friday-freebies

IAMAChurchMember-webFirst up in this week’s giveaway is a signed copy of my new book I Am a Church Member. Based on an idea originally taken from this blog, I Am a Church Member discusses the attitudes and responsibilities of church members. I address in detail what congregations should really be focusing on—praying for church leaders, being a functioning member, treasuring church membership, and more.

Six chapters with these titles include study questions to guide the discussion:

  1. I Will Be a Unifying Church Member
  2. I Will Not Let the Church Be About My Preferences and Desires
  3. I Will Pray for My Church Leaders
  4. I Will Lead My Family to Be Healthy Church Members
  5. I Will Be a Functioning Member
  6. I Will Treasure Church Membership as a Gift

melissaAlso included is Melissa: A Father’s Lessons from a Daughter’s Suicide by Frank Page, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention. In this book, Frank writes about the spiritual truths and biblical practices he learned and put into action following his daughter’s suicide. Page is hoping his story will help the church address this all-too-real problem.

As I wrote earlier in the week, perhaps a movement will grow from this book. Perhaps lives will be saved because we have a greater awareness and sensitivity to this darkness. Perhaps we will learn to love more deeply. Perhaps we will become more compassionate people. That is still my prayer.

To enter the giveaway, tell us if you could spend one hour with one character of the Bible (other than a person of the Trinity), who you would choose.

The deadline to enter is midnight CDT this Saturday. We will draw one winner from the entries on Monday morning.

By entering, you acknowledge and accept the terms of the promotion.

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Comments

  1. says

    Just one hour? I think I would pick Jonathan. He must have an amazing perspective on loyalty to friends, loyalty to God and loyalty to family (maybe not in that order). He was routinely put in conflicted situations and managed them with a tremendous amount of wisdom and trust in God. As a young pastor, I think I could learn quite a bit about complicated situations from him and his experiences.

  2. Jessw Barnhaet says

    Barnabas, I would love to talk to him about what he saw in Paul and, later, John Mark that led him to stand by them when others didn’t want to.

  3. James Kerr says

    I would spend the hour with the beloved disciple John. I would have loads of questions and would understand more of his Greek than the other authors of the NT!

  4. says

    If I had one hour to spend with any character of the bible, I would spend it with Gideon. I always found the story of Gideon pretty neat. He was the least according to a worldly standard but God designed Gideon and used Gideon to accomplish big things all for God’s glory!

  5. Julie Clemens says

    That is a tough one. My first instinct is to say Paul, but perhaps an hour with John would be more needful for me. Thanks Tom, the Epistles of John it is for my next Bible reading/study. :-)

  6. Tia Harmon says

    Wow, how to choose just one? So many amazing people, so many questions!! I guess for me I’d choose Esther. Her courage and faith still encourage me today.

  7. says

    Judas, is the one I would want to sit down with. One reason is because most people chose Paul. There is a PART of me that has always hurt for this man I do not know. I want to hate him, but I wonder if there is caution in his tale.
    I could sit with him and hear about how wonderful Christ is and yet hear what it means to be led away. I would get his eyewitness accounts and then what breaks a man. What is true faith? What were the other disciples like? Who annoyed you? I could hear about real evil. I would ask him questions I have always wanted to ask, why? Before suicide what were you feeling? DO you have regret? Was it too late for repentance?

  8. Michael Kinch says

    Andrew. His name means “manly.” When he met Jesus he spent time with Jesus and then the first thing he did was find his brother Peter and bring him to Jesus. As I have studied AndrewI find two things about him, first he spent time with Jesus and secondly he brought others to Jesus. There is not a lot written about him in the Bible and most of what is written that is meaningful was written by his good friend John. The life of Andrew shows a balance between spending time with God and bringing others to God. This is a hard thing for most of us to do. Andrew did it very well. The second thing he did very well was play second fiddle. Most of us want to be in the spotlight, we want to be a Peter preaching on the day of Pentecost. Few of us want to bring a small child and his lunch to Jesus as Andrew did. May I become like Andrew, spending time with Jesus and then bringing others to Jesus.

  9. Jaime says

    I could learn a lot from Mary…who chose not to clean and worry so much…who hose to sit and listen to Jesus. I could benefit from being with her and seeing her heart for The Lord.

  10. Jennifer says

    Peter. I think we have a lot in common, and I’d love to hear how Jesus related to him on a daily basis.

  11. says

    I think I’d go with the Apostle John. He is my favorite New Testament author. He was an eyewitness not just to the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ but also to the birth and early growth of the church. I’d love to get his insight on exactly what it means to be a disciple and what it means to lead a church.

  12. Joanna Moore says

    Joseph. How did you do it? From the pit to the prison to the palace….. And how on earth did you forgive those mean brothers for what they did for you?

  13. Dan says

    I would like to spend an hour with Joseph, the husband of Mary. The Joseph of the Old Testament would also be interesting but we know a lot about his life. We know so little about Joseph, the step-father of Jesus. He never speaks in the Bible, but he must have been such a good man to accept Mary as his wife even though he did not seem to fully understand how she was pregnant. Matthew says Joseph was a “righteous man”, and he was obedient to the angel of Lord. We don’t know when Joseph died but apparently he was still alive when Jesus was 12. He must have been a truly loving and great man, and good to Jesus while he lived. I would like to hear about Jesus as a child and about their relationship, especially if he was alive during Jesus’ teen years.

  14. Hannah says

    I’d like to chat with Joshua. He was Moses ‘a but then became a leader and seeker of God in his own way.

  15. says

    well, since it seems Paul is going to be busy for several hours, I’m going to choose Caleb. In Numbers 14:24, God says, “But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.”
    …what a man of God!

  16. Karen says

    I would love to talk with Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. I’ve been “accused” of being too much like Martha (which isn’t necessarily all bad since she was evidently a hard worker!), but I really need to slow down, be quiet, and take time for God to speak to me. In my business I don’t allow enough time to just “be”.

  17. Nick Horton says

    Paul. I only know a shadow of him through his writings, but to sit and talk I think would be eye opening. To be able to ask questions and pick his brilliant and God saturated brain.

  18. Alan Lamb says

    Timothy – because he was following a great man and to learn how he solved issues and problems.

  19. Ben says

    I would probably choose Adam. I think it would be insightful to understand what it was like before fall and how he felt after.

  20. Brian B. says

    The Ethiopian Eunuch to find out what happened to him after his conversion. Did he return to Ethiopia? Did he evangelize? Did he receive miraculous gifts of the Spirit. Did he, or the church he presumably started, stay in contact with Jerusalem?

  21. Tommy Rucker says

    Hard choice here. I guess I’ll go with Jonah, since I can be pretty hard-headed and stubborn.

  22. Matt Haines says

    I would probably choose the OT Joseph. His story of perseverance in faith and faithfulness to the Lord in the face of difficult obstacles is always inspiring.

  23. George R. Krahn says

    The Apostle John. I would like to ask him some questions regarding the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ!

  24. says

    The father from Mark 9 would be interesting. Hearing him describe the emotional rollercoaster which culminated in ‘Lord, I believe! Help thou mine unbelief,’ would be powerful.

  25. Eric says

    I would have to say Peter. I think I relate to Peter in that I have a propensity for foot-in-mouth disease. Not to mention he was the guy who vehemently denied Christ after the arrest, experienced quite possibly the most amazing story of God’s grace after the resurrection, became the original “church planter”, and when it came time to be martyred had such amazing faith that he requested to be crucified upside down because he deemed it unworthy to die in the same manner as Christ.

  26. Kesha says

    Although Paul would be very busy I would stand in line to speak to him. My main question being how did he accomplish so much ministry work with the thorn in his flesh? Most of us get a little cold and skip church. Paul…show me that thorn!!!

  27. says

    Caleb. He has some awesome stories and experiences. From coming out of Egypt, the Exodus journey, prime-time with Moses at the Tent of Meeting, and entering the Promised Land.

  28. says

    Jeremiah – he knew what it was like to trust totally in the character and promises of God while facing an incredibly difficult, painful, and discouraging ministry. He persevered by God’s grace.

  29. Patrick Weaver says

    I would want to spend time with John. John is the one who spent time with Jesus and was around long enough to see the church start.

  30. Bryan L. Kent says

    I would love to spend an hour with Peter! Not only to discuss his life filled with real victories and defeats, but also to discuss 1 Peter 3:18-22 and understand just exactly what God’s Spirit was inspiring him to teach about the ministry of Jesus and baptism. (A close second is Paul and a discussion of baptism of the dead!!!) I find this passage one of the most interesting and theologically perplexing in the NT. Thanks Dr. Rainer!

  31. Caleb Stapp says

    Joshua. Courageous, humble enough to serve under Moses for years and years, led well enough that all of the leaders he trained continued to serve the Lord till their deaths.

  32. Michael Cassity says

    Paul. Radically saved, totally committed, joyful always. To live is Christ, to die is gain. Wow

  33. Gordon Moore says

    I just noticed that I have multiple comments. The reason is that it kept telling me my comment was a duplicate. So I presumed that they were rejected by the server. Wasn’t trying to get an unfair advantage.

  34. Jim Walterhouse says

    I would pick Simon Peter. I see a lot of myself in him and would love to have him mentor me for an hour.

  35. Michael Van Gorp says

    I would have to say Timothy. We already kind of get the idea of what that first generation of believers felt and experienced. I would love to hear Timothy talk about coming to faith. Why did he decide to follow Christ? How was getting discipled by Paul? What was it like being a church leader at such a young age?

  36. says

    Lazarus would be my choice. First, he was the friend that Jesus felt most comfortable being around. If Jesus found Lazarus that good of company I am sure I would too. Second, to have him repeat the stories about his visits with Jesus would be incredible. I am sure such stories would be life changing for me. Third, I would love to hear what he encountered after he died. To know if he witnessed anything on the other side of this life would be fascinating.

  37. Matt Brogli says

    It would be difficult to choose from so many, but I think i would have to go with Peter. From one who was quick to run to one who stood strong and bold, there would be much to learn from his faith.

  38. Mike says

    I would choose John because of his closeness to Jesus. He would most likely be able to answer any question about Jesus and reveal His heart.

  39. Prentiss Yeates says

    Caleb- a great scout,warrior and man of strength. Proof positive that retirement is not a plan found in the bible!

  40. says

    I would either choose the Apostle Paul or Timothy. There are a ton of questions I would love to ask both of them… esp. about church planting and developing leaders.

  41. Dr. Tom Marshall says

    Nehemiah. I would love to listen to expound upon faith and leadership -especially under stress.

  42. Matt says

    I’d say the repentant robber who was next to Jesus on the cross and ultimately, joined Him in paradise. It’d be very interesting and I imagine, refreshing, to hear what grace means to him.

  43. Steve Richie says

    That is a hard question. there are so many…. To pick one, I will say Stephen (and NOT because we share the same name!). He was full of faith and the Holy Spirit and he saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God waiting to receive him into glory.

  44. Alex says

    Peter as we have a lot in common: love the Lord, passionate of our desire to serve and follow, repeatedly inserting feet in mouth disease.

  45. says

    “I am certain that among those born of women, there hasn’t arisen anyone greater than John the Immerser, …” Matthew 11:11 (GV)

    On that note, I’ll choose John the Baptist, I’m sure there’s a lot to learn that wasn’t recorded.

    Second choice would be Isaiah.

  46. Vanta Greenwood says

    Job, what a testimony he has to share. His faith and trust in the Lord in the face of all the devastation in his life is so inspiring. He was able to withstand the pressure of family and friends to deny the Lord. Job showed us what being faithful in the face of extreme conditions was all about, and he faced it before the evidence of Christ’s life, death and resurrection!

  47. Jim Jacobs says

    Daniel. Just to get an understanding of how he and his friends were able to stand up to societal pressuers.

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