The Hebrew word translated “teach” is the verb shanan which means “say again” or “repeat.” Moses is telling the parents of the Israelite children that they need to “repeat” the words of the Torah in many different contexts and situations—when sitting, when walking, when lying down and when rising up. What I learned from this text is that repetition with variety is the key to learning. In other words, people will learn best when their lessons are repeated.
According to the world, life is like a ladder. At the top of the ladder is success, and at the bottom of the ladder is failure. Apart from Christ, we all naturally see life through this lens. Our time and energy are devoted to climbing this ladder, and avoiding the bottom at all cost.
When you receive the call to pastor a local church, you also are called to minister to that community. You never fully know what will occur in that community, but you know you better be ready. When shots rang out at the campus of Umpqua Community College on October 1st, 2015, local pastors in Roseburg, OR were challenged with how to respond.
Contextualization is not optional. Hear me, working to contextualize what you’re doing is not just mere pragmatism – “how to get stuff done” and “be more effective” (though those things are important). It is about loving people. A church that does not seek to contextualize itself, its ministries, the gospel message, and every other avenue of communication inevitably creates more barriers than bridges for the advancement of the gospel in our communities.
Jesus made it clear in his Great Commission that we are to “make disciples” (Matt. 28:18-20). But how is this goal best accomplished? I would like to suggest that biblical discipleship takes place through companionship, preparing leaders to serve the church of Jesus Christ. Discipleship can be simply defined as “companionship in preparation for leadership.” […]