Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Thursday, February 9, 2012
- one of the key words is 'responsibility'. Defining roles is important. This is especially important in our culture where people tend to eschew responsibility unless it is rewarded highly (e.g. paid).
- ministry thrives when there is high accountability but low control. (That is when people are are held accountable but are given freedom to get on with their job without being micromanaged.)
- according to Acts 6 we will always be fighting against the Elders being 'sucked' into administration. Administration is important, so important in fact, that others need to do it well.
- However, in practice, the boundary between pastoral and administration is not always obvious and frequently overlaps. Therefore this issue is both important and difficult!
- how do we react to this when it is clearly so out of touch with all that culture holds as good?
- how do we handle it when people disagree over this issue? (Both in the local church and with other Christians.) In particular, how do we keep the bible central to our discussions when we disagree?
- how do we encourage women to be involved in ministry while obeying the principle expressed in 1 Timothy 2?
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
- Seek consensus rather consent all the time. Consensus is an ideal but people disagree most of the time about most things. Frequently consent to move ahead is what is required.
- regularly do what is popular rather than what is needed. It is built into the way we think about appointing leaders right from primary school.
- get confused about what representation means. Good leadership listens to all those who are represented. That does not mean that the leader has to present all possible views of those represented though.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
9. The Gift of Giving
Did you know that the NT describes the ability of Christians to give money to their local church and to mission as itself a ‘gift’? In 2 Corinthians 8 verse 7 Paul talks about giving in the same way he speaks about other spiritual gifts:
“But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace [or gift] of giving.“
Therefore our financial giving to the church is as important as other gifts such as preaching, singing, or teaching kids about Jesus.
Most of us realise that our giving is part of our Christian faith but I think some of us have confused generosity with spontaneity. In other words, I think to myself, ‘I have the freedom to give generously to whatever needs come across my path.’
However, this is a common fallacy. Research has shown that, while disciplined givers often view their giving as modest and spontaneous givers as generous, regular givers are by far the most generous. Why do you think Street Chuggers (that is Charity Muggers who accost you with their clipboards) are so desperate to get you to sign up for monthly direct debits? They do this because they know full well that even if you only give $15 a month it will still add up to much more than a ‘generous’ donation of $100 once every few years.
Have a read of 2 Corinthians 8 & 9 - I’m preparing a Bible Study on it for BS groups. You will see that Christian giving is a gift, and it is meant to be done sacrificially, willingly and regularly.
- Have you read 2 Corinthians 8 & 9?
- How do you decide how much to give and how often?
- Have you reviewed your giving to PBC?
“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9: 7)