Saturday, May 23, 2015

SPIRITUAL VIBRANCY (Fellowship of the People)

TITLE: SPIRITUAL VIBRANCY (Fellowship of the People)
SCRIPTURE: 1 John 2:9-11
Written by: Dr Conrade Yap
Date: May 22nd, 2015

"9Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them." (1 John 2:9-11)

Spiritual Vibrancy #2:
Fellowship of the People
Last week, I wrote about the spiritual vibrancy of the Church that centers around the preaching of the Word. This week, I want to continue with the reflection on spiritual vibrancy by looking at the response to the preaching of the Word. If there is no response, the preaching will be in vain. If there is a response, not only will the people in the community be blessed, the Church will also be blessed. This week is Part Two of the Spiritual Vibrancy series.

In an talk show hosted by Anderson Cooper of CNN, famed marital expert Dr John Gottmann was asked about what was the #1 issue that couples fight about. He replied with a witty word: "Nothing."

The answer was hilarious but also spot on.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Spiritual Vibrancy (Preaching of the Word)

TITLE: SPIRITUAL VIBRANCY (Preaching of the Word)
SCRIPTURE: 2 Timothy 4:2
Written by: Dr Conrade Yap
Date: May 11th, 2015

"Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction." (2 Timothy 4:2)

Spiritual Vibrancy #1:
Biblical Preaching
Why is it that some churches are vibrant while others are simply dull? Is it because of the quality of the sermons? Or is it because of the warmth of the fellowship? Or is it because of something more practical like logistics, travel, or the convenience of something more unusual like parking? Starting this week, I like to launch a series of three reflections about spiritual vibrancy.

In conjunction with May 30th, 2015 as Global Outreach Day, I would like to say that vibrancy comes about with three things. First, the preaching of the Word. Second, the fellowship of the people. Third, the passion of outreach of the community. Both the second and third elements are active responses to the preaching and teaching of the Word of God. With the preaching of the Word, there needs to be a response. Without any responses, the Word remains within the four walls of churches and Christian communities who gather each week for worship.

The Preaching of the Word

One of the most striking traits in any revivals is the strong preaching of the Word. In the 18th Century (1731-1755), in what we know as the first great awakening in North America, we have men like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, whose powerful preaching revitalized the entire society to go forth in faith and witness of the gospel of Christ. In the nineteenth century (1790-1840), there is the American spiritual awakening with Francis Asbury (Methodist), Henry Ward Beecher (Presbyterian), Charles Finney, and others who inspired a new generation with powerful preaching against the ills of society. Then comes the 20th Century (1850-1900) spiritual awakening, thanks to the Pentecostal movement and the Holiness movement. People like Dwight L. Moody and Ira Sankey were household names. In the 21st Century, we will all recognize the names of Billy Graham, Dr Martin Luther King Jr, and in our modern days, Chuck Swindoll, Rick Warren, and Tim Keller. Many of the megachurches all had one thing in common: Powerful preaching over the pulpit.