Archive for January, 2012

Jan 11

Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Quote,Sermon Follow-Up

In Sunday’s sermon, “No Fear / Know God,” Ryan preached from Psalm 27, addressing at length the subject of fear and worry.

The Psalmist preaches to himself about the goodness of God and the greatness of His salvation, even in, as Ryan put it, life’s “worst-case scenarios.” Though unlikely, God’s salvation is great if even an army were raised up against us. What could be worse than that?

In the course of his sermon, Ryan cited a helpful book on the subject of fear and worry by Ed Welch, Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and The God of Rest. About Psalm 27, Welch writes,

Worry scans the universe looking for more worries to accumulate; it needs to be directed to what is most important.…Beauty is just what worry needs. Worry’s magnetic attraction can only be broken by a stronger attraction, and David is saying we can only find that attraction in God himself. (pp. 152, 154)

Welch warns against the danger of worry and shows how we are transformed from worriers to trusters:

Worry is dangerous. It is not to be trifled with. When you find worries, anxieties, and fears, pay attention. . .

At this point, we know that worry and fear are more about us than about the things outside us. They reveal what is valuable to us, and what is valuable to us in turn reveals our kingdom allegiances. We also know that God is patient and compassionate with us, and he gives grace upon grace. Though alert to our divided allegiances, he persists in calling us away from fear and worry, persuades us of the beauty of the kingdom, and gives more than we can imagine.

With this in mind, his words should sound attractive, and we should be more and more inclined to listen. We should still like to abolish anxieties quickly, but we are learning that God values strong foundations and gradual growth, and such foundations are established as we feed on him and his words. As we meditate on Scripture and make it our own, we should anticipate slow but steady change. Worriers should be experts in a handful of passages. (pp. 95, 147)

To be sure, God is more valuable than anything we could lose in this life, and He works through our troubles to strengthen us in that conviction.

Jan 9

Current Trends in Healthy Churches

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Link

Thom Rainer is CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources and a reliable commentator on trends within evangelicalism.

Last week, Thom published a two-part article, “Trends in Healthy Churches in 2012” (Part 1, Part 2). Here, Rainer is not setting out what he thinks should be trends in healthy churches, or trends he looks for in order to identify a healthy church. This list is his informed opinion based, in part, on research conducted within the United States among churches that are firmly committed to the gospel.

Here are Rainer’s 12 “Trends in Healthy Chuches“:

  1. The churches have a high view of Scripture.
  2. A large number of church members read the Bible daily.
  3. The churches have a priority and focus on the nations.
  4. The churches have a missional community presence.
  5. The congregations have membership that matters.
  6. The members are evangelistically intentional.
  7. These healthy churches have pastors who love the members.
  8. The churches allow their pastors to spend time in sermon preparation.
  9. There is clarity of the process of disciple making.
  10. These churches do less better.
  11. The process of discipleship moves members into ongoing small groups.
  12. Corporate prayer is intentional and prioritized.

Stated this way without explanation, this list is only so helpful. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of Rainer’s article his expansion and and explanation of each point.

The take away is simple: to praise God that these trends are taking place within the church, and to pursue more fervently these priorities here at DSC.

Jan 6

Praying for Redemption Church

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Church Planting,Prayer,Recommended Link

Several years ago, DSC cast a vision to be a church that plants churches. Some of us are sending, and some of us going, but we’re all excited about DSC’s first church plant, Redemption Church, Rio Rancho.

Today, Redemption’s lead planter, Carlos Griego, published an update on progress toward a new launch date of February 19. Read Carlos’ update here, and take note of Redemption’s specific needs for prayer:

How can you pray for Redemption?

Pray that our leaders and those going to Redemption will continually fix our eyes on Jesus and follow Him. That we would not worry or grow anxious in this, but trust him fully and completely.

Pray that our permits will go smoothly and quickly through the city of Rio Rancho. The only thing that would delay this launch more would be if the city would require more work to be done something we won’t know until we start on the renovations.

Pray that people even in this delay would meet Jesus and be transformed. We are praying for 4 baptisms on our 1st Sunday! We are excited about a new location, not because we want a comfortable space, but because we are excited about the opportunities for more people to meet Jesus, that’s why we exist.

For more information about DSC’s church planting strategy or how to set up your online giving, visit DSC’s Church Planting pages.

Jan 5

A Great Deal on Great Books

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Resources

Right now through January 12, the Westminster Bookstore is offering 50% off of a number of good books online, many of which we have carried or now carry at the Resource Center here at DSC. So, these titles have our hearty recommendation.

Here are a few highlights from Westminster’s sale: