Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The "Discipline" of Mission

I just finished reading a very interesting book entitled Practicing Greatness: 7 Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders, by Reggie McNeal. I found it to be a big challenge to my own life and ministry, and would highly recommend it for all Christian leaders. In a nutshell, the author says there are 7 practices common to all great spiritual leaders, one of which really caught my eye: the discipline of mission. By this he means that a great spiritual leader has decided to spent his/her life focused on their mission rather than allowing their lives to be taken up with others' expectations or agendas. They give themselves to great causes, or "missions." The author says that a great spiritual leader often refers to his/her "call" as the core, or essence, of what they are pursuing in ministry. Does this make you think of anything in particular?? I thought immediately of the pastor's (and my own) "call" to service. The author goes on to say that our passion, our talent and our personality all play a part in our discipline of "mission." I see this as a key to our leadership in our ministries, and our success as leaders in ministry is dependent upon our sense of call, mission, and passion for our goals. I want to be exercising the DISCIPLINE OF MISSION, don't you?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Recommended Book for Comparing Differing Church Governing Structures

Toon, Peter, et al. Who Runs the Church: Four Views on Church Government. Steven W. Cowan, General Editor. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004.

Succinct and helpful articles on Episcopalianism, Presbyterianism, Single-elder congregationalism, and Plural Elder Congregationalism by "patriarchs" from each polity.
Recommended Books on the Presbyterian View of Baptism

Chaney, James M. William the Baptist. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1982 (reprint)

Murray, John. Christian Baptism. Nutley, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1977.

Wall, W. The History of Infant Baptism. 4 vols. Ed. Henry Cotton. Oxford: University Press, 1836.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Pastors have requested sources for the study of the 5 great "sola"s of the Reformation (the authority of Scripture alone, salvation by grace alone, through Christ alone, by grace alone, to the glory of God alone).

Helpful Books on the 5 "sola"s of the Reformation

Boice, James Montgomery. Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Grace?: Rediscovering the Doctrines that Shook the World. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2001.

Johnson, Terry L. The Case for Traditional Protestantism: the Solas of the Reformation. Carliasle, Pennsylvania: Banner of Truth Trust, 2004