After the recent church shooting in Texas, we wanted to talk about church security. As leaders and shepherds in our church, we are responsible for protecting our flock, but we don’t want to be motivated by fear. We’ve taken some steps toward securing our building a couple years ago and have continued talking about other ways we can protect our people.

We talk about an article from the Gospel Coalition titled 7 Ways to Prepare Your Church Against Violence. The first step is to communicate with your congregation. We have recently informed our congregation that we are praying about how to further protect our church and communicated that we are open to suggestions and comments from our members.

We talk about how we deal with weapons in our church building. We allow concealed carry guns, though we realize that some churches ban all weapons or have differing opinions. As elders, we want to communicate with those people that carry to make sure that there would be an ordered response in the event of a threat.

How do you protect your children? Do you know what is going on in the homes of your members? Are you helping people work through their anxiety? We briefly talk through all of these points and share some of the things we are trying at our own church.

What plans for church security have you implemented to protect your congregation? Let us know!

 

Church Security & the Texas Shooting | Episode 62 | CongreGate Podcast

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Links and Recommendations:

More about the Texas church massacre

7 Ways to Prepare Your Church Against Violence – Joe Carter for The Gospel Coalition

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Today we’re discussing how to confront fear in your family. Do you struggle with fear over your safety, your financial situation, or fear over sharing the gospel with your neighbors? What about your wife and children? Do they struggle with fear?

We talk about some of our personal struggles with fear and some of the things our wives and children have feared. We also discuss what it means to “fear the Lord”.

How do you confront fear in your family? We talk about how we have supported and encouraged our wives and children through their fears. While it’s good to talk through fears rationally, it’s also important to pray for our wives and children joyfully and out loud.

A Gospel Coalition blog post by Melissa Kruger puts forth three helpful questions to help us evaluate how we deal with fear in our lives. For example, does fear lead to anger, anxiety, or attempts to control others? Or how does God commands us to handle our fear? We discuss some of our answers to these questions and encourage you to work through them on your own and with your family.

 

Confronting Fear in Your Family | Episode 61 | CongreGate Podcast

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Links and Recommendations:

Three Questions: Fear – Melissa Kruger for the Gospel Coalition – This article poses three excellent questions to evaluate your fears, plus it contains a list of helpful Bible verses addressing fear.

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Happy 500th anniversary of the Reformation! This morning we are talking about the relevance of the Reformation for today and sharing a few random thoughts on Halloween.

Whether you participate in Halloween, use it as an evangelistic tool, or go to a church Reformation celebration is not what we’re debating. We believe this is an area of Christian liberty. You are free to choose how to best participate in your community.

Ever wonder why Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the church? The church doors served as a community bulletin board! We’ve been talking to our kids and our church members about some Reformation history as the 500th anniversary approaches.

One of the most fun resources we found was this song summarizing Reformation history. Shawn’s kids have been walking around for a few weeks singing about papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation! Though the Reformation Polka is slightly silly, the kids have picked up more historical facts from the song than most adults know.

Finally, we conclude with some thoughts about why it’s important to celebrate and study the Reformation. Many American congregations are dying out, people are no longer studying their Bibles, and many are reverting back to pre-Reformation religion. Meanwhile, in countries facing greater persecution, the church is growing as the believers hold fast to scripture.

The Relevance of the Reformation | Episode 60 | CongreGate Podcast

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Links and Recommendations:

Martin Luther – Eric Metaxas

The Reformation Polka

The Insanity of God – Nik Ripkin

 

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After we finish discussing the merits of beard oil and the possibility of a beard “comb-over” (huh?)…

Today’s episode is about resolving conflict in our everyday lives. We recently taught about resolving and managing conflict at our men’s retreat. Whether or not we already understand the Biblical process for resolving conflict, it is always good to remind ourselves how to deal with conflict from a Biblical perspective.

We used Ken Sande’s book, Resolving Everyday Conflict, as a basis for our teaching. Sande says that people fall into 3 categories; peacemaker, peacefaker, and peacebreaker. Peacefakers tend to avoid conflict and peacebreakers tend to be confrontational. The Biblical model of conflict resolution is to be a peacemaker. We chat about how each of these tendencies exhibits itself in different ways and in different circumstances.

Peacefakers tend to avoid conflict and peacebreakers tend to be confrontational. The Biblical model of conflict resolution is to be a peacemaker. We chat about how each of these tendencies exhibits itself in different ways and in different circumstances.

We also talk about overlooking small offenses. This is often the first step to resolving a conflict. Ask yourself, “Is this worth fighting over?”.

What if someone talks over you in a meeting or tells a joke at your expense? These are good opportunities to overlook the offense. Through the Gospel, you have the power to end the conflict before it begins. This brings glory to God by imitating his mercy and immediate forgiveness.

As parents, we also have the opportunity to teach our children how to resolve conflict within our family. Sande’s material can help provide guidelines for managing and teaching our children to deal with conflict.

 

Resolving Conflict in Everyday Life | Episode 59 | CongreGate Podcast

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Links and Recommendations:

Resolving Everyday Conflict – Ken Sande & Kevin Johnson

Peacemaker – Ken Sande

The Young Peacemaker – Corlette Sande

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This episode opens with some football banter and we review the score predictions we made last week. If football isn’t your thing, we start chatting about our annual church men’s retreat about six minutes in.

Last weekend, about 50 of our men spent 3 days together at our annual men’s retreat. Each year, we rent 3 beach houses to spend time playing, fellowshipping, worshipping, and studying God’s Word together. We include our young men, ages 12 and up in this event. It’s an exciting rite of passage for the new 12-year-olds to join us. The younger boys count down the years until they are old enough to be counted among the men.

Mark briefly shares our schedule of events for the retreat. The first night usually includes a pizza dinner and testimony time, before a short teaching time. The second morning is more teaching time, followed by an afternoon of sports, swimming, and talking with friends. Some of the men stay up late talking, playing games, and crab hunting. The third morning is a time of worship and teaching. We eat lunch together at a local seafood restaurant and head home. The idea is to create a good balance between Bible study and relationship building.

In contrast to many American teens that are walking away from the faith of their parents, we are seeing most of our young adults following the Lord and taking leadership around the church and community. We talk about how including the young men and women in our church retreats (and other “adult” events) seems to have a strong positive influence on our teens.

Mark addresses pastors and church leaders that might like to begin an annual men’s retreat. Pastors shouldn’t feel the burden to do all of the teaching and planning on their own.

Next week we’ll be talking about Resolving Everday Conflict, the topic of our men’s retreat teaching this year.

 

Go on a Men's Retreat | Episode 58 | CongreGate Podcast

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Links and Recommendations:

Resolving Everyday Conflict – Ken Sande & Kevin Johnson

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