The Threads Blog
What is evangelism? I would suggest it is more than knocking on doors and handing out tracts or bottled water at the ball park. What if we could integrate evangelism into our daily life in such a way that it became less a task to complete and more a natural expression of who we are?
It’s a rainy, cold, gloomy winter’s day here in Nashville, so I feel it is my responsibility to give you a dose of good news today. First, Threads and Adam Thomason, the Director of Spiritual Life at Crichton College, are going to be working to be working on a Bible study project called The Red Revolution. Second, our friend and Threads author Mike Harder’s church plant, Green Hills Church, is going to be launching Feb. 10 here in Nashville. Finally, today is the first anniversary of our Threads studies releasing. We are thankful to God for His blessings and for your support of Threads.
The run-down minibus taxi rattles diligently up the rocky, potholed road. Inside, the mood is somber and tense. No one dares talk. All are too busy looking out the window for would-be attackers.
It doesn’t seem to matter that two Kenyan special forces officers sit guarding both doors with AK-47s and pistols. Everyone is restless and scared. Passengers react with despair and sorrow as the taxi slowly rolls past the charred landscape. Entire villages are now wiped off the map, others are ghost towns.
This hardest hit area in Kenya’s post-election violence may appear somewhat calm, but violence can erupt any second. On a recent weekend more than 70 people died in this Rift Valley province, pushing the nationwide total to almost 800 since the disputed Dec. 27 elections.
The minibus comes to a stop in front of a Baptist church with broken windows. It has obviously been looted—pages of hymnals are stuck in the weeds and part of a broken speaker sits in the road.
Radio talk show host Rick Burgess lost his two-year-old son last weekend in a tragic accident, but the words he spoke at Bronner’s memorial service at Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Birmingham are proof that God can take unspeakable grief, sorrow and loss and transform it into an unbelievable time of triumph. Take some time and listen to the words as you prepare for Sunday’s Bible study.
Michael Kelley is an editor for the Threads team’s (undated) Bible study products. Before he began to work for LifeWay full-time, he wrote a study for us called “Tough Sayings of Jesus,” which spotlighted four times in the Bible where Jesus doesn’t seem to be quite as nice as we might normally think (from the Tough Sayings webpage: the rich young ruler in Mark 10, the Canaanite woman in Matt. 15, the unforgivable sin in Matt. 12, and a contradiction about who Jesus is in Matt. 10 and Luke 12).Threads is getting ready to launch volume two of the study, so I sat down with Kelley for a bit to talk about his job here at LifeWay, and some of the concepts behind these studies.
There are few television writers or producers that I love more than JJ Abrams. Not only is he one of the great minds behind the infuriating show LOST but he also created Alias and Felicity. (Yes, I just said Felicity- He might not be willing to tout this as one of his great accomplishments but I know many a girl in her twenties who would). In a talk at the TED Conference (Technology, Entertainment, Design), he was challenged to give the talk of his life and what do you think the creator of a magic island talked about? Take a look and let me know what you think?
I spent the back half of last week at Rethink, a conference aimed at exploring what areas of church life we need to be overhauling to reach a new generation for Christ. I was interested to learn that Dan Kimball’s church plant, Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, Calif., has Sunday School for its members. That’s right—the archaic, out of date concept called Sunday School.
Today I have had the privilege of listening to several men of faith. Men whose faith journeys began 30, 40, 50 years ago or more. Men who have lived lives of integrity in obscurity and much adversity, and later, in the critical glass bowl and fickle tightrope of global Christian leadership.
Because my background has been with grassroots church plants ministering to college students and young adults, and I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, I haven’t had much exposure to some of the giants of Christianity who have mentored many of the influential leaders in church today. Now as I reflect on the day, Hebrews 12:1-3 comes to mind.
As we survey the current status of the culture we live in, several things are quite easy to see and one major one is that people are hurting all around us. It is easy to turn our heads and just be happy our current situation is comfortable and not worry much about our responsibility to those around us. When is the last time you heard a sermon on helping you become a better servant, or seen a book that is designed to make you a more improved soup kitchen attendant, or a “How to Guide” on helping starving children dying in Africa. Rather, a quick scan of the local book store reveals titles such as, “Your Best Life Now,” “Perfect Weight America: Change Your Diet, Change Your Life, Change Your World,” “Jack Canfield’s Key to Living the Law of Attraction: A Simple Guide to Creating the Life of Your Dreams,” and the list could go on. These three books pop up on the Spirituality and Religion section of an online book store among a list of many many others with similar subjects.
It’s pretty easy to get focused on fairly minor issues, like the price of gasoline or who’s going to the Super Bowl or fill in your blank ______. In Kenya right now, people are fighting for their lives. Ever since the results of a widely disputed president election were announced in December, tribal violence has exploded.