What do you think is the value of the children’s ministry at your church? In your estimation is it a ministry that simply keeps the kids from tearing each other apart for an hour so parents can hear the sermon? Is it just baby-sitting or something more?
Here’s what John MacArthur said to his Children’s Ministry workers at one of their events last year:
…you (Children’s Ministry) are doing the greatest and most consistent evangelistic ministry this church has. This is the primary evangelistic emphasis in this church…You (Children’s Ministry) are an evangelistic force and in my mind you are the greatest evangelistic force we have at Grace Community Church.
In about four weeks my family leaves for California so I can be a part of Grace Advance – a summer training initiative for pastors seeking to give leadership to developing churches. It’s a ministry of Grace Community Church which is the church where John MacArthur has been pastoring for over 40 years. I feel humbled and privileged that the elders of our church are sending me there as we move toward planting a church next year.
At Grace Advance they’re having us read a lot of books this summer, so I thought it might be informative to list them out, especially since I had not heard of several of them previously:
Please excuse my absence from blogging last week. I attended the Shepherds’ Conference at John MacArthur’s church out in California and my schedule really didn’t permit an extra hour each morning to blog.
The conference blessed my soul and I would be amiss if I did not share the bounty. So, please, please, please click on the link below to hear the last message of the conference by John MacArthur (endearingly called Johnny Mac by many). This sermon, A Tale of Two Preachers, is one of the most sobering messages I have ever heard and every Christian would do well to hear it.
A Tale of Two Preachers (audio)
As a young pastor, I cherish the members of the older generation in our church who have a vibrant relationship with Jesus and are spending their latter years in faithful service to their King. There is something so crucial that older saints bring to the life of a body of believers and I pray we see more of it at Calvary Bible Church. I agree with what John MacArthur says in his book, The Master’s Plan for the Church:
I like young people because they are energetic. But it’s sad if the energy comes only from its young people… If you’re a Christian but don’t apply God’s Word to your life, you’ll eventually become one of those inert older people. You’ll reach fifty and want to retire spiritually. You’ll say, “I’ve been going to church for many years. I don’t want to get involved in evangelism; I’d rather leave that thing for younger people”… Today, the church is deriving its energy mostly from younger people. We need the energy that younger people have, but we also need the power that seasoned believers have developed from their long, obedient lives. An older believer should be ready to “blast off” into heaven from the energy he has built up.
I’ve mentioned in the past how I believe the church should take back the discipline of counseling. Simply put, we’ve all got problems and the Word of God has sufficient answers (more could be said about this, but that’ll be for another post). On top of that, his people have the power of the Holy Spirit working through them to be a help to each other in the darkest of troubles.
In helping biblical counselors to be better equipped for the task, I am excited about many of the resources available these days, one of which is a new book coming out March 1: Men Counseling Men: A Biblical Guide to the Major Issues Men Face edited by John D. Street with the foreword by John MacArthur.
I am particularly excited about this one, because our pastor, Dan Kirk, wrote the chapter on homosexuality. I got the privilege of helping him with some editing, and I must say that it is one of the most helpful things I’ve read on how the church can step up its ministry to men struggling with this issue.
The book is now available on Amazon for pre-order and you can view the table of contents. Some of the other issues the book covers are depression, anger, contentment, resolving conflict, the use of psychotropic drugs, the role of husband, the role of father, the role of grandfather, and more. Check it out and spread the word.
FYI – There is also a companion book that came out in 2010 titled, Women Counseling Women edited by Elyse Fitzpatrick.