Friday, August 26, 2016

The Insanity of God - Movie

I spent a few of years in seminary earning an M.Div and an M.A. prior to being an international church planter. Many have asked me over the years if my time in seminary was worth it or did I just waste those years. Although one can argue for both cases, I always tell people to follow wherever you sense God is leading you. If that means seminary first, then go to seminary, if that means never going to seminary, then don't spend the time in seminary.

I'm thankful for my time in seminary and in preparation to move overseas one of the classes that impacted me the most personally was on the persecuted church. This was a week long intensive class that was spent hearing story after story of the persecuted believers around the world, our brothers and sisters in the faith. At some point that week everyone had tears in their eyes as we continually asked ourselves, "Is Jesus worth it?"

Since attending that class I've had the privileges of walking alongside Christians in one of the top 25 persecuted countries in the world. A season in my life that I will never forget and may forever ask myself internally if I should return. A few years after taking the class The Insanity of God book was released, which I cannot recommend enough to help give yourself a glimpse of what the majority of Christians in the world deal with on a daily basis.

Now, the Insanity of God movie is being released in select theaters this coming Tuesday, August 30th. Seeing and hearing this true story will be well worth your time and the time of your church if you can find it at a theater near you. Please do not miss this opportunity if you are able and can find a theater as you too ask yourself "Is Jesus worth it?"

Friday, May 6, 2016

Book Giveaway: All Authority

Joey Shaw recently released his book, All Authority, on how the authority of Jesus upholds the Great Commission. Shaw is the International Filed Officer for the Austin Stone Community Church and has years of experience in overseas ministry.

From the book:

Everybody who follows Jesus will encounter a myriad of “authorities” that directly challenge the authority of Christ. These other “authorities” may be parents, teachers, bosses, presidents, institutions, religions, or ideologies. In order to stay firm in devotion to Jesus, we must believe that He has supreme authority over all. Not partial authority, not most authority—all authority. On the basis of his authority, he commissioned his people to go and make disciples among every people group on earth. This is an impossible commission if it were not for the promise that he is with them forever. The doctrine of the supreme authority of Christ not only upholds the work of the church, it is the central message that the church preaches. “Jesus is Lord” is good news!

I am giving away one copy of All Authority because I believe it is the most neglected part of the Great Commission and a key reminder that the church needs.

To win a copy of All Authority you need to do two things:

1. Leave a comment on this post. Include your name and email in the form, and tell us what other books on the Great Commission have helped form your thinking.

2. Tweet or share the giveaway. Point people to the giveaway via Twitter or FaceBook. You can specifically tweet this: "Enter to win a free copy of Joey Shaw's book, All Authority. (Be sure and leave your Twitter or FB name with your comment on the blog so I can find your tweet.)

Entries are cut off Monday morning at 9am (EST), and a winners will be announced shortly after.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

All Authority: How the Authority of Jesus Upholds the Great Commission

Joey Shaw recently released his book, All Authority: How the Authority of Jesus Upholds the Great Commission, which is a book about the authority of Jesus being the basis for the Great Commission. Joey says,"this is an impossible commission if it were not for the promise that he is with them forever." I was intrigued by this book from the time I heard of its release because of this simple, yet impactful, phrase at the beginning of the Great Commission that many of us often skip right over in practice.

Shaw sets the book up in a way as to walk through the Great Commission but instead of initially focusing on the obedience to it, like books before it, he focuses on "without the truth that Jesus has 'all authority,' our mission to 'make disciples' of all peoples is not only impossible, it is fatally foolish."

This book became very personal for me because of my own calling to ministry and years spent in overseas missions service by planting churches in South Asia. Many of the stories that Shaw tells in the book are ones that I have experienced and can see in my own memory. While this personally resonated with me, I fear sometimes that books like this put all of their emphasis of obeying the Great Commission by equating it to only overseas missions. 

I do not think that Shaw believes that or those were his intentions, but I do hope readers will see that we are to be about the Great Commission wherever God has placed us; but that is only by His Authority that it is even possible. 

This is a powerful book that packs a lot of punch at just over 200 pages. The authority by which the Great Commission was given is the most left out part of the Great Commission in practice. In reading this book it gives me a hope that Christ followers will start resting in the authority of Jesus before attempting to accomplish the Great Commission in their own strength. 

I highly recommend this book to those that are tired of trying to be on mission in their own strength, and want to find the rest of being on mission by his authority. Specifically if you are involved with church planting locally or globally I would recommend have planters read this book as they are sent out. 

If you are interested in winning a free copy, please check back on the blog this coming Friday to see how to have your name entered.