Monthly Archives: May 2013
In going through Romans together some may wonder what resources are being used. After all, not all resources come to the same conclusion, nor are they all equal. So when a word gets defined or an argument is presented, here are the tools and helps I am using:
(Primary Tool means I use it every week. Secondary Tool means I use it when I need greater clarification about a text.)
- The translation from which I preach: New American Standard Bible (NASB)
- Primary Tool. (BDAG) A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. By Walter Bauer. This is tool is a Greek dictionary that defines words based on the context of the text itself but also by way of word usage in the ancient world. My Greek Professor in seminary said this is one of the three most important tools a a student of the Bible can own.
- Primary Tool. The Epistle to the Romans. By Douglas J. Moo.
- Primary Tool. Romans. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. By Thomas R. Schreiner.
- Secondary Tool. Greek Words Studies in the New Testament. By Kenneth S. Wuest
- Secondary Tool. Commentary on Romans. By Martin Luther.
- Secondary Tool. Commentary on Romans. By John MacArthur.
- Primary Tool. English Standard Version (ESV) Study Bible.
- Secondary Tool. New English Translation (NET) Study Bible.
- Daniel Milligan, Pastor at First Baptist Church in Stigler, OK. A friend who has preached through Romans.
- Ryan Smith and I spend a lot of time discussing the text together.
- Prayer. To be under God’s authority myself. To be protected from error. To save sinners and build up the bride of Christ. To glorify God.
- The Prayers of Eagle Heights.
Many church leaders strategize about ways to grow their membership in number and maturity, but how much thought is given to how they are helping their members leave in a healthy way? Arrival usually gets emphasized, but departure is also important because they work together.
At Eagle Heights we put a lot of emphasis on helping people be a part of our local church in a public and committed way. We call it membership. To be a member they have to meet with an Elder for an interview and a conversation about our expectations. As people come through our front door in this way, we think it helps prevent them from flooding out the back door.
But people do leave local churches for good and bad reasons, and so when they leave we want them to leave the way they came into the church – through the front door. We want them to leave publicly by meeting with a pastor/elder.
To facilitate this front door leaving we do a couple of things. First, when we meet with a prospective member, one of the last things we tell them is that we expect them to inform us that they plan to leave our faith family. This is one of our 12 expectations for every member. Second, we have started an exit meeting called, “Lunch for Leaving Members.” Because we live in a university city, many people leave our town and our church at the end of the Spring Semester, so we invite all leaving members to meet for lunch or dinner so we can pray for them, give them resources to find a new local church and encourage them to commit to a new local church.
This not only helps them to leave in a healthy way but also reminds those who are not leaving that membership is an important commitment to Christ and His people. Additionally, it reminds our faith family that if they are going to leave they should tell a pastor/elder, and not just slip out the back door. Finally, it demonstrates to the church that the Elders are actively shepherding people.
It does take patient teaching and careful planning for people to see the importance of commitment to the local church, but I have found this to be worthwhile in building up a healthy local church (Ephesians 4:11-16) for the praise of God’s glory.
Here are the resources that we give to every person or family as they meet with us before leaving:
Church Finding Resources
- If we know of a church in the city or area they are moving to, we will give a specific recommendation.
- 9Marks Church Directory – Building Healthy Churches.
Note: These directories are resources and not endorsements by Eagle Heights of any of these churches. Neither do they indicate a stylistic or methodological preference similar to Eagle Heights. Every person has to take the time to look, listen and meet.
Articles on the Importance of Church Membership and Choosing a Local Church