Children & Dangerous Ministry (John Piper)

Should we engage in ministry and pursue the mission even when it might involve putting ourselves in potentially harmful situations. Yes. Absolutely. Without a doubt. We do not make an idol out of our welfare and self-preservation.

But what if we have a family? What if doing this sort of ministry and pursuing the mission in this way not only potentially endangers ourselves, but also our family and our children — those of whom Paul says, “[I]f anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim 5:8).

John Piper — “Short answer: Yes.”

Why? Because the cause is worth the risk, and the children are more likely to become Christ-exalting, comfort-renouncing, misery-lessening exiles and sojourners in this way than by being protected from risk in the safety of this world.

Read the article, Risk Your Kids for the Kingdom? On Taking Children to Unreached Peoples.

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Church Planting: Counting the Cost (Timbo Fowler)

Church planter, Timbo Fowler, recently shared Aaron G. Loy’s post, Future Church Planters: Count the Cost, and wrote the following on Facebook.

(Warning: this began as a short post…it became a major mind and heart dump about church planting. Read at your own risk).

I was at a church planters conference the other day. It was good. I noticed some planters who had a plan, their wives were in it with them, and they are still about to face all the things in this article. They might make it. There are many variables, and it’s tough with the best of support (and the best of support is very rare).

I saw others, starry eyed, wives not really on board or not even present, with a deep love for the church, but ready to go be an entrepeneur for Jesus. Oh, boy. This is gonna be a rough ride. For these guys: don’t do it. I beg you, thee, thou, y’all, yuns, whoever will listen.

To all I say: count the cost. I am not being negative here. When I started planting years ago, only a fool would do it. Some Pastors would even mock it saying it was for “preachers who couldn’t cut it in a ‘real’ church.” Only a call from God would bring someone to be a church planter for the most part. By the way, many denominations and networks still functionally operate this way, as they recruit ministry novices (because they are cheap) who are set up to fail miserably. The land is littered with the damage of this mindset and its horrific effect on church planters and their families.

But now it’s cool to plant, and there are not a few “wantrepeneurs” who are motivated by some idea of how awesome it will be. It will be awesome, but not how they are thinking. It will kill “you.” Your pride, your self worth found in position, your ego, your “stuff” will all be held to the light and exposed. Jesus thinks that’s awesome, but you won’t find it in our church planting vision statements.

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Martin Luther on Pastoral Study

Some pastors and preachers are lazy and no good. … They do not pray; they do not study; they do not read; they do not search the Scripture. …

[T]he [pastoral] call is: Watch, study, attend to reading. In truth, you cannot read too much in Scripture; and what you read you cannot read too carefully, and what you read carefully you cannot understand too well, and what you understand well you cannot teach too well, and what you teach well you cannot live too well.

Therefore, dear sirs and brethren, pastors and preachers, pray, read, study, be diligent. Truly, this evil, shameful time is not the season for being lazy, for sleeping and snoring. Use the gift that has been entrusted to you, and reveal the mystery of Christ.

–Martin Luther, What Luther Says: An Anthology, comp. Ewald M. Plass (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959), entry no. 3547, 1110.