FYI...periodic notes from Dr. Scott
Dr. Scott A. Lemenager
Special Assistant to the President & CEO
Evangelical Church Alliance
10 June 2020
I cannot remember where I heard this, but I want to pass it on to those who are following this vine.
Faith is not...An abstract hope about the future; absent of reality; a subjective feeling divorced from the truth; a leap in the dark; the power of positive thinking; and not a trick of the mind. Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that without faith it is impossible to please God. True faith is only present when it leads to trust.
1 Peter is a handbook for ambassadors to a hostile foreign land. Peter reminds us to be encouraged by the new birth that brings a living hope. The Apostle also lets ambassadors know we have new conduct which calls for holiness, new behavior which calls for the good life, and new responsibilities allowing us to stand together.
9 June 2020
A.W. Tozer had this to say about holiness. "We have learned to live with unholiness and have come to look upon it as the natural and expected thing."
26 May 2020
At our most recent Spring Gathering, we were encouraged by ECA Board Chairman the following;
Make sure you know God's voice, see Acts 9:12 and 1 Sam. 3
Will you be God's ambassador 1 Kings 22:13-14...Count the cost...Obedience is time-sensitive...use a day to fast and pray for your children, like the 1st Wednesday of every month...COVID may be preparation (Dan 4:34)...call others to pray for you Dan 2:17-19...come into God's presence blank...know what is non-negotiable and remember your past is not your future.
21 May 2020
...(T)he prophets were proclaimers of righteousness who preached both law and promise to motivate the people to repentance and a life of obedience in the will and plan of God. Their predictions were often given as incentives to their contemporaries for holy living in that day, seeing that the future belonged to their God and to His righteous reign. (p183 TOTT, Kaiser)
20 May 2020
God never speaks to us in dramatic ways but in ways that are easy to misunderstand. Then we say, "I wonder if that is God's voice?" Without the sovereign hand of God himself nothing touches our lives. Do we discern His hand at work or do we see things as mere occurrences? Get into the habit of saying "Speak Lord." 1 Samuel 3:9 Every time circumstances press in on you say, "Speak Lord," and make time to listen. What did He say in Luke 11:13 or 1 Thessalonians 5:23?
15 May 2020
If you have read 1 Peter 1:3-12 consider this...Peter continues to present the theological basis for encouragement in persecution. The stress throughout this section is on God's grace toward believers, evidenced by His sovereign call to salvation and its results in a believer's life. In the midst of trials, one's new birth is the source of all living hope and a lifestyle of holiness. Roger Raymer (pastor in New Zealand)
12 May 2020
Work is meaningful...reject the attitude of meaningless work. Work is not my worship...time energy, emotion can lead to idolatry but continual renewal will create a stronger body in Christ. Review Romans 12:1-2. Your identity is received not acheived, you are a Christian first and working second. Rev. Derick Miller
11 May 2020
"It is never right to be satisfied with an eight grade understanding with the things of God." R.C. Sproul
10 May 2020
- I want to be clear
- I want to be faithful
- I want to be full of integrity.
Exposition is not an imposition.
10 April 2020
What do you say to someone that asks you, "What is Good Friday, and why do you celebrate it?"
6 April 2020
We should listen to voices that give hope. This comes from A Voice through Darkness with Marine Corporal Jake Schick
- This life is absolutely worth living.
- What makes it beautiful is that you get to share it with people you love all the way through successes and failures.
- It is not about you, so live well.
28 March 2020
"War is chaos and confusion trying to make us panic. But as long as we don't panic...you can keep your head above the water...not sinking, but keep on fighting you will stay in there. Slow your heartbeat down and make good decisions." GYSGT L. Christian Bussler, USMCR (Ret)
Brothers and sisters we are in a war with an unseen enemy, but don't panic!
2 March 2020
Losers assemble in little groups and gripe about the coaches (ministers), the system, other players (members) and other little groups...Winners assemble as a team!
17 February 2020
Navigating Amidst the Privileges and Pressures of Ministry
At Our most recent Gathering, I had the privilege to preach on our verse for the year, Galatians 6:9.
We must remember that the Law of Agriculture teaches us planting, germinating, tilling and harvest are all part of our ministries.
We must not give up in well-doing. The Apostle Paul spent his whole Christian life defending the Gospel and speaking against false teachers.
We not lose sight of the end result, which is eternal glory!
3 February 2020
Jesus isn't looking to fill church buildings but to fill sinners with him. Remember, that the software of the West may not work in the church in the rest of the world.
23 January 2020
Free quotes to use
Life is Learning
Reality Matches Rhetoric
Excellence is Expected
Closer to God Builds Resistance to Evil
12 Words for Life
Trust Jesus Deeply, Follow Spirit Daily, Attend Church Weekly, Marry Strong Believer
8 January 2020
I heard a recent sermon that included the following for your fitness check-up
The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 2:12-13 and the Apostle Peter reminds us in 2 Peter 1:3-10 to make effort through God's power to be fit in your Christian Life. So
What is your pattern
What is your priority
What is your plan
What is your progress
3 January 2020
Have you decided to take your Fitness Check Up? More to come.
1 January 2020
The role of the Pastor is not so much to come and teach the things most Christians have never known but it is to remind one another of the things we must never forget.
The solution is not in methodology, the answer is in theology. The knowledge of God gives grounds for a methodology that may make an impact on those under your care.
Mistakes I made in Ministry
- I did not leave soon enough--although I wanted to stay at some of my ministries I can look back and realize that I should have trusted the Lord and moved on sooner than later.
- I tried to please too many people--I am a people-pleaser and that is a problem when there are some people we will never please.
- I tried to do too many things--A jack of all trades is a master of none is a proverb that I should have followed more closely, but that is because I also saw many things with a critical eye and knew what to do to fix it. Perhaps I was an ADD or ADHD boy growing up and didn't know it.
- I believed success was up to me--this is what so many of us in ministry forget...the ministry is the Lord's and he will make it succeed or fail, but as one of my profs in college used to say, "Failure is the back door to success."
Good things about ministry
- I was allowed to help many people.
- I saw the joy in people succeeding because I helped.
- It was joyful to see the "light" turn on in some of my disciples.
- Finding some people that wanted a deeper life in Christ.
- Personal spiritual growth by sermon preparation.
Our recent Year End Gathering has taken place and the sermon encouraged us to consider 3 categories of ministry.
- Am I a slave to Christ? Is that due to fear of my past, present or future life or ministry?
- Am I a Mercenary to my agenda? What does my personal reason to do ministry amount to?
- Am I loving God because I have the integrity of Heart? Ps 78:70-72 showed us that David had the integrity of the heart.
I heard this from somewhere and wrote it down.
- Recognize gifts belong to Christ and His people, they are not for us, but for them. (Gifts are a Trust)
- We speak as uttering the very words of God.
- Everybody will not like you so don't try to be liked by everybody. Grow your increasing awareness that ministers are here to please God and not "Man." You might say, "I will be your servant but you will never be my master."
- Serve God with the strength he gives so that you may praise our Lord Jesus Christ.
Do you listen to podcasts? I heard a good one from Alister Begg. He said the "Call" is both inward...you testify to God's leading, and outward...a body of believers recognizes the gifts of the "Called" one. In Ephesians 4:11 and 12 we are to Shepherd...know your flock, spiritually and relationaly, know the Bible. The Shepherd/Teacher helps everyone to grow in the knowledge (of the Bible) not to know everyone. We are also called as "Teacher." Balanced, spiritual instruction that helps the flock become mature in Christ. Sound instruction is not story telling or magic, but it is hard work.
John Piper has said "Baptism is the outward expression of calling on the name of the Lord in faith. The water is a picture of the cleansing, but faith is what unites us and forgives us."
We had a woderful and joyful time in Pittsburgh for our fall Gathering. Here are some notes from the sermon on Psalm 25. Proposition: Every Minister needs to set their heart on God's Wisdom. Transition Statement: We will find that need met in the (4) four major themes of Psalm 25.
- Protection...vs 1-3 and 15-22 Protect me
- Guidance...vs 4-5 and 8-10 Guide me
- Forgiveness...vs 6-7 and 11 Forgive me and Remember me
- Prosperity...vs 12-14 Instruct me
The Fear of the Lord is the focus of all the Wisdom Literature and this is the outcome from being forgiven.
What are you listening to? I'm sharing my smart phone apps that truely help me in my connection to current issues and historic teachings. We may not always agree with each and every podcast or teaching, but a good minister needs to know what is on the airwaves.
albertmohler, refnet, reasonablefaith, ligonier, RZIM, pragerU, moodyradio
I have been thinking alot about the recent apostasy of some leaders in the Christian Church. One of my daughters sent me this blog article and I think it speaks loudly to the issues we face. https://cogentchristianity.com/2019/08/13/skillets-john-cooper-on-apostasy-among-young-christian-leaders/
Statement of Doctrine
One of the reasons the ECA asks each applicant for a brief SOD is to be sure that you can adequately answer the most basic questions of our faith. If you know someone is applying to the ECA, remind them that we are not going to teach our applicants what to say. Nor do we accept plagiarized material. Always keep studying.
Here are a few important points to remember from our recent Annual International Conference in Charlotte.
Mike McCormick reminded us of "Who Planted the Trees?" 1. Tragedy to Triumph--seeds for the future are planted in the leader that often experiences tragedy. Remember HALT--Short-term pleasure can amount to a life of pain. Protect against being Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired.
Dave Richardson encouraged us to develop the tools to discern the truth. Truth corresponds to what is real. Truth and reality must cohere. All people work with assumptions and there are 3 types that reflect our view of truth. #1 Only the Physical exists, #2 Only what is non-physical is real and important, #3 Two things are real; the Creator (non-physical) and his creation (physical). Everyone is a person of faith and every institution promotes one of these types. Know who is speaking into your worldview.
What are you reading this summer? Here are my current selections that I'm working through;
Culture Shift, R. Albert Mohler Jr., Multnomah Press. (c) 2008
Desire and Deceit, R. Albert Mohler Jr., Multnomah Press. (c) 2008
The Collapse of Parenting, Leonard Sax, Basic Books. (c) 2016
Why Gender Matters, Leonard Sax, Harmony Books. (c) 2005/2017
The Justice of God in the Teaching of Jesus, J. Arthur Baird, Westminster Press. (c) 1958
Audience Criticism and the Historical Jesus, J. Arthur Baird, Westminster Press. (c) 1959
Church Marketing 101, Richard Reising, Baker Books. (c) 2006
Reason for Church
Some time ago I was reading an article in the Federalist when I came across a thoughtfull piece that I pass on to you.
If you read it take it with a proverbial grain of salt. https://thefederalist.com/2017/03/03/5-reasons-millennials-never-go-church/
The ECA respects members and prospective members who may need to carry dual credentials. Membership and credentials are concomitant with the ECA. An ECA member with dual credentials is asked to honor first the ECA Tenets of Faith, Ministerial Ethics, and ECA Constitution and By-laws.
I want to be a Giant Killer
At our recent Gathering in Goodyear Arizona, I had the privilege of giving the charge to our candidates and the audience in attendance. 1 Samuel 17 is the narrative of David and Goliath. The writer reminds us that our battle can be. won, "not by sword or spear, but by the will of God, for the battle is the Lord's." Nevertheless, we know David picked up five (5) stones. In his lifetime David faced a total of five Giants. Here are five principals we learn from David's encounter with the Giant. They are like his five stones.
1. Tests come more than once
2. Understand you are not alone
3. Let others help you
4. Intentional accountability leads to success
5. Praise God always
The Trinity-Why does the ECA ask for specific beliefs in a Statement of Doctrine? Many well-meaning people think nothing of the Church having clear statements on the Trinity. The ECA has historically followed the first four great ecumenical councils of the Church. These helped the early church and help us today.
First Council of Nicaea in 325
First Council of Constantinople in 381
First Council of Ephesus in 431
The Council of Chalcedon in 451