In my previous post, I took up the question of what the Bible has to say about the relationship between the local church and missions. I began by looking at the words of Jesus in Matthew 16:13-20. Obviously, Jesus did not outline a full-orbed missions strategy, but his teaching and commands are clearly foundational to the discussion. Before moving to the book of Acts, I would like to look at one more foundational “Jesus-text” – the Great Commission.
I will say it without equivocation, “Every teacher of the Bible needs a copy of John Beck’s new book, The Baker Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines.” Beck, a thirty-five-year veteran Bible teacher has provided more than two-hundred pages of Bible charts, maps, pictures, and background resources to help Bible teachers do their job better and more efficiently.
Does the Bible say anything about the role that the local church ought to play in missions at the leadership and congregational level? Over the next few weeks, I would like to summarize some preliminary investigations into these questions.
Dr. John Johnson, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at Western Seminary, brings over thirty years of pastoral ministry experience to his exposition of selected texts in the Gospel of John. The book includes a foreword by Gary Thomas and is endorsed by a number of prominent scholars and Christian leaders. F. Dale Bruner calls Johnson’s book “a delicious exposition.”
I never dreamed that I would find myself so familiar with death as a pastor. I studied theology in seminary, and learned about expositing a text and church leadership. However, I don’t remember reading a book about what to do when visiting someone on their deathbed. Looking back over the past seven years as a pastor, I’m astonished at how many times I’ve found myself in that exact position. Along the way, I’ve seen firsthand how uncomfortable with death we are as a society. Most people don’t know what to do or say in those moments, and so they call for a pastor.