Listening to the Word of God

Yesterday morning in our Sunday morning Bible class, we discussed the difference between reading the Bible today and hearing the Bible in the 1st century. While most of us today sit down and read Scripture, in the 1st century most people couldn’t read or afford books, so they experienced the Bible by hearing it spoken at weekly services. In the class, we all agreed there is absolutely a different experience when we hear the Bible. It comes alive for us in ways that it doesn’t when we are reading the text to ourselves.

One of the benefits in having all those different “apps” out there is that there are apps that will read the Bible to you…for free! One of my favorites that I recommend is the YouVersion Bible app by LifeChurch.tv, available on both Android and iOS. LifeChurch is a Covenant church led by Craig Groschel that built this app with several different translations and a ton of languages for people have the Bible at their fingertips. Many of the translations have audio files that will read the Bible to you. Or you can listen as you read…whatever strikes your fancy.

Let the ears bring the Word to you instead of the eyes.

Here is a link with more information and ways to download the app: https://www.bible.com/app

Is Being Perfect the Best Option?

Like many pastors, I am bi-vocational, meaning that I have another job outside of ministry to support myself and my family. I am very blessed because I get to do something I love in both jobs and not all pastors can say that.

My other job is teaching teenagers how to drive and I just finished a very challenging class of driver’s ed. The kids were great, but very quiet, and that makes it much harder for me to make the class fun for them. I took some time to recharge this morning after being drained from the last two weeks. I read a blog post that talked about perfectionism in teachers and how it is a gift to remember that students are learners and beginners and that teachers assist them on the way without needing to make sure they are perfect.

That is a message I need to hear at times. I can slip into perfectionism and nowhere is that more true than in my teaching, especially when I am in the car with a teenager. Driving can be dangerous and I want to make sure I give those students every tool I have to remain safe and to become excellent drivers.

Sometimes I go too far and I try to make them perfect drivers, as if there is such a thing. I don’t do this because I am some obsessed, anal, perfectionist driving instructor (although I am sure some of my students would disagree), but I do it because I hear the siren song. You know the one…the song that raises the level of our fear and anxiety, along with our heart rate. The song that sells us on the idea that the stakes are much higher than they might seem and one wrong move can end in disaster.

I think that siren song is one of reasons we don’t share the Gospel well. We hear that siren song and we think we can’t share the Gospel because we might make a mistake and their lack of acceptance would be our fault. Or we hear that song and we keep sharing the Gospel to the point that it is forced on unwilling recipients, believing that if we don’t get them to accept the Gospel today, this very minute, they could be lost for eternity.

In a way, those thoughts can be good. We want to have an urgency about sharing the Gospel and we want to do it well, but the siren song is destructive. If I push too hard with my driving students, I lose my influence with them, I lose the chance to be their guide on the journey, and I miss out on beauty of watching them grow.

If we push too hard with the Gospel, we lose our influence with the people we are sharing with. We won’t get a second opportunity or a third or more to share with them again, going deeper into the Gospel each time we share. We won’t be able to travel with them on their journey and we won’t be able to see them as they grow and we won’t be able to see the glory of God shining through them.

That siren song of perfectionism can be vicious, but that doesn’t mean we have to sing along.

Attention Twenty-Something Leaders!

Are you ready to get started? We want this to be your best year ever! We want you to be able to connect and grow with God and our church is a great place to do it.

Fridley Covenant Church is pursuing Christ and His mission by:

1) Emphasizing the life-transforming walk with Jesus.
2) Centering on the Word of God.
3) Transforming the local community through Manna Market (our food and clothing ministry).
4) Engaging our people in global initiatives (like clean water projects in Africa).
5) Heartfelt contemporary worship.
6) Sacrificial and generous living and giving.
7) A healthy leadership team.

But there is one thing we really need: young people in their 20’s!

We are currently launching a brand new 30’s and 40’s group and we have a handful of people that age who are eager to get it going, but we don’t have enough 20-somethings to start anything. We really want to reach young people and we need some 20-something leaders who are willing to come in and help us start a ministry to reach their friends and neighbors. We want to be a place where all generations can come together and worship God and serve the community.

You have the chance to make this your best year ever by using the gifts God has given you. If you are interested in helping us build a ministry for your age group, please contact Pastor Mark at 763-300-1967 (call or text) or email him at pastormark@fridleycov.org so we can connect with you.