Pastor's Forum

What Constitutes Discipleship and Maturity?

There are obviously various levels of commitment among people who attend church. Some attend occasionally, others consistently. As a pastor, what are the traits and characteristics you look to help promote and build into people as you move them deeper into discipleship and further in maturity? What constitutes true discipleship? What are the traits of genuine spiritual maturity? What can a pastor to do help facilitate and further such discipleship and maturity in the hearts and lives of the people? Read the responses

June News and Update

Colombia Report

I left for Pereria, Colombia on Monday, May 1, and returned the following Monday, May 8. It was a tremendously enjoyable, rewarding, and fulfilling trip. The pastors (Rafael and Adrianna Lemes) have been pastoring this congregation for twenty months, and they are doing an excellent job and are running more than 500 on Sundays. In addition to the Wednesday and Sunday services, I taught “In Search of Timothy” to their helps and leadership teams, and I also spent additional times with their staff and board members. Thank God for healthy pastors who are demonstrating Christlikeness and truly seeking the good of those they lead and serve.

June 2017 Update with Tony Cooke

Also in May

This past month, I also had the privilege of ministering in Illinois, Wyoming, Washington, and California.

Upcoming Meetings / Paul’s Journeys in Greece

This month, I will be ministering in California, Oklahoma, Utah, and Nebraska. I’m looking forward to two trips to Brazil later this year, along with preaching in Russia and Malta. Our “Paul’s Journeys in Greece” tour for pastors will be held October 4-14. In addition to other great sites, we will visit Athens, Corinth, Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Ephesus, and the islands of Patmos and Crete. The landing page for this tour is www.tonycooke.org/greece2017.

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A Global Outpouring
Tony Cooke

A Global Outpouring by Tony CookeWe must remember God’s ultimate purpose—a purpose that you and I have the privilege of participating in—we are laborers together with God! God is resolved to fill the earth with his knowledge and his glory:

  • Truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD (Num 14:21).
  • For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea (Isa 11:9).
  • The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Hab 2:14).
  • David’s last prayer: And let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen (Psa 72:19).

I am excited about the proliferation of Spirit-empowered, Spirit-anointed ministry that are on a mission to set captives free and to radically transform lives. I really believe that God will fulfill his oft-stated declaration to fill the earth with his knowledge and his glory! Read this article by Tony Cooke

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How Big Is Your Brave?
Lisa Cooke

Be Brave by Lisa CookeHow big IS your brave? It’s OK if you feel this is an area you need and want to grow in. There is no condemnation in this question, it’s only meant to cause us to take a moment and examine ourselves to see where we are on the spectrum. Is your brave level lower than you want? How big do you want your brave to be? How big do you need your brave to be? There are some personalities that are naturally “braver” than others, and we would be wise to take this into consideration. That’s why there’s no condemnation here. Each of us has a unique personality with it’s own set of strengths and weaknesses and each of us is given opportunity to renew our minds to the image of ourselves that God has in His mind for us. The very good news is that we do not have to make ourselves brave by ourselves! Read this article by Lisa Cooke

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When Less Is Actually More
Ryan Lamberson

When Less Is Actually More by Ryan LambertToo often we continue to do more and more because we rarely stop and evaluate what ministries are still working and which aren’t. A good indicator that a ministry needs to be reevaluated is if the leadership feels like they have to increasingly work harder to motivate people to attend it or it has stopped growing for some time. Another good rule of thumb to ask when evaluating an existing ministry is to ask yourself the question, “If I didn’t work at the church, would I actually want to attend this event?” If the answer is ‘no,’ then the people who attend the church probably don’t want to come either. I would encourage church leaders to take a look at their ministry calendar at least annually to see which ministries are thriving and which are dying. Having less on the calendar can lead to doing more quality ministry Read this article by Ryan Lamberson

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The Crown
Rhonda Lee Rogers

The Crown by Rhonda Lee RogersQueen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, was dying and was worried that his son in law would not support his daughter in her new role as Monarch, so George took Phillip hunting to explain what his new role would be within the kingdom. The dying king told his son in law that his daughter would become queen upon his death and that SHE was the new job. He said, “Your titles, privileges, and wealth are not the job; SHE IS THE JOB. Protecting her, loving her, honoring her is your job. She IS the crown, and everything she does must represent the kingdom, the crown.” I don’t know about you, but I can get caught up in the “to do list,” and as I am about the Master’s work, I find that I focus on what I need to do and I get confused about the order of my job. It becomes about the church, the students, the expansion, the meeting, the this or the that, when all the time none of that is the JOB…Christ is the JOB—knowing Christ is the Job. Elizabeth became queen overnight upon the death of her father. You and I became royalty overnight upon the death of our Lord and Savior. When we take our place to rule and reign as Christ’s ambassadors on the earth, we must rule in humility, love, and righteousness. We’ve been born again to privilege, and with that comes specific obligations! Our crown is the authority we’ve been given to wear as Christ’s ambassadors; the Kingdom of Heaven takes precedence in every situation. Read this article by Rhonda Lee Rogers

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Read all of our quotes by visiting our Quotes Page.

 

LEADERSHIP
“Spiritual leaders are not elected, appointed, or created by synods or church assemblies. God alone makes them.”
– J. Oswald Sanders

MISSION
“If the Church is ‘in Christ,’ she is involved in mission. Her whole existence then has a missionary character.”
– David J. Bosch

MISSIONS
“God had one Son and He made Him a missionary.”
– Leighton Ford

PREACHING
“A true sermon is an act of God, and not a mere performance by man.”
– J.I. Packer

SELF
“The kingdom of self is heavily defended territory.”
– Eugene Peterson