Archives For insecurity

I read Hebrews 2:14-18 yesterday.  Read it slowly, out loud, a few times:

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants.  For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

I am a person who struggles mightily with depression and anxiety. It comes and goes and is subject to a diverse array of stimulus.  I also have a lot of good ways of coping with it, which are sometimes enough to feel better and sometimes aren’t.

Usually when we think of Jesus’s atonement, we think of him as the substitute for our sins. We deserve a penalty for our sins, hell, and Jesus took that hell upon himself on the cross so we wouldn’t have to take it on ourselves for all eternity.  Then when the Judge looks at us, we are declared innocent (righteous). Not because of what we’ve done, but because of what Jesus did on our behalf.

All of this is true, praise be to God! But something even deeper hit me yesterday. Continue Reading…

I started my church 11 years ago with big dreams for God.

Church planting networks want people with big dreams for God.

We create huge conferences to encourage people to dream big dreams for God.

At this point your “cynic radar” is already starting to go off as you read this.  Bear with me a little longer before you cast me off.

Try to name one person in the New Testament who had “big dreams for God” in the way pastors and church planters are taught to.  The first people who come to my mind were the Jewish crowd in Matthew 21:1-11 who laid their coats on the ground while waiving palm branches as Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey.  This was “big thing” energy at its height as people shouted praises to Jesus and proclaimed him as their Messiah.

This frenetic crowd was made up of the same mob who shouted “Crucify him!” later in the week. Continue Reading…

In Episode 19, the one-year anniversary episode for Behind the Curtain, Noah Filipiak interviews 11-time author Sarah Arthur.  Sarah’s book Walking with Frodo was the #1 bestselling youth resource in Christian publishing for the holiday season 2003, and #13 in all categories and Walking with Bilbo won the Logos Book Award at the Christian Booksellers Convention for Best Youth Book 2005.  Her most recent books include a 3-part devotional series that follow the Church liturgical calendar:  Between Midnight & Dawn, Light Upon Light & At the Still PointNoah and Sarah discuss the roller-coaster ride of succeeding and failing in the publishing world and how to discover spiritually healthy ways of measuring success in anything we do in life.  In a fast-forward world where everything is pressing and urgent, this interview examines how to rest in our identity as God’s kids and not let other voices determine our ultimate value.

You can listen to the interview with Sarah below via the Podbean Player or you can subscribe to all “Behind the Curtain” Ministry Podcast episodes on iTunes

Sarah’s website: www.SarahArthur.com

Sarah’s complete list of books

Connect with Sarah on Facebook

Connect with Sarah on Twitter

Promo for Sarah’s most recent book Between Midnight & Dawn:

In January 2006, I officially left my position as a youth pastor and set off full-time as a church planter in Lansing, MI.  I was 22 when I went to the assessment center in August 2005 and was ready to save the world a few months later at 23.

I was naive, arrogant, insecure and full of subconscious motives.

Now I’ve just turned 33 (the age Jesus died; several of my pastor friends reminded me of this), and this September our church will celebrate the 10 year anniversary of our public launch.  Here’s some of the biggest things I’ve learned over the past 10 years:

Don’t Throw Stones

So much arrogance can be cloaked in “critical thinking” and “observation.”  10 years ago, I felt superior to the way the established church was doing things.  I would throw stones in private conversations at specific established churches, typically the larger ones in my area.  What a direct rebellion against Jesus’ desire for the Church to be unified!  What an insult to the Kingdom of God. Continue Reading…

at a crossroads behind the curtain ministry podcast noah filipiakThe church Jeremy Dowsett started 10 years ago closed its doors in 2015.  In this interview, Jeremy takes us behind the curtain of how he’s handled this emotionally and spiritually.  Every church planter who has gone through this experience is going to be unique and Jeremy is no exception.  The interview walks through the flaws in Evangelical Protestantism that Jeremy experienced and how that eventually led him to convert to Catholicism.  We also discuss the emotional weight of pastoring a church plant and what it’s been like to be away from that weight, as well as if it’s possible for a church planter to truly experience the freedom of the gospel of grace while in the midst of shouldering the load of church planting, or if the two are mutually exclusive.  Jeremy also wrote a blog post in 2014 that got so many hits it broke the Internet, making Noah jealous, which we also discuss.

Connect with Jeremy on Facebook and Twitter

Jeremy’s blog: www.alittlemoresauce.com

Jeremy’s blog post that broke the Internet, “What My Bike Taught Me About White Privilege”

Related blog post from Noah: “Problems with the Protestant Reformation”

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST EPISODE WITH JEREMY DOWSETT BELOW: (or subscribe on iTunes)