Tag Archive - Ed Stetzer

What I’m Reading

Following are a few of the blog posts I have starred lately.

Training Your Children to Manage Money – The title says it all.

Three Reasons You Can’t Afford That High Maintenance Client – I always love Michael Hyatt’s stuff. This post applies not only to clients, but other relationships as well.

The Pastor I was Sent to Help – Great personal story by Ron Edmondson on the importance of connections.

I Failed Him – If this post by Tim Challies doesn’t tear your heart out, I wonder if you have one. This will really make you rethink your priorities.

Involving All of God’s People in All of God’s Mission – Great post by Ed Stetzer about who should be “doing missions”, and why “missions” should not be a department in your church but should pervade every department of your church.

Lessons from San Quentin – Jud Wilhite uses a story from prison to identify whether we have truly been transformed.

Health Care Reform Passes the House

I’m sure we’ve all got our opinions about the health care bill, the vote last night, and the political dealings leading up to it. This post is not about that. I just wanted to repost some of my favorite status updates I’ve seen today on Facebook and Twitter.

  • “Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Government in charge? You? Or is it God? Allow Him to lead you today!”  –  Mark MacDonald
  • “I wish the Christian community got as excited about proclaiming Christ as they did about debating health care.”  –  Ed Stetzer
  • “All the cries of fear and woe really make me wonder about the faith of so many American Christians. Is your God not on the throne? Is your hope in God or in politics? Who has your allegiance – Christ alone or Christ plus a political ideology? Which is stronger in you – fear or faith?”  –  Michael Ray Kear
  • “If your passions are more provoked today by this health care plan than they were yesterday by your neighbors going to hell: wonder why?”  –  Russell Moore
  • “God is sovereign no matter how the healthcare vote comes down… ‘In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace. The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming.’ (Ps 37:10-13)”
  • “I am glad no matter what happens today his treasure will be secure and unchanged tomorrow.”  –  Jared Wilson
  • “Want some cheese with that Whine? [Stop acting like a victim.]”  –  Mike Foster
  • “Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading.”  –  Oswald Chambers (via Lee Bezotte)
  • “God is Sovereign, Democracy is Beautiful, America is Amazing and Your Vote Matters! God is Good… All The Time!” – Scott Williams

Got any good ones you’ve found? Post them as a reply!

Living On Mission

Great video by Ed Stetzer from his blog.

His tweet that caught my eye:

“I am sick of knowledgeable religious people not living on mission and then criticizing those who are.”

The text from his blog:

“Back in February I spoke at the Verge Missional Community Conference on making disciples. My topic was the need for obedience-based discipleship that moves from knowing to doing. Verge was an amazing gathering I was happy to be a part of. The HD versions of the preaching should be available in a few weeks, but for now you can check out my session via youtube.”

And finally…  the videos:

Christian Consumerism

“If the role of religion is to offer a sense of identity, purpose, meaning and community, then it can be said that consumerism fulfills all these criteria.” – Alan Hirsch

So what sets us apart as Christians? Do we offer anything more than identity, purpose, meaning and community? Hopefully – yes! These are the buzzwords we use now, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. These are all excellent things! But in whom do we find our identity? What is our purpose? What greater meaning gives us meaning? And why have community – simply for the sake of gathering?

This quote should give us a lot to ponder. Our “religion”, which is hopefully much more than religion, is based upon the hope that is found in Jesus Christ. Salvation in him alone brings us our true identity, a worthwhile purpose, a valid meaning, and a fulfilling community.

But does it stop there? Before you become too settled in feeling this discomfort has been resolved, let me twist the knife yet again. How many Christians are still consumers?

Sure, we’re saved, sanctified, redeemed, set apart… but to what purpose? To sit and wait until Christ’s return? (see this previous post for more on that!)

I am talking about the churchgoer as a holy consumer. For instance, consider these typical comments:
“I don’t like this kind of music”  …  “This nursery should have better facilities”  …  “Why is the coffee pot in the lobby always empty?”

These are not bad observations in themselves, but what is the motivation? If it is a selfish one, then the statement (griping) is where it ends. If it is a selfless one, it will inspire us to get involved in the worship ministry, give money for nursery upgrades, or go to the kitchen to make more coffee.

Ed Stetzer is one of the forerunners in this line of thinking. He frames it in terms of getting people beyond thinking as a consumer and to think in terms of being missional. He would say that we have come to think of “missions” as something done by “them”, somewhere “over there”. In reality, missional thinking will bring us to realize that people come to us all the time (as opposed to us going to them). Are we serving them? Thinking missionally will change our attitudes and actions from consumerism to servanthood.

After all… what is the church anyway?