Friday, September 23, 2011

Mission U - courses for witnessing

Mission U

MISSION U is Lutheran Hour Ministries’ new witnessing-training program designed to provide lay people with the tools and training needed to confidently accept their mission of sharing Jesus Christ with unique people in diverse settings.

MISSION U provides a number of course options addressing topics that meet your congregation’s specific witnessing-training needs. By participating in MISSION U courses, congregations will gain tools that sharpen their witnessing methods and enhance their outreach to people of all ages and backgrounds.

The style and format of MISSION U mirrors a 21st-century university classroom. Flexible and ongoing, it offers personal training from speakers and additional instruction via the Web.

At MISSION U the focus is equipping you -- God’s chosen ambassador -- to carry His message of hope and salvation into a world urgently in need of good news.

Courses available include:
MU-101 – Equipping to Share: Everyday Evangelism

Learn to overcome fear and to effectively share your faith with these three relationship models.

MU-102 – Witnessing Methods: Seven Styles of Faith-sharing
Recognize multiple styles of – and contexts for- sharing your faith and learn to apply them to everyday life.

MU-201 – Dealing with Tough Questions
Address common questions and objections to Christianity with sensitive and relevant answers that point to the Savior.

MU-202 – The Outreach-Minded Church: Unified Vision and Mission
Assess your congregational environment, and learn to become more outreach-effective.

MU-203 - Sharing the Gospel in a Digital Age
This course identifies and examines the role technology has played throughout history in providing avenues to proclaim the Gospel around the world.

MU-301 – “Christ Alone” in a Coexist World
Learn to compassionately share the only truth- Jesus Christ-in a pluralistic, anything-goes society.

Visit  Mission U for more details...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A congregation to check out: Shepherds Gate Lutheran Church-Michigan

Shepherds Gate Lutheran Church
About us......
Our beginning . . . We began in 1980 when seven families set out to bring the Christian message to the community using a unique and relevant approach. Today we are a community of over 1300 members.
Our people . . . People matter to God and they matter to us. We offer to all people warm, loving friendship where relationships receive our priority attention.
Our passion . . . Our persistent zeal is motivated by our intense belief in Jesus Christ, in what He has done for us on the cross, and what He continues to do in and through us everyday. We refuse to think small or negatively about tomorrow. We continue to develop people spiritually and motivate them to fulfill their personal God given calling.
Our pursuits . . . We focus on leading every person to simply live the abundant life Jesus gives; a life that embraces three relational dimensions of Up, In and Out.  Up pursues intimacy with God.  In pursues strong, loving relationships.  Out pursues influence with others through the discovery and full engagement of significance service.

Visit their web site at

Monday, September 12, 2011

Book: Announcing the Kingdom-the story of God's mission in the Bible

This book surveys the development of the kingdom of God theme in the Old Testament and demonstrates how it reveals God's mission in creation, Israel, and among the nations. The authors then turn to the fulfillment of the kingdom through Jesus' ministry and the continuing work of the Holy Spirit.

The author, Arthur Glasser has over thirty years of teaching experience.

This book is used by a number seminaries and colleges as a foundational book for Biblical Mission courses.

Part 1 -  God's Mission in the beginning
Part 2 -  God's Mission through Israel
Part 3 -  God's Mission amongst the nations
Part 4 -  God's Mission through Jesus Christ
Part 5 -  God's Mission through the Holy Spirit by the Church
Part 6 -  God's Mission extends to the end of time

Reviews from

School and Church partnerships

The recent School Link magazine from Lutheran Education Australia is dedicated to school and church partnerships. 
Articles include:
What an Open door by Dennis Obst
Signs of church in a school community by John Proeve and Stuart Traeger
What young people think about the church by Philip Hughes
School and church partnerships; a Catholic perspective by Philip Sharkey
Engaging Students beyond the school yard

Discussion Starter: Who is controlling your mission?

Have you ever been in a situation where as a congregation you have felt a burst of mission energy, but then experienced restraint or even a blockage, and sense someone or something else is controlling your mission?

As Christian congregations we have two major mission callings to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20) and to invite people to come see God at work (John 4:29)!!!

Now what gets in the road of these two callings?
Think about this in relation to:

Yourself.........Do you try to control the mission and want everything to go your way?  Perhaps you create or maintain a few obstacles to mission.....What perceptions, attitudes and understandings may you have, that prevents you from going and making disciples and inviting others to come and see what God is doing?   What is your attitude to your current congregation and denomination?

Congregation.........Are there gatekeepers, structures, individuals, physical resources, attitudes, procedures or history controlling your mission?   What obstacles as a result of your congregation's action or inaction that hinder mission?

Your denomination or denomination leaders.....Unfortunately some aspects of denominations can hinder mission and even some leaders may inadvertantly hinder God's mission for your congregation because of the various other matters that fight for their attention or they haven't understood what is needed for mission in your context...Are there principles, processes, restrictions, history, policies, thinking or even precedents that they are holding on to that have a negative affect on your congregation's mission?

What obstacles does your community have in place for you and your congregation that get in the road of you making disciples and inviting others to come and see God at work?....

It is good to identify these obstacles, pray about them, pray and research about how you respond to them and then deal with them.
Dealing with them may mean getting rid of them....
but more often than not dealing with them will involve looking at alternatives and continuing to go and make and invite people to come and see God despite the obstacles around us....

Take a close look at the early church as exposed to us through the New Testament....there were many obstacles, yet people continued to share and teach God's Word and guess what......the church grew.     

Remember that the mission you are involved in is really God's mission, and God has power over the heavens and earth!!! (Luke 10:21

Feel free to leave a comment

New Atheism and Christianity: Resources

One of the high profile discussions at present taking place is between what has become known as the New Atheism and Christianity. 
Following is a small selection of resources to help you under and respond to the New Atheism as a Christian.

WELS - Forward in Christ magazine
New Atheism

Sound Theology
Offers an online audio course titled Christianity and the New Atheism
The course deals with classic and contemporary forms of atheism, exploring the work in particular of Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens. We examine, in turn, the response to the arguments against the existence of God by famous theologians within the Christian tradition.

Christian Colligation Debate Research and Evangelism
offers over 40 resources relating to the New Atheism

Centre for Public Christianity offers the following articles
Response to the Global Atheism Conference by Greg Clarke
New Atheism just another Dogma
Atheism, sceptism and belief

Katheryn Rivas @
offers a short article; Responding to the New Atheism

Alister McGrath's
Offers a critique of the New  Atheism

Issues etc.
Atheist Fundamentalism
Atheist and De-baptising
New Atheism
Responding to New Atheism

John Lennox
regularly debates high profile New Atheists in public.
He is a professor of mathematics.
His site offers a number of resources
Obtain a copy of His talks he gave in sydney in 2011

Lutheran Hour Ministry
a short discussion on Witnessing to an atheist

A few books

This is only a small selection of resources relating to New Atheism from a Christian perspective, if you have come across other resources that you have found helpful please let me know so i can share them with others......

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Principle of excellence in Contemporary Worship

Pastor Steen Olsen developed a 2 page paper on some of the principles that encourage excellence in contemporary worship.  
This paper can be viewed at

Monday, September 05, 2011

Paper: Worship and Outreach a Lutheran pardigm

This paper explore the need for a Lutheran paradignm of worship and outreach.

Main points covered include:
  • Necessity of a Lutheran paradigm of worship and outreach.
  • The balancing act of a Lutheran paradigm of worship and outreach.
  • Characteristics of a Lutheran paradigm of worship and outreach.
  • A Lutheran paradigm is invitational in character
  • A Lutheran paradigm is Gospel centred
  • A Lutheran paradigm makes the worship experience accessible to the unchurched
  • A Lutheran paradigm prioritizes preaching
  • A Lutheran paradigm is Sacramental
  • A Lutheran paradigm addresses children
  • A Lutheran paradigm uses the marks of the church to lead the marks of the church
  • A Lutheran paradigm features faithful follow up

To read the entire paper visit