon point. The whole sermon is designed to escalate to the main point.

We preach in a way that is meant to be heard, not read.

It's not preaching if it's reading.

To be easy to listen to, the preacher must know his text, know his material. Knowing the point.

The pastor not only needs to exegete his text, but also exegete his people. He must know his congregation in order to preach to them.

Fundamentally, was this sermon designed to be heard, in once sitting?
Could the congregation follow the flow of the sermon and walk away with the sermon point—the truth of the text and what they must do?

Preaching is nothing less than public speaking.
This is where preachers make preaching harder for themselves and their listeners.
They write essays. Or feel safer with a manuscript.

Too many pastors prepare for reading. Perhaps to publish later.

Sermons will not be easy to listen to if they were not designed for listening.

"That preaching was easy to listen to" sums up the whole thing—content and delivery.

Was this a sermon that was preached, not an essay read out loud.

That's what we look for in critique. We critique preaching, not essay readings.

Your sermon could be biblically correct, but terrible preaching.

You shouldn't need to take notes to the remember a sermon. If it's preached well, the point will stick.

The hearers should be able to go back to the biblical text and recall the sermon from beginning to end, because it was expositional.

This is not a matter of education or training. Everyone listens the same. If you are disorganized in your public speaking, people can't follow you.
But if you are organized, linear in outline, anyone can follow you as you walk through the text.
Be proportioned in time, to retain attention.

You shouldn't need a PowerPoint presentation to keep up with what the preacher is saying.

"Easy to listen to" encapsulates the idea that preaching is for hearing, not for reading. It is oral communication, not written communication.
In terms of delivery and structure, "easy to listen to" should be the target, because people will be listening.

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C&CW Ep. 10 - Activity ≠ Maturity, pt. 3: Parachurch Organizations

Odysee: https://odysee.com/@CoffeeChristianWorldview:a/Ep.-10%2C-Activity--%CC%B8-Maturity-pt-3:4

Telegram:
https://t.me/c/1331568347/38

Coffee & Christian Worldview
Episode 10

Show Notes:

Mistaking activity for real, disciple-making ministry is a prevalent error in local churches.

But what about parachurch organizations?

For over 20, I have seen parachurch activities prioritized, even by churches.
"It's for the Lord."

Many times these people are not in a local church.

Parachurch = with/alongside church. Distinct from the church.

Parachurch ministries easily fall into the trap of activity for its own sake, without ever evaluating the fruit.
Fun, social club, volunteer organization? Even accomplishing a necessary goal in the community.

If no one is growing in their knowledge of Scripture, application, knowledge of the Lord, it's not disciple-making itself.

How is each activity, each program, actually growing individual believers in discipleship? What is the contribution?

A negative effect of parachurch activities is neglect of public worship. People would rather be busy.
So many times, parachurch leaders have not been discipled themselves by real pastors in a local church.

Pastors and elders often think: if you're involved in 2 or 3 or 4 ministries, you must be mature!
And they won't make inquiry.

Oftentimes, parachurch organizations functionally replace the church in Christians' lives.
Pastors will even allow that because it's "ministry."

An ecclesiology problem.

Parachurch organizations have a wide range of activities.
Example: people who have not be theologically grounded, sharing personal testimonies to strangers as quickly as possible, considering that evangelism.
Because of their emotional high, they think they have been spiritually productive.

The Bible sets our goals and methods.

If a parachurch organization is pointing you away from the local church, then biblical discipleship is not their priority and goal, and not the result of what they do.

Discipleship in the church for the church.
If "discipleship" is happening apart from the church, it should be questioned?
Example: pastoral training under our organization.
What is the direction of the training? To the church, pastoral training for the church. It should flow to the church.

Our activities are always in support of the ordinary means of grace, never to take people away from them.

A compliment, not a supplement or substitute. Parachurch organizations carry no obligation.

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1PointPreacher Ep. 2 - Preaching another Preacher's Sermon

Odysee:
https://odysee.com/@1PointPreacher:8/Preaching-another-Preacher%E2%80%99s-Sermon:d

Telegram:
https://t.me/c/1239255816/9

1 Point Preacher
Episode 2

Show Notes:

Once upon a time . . .
At the last minute, I was “asked” to fill a slot in a pastor’s conference.
Each preacher was preaching a segment from the same biblical book.
The pastor in charge gave me his notes to preach from.
Plagiarism, with permission.
I didn’t use them. I did my own study.
As I listened to the rest of the pastors, I recognized that they were all preaching that pastor’s notes. Not their own sermons.

Apparently this is common in Calvary Chapel. People would use Chuck Smith’s material all the time.
He would laugh.

Why is that wrong, on so many levels?

First, you (pastor) didn’t study. You should show yourself approved in rightly dividing God’s Word.
Doing your own study is an expression of diligence. It allows people to assess how they can learn from you.
Neglect of the gift that this man has been given in the pastoral office.

Secondly, it’s lying. It’s deceitful.

Is this man able to preach at all? It’s hard to say.

For a pastor to hand out his sermons for other preachers to read from in the pulpit, we wonder if he’s even qualified to be a pastor.
What other kind of compromise is there?

Mere regurgitating. Not preaching.

Why are you preaching that text if you didn’t study to preach it? Malpractice.

The man was there—he could have preached the whole conference. They were his notes.
But it appeared as if many men were preaching.
But they were just reading. It was not true preaching.

It also implies a lack of trust in the other pastors.
A lack of discipleship, laziness in training other preachers. It’s easier to hand them your notes.

It is fundamentally disingenuous and insincere to preach another preacher’s sermon.

It was fake. Men pretending to have studied—exegesis and application.
But they were just mouthpieces. The whole conference was scripted.

We’re not saying you can’t learn from others: books, lectures, and sermons.

Pastors that read other men’s sermons are not acting as a pastor.

Many men are so eager to preach before learning and studying.

The pastor who gives his notes to be read by other preachers is prideful. How?
“Trust me. I don’t think you can do the job, pastor.”

Where’s your integrity? If you were even asked to preach another man’s sermon, how can you agree to that?

The pastor and those who agreed, and any who plagiarize sermons, do not trust God.
And for the hearers—they are made to only listen to that man’s thoughts.

It’s sin. It should not happen.

Instead:
You should study.
You should pray for help.
Find someone to disciple you in that.
It’s hard work.

Back to the story: the sermon notes could have been wrong; wrong interpretation and wrong application.

Is it wrong to learn from other preachers’ sermons? No. It’s like using a commentary.
Commentaries are written, and sermons are spoken. That’s the only difference.

Plagiarism gets a lot of press when exposed. And that’s as it should be.
But the fact that some pastors even encourage and promote it adds more guilt.
It’s a manifold sin.

Elders should lead well. To encourage plagiarism is bad leading.
And that’s a snapshot of that pastor’s life.

Preachers preaching other preachers’ preaching notes is always sin.
Any pastor guilty of such should repent and seriously consider whether they are pastors, at all.
Either they don’t have the gift of teaching, and that’s why they preach other men’s study.
Or they do have the gift of teaching and have been neglecting the gift God gave them by the laying on of hands.
Repentance either way. Take a break and give serious thought to whether you are taking this office and the pulpit ministry seriously.

And God forbid that you are a pastor telling other men to preach your sermons. First of all, they are pastors, and it’s disrespectful to them. And it causes them to neglect their gift, or perpetuate the illusion that they are able to teach and qualified to be elders.

More importantly and more seriously, you are dishonoring God by faking preaching, and lying regarding your office and the integrity of the pulpit.
It is a grave sin and irresponsibility, an abuse of the pastoral office, an abuse of the pulpit, and an abuse of God’s Word.

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C&CW Ep. 9 - Activity ≠ Maturity, pt. 2: How does the church make disciples?

Odysee:
https://odysee.com/@CoffeeChristianWorldview:a/Ep.-9,-Activity--%CC%B8-Maturity-pt-2:6

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Coffee & Christian Worldview
Episode 9

Show Notes:

How does the church make disciples, not just busy people?

More attention to the expositional preaching of the word, for a balanced diet.

A historical example:
Convinced that the core of the Kirk should be worship, prayer and the preaching of the Word, [William Still] sought the simplification of church structures. He passionately believed that the congregation should worship as a family, and deplored the way in which well-intentioned small groups in churches often declined into mere social clubs. Many traditional activities therefore ceased in Gilcomston – the Women's Guild, Boys’ Brigade, Youth Fellowship, even the Sunday School for those over seven. Such a concentration on the basics of church life was attractive to many.
—F. Lyall, Introduction to The Work of the Pastor by William Still.

More of the basics: the ordinary means of grace.

God gave us the command to make disciples, and he gave us the tools to do it.

Not our innovations, not our creativity.

Christ is King over the church, not us, and he tells us how to make disciples.

Pastors could ask their most active congregants to simply articulate the Gospel.
Evaluate: are the people growing in knowledge and holiness?
Adjust accordingly.

Local churches should cut out all the extra activities that don't accomplish spiritual growth.

Capitalize on what is commanded for corporate worship on the Lord's Day—reading and preaching, sacraments, prayer.

So many activities are distractions from growing in character.

If you find immaturity despite all the activity, all the volunteerism, then you need to start over from the ground up.

The church could do nothing but worship and still be church.

The Bible doesn't define church by the 101 activities that churches wish they had.
"All they do is worship." That's the most important thing, and it is obedience.

Christ commanded that disciples be made, and we see how the Apostles understood that command because we see what they do in Acts—teaching, the fellowship, breaking of bread, and the prayers (Acts 2:42).

Ligon Duncan: "the test of the catacombs." If the 1st century persecuted church gathering in the catacombs could not do a certain thing, then that thing is not essential.

Nothing else can make up for the lack of corporate worship.

Pastoral visitation. Richard Baxter realized that one visitation could accomplish more than a decade of sermons.

We begin with those interested.
You don't have to be a "leader." All believers should read the Bible and talk about it.

Only jealous pastors will have a problem with that.

Real shepherds will be thankful that members are fellowshiping on their own.

Maximize the preaching of the Word. And not just the sermon. The sermon cannot sustain everything; worship is not designed that way (it's not just a preaching service).

Similarly, more than jsut preaching is needed to make disciples.
If the pastor is not preaching, he's failing as a pastor. Leave that church and find one that has true preaching, if nothing else.

BUT, preaching is not enough. Expand the ministry of the Word. Initiate congregational Sunday school (lectures), home visitation, and catechizing of covenant children.
The church thrived for 1800 years without age-segregated programs (children's "church", youth group). It was accomplished through catechesis.

The preaching and teaching of the Word is primary. That is how disciples are made and matured. If a church doesn't have that, they haven't even started with step one.

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1PointPreacher Ep. 1 - PILOT

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https://odysee.com/@1PointPreacher:8/pilot:4

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1 Point Preacher
Episode 1

Show Notes:

It is time for a NEW podcast!

There are many good podcasts devoted to the discipline of preaching.

Why would we have our own podcast on preaching?

How often do people talk about preaching?
Even pastors, talking about how to improve in preaching?

How much help is there for preaching the one point of the text?

We have been talking about preaching for nearly a decade.
And we have evaluated our preaching.

Let's record it to provide a helpful resources, for free.

We are dedicating a podcast to 1 point expository preaching, because it is that important.

We will discuss the principles of expository preaching.

Sermon CRITIQUE!

This podcast will even be helpful to hearers of sermons—which every believer is.

Not all preaching is good preaching.
Not all "preaching" is even real preaching.

Faithful shepherds will welcome and seek out feedback.

We hope this new podcast will be helpful to preachers and those who aspire to pulpit ministry.

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C&CW Ep. 8 - Activity ≠ Maturity, part 1

Odysee:
https://odysee.com/@CoffeeChristianWorldview:a/Activity-Maturity-1:8

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Coffee & Christian Worldview
Episode 8

Show Notes:

A lesson I learned a long time ago and have never forgotten:
Activity does not equal Maturity

"There's a difference between making busy church workers and making disciples."
—Burk Parsons

Just because there's a lot of busy-ness in a church, doesn't mean disciples are being made.

"It's activity without accomplishment."
—Don Haskins, 'Glory Road' (2006)

Maturity, meaning spiritual maturity. The growth of a person in Christ.

Hebrews 5:11–6:3,

There were many opporutnities for service, many activities: cleaning bathrooms, stacking chairs, making photocopies, etc. Those don't grow Christians in maturity.

You can be busy, but not know the Gospel.

A lady activiely involved for five years at a very busy church, but could not even articulate the Gospel. Something is wrong.

When "leaders" talk about service, they mean get on the "hampster wheel" of church programs.

But can the people even communicate the Gospel?

The product you get is what your system is designed to produce.
The results come naturally from a philosophy of ministry.

Lots of action. Lots of chores. Lots of volunteering.

"Short Term Mission Trips"—the ultimate sign of spiritual maturity. Supposedly.

Giving congregants a lot of stuff to do doesn't mean they are being discipled.

So what should be done?
Cut out 50%–75% of the church activity.

Pastors should tell their people:
Be home. Spend more time with your spouse. Teach your kids. Read the Bible together. Pray together.

The Word of God is the primary means of grace. The reading, and especially the preaching, of the Word of God.
Not just for converting, but for growing.

Jesus commanded that we teach everything. Not the bare minimum, but all of it.
We don't practice doctrinal minimalism.

Personal examples:
No, we're not volunteering.
Because the Christian life is more than being at the physical building where the church meets.

We have this fake idea that work is not God-glorifying unless there is a Bible study there.
The sacred-secular dichotomy.

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C&CW Ep. 7 - "Fellowship"

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Coffee & Christian Worldview
Episode 7

Show Notes:

"Fellowship" is a word used and abused by Christians.

What does it mean according to God's Word?
Why are you using it, instead of another word?

Rarely does anyone define the word according to the Scriptures.

Most often, "fellowship" is used for "socializing."

What is the difference between "socializing" and "fellowship"?

"Use biblical words in biblical ways!"

"Online fellowship"—including worship—is impossible.

1 John 1:3, 6, etc.
Primarily, fellowship is with God.

What does fellowship mean in the context of other Christians.

Does eating, playing sports, going fishing, equal fellowship?

Obviously the public worship of the church is fellowship. But beyond that?

God is the center of conversation, his word. Or a book, even a movie, in relation to God's Word.

Why we are together is different from any other occasion.
Being at work is not fellowship. Playing sports is not fellowship.

Why are Christian labels slapped on every normal activity?

Do evangelicals feel guilty about spending time together to have fun?

In order to fellowship, you need to know your Bible.

Fellowship is physical.
If you encouraged a brother over the phone, just say you encouraged them over the phone.

"Say what you mean, and mean what you say."

True fellowship sounds a lot like private worship—reading of Scripture, prayer, even singing of psalms—just with other people.

"Fellowship" beyond our relationship with God and public worship, is rarely used in Scripture.
Maybe use the term less.

Don't elevate your activities to something they are not.
On the other side, don't feel guilty for just spending time with people.

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C&CW Ep. 6 - Christian Heroes?

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Coffee & Christian Worldview
Episode 6

Show Notes:

The Ravi Zacharias scandal has got us thinking about some topics:
Christian celebrities and heroes.

Should there be such a thing as "Christian heroes"?
Can we have "Christian heroes" without "hero-worship"?

It's also a reminder to me not to make heroes of mortal men with feet of clay. The best of men are men at best. Far better that our only hero remains Him "who committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth".
—Andy Webb

What is our criteria for heroes? What do they have to achieve, according to Scripture? What's the biblical standard?

Think of the Reformers—Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, etc.
Hebrews 11, "heroes of the faith." They obeyed the will of God.
They kept watch over their life and doctrine. Integrity and biblical doctrine.
Imitate their faith and faithfulness.

"Heroes" comes with cultural baggage that does not correspond to Christianity.
-think superheroes
-forced on the Bible

These men who did great work in the church or were sound doctors of the faith were still just men—men at best.
Compare them to Christ.
No one is made of finer clay—no one is superior.

God works in us to will and to do, so to receive a lower or higher status is improper.

When someone who was highly esteemed was exposed, and people are shook, we ask:
Was there hero worship, a.k.a. idolatry?
Did you forget that man was a sinner?

When a man falls, exposed as a fraud, Christians will be shaken who mad that man their foundation, instead of Christ.

But what if these "heroes" were instrumental to brining people to faith in Christ?
Be precise: Jesus Christ saves you. The Triune God saved you.
That human being was merely an instrument.

There is and should be some emotional whiplash to the scandal of minister or public face of Christianity.
Christ and his church has been made to look bad.
God's name is blasphemed among unbelievers.

Our faith is not in human instruments. Christ alone is the cornerstone.

This should serve as a warning: examine yourselves. How much confidence do we place in men?
At the same time, we give credit where it is due—an appropriate level of respect and esteem.

Keep your eye on the line:
due credit and hero-worship.

When your world is rocked by their fall, maybe they had a position in your life that they should not occupy.
Idols will always let you down.

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C&CW Ep. 5 - Evangelicals & Celebrities

Odysee:
https://odysee.com/@CoffeeChristianWorldview:a/evangelicals-celebrities:d

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Coffee & Christian Worldview
Episode 5

Show Notes:

Evangelicals love celebrities. Why? Is it appropriate?

Is there any place for celebrity in the Christian church?

Where does a celebrity’s fame come from? Is it the renown of Hebrews 11?

Is “Christian” celebrity even Christian? What is “Christian” about it?

Why does Evangelicalism generate celebrities? Always comparing people—higher and lower.

There is a legitimate hierarchy—a biblical structure—of authority. There is a higher and lower: authority and submission. Family, civil state, and the church. Church government: officers and congregants.

Elders rule over the household of God.

Celebrities are viewed as “leaders.”

When the sheep are not properly shepherded in a church, they chase celebrities. Christians go elsewhere to get what they need.

An ecclesiological problem: evangelicals don’t have an ecclesiology.

You cannot be shepherded by a celebrity. All sheep are to be subject to under-shepherds, who are themselves accountable to fellow elders.

“Leader” is a biblically deficient term.

We should ask first: what local church does this “celebrity” belong to that may discipline him?
-If he’s a pastor, what church ordained him?
-Where is his teaching ministry?
-Does he rule well over a local church?

Or does the celebrity have autonomy and immunity?

Instead of chasing stars:
-Submit to real shepherds, elders.
-Be discipled under the ministry of the Word and sacraments.
-Be under the discipline of elders.

Real church-life is hard like family-life is hard. You can’t pick and choose either. That will sanctify you.

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C&CW Ep. 4 - Fruit Inspection!

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Coffee & Christian Worldview
Episode 4

Show Notes:

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.
—Matthew 7:15–20

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.
—Matthew 10:16

When is it appropriate to notice fruit—good and bad?

Clever as snakes, innocent as doves.

Was Jesus sarcastic?

What are some indicators of a false teacher?

Saying someone is wrong isn’t saying they are unconverted.

How will you obey Jesus without gathering evidence?

With what attitude should we inspect fruits?

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C&CW Ep. 3 - Who is Your Mentor? Friends, Disciplers, & Mentors (part 2)

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https://odysee.com/@CoffeeChristianWorldview:a/who-is-your-mentor:1

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Who is Your Mentor?
Friends, Disciplers, & Mentors (part 2)

Is someone your friend if they don't know you?
Is someone your mentor if you have not met?

Listen to the second part of our discussion. With coffee ☕️