Thursday, July 5, 2012

good news about The Good News

Good stuff to share!
ood morning, friends. Typically, I don’t steer readers to other websites. Today, however, I’d like to highlight the exceptional work being done by Christian journalist Chris Yaw at his constantly updated resource,

It doesn’t hurt, of course, that the site recently featured an insightful interview with Rebekah (Check it out here). You may have seen the link when I posted the video on facebook a few days ago. If not, I’d recommend that you spend a few minutes navigating the ChurchNext web-page. You’ll find a lot of great stories highlighting cutting-edge ministry, and they are all worth a look.

LIFE-CHARGED: The tie-in with my “Life-charged life” emphasis is threefold:
  • First, Rebekah and I both see the Gospel the same way. The Gospel is an invitation to live like we mean it, because God most certainly does; the Good News of Jesus is all about incorporating the amazing grace of redemption into every aspect of our lives; it’s about discipleship; it’s about living – purposefully – into the great “YES” of salvation.
  • Next, the content of the conversation with Rebekah revolves around the idea of Permission Giving. Chris Yaw sums up Rebekah’s approach as, “Giving permission, unleashing joy, and training leaders…” It’s a focus that resonates with me on many levels.
  • Then, Yaw’s purpose behind the ChurchNext project is to put the spotlight on what’s working. Too many “church people” spend too much time fussing and complaining about what may or may not be wrong. The ChurchNext web site is designed to share good news about the Good News, and to encourage one another by sharing good stories.
Other than the fact that it’s no surprise to me that Rebekah was recommended as an example of what’s right with the church in the 21st Century, I’d like to throw my “Amen” behind the idea of sharing good news.

Chris Yaw of
ENCOURAGE ONE-ANOTHER: Chris Yaw introduces the  ChurchNext project this way:
“Imagine having some of the most experienced congregational development experts mentoring you? That’s the mission at ChurchNext – to build healthy congregations by opening ourselves up to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit who’s actively working in every denomination…”

Seriously, folks. Did Jesus introduce the Gospel by being negative? Or did the Lord tell story after story about a “the Kingdom of God is like this…” plan where we walk in the light, and shine our hearts out for a needy world…?
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

I like it when we remember to focus on the light. And I’m both excited and proud when the ministry here at First Presbyterian is highlighted in that way.

Thanks, Chris Yaw, for helping to share the story of the good news about The Good News of Jesus Christ - DEREK

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