Sunday, September 30, 2012

DPC's Women of Grace Ministry



DPC's Women of Grace ministry will start their new Bible Study this Tuesday, October 2 @ 9:30am, meeting in the cafe area of the church.  (childcare provided @ 9:15)

This will be a 7-week study of the book of Jonah, using teaching materials (videos & workbooks) by Priscilla Shirer.

First of all, let me tell you about Priscilla...

From the back of her book:  "Priscilla Shirer is a Bible teacher who enjoys bringing the stories of Scripture to life [of course I would rephrase this to say that since she's a talented teacher, she merely refrains from attempting to kill what is already very much alive].  She is also the author of popular books including One in a Million, A Jewel in His Crown, and Discerning the Voice of God.  Priscilla is married to her best friend Jerry with whom she founded Going Beyond Ministries.  While Priscilla loves ministry, she prioritizes her role as wife and mother.  Between writing and studying, she spends the majority of her time cleaning up after their three fabulous sons."


Now let me give you a brief preview into her Jonah study, A Life Interrupted...

Commenting on Jonah 3.1, which says, "Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying..." Priscilla writes this:
"Don't let the simplicity or brevity of this line disguise its depth and power.
God spoke... for a second time.
He specializes in second chances.
When we've messed up.  When we've rebelled.  When we've recoiled at the plans He's unfolded before us, we still get another chance.  
And don't we all just need to know that sometimes?
I know I sure did.  And still do.

  • Because I am Paul---the chief of sinner.
  • I am Peter---the one who's made multiple promises to God that I couldn't (or wouldn't) keep.
  • I am Samuel---the person who has often required God to call out to me time and time again before I finally realized He was speaking.
  • And I am Jonah---one who, even when hearing a word from God clearly, has been known to turn and run in the opposite direction.
.... Yet God has given me a second chance.  Again and again.

And for the life of me, I don't know why."



Other upcoming events that the Women of Grace may be especially interested in include:

  • October 9 - Ladies Bunco
  • October 26 - Mother / Daughter Slumber Party
  • December 8 - Ladies Day Out


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Powerful, Loving Words to Wide-Eyed Boys



Last night DPC hosted a Father / Son Camp In (grammar school sons)... and it was awesome.

The fun started with a punishing game of dodgeball (or as one of my sons calls it, "hitball") in which the DadTeam clobbered the SonTeam.  Perhaps clobber is too tame a word.  How about shellac?  Or slam?  Or thrash?

Actually many a dad got pummeled as well.  And I got blasted in the back of the head by friendly fire.  But David Mulligan would probably prefer I not mention that.  So I won't.

Then we turned our studied attention to the more refined sport of kickball.  The DadTeam nobly and magnanimously decided to use our "weak" legs.  Yet, even with this crippling handicap, we somehow managed to stay in the game which proved to be a suspense-filled match, finally decided by one lonely point.  It was a close shave.  But in the end those who could shave were triumphant.  Barely.

Of course, all of this manly violence leaves one hungry.  Therefore, pizza.

Some fun indoor games followed the pizza, and then the fire pits were lit up.  After several giant marshmallows were subjected to cruel abuse, the dads took turns bringing their sons up to the fire and giving each one of them (in front of all the other dads and sons) some words of affirmation and love -- words that each dad had thoughtfully prepared beforehand, with each individual son in mind.

That was the highlight of the evening for me.  Each dad did a marvelous job of building up his son.  Proverbs 25 says, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver."  Words fitly spoken are nourishing words, beautifully presented.

Words are potent, powerful things.  They can heal, they can destroy.  On God's lips, words can literally create -- with a big C.  And on the lips of those made in God's image, they can also create -- with a little c.  They can positively create or negatively create.

Do we have any idea what words are?  They are these commanding, authoritative instruments that we all freely use everyday, either to build up or to tear down... either to restore or to bring low... either to bind together or to divide.

Around the fire pits last night these gentle-but-powerful words were creating awesome things.  These were words of love, tenderness, encouragement, celebration, faith, and hope given to wide-eyed boys who will surely remember those words forever.

Proverbs 15.4 tells us that gentle words are like a tree of life, while perverse words will break a spirit.

Proverbs 16.24 tells us that our grace-filled words are like a honeycomb, bringing sweetness to the soul and health to the body.  But James 3.5&6 warns us that our careless words are like the fires of hell, burning and destroying and staining.    

May Paul's exhortation to the Ephesians be our prayer:  "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." And may we pray that prayer often, in the name of the one who is himself the Powerful, Saving, Incarnate Word of God.

Praise be to our God for what those boys heard from the lips of their fathers last night.  May they hear much more of it.



 

Friday, September 28, 2012

25 Years of God's Faithfulness



DPC will be celebrating
25 years
of God's faithfulness
this Sunday.

Come join us!

At 9:30 Kent Quinn will tell some
of the history of God's work
in and through DPC.

And the founding pastor,
Dr. Joe King,
will be proclaiming God's Word
to us in the Worship Service.

Following worship, 
we'll enjoy Dinner on the Grounds!



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Missionary Updates from Peru



Here are some more excerpts from our missionary friends Sean & Amber & Patience in Peru... but perhaps you should sign up for the full newsletter in all of its enjoyable glory?  Ask me how.


Today is Monday, August 21

I (Sean) am still getting rocked by Jim Hamilton’s “God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgement: A Biblical Theology”. It’s truly an amazing book. I’m so thankful for men who have spent so much of their life culling the very words of God. If you haven’t read the book, you really should.

Thankful for my friends back in the States. God has given us a faithful few. I’ll take that over a fickle million any day.

Today is Friday, Aug 24

My wife is awesome. Period.

While I was lying in the bed, crippled with abdominal pain, and Patience was throwing her guts up all the live-long-day, my wife was there, caring for us both.

Since the day I married her, she has been the definition of “Help Mate”. In my eyes, she’s the eschatological Eve.

She has been forever patient with me (a miracle in its own right).

She never makes disrespects me in public, and always handles my sin privately.

She is the most sympathetic and empathetic person that I know.

She prays the most beautiful prayers.

Her holiness is something that I constantly aspire to, and consistently fail to achieve.

She left all that she has ever known and loved to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.

She doesn’t worry about things that might get most women’s socks all ruffled up.

She submits to my leadership in such a way that I feel the need, all the more, day after day, to lay down my life for her.

She reminds me when I forget my devotions.

She never makes me feel like I’m less than a man.

Every kiss from her feels like the first one. Maybe even better.

There is nothing that she won’t do for the glory of the name of Christ and the good of her family.

I don’t deserve her. Not even in the slightest. But God, in his abundant mercy, gave her to me. How blessed can one man be?

Today is Sunday, August 26

We watched “The Shawshank Redemption” today. Great movie. Maybe the best prison movie ever made. It got me (Sean) thinking. I remember being 17 y/o. I remember everyone I knew then, how they all told me that I would end up dead or in prison. They weren’t crazy for saying that.

This is what my life was like from the age of 15:

Alternative school. (6months) (age 15)

Psychiatric hospital (2wks) (twice during the age of 15)

Wilderness rehabilitation (1year) (ages 15-16)

Alternative school (180days) (age 16)

Job Corps (3months - I got kicked out early) (age 16)

Psychiatric hospital (1month) (age 16)

Criminal Juvenile Bootcamp (2months) (age 17)

Psychiatric Hospital (1month) (age 17)

Drug Rehabilitation (4 months) (age 17)

Halfway House (3 months) (age 17)

Drug Rehabilitation (3 months) (age 18)

Jail (2 months, more or less) (age 18)

I started doing drugs at the age of 14. I started selling drugs at the age of 15. I quit school at 16 and was a full blown meth dealer by the age of 17. I robbed people. I hurt people. I was a womanizer. I was a liar, a cheater, and a thief. All that and much more, I was.

They said I had no hope. They were right. What hope is there for a man who sells his own mother drugs? But here’s what they missed...what I missed: God loved me. He loved me before the foundations of the world. He loved this wretched, depraved, God hater. Then, at the right time, he called me. Irrevocably. It had to be that way, because I would have never come at all, left to my own desires. He called me. He broke me. He healed me and called me his son. This bastard, this man who never had a father, is now a child of the God of the universe.

Why me?

There is no answer. There is no reason. One day, maybe tomorrow, maybe a lifetime from now, I will stand before his glory. I will fall at his feet and cry out, with what words I can muster, and I will ask “Why me?”. And you know what? Christ will be the answer. He is all in all. He is my righteousness. My salvation. He is the savior of the whole world, for  all who would believe. If any of my friends reading this doesn’t know that, doesn’t REALLY know that...doesn’t feel it in their bones like a thousand fires burning white hot with passion...oh my friend...repent and believe! Repent of your sins. Trust in the God who calls you to himself. He isn’t far from any one of us. In the words of one famous man: “With one hand, God is extending to you his grace, mercy, and love. With the other, he is holding back his wrath”. Friends, he won’t hold it back forever. Throw yourselves upon him. You are loved more than you could ever imagine, and you are guiltier than you can comprehend. But there is a hope that shines brighter than the sun, and he has a righteousness foreign to our own. He offers it to us, in his broken body. If we would turn from our sins, repent, and trust in his sacrifice, he will heal us with his balm; clothe us in his white robe of righteousness; carry us into joy everlasting.

Maybe some of the same people from my past life would still look down their noses at me. Maybe they would see a tattooed twenty-five your old punk who just happened to find religion. A young degenerate with a sketchy past. Maybe they would see my lack of a high school diploma. Maybe they would see the uncivilized way I carry myself. Maybe they would hear the brash and forward way I communicate. Maybe they would see me living in a third world country, not knowing where my next dollar will come from. Maybe they’ll see a man dedicated to studying, preaching and teaching an outdated, outmoded, and totally irrelevant book written by a bunch of schizos from millennia past. Maybe they’ll think I’m no better off than before, just less of a threat to society due to my jail-house religion. Maybe I’m still nothing in there eyes.

That’s fine by me. God has a track record of using the lowly things of this world to put to shame the wise. We all have to die. 100% of us. And on that day, I’ll stand before the glory of my master, fully reflected in the face of Christ Jesus my Lord. That kind of beautiful truth is enough to make any man disregard the disparaging opinions of ten million detractors and naysayers. On that day, this nobody from nowhere will be exalted at the right hand of Christ.

Maybe they’ll see me then...

But maybe I’ll be too busy falling at the feet of Jesus to care if they do...


Today is Wednesday, August 28

Language school was particularly rough today. Some days you leave class feeling like the master of all things spanish. Other days, days like today, you leave school feeling like you’re trying to learn an ancient Icelandic dialect. On a positive note, we are more motivated than ever to study hard and pray harder.

A few days ago I remembered...again...that I don’t have the Ten Words memorized. No esta bien. I guess that’s one of the downfalls of not growing up in a Christian household. You take care of stuff like that in Awana, or some VBS. Well, no more excuses. Amber and I went ahead and memorized them. The memorization led to a pretty good little rehash study. It’s always good to be reminded of the character of God expressed and shown clearly in his law.

Today is Saturday, August 31

I’m imagining a conversation that goes something like this:

“Sean, now that you’ve left the United States, a country full of theological hoarding...and now that you’ve moved to Peru...and now that you’ve seen how much work is still left to be done...and  now that you have seen the tremendous need of the global church...and now that you have seen how few Christians are willing to support missions or become missionaries themselves...now that you’ve seen all that, don’t you think it’s only best to loosen your doctrinal grip?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, there are a great many brothers and sisters out there (good, God fearing Christians), who are ready to put in work.”

“Praise God! I don’t see where the problem lies...”

“Well, it just seems like so many of you “theology guys” are missing the point. There’s work to be done. You know that. Why are we...why are you still insisting that we fight and argue over doctrine? Don’t you know that doctrine divides? How are we ever going to reach the world with the love of God if we’re busy arguing over the Trinity, or whether or not the bible is inerrant? Can’t you see that we just need to put all of that aside and focus on the work left to be done? We just need to stop arguing over things that will cause division. Don’t you agree?”

“My friend, I don’t agree. Actually, there is no true unity unless we have unity in truth. Anything else is a house built upon a corner stone of dust and sand.

Doctrine does not divide Christ’s church, it unites it. If we look at church history, the strongest times in the life of the church, the times with the most robust unity, have ALWAYS been when the truth of God’s Word has been attacked and, subsequently, defended.

The work left to be done is called “Discipleship”. Everything else is a runoff from the great “Discipleship River”. If we cast aside our theological convictions, what will we be discipling people in? Humanism?

What we believe about Christ, Man, Sin, Grace, Heaven, Hell, Death, etc., these are the things that INFLUENCE our work. What we believe effects what we do. Our beliefs are the base of our “pyramid of labor”. They undergird it. They support it. They fuel it. They empower and impassion the work that Christ has called us to.

Finally, I think I’d have to say that, rather than discarding doctrine, we should be all the more scrutinous and judicial as the time goes on. What we need now is not a dash of pluralism atop our Figgie Doctrine Pudding. No, we need robust men and women of God, teaching, preaching and living a Christ exalting, God glorifying Gospel. Compromise isn’t the answer, accurate knowledge of God through His word, that’s the answer.”

I’m now more convinced than ever that bad doctrine hurts people. It hurts God’s people by causing them to live a subpar Christian lifestyle.

It hurts non-christians, too. It tells them that they are ok when, in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. What we need now isn’t more watered down, platitude dispensing, truth compromising, sin embracing, silhouettes of people who call themselves Christians. No. What we need now is the power of God, in the lives of his saints, through the power of his Holy Spirit, revealed in the Word of Christ, for the good of all people and the glory of God. Anything less is a mediocrity that should be resisted to the point of death.




Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

10


Socrates once said, "Beware the barrenness of a busy life."  Amen.  But, regrettably, I found myself too "busy" (how I hate the word) the other day to blogebrate (just invented that word) this birthday.

Ten years ago last Friday this future man came into the world, and my joy and laughter have been deeper and richer ever since.  What a gift of God Jaden has been to this family of mine, in immeasurable ways.  I smile to recall the first thing I saw about him:  the doctor unwinding the umbilical cord from around his neck.  First one loop.  And then the other.  Labor had to be induced nearly a month early because he was monkeying around in there like it was a jungle gym.

Some of Jaden's great joys in life include playing anything with his friends, shooting his new bow & arrow, being around people -- any people, living life with his brother & roommate & best buddy Joseph, wrestling, & having a good book read to him.

Jaden, my prayer for you on this birthday is that you will be patient and kind, that you will never be a slave to envy or boasting or arrogance or rudeness or insisting on your own way or irritability or resentfulness or the temptation to rejoice in that which is wrong.  Rather, I pray that you will rejoice with the truth, that you will bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things.  In short, I pray for you to know and live the difficult but beautiful life of love.  (1 Corinthians 13)  That is the life of Christ.

"If the relationship of father to son could really be reduced to biology, 
the whole earth would blaze with the glory of fathers and sons."  
~James Baldwin~


Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Surprise... Beginning



Tomorrow at DPC we officially start the new sermon series in Ruth.  (Last week we merely introduced the book by meeting the main players.)

One thing we mentioned in last week's introduction was the surprise ending in this book.  In the development of the Bible's plot line, it's right up there with "Oh!  HE's a ghost!" kind of moments.

But what's equally as shocking is the surprise beginning in Ruth.

The whole story (yes, it's true historical narrative... but it's also a story) starts off by introducing us to a man and his wife and their two sons -- naming all four of them.

We are given the strong impression that the story we're about to read is going to be about the men:  Elimelech, Mahlon, Chilion.  And Naomi (the wife / mother) will be there too.

But after introducing this trio of men the story suddenly takes an unexpected twist.

In five short verses all the men are completely wiped off the stage.  We're left looking at three grieving widows... left alone... in a male-dominated, pagan culture.  A culture that only values women based upon their relationship & usefulness to the men.

Normally in the ancient world the story would be over at this point.

But in Ruth the story is just getting started.  It's not at all the story we thought we were going to read.  But this is the story that God Himself is writing for us... and drawing us into.  Come join us tomorrow for:

SHADOWS OF THE KINSMAN REDEEMER
II.  OUT OF THE FAMINE AND INTO THE NIGHTMARE



Friday, September 14, 2012

The Man Who Is Actually In The Arena



AUTHENTIC IRON MEN RETREAT
Starts Tonight at 6:00 pm
DPC, 2306 Modaus Rd, SW

"It is not the critic that counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or the doer of deeds could have them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the Arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but he who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great devotion; who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails while daring greatly, knows that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls, who know neither victory nor defeat."   
~Theodore Roosevelt


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Of What Use Is The Devil?

"In the first place, God lets Satan put us through the fire of trial that our faith may be manifested as valuable gold, pure and genuine, to His glory; think of Job.

Secondly, by means of such provocation God reveals unto us our own spiritual weakness.

In the third place, our Lord uses Satan as a shepherd uses his dog to drive the sheep to the shepherd.

And fourthly, God must triumph over Satan not by hindering his activities, but by first letting him put forth all his might and then overthrowing him with His Divine Supremacy."

~Abraham Kuyper

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Good Words on Worship & Church from R.C. Sproul, Jr.

Skinny Jeans, Narrow Minds
by R.C. Sproul, Jr.
 
“I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (I Corinthians 9: 22).  From the beginning this great nugget of gospel wisdom has been the bedrock of every form of contextualization. From Hudson Taylor adopting the local garb to Willow Creek’s strumming guitars we rightly see Christians with a passion for the lost aspiring to remove every unnecessary obstacle out of the way.  We are, after all, hoping to see the lost brought into the kingdom, not laboring to see the different adopt our cultural habits. Some of our fathers forgot this from time to time, such that we are told of intrepid missionaries bushwhacking their way into the African interior, carrying an organ so worship could be done properly.
 
Other times, however, I’m afraid we lose sight of what is necessary and what is not. We sometimes think we are removing offense, when what we are actually doing is pandering.  When we treat the unbeliever as our market, and the gospel as our product I’m afraid we remove the offense of the cross. For central to the meaning of the cross is this- You are not in charge; you are in trouble. God has no need to satisfy your demands, but you must satisfy His.
 
Too often our worship wars- the disagreements, arguments and even church splits we endure over just how much we ought to contextualize- miss the point. Sometimes the more conservative object to calling the hip pastor with the skinny jeans, the day old stubble and the common vocabulary because they think the staid pastor with the business suit, the helmet hair and the elevated vocabulary is part of a culture closer to God. Sometimes the less conservative object to the square pastor because they think either that one has to be cool to win the lost, or worse, that only the cool are worth saving. So we end up arguing about whose cultural expression is more biblical, more effective, more kingdom building. Whichever side we come down on however, we have already compromised the gospel, already denied the Lordship of Christ.
 
When we make our decisions about how we “do” church on the basis of demographics we implicitly deny the Lordship of Christ, and keep ourselves on the throne. The message of the cross isn’t “Come as you are.” The message of the cross is “Consider the cost. And it will cost you everything. You will have to give up your favorite sins, your closest friends, your most comfortable culture. You have to die with Christ.”
 
When we pitch Jesus we in turn miss the real promises. We fail, when we refuse to call the lost to consider the cost, to invite them to consider all that they will gain. They will inherit the world. They will cultivate the greatest virtues. They will gain brothers and sisters. They will enter into a culture as old as the garden, as deep as the ocean, as broad as the planet. We fail to tell the stuffy that they are going to come to love the tattooed because Jesus died for them and indwells them. We fail to tell the trendy that they are going to come to love singing the music of the ancients, that the guy with the comb-over is the bomb because he’s spent his life meditating on the Bible. And the blue haired lady that sings The Old Rugged Cross off key- she has done more the kingdom than all the hip preachers on your ipod combined.
 
We don’t get to bring our cultural markers with us into the kingdom. No, we are citizens of a different nation. We do not count noses to decide what to sing and how to dress, but we practice the democracy of the dead, following the ancient paths of our fathers. We don’t write this liturgy for this group, that liturgy for that group. We instead renew covenant as it has always been from the days of Abel.  We do not come as we are. We come as He is. All of us, together.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Do you remember your great-grandfather?

In Psalm 19.14 King David calls the Lord his rock and his "redeemer."

In Psalm 103.4 David says that the Lord is the one who "redeems your life from the pit."

The word "redeemer" was a rich word with many deep connotations for David.

Do you remember your great-grandfather?  I remember two of mine, and they are very fond memories indeed.

King David could remember at least one of his great-grandfathers.  His name was Boaz.  And David's understanding of what it meant to be a "redeemer" would have been inevitably bound up with his memories of this great man and how he "redeemed" David's great-grandmother Ruth and another  relative (and Ruth's former mother-in-law), Naomi.

At DPC we're about to embark upon a series of studies in Ruth.  Go ahead and read it.  It's short.  Note especially whenever it mentions that beautiful word -- "redeemer" -- and what the word means in that context.

It's a word that virtually sings in the Bible... and calls us to sing.  And in the Old Testament it's always a word that prepares us for Someone Else... another Redeemer... who was also a relative of King David's -- though in the other genealogical direction.

Join us this Sunday for...

SHADOWS OF THE KINSMAN REDEEMER
I.  EVERY STORY WHISPERS HIS NAME









Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Story of Christ and his Grace in the Old Testament... and beyond...



One of my goals as a pastor is to preach and teach "the whole counsel of the Word of God."  What that means for our sermon-life at DPC is that we're always going to be making laps around the whole Bible.  I have no interest in seeing us become "New Testament Christians."  I'm wanting to see us encourage one another to grow into what it means to be "whole Bible Christians."

Having just recently finished a sermon series in the Gospels, we will now turn our attention to a sermon series in the Old Testament.  More about that series in a later post.

But I hope we will love getting to know our Savior better in the Old Testament Scriptures.  Remember what he said?  "You search the Scriptures [by which he meant the Old Testament] because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they [the Old Testament Scriptures] that bear witness about me."  John 5.39

But once we finish the Old Testament series, we'll turn our attention to an Epistle series.  And then start lapping the Bible again with a series out of the gospels.  (Not an entire gospel every 3rd lap.  We just finished going through Matthew.  Next time it'll be a shorter series from a well-defined section within a gospel.)

We will occasionally do other things, but the general practice at DPC is studying right through whole books of the Bible.  Here are a few reasons why:

  • doing so disciplines us to cover topics and issues we might never otherwise chose to study, if we just left our studies up to our own tastes and whims and preferences.  You ever been in a church where you're always studying the pastor's favorite topics?  Boring.  Do you want to be conformed to a pastor's mind or to the mind of Christ?
  • and in going through the Bible in this kind of systematic way, I believe we will often come upon a particular topic or passage that will be far more relevant to our current situation than if we went out on a search for something relevant.  God's Word is funny that way.  It's always relevant.  It's almost as if... well, by jingo, it's exactly as if there's a Living God who providentially intended for his children to experience his Word in this way.
  • it preserves the "surprises" in Scripture.  If we're always deciding ahead of time what we want to say & then finding the right text to use to say it, then we're really just thinking our thoughts after ourselves.  But when we walk straight through a book of the Bible, we're thinking God's thoughts after him.  And I, for one, am often quite surprised by God's thoughts.  There's some wild stuff in the Bible, if you just let it say what it says.  He's not a tame lion, as they say in Narnia.  Expect the unexpected.  Expect to hear things that no one intended to say.  No one but God.
  • approaching the Bible in this way affirms our commitment to hear God's Word and submit to God's Word.  We're not interested in preaching for the sake of preaching.  Even if it's really really really good preaching.  What we're interested in is the preaching of God's Word.  
  • if we don't approach God's word in this way, I'm afraid we'll never learn more about God and his ways.  If we're just using the Bible to preach what we already know we want to say, then nobody knows anything more when we're done than when we started.  There's nothing new being added to our understanding.  We're not being challenged by the Word.  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What Creates The Church?

There are lots of things that you can create a church around...

  • your ethnic group
  • your social class
  • awesome music
  • great programs
  • a fantastic building
  • a denominational identity 
  • the personality of "the leader"
  • a sense of comfort & belonging 
  • community (or global) service projects
  • social opportunities for different "groups"
  • small groups
  • etc.
And all of those things can be used towards great ends, but the true church is ultimately built around one thing:  the Word of God.  

When trying to make sense of how his life's work had changed the world forever, Martin Luther once said: "I simply taught, preached, wrote God's Word: otherwise I did nothing... The Word did it all."

An article in The New Yorker magazine once mocked churches that forget this:
“The preacher, instead of looking out upon the world, looks out upon public opinion, trying to find out what the public would like to hear.  Then he tries his best to duplicate that, and bring his finished product into a marketplace in which others are trying to do the same.  The public, turning to our church culture to find out about the world, discovers there is nothing but its own reflection.”
Tomorrow at DPC we'll be considering the place of The Word of God in our lives, both individually and as a church.  Come join us!