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"Roh Tuhan ada pada-Ku, oleh sebab Ia telah mengurapi Aku, untuk menyampaikan kabar baik." Luk. 4:18"

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Agenda. ----- Retreat Presbiter GPIB Sejahtera Bandung, Sekesalam 27-28 Januari 2017, Pembina: Pdt Susy Rumeser-Thomas, MTh dan Pdt Stephen Sihombing, MTh ----- Penggalangan Dana Panitia Pembangunan gereja GPIB Sejahtera bandung, Minggu 22 Januari 2017 jam 08.00 WIB PF. Pdt. Jacoba Marlene Joseph, MTh ---- PS GPIB ke-XX 26-31 Oktober 2015, Swiss Bell Hotel, Balikpapan, Kalimantan Timur ---- Ibadah Minggu 26 Juli 2015 jam 07.00 --- Ibadah Nuansa Budaya Minahasa Minggu 26 Juli 2015 jam 09.00 Pdt. Drs. J. Sompotan, S.Th dan Pembinaan Presbiter Sabtu 25 Juli 2015 jam 17.00 ---- PF Minggu 19 Juli 2015 Sejahtera bandung 07.00 dan 09,00 --- Perjamuan Kudus Minggu 12 Juli 2015 Sejahtera Bandung 07.00 ---- Pembahasan Rantap PS XX GPIB di Hotel Marbela Bandung --- PF Minggu 5 Juli 2015 Sejahtera Bandung 07.00 dN 09.00 Peneguhan Pelayan dan Pengurus ke - 6 Pelkat --- PF Minggu 10 Nov 2013 di Jemaat Pondok Ungu jam 06.00 dan 10.00 --- Perayaan HUT GPIB ke-65, Selasa 5 Nov 2013 di Tenis Indoor Senayan Jakarta --- Pembinaan Penelaahan Alkitab di Wisma Kinasih, Bogor, Minggu 3 November 2013 ---- PF di jemaat Pondok Ungu Bekasi dan jemaat GPIB Kharis Jakarta 30 Juni 2013 ----- Pemilihan Korwil Pelkat Mupel Bekasi 4 Mei 2013 di jemaat GPIB Gloria Bekasi ----- Sertifikasi Pengajar katekisasi 18-20 April 2013 di MDC Gadog ---- Sidang tahunan dan Sidang Wilayah Mupel Bekasi 4-5 Maret 2013 di MDC Gadog ---- PF di Jemaat Pondok Ungu jam 6 dan 10.00 serta di Gloria Bekasi Minggu 3 Maret 2013 jam 17.30 WIB ---- PF di Jemaat Zebaoth Bogor beserta PS Jemaat GPIB Pondok Ungu jam 09.00 wib --- Pembinaan pelkat di Jemaat GPIB Marturia Jakarta Timur 2 Maret 2013 jam 18.30 ---- Lokakarya RKA GPIB Pondok Ungu, 1-2 maret 2013 di Vila Saiya Cipayung, Bogor --- PST GPIB di Makassar 19-21 Februari 2013 ---PF di GPIB Pondok Ungu jam 10.00 dan di GPIB Efatha Jakarta jam 17.00 Minggu 10 Februari 2013 --- SMJ GPIB Pondok Ungu Triwulan 3, Minggu 10 Februaru 2013 ---- Peneguhan Pelkat GPIB Pondok Ungu 3 Februari 2012 oleh Pdt PH Sitorus, MSi ----- Perjamuan Kudus 10 Oktober 2012 di GPIB Pondok Ungu, jam 06.00 dan 10.00 WIB, ---- Peneguhan Diaken dan Penatua GPIB Pondok Ungu 2012-2017 pada Minggu, 23 September 2012 yang dilayani peneguhannya oleh Pdt. Marlene Josep, STh dan didampingi Pdt. SGR Sihombing, MTh, Pdt. Kolanus, MMin, Pdt. Hilda Sihasale, MMin, Pdt. Dina haba STh ---- Perjamuan Kudus Minggu Pentakosta, Minggu, 1 Juli 2012 jam 06.00 dan 10.00 WIB, Pemilihan Diaken dan Penatua GPIB Tahap Penetapan pada hari Minggu, 1 Juli 2012, Lokakarya Penulisan Sabda GPIB, 5-6 Mei 2012, TOT Pendeta materi bina diaken dan penatua, 3-4 Mei 2012 di Kinasih, Caringin Bogor, Lokakarya Materi Bina tahap II, 30 April-2 Mei 2012 di Ruang MS GPIB, Pelayanan Ibadah Minggu, 29 April 2012, Pelayanan Ibadah Minggu 31 Juli 2011 di jemaat GPIB PUP jam 10.00 wib --- SMJ GPIB PUP Triwulan 1, 31 Juli 2011 jam 12.00 wib, --- Pelayanan Ibadah Minggu, 22 Mei 2011 di jemaat GPIB Harapan Kasih jam 09.00 wib ---- 15 Mei 2011 di jemaat GPIB Menara Kasih, Bekasi, --- 8 Mei 2011 di jemaat GPIB Sion, Jakarta Barat jam 10.00 wib dan GPIB Efatha, Jakarta Selatan jam 17.00 wib, --- Pelayanan Ibadah Minggu, 1 Mei 2011, GPIB Pondok Ungu, Bekasi jam 06.00 wib dan 10.00 wib --- Ibadah Paskah, Minggu 24 April 2011, jam 05.00 wib ---- Perjamuan Kudus Jumat Agung, 22 April 2011, jam 06.00 dan 10.00 wib ---- Peneguhan anggota sidi baru, 17 April 2011, jam 10.00 wib ----, Retret Katekisasi terpadu GPIB Pondok Ungu, Harapan Indah, Harapan Baru dan Dian Kasih, 1-3 April 2011,---- Lokakarya Penyusunan RKA Sabtu, 26 Maret 2011 jam 13.00 --- Sidang Majelis Jemaat Triwulan 4, Minggu 24 April 2011, jam 12.00 WIB ---Pelayanan Minggu di jemaat GPIB Anugerah Bekasi jam 09.00 dan GPIB Harapan Kasih jam 18.00 ---.

Sabtu, 21 Mei 2011

Doa Lima Jari

1. Jari jempol adalah jari yang terdekat dengan diri kita. Jadi mulailah berdoa bagi mereka yang paling dekat dengan dirimu. Berdoa buat orang yang kita kasihi, seperti kata C.S. Lewis, adalah 'tugas yang manis'.

2. Jari yang berikut adalah jari telunjuk. Berdoalah buat mereka yang mengajar, memerintah dan menyelamatkan. Mereka  adalah guru,  dokter dan pelayan Tuhan. Mereka butuh dukungan dan hikmat dalam memerintah orang lain dengan petunjuk benar.

3. Jari berikut adalah jari yang tertinggi. Kita diingatkan berdoa bagi pemimpin kita seperti presiden, pemimpin bisnis dan industri serta  pengambil kebijakan.Mereka ini yang membentuk bangsa kita dan memandu opini publik. Mereka butuh bimbingan Tuhan dalam tugasnya.

4. Jari keempat adalah jari manis. Ini jari yang paling lemah. Kita diingatkan berdoa bagi mereka yang lemah, dalam kesusahan dan penderitaan. Mereka butuh didoakan siang dan malam.

5. Yang terakhir adalah jari terkecil dari semua jari. Kita diingatkan menempatkan diri kita dalam relasi dengan Allah dan sesama. Injil mengatakan "yang terkecil di antara kamu adalah yang terbesar. Jari kelingking mengingatkan kita untuk juga mendoakan diri kita sendiri

Dengan mendoakan empat kelompok yang lain, kita dapat menempatkan kebutuhan kita dalam perspektif yang benar dan kita mampu berdoa dengan efektif bagi diri sendiri

Disadur dari http://www.creativeyouthideas.com/blog/
childrens_sermon/five_finger_prayer.html

Selasa, 17 Mei 2011

Khotbah Efesus 2:1-7

Hanya oleh kasih karunia Allah

Saudara-saudara yang dikasihi Allah,
Bagaimanakah hidup saudara selama seminggu ini? Saya percaya bahwa saudara dan saya tetap dipelihara dan diberkati Allah. Apakah saudara merasakan dan mengalami terus kasih karunia Allah yang menyelamatkan itu  dalam karir saudara, dalam bisnis saudara, dalam rencana-rencana saudara, dalam hidup anak-anak saudara, dalam keluarga saudara dan dalam hidup persekutuan kita? Kiranya dengan penuh sukacita dan ucapan syukur kita bisa berkata bahwa benar, Tuhan mengasihi dan memberkati kami dengan cara yang luar biasa dan ajaib. 
Bacaan Alkitab kita hari ini menjelaskan bahwa kasih karunia Allah didalam Yesus Kristus telah menjadikan kita manusia yang diperbaharui Allah. Karena kematian dan kebangkitan Tuhan Yesus, kesalahan dan dosa kita diampuni Allah. Kita tidak lagi hidup dalam penghukuman dan murka Allah.  Sekarang kita hidup dalam kasih karunia Allah yang menjadikan kita ahli waris Kerajaan Sorga. 

Rasul Paulus dengan keyakinan kuat menjelaskan dalam suratnya kepada jemaat Efesus bahwa karya keselamatan Allah itu hanya dapat dimengerti dengan pertolongan kuasa Roh Kudus yang dijanjikan Allah dalam hidup orang percaya (1:13-14).  Dengan kuasa Roh Kudus, maka kita dapat mengerti kasih karunia Allah dengan benar. Kuasa Roh Kudus juga yang menjadikan mata hati kita terang melihat pengharapan yang dijanjikan Allah dan bagaimana kuasa Allah hadir memberkati umatNya (1:17-19).

Kasih karunia Allah yang menyelamatkan itu harus direspon dengan pujian dan ucapan syukur kepada Allah (1:3, 16). Kasih karunia Allah yang kita terima secara pribadi maupun dalam persekutuan kita sebagai saudara-saudara seiman. Tanpa kasih karunia Allah, hidup kita sudah mati secara rohani dan binasa pada hari penghukuman Allah (2:1,3). Tabiat manusia yang gemar melanggar dan berdosa melawan kehendak Allah terjadi karena kelemahan daging dengan segala hawa nafsunya sehingga manusia melakukan yang jahat dan takluk kepada roh-roh kegelapan. (1:2-3)

Tidak ada cara apapun yang dapat membuat manusia lolos dari hukuman dan murka Allah. Keselamatan dan hidup kekal dalam Kerajaan sorga hanyalah kasih karunia Allah dalam iman kepada Yesus Kristus yang mati dan bangkit. Dalam kasih karunia Allah itu, orang percaya menghadapi masa depannya tidak dengan rasa kuatir, bimbang dan takut, melainkan dengan kepastian dan keyakinan teguh bahwa Allah senantiasa memberkati hidup mereka dengan berlimpah. Kekayaan kasih karunia Allah diberikan terus-menerus karena Allah menyatakan kebaikanNya yang besar agar tetap bersyukur dan memuji namaNya.

Firman Allah hari ini hendak menyegarkan pemahaman dan pengertian kita agar kita selalu mengucap syukur dan memuji Tuhan Yesus karena Dia telah menyelamatkan kita dari murka Allah dan kebinasaan kekal. Dengan kuasa Roh Kudus yang dianugerahkan maka kita mau semakin mengasihi Tuhan Yesus dengan sepenuh hati dan menyatakan kasih Allah kepada setiap orang yang kita jumpai. Hidup dalam kasih karunia Allah yang menjadikan kita dapat berdoa, beribadah, bekerja dengan jujur, menghibur dan mengampuni saudara kita yang lemah. Hidup dalam kasih karunia Allah berarti kita tidak hidup untuk diri kita sendiri dan suka menghakimi hidup orang lain. Hidup dalam kasih karunia Allah menjadikan kita sadar bahwa pertobatan membutuhkan kuasa Roh Kudus. Kita perlu memohon campur tangan Allah dengan kuasa RohNya agar mereka yang kita kasihi dapat meninggalkan yang jahat dan hidup dalam kebaikan Allah. 

Kasih karunia Allah yang berlaku dalam hidup kita, membuat kita melihat masa depan dengan mata hati yang terang; mata hati yang dibimbing dengan Roh Kudus sehingga kita percaya berkat-berkat Allah yang berlimpah menyertai dan menaungi hidup kita selamanya. Saudara dan saya harus memelihara keyakinan yang teguh bahwa kebaikan Allah itu berlimpah sepanjang kehidupan ini. Tuhan Yesus menjadi sumber berkat kita setiap hari, setiap minggu, setiap bulan bahkan sepanjang tahun-tahun yang diberikannya. 
Mengapa saudara mengeluh, bersunggut-sunggut dan selalu menyalahkan orang lain? Mengapa saudara memandang diri saudara tidak berguna, dan negatif? Mengapa saudara sukar untuk mengasihi kelarga saudara dengan tulus? Mengapa saudara menganggap diri saudara benar sehingga saudara menjadi eksklusif? Jika semua itu terjadi, maka betapa memang kelemahan daging dan hawa nafsu begitu kuat menguasai hati dan pikiran kita. Kita perlu datang kepada Allah agar dengan iman kepadanya maka  dicurahkan kasih karunia Allah yang memberkati hidup kita. Rasul Paulus mengatakan kasih karunia itu adalah pemberian Allah dan bukan karena usaha kita (2:8). 

Allah dengan kasih karuniaNya sangat mengasihi kita dan mau kita hidup dalam berkat-berkatNya yang berlimpah. Saudara tidak bisa membangun masa depan saudara dengan kekuatan sendiri; saudara tidak bisa mengatasi ketakutan dan kekuatiran saudara dengan kepandaian saudara; saudara tidak dapat menyelesaikan pergumulan saudara dengan kemampuan-kemampuan pribadi saudara. Saudara dan saya hanya dapat datang kepada Tuhan Yesus. Memohon belas kasihanNya; memohon kasih karuniaNya yang berlimpah.  

Jadi hiduplah dalam kasih karunia Allah dan janganlah memegahkan diri jika hidup kita diberkati (2:9). Dalam konteks persekutuan, kita mengalami kasih karunia Allah yang berlimpah. Pada minggu pertama bulan Juni kita segera pindah ke tempat ibadah yang baru: ruko THB no. 18. Allah menyatakan kebaikan dan kasih karuniaNya kepada kita semua. Dengan iman kita percaya tidak ada perkara yang mustahil (Matius 9:29). Karenanya kita patut bersukur dan memuji namaNya karena doa dan pergumulan kita dijawab Allah. Mari jemaat Tuhan, kita satukan hati dan pikiran kita untuk  bersyukur dan memuji namaNya karena kebaikan Allah berlimpah dalam hidup persekutuan kita. Amin.  

Khotbah Minggu, 22 Mei 2011 GPIB Pondok Ungu

Sabtu, 14 Mei 2011

3 Things People Hate to Tell You About Your Preaching

After the dinner, the speaker and master of ceremonies were standing in the lobby greeting the people who had attended.  A six-year-old boy ran up to the speaker and said, “Your speech stunk.”  Embarrassed, the master of ceremonies asked the boy to run along.  But the boy ran right up to the speaker again and said, “We’ve heard all your jokes before; they’re not even funny.”  Embarrassed, the master of ceremonies again asked the boy to run along.  But he ran right up to the speaker again and said, “I bet you they never invite you back.”  Just then the boy’s mother, who was standing a short distance away, saw what was happening.  She ran up to the speaker and quickly said, “Please forgive my son.  I have no idea what he said to you.  But he is only six years old, and he is just at the age where he repeats what everyone else says.”

Not everyone will tell you how they feel about your preaching, even though it could be most helpful if they did.  However, they often express how they feel to their mates or closest friends.  Undoubtedly, they’d have several good things to say, but they might also express a few frustrations.  Listen and learn from those frustrations, and you’ll be a better preacher.

“You Talk Too Long.”
They are the kind of couple any pastor would crave to have in his church.  An extremely godly couple, they volunteer throughout the church, serve on church committees, and go on short-term mission trips.  As we interacted across the table, she said to me, “I love our pastor.  His messages help me.  I just wish he didn’t talk so long.  I just can’t handle fifty-minute messages.”

Few people can.  A person’s attention span is normally thirty minutes.  The amount one retains after thirty minutes is vastly different than the amount retained before thirty minutes.  It doesn’t matter how good a communicator is; go beyond thirty minutes and people start looking at their watches, thinking about their calendar for the next week, or reflecting on the events of last week.  Besides, how would you prefer to have people leave?  Saying, “I wish he would have spoken longer,” or saying, “I wish he would have stopped sooner.”  If they wished you had spoken longer, they will probably come back to hear you again.  That’s exactly what you want them to do – come back again and again and again.  Thirty-minute messages will ensure this a lot more than fifty-minute messages will.  I often remind preachers that God has called them to preach on eternity; he has not called them to preach for eternity.

“You Talk Too Much About Yourself.”
One person said of a noted speaker, “I enjoy listening to him, but too many of his stories are about himself, his wife, and his children.  Eventually, I get tired of hearing about them.”
A certain amount of information about your family can be helpful, especially when you show struggles you’ve had as a family.  Audiences need to know that your family isn’t perfect either.  Transparency helps, but too much of it comes across as self-centered.  Instead of asking me to come into your world, it’s important you step into mine. 
When you purposefully and anonymously share conversations about people who don’t live behind the same walls you do, two things strike me:  one is that you are “other-centered,” not self-centered.  A second is that you enjoy people, even those who are not part of your immediate family.  You come across as a speaker who cares.  So if I want to ask you a question about a struggle I’m going through, you appear to have the interest and time to talk.  You’ve struck me as an “other” centered person.

“Your Messages Are Too Dry.”
A pastor called a woman who had not been to church for some time and asked, “Where have you been?”  She replied, “Well, you know how it is.  The kids have been sick, and then it’s just rained, rained, rained, rained.”  He said to her, “Why don’t you come to church?  It’s always dry there.”  She said, “Yes, in fact that is another reason I have not been coming.  It’s just so dry there.”
When people come to church, they need to be refreshed.  The last week has been difficult.  They want to know how to get through the next week.  Dry messages don’t help them; ones that invigorate them do.  

Three things help to liven up a message:
Illustrations.  People love stories.  True-to-life ones that happen on the sidewalk, in the cafĂ©, in the workplace, and in the home capture my attention.  Stories taken from newspapers, magazines, TV shows, and the movie theatre enliven me and get my attention.  I’m not talking about stories for stories’ sake, but stories for the sake of biblical illustration.  Illustrate what you’re speaking on from the Scripture with something so real, I feel like I was there and saw it taking place.  This is why speakers who are interesting to listen to don’t just study the Bible; they also glance at the newspaper.

Humor.  Some of the illustrations need to contain humor.  I travel across the country, and people constantly tell me about the speakers they enjoy.  When I delve into why they enjoy them, they often remark, “He has a great sense of humor.  He makes me laugh.”  People want to laugh and need something to laugh about.  This doesn’t mean you need to be a stand-up comic; God has called you to be a communicator, not a clown.  But part of effective communication is the use of humor.  Because people enjoy humor so much, it’s an essential part of growing churches by conversion.  Thom Rainer, in his book Surprising Insights from the Unchurched and Proven Ways to Reach Them, comments, “‘I tell you,’ an opinionated pastor told us, ‘You find a church that’s reaching people, you’ll find a church that laughs together.’”

Passion.  If what you are saying doesn’t excite you, it is not apt to excite me.  It’s more apt to put me to sleep.  By the same token, I’ve never heard of a sermon given out of excitement that people called “dry.”  Again, don’t misunderstand:  people are not expecting you to be a “life of the party” person.  But they must know that what you’re speaking about has grabbed hold of you, and you are passionate that it needs to grab hold of them.  You are so passionate about what you’re saying, I get the idea you can’t wait to say it.

Now put yourself in the shoes of those who listen to you every Sunday.  Consider again these three items:  “You talk too long.  You talk too much about yourself.  Your messages are so dry.”  If these characterize you, those who respect you may not want to share these three things for fear of hurting your feelings.  Work on changing these three things, and you will see the results firsthand.  Those who come will be eager to come back.  You might even hear them say, “I don’t like it when we’re gone on vacation.  I miss hearing you.”

Rabu, 11 Mei 2011

Empat Istri

Sekali peristiwa, terdapat seorang Raja yang memiliki empat istri.
Ia paling mengasihi istrinya yang keempat dan menghiasinya dengan jubah yang mewah dan menjamunya dengan makanan-makanan yang mahal dan enak. Ia memberikan hanya yang terbaik kepadanya.

Ia juga sangat mengasihi istrinya yang ketiga dan selalu mempamerkannya ke kerajaan-kerajaan tetangga. Tetapi sang Raja selalu merasa khawatir bahwa suatu hari nanti, istrinya ini akan meninggalkannya dan menjadi milik orang lain.

Ia juga mengasihi istrinya yang kedua. Istri ini merupakan tempatnya mengadu dan istrinya ini selalu baik, bertimbang rasa dan sabar. Setiap kali Sang Raja menghadapi masalah, ia selalu akan berbincang dengan istri kedua ini dan istrinya akan membantunya di saat-saat kesulitannya.

Istri pertama Sang Raja merupakan istri yang sangat setia dan telah banyak membantunya dalam pengurusan harta dan kerajaannya. Tetapi, sang Raja tidak mengasihi istri pertamanya. Walaupun istri pertamanya sangat mengasihinya, tetapi sang Raja nyaris tidak pernah memberinya perhatian!

Suatu hari, sang Raja jatuh sakit dan tahu bahwa tidak banyak waktu yang tersisa. Ia memikirkan hidupnya yang mewah dan berkata, "Saya sekarang mempunyai empat istri, tetapi saat saya mati, saya akan sendirian".

Lalu, ia bertanya ke istrinya yang keempat, "Aku paling mengasihi kamu. Aku membelikan pakaian yang termahal dan melimpahi kamu dengan begitu banyak perhatian. Sekarang sudah tiba waktunya aku meninggalkan dunia ini, maukah kamu mengikuti aku untuk menemani aku?"

"Tidak mungkin!", jawab istrinya yang keempat, dan tanpa sepatah kata pun istrinya meninggalkannya. Jawabannya begitu mengiris hati sang Raja.

Raja yang sedang kecewa itu kemudian bertanya ke istrinya yang ketiga, "Seumur hidupku, aku mengasihi-mu. Sekarang aku akan segera mati, maukah kamu mengikuti aku untuk menemani-ku?"

"Tidak!", jawab istrinya yang ketiga. "Hidup ini terlalu bagus! Saat engkau mati, aku akan nikah lagi!" Hatinya remuk dan menjadi dingin.

Lalu, sang Raja bertanya kepada istrinya yang kedua, "Kamulah tempat aku mengadu dan kamu selalu siap membantu-ku. Saat aku mati, maukah kamu mengikuti aku dan menemani-ku?"

"Aku minta maaf, kali ini aku tidak dapat membantu-mu", jawab istrinya yang kedua. "Paling, aku akan berjalan bersama-mu ke tempat penguburan." Jawaban istrinya yang kedua seperti petir yang menyambar hatinya dan hati sang Raja menjadi sangat sedih dan hancur.

Lalu, suatu suara berseru, "Aku akan pergi bersama-mu. Aku akan mengikuti-mu tidak kira ke mana pun." Raja itu mengangkat kepalanya dan melihat istrinya yang pertama. Ia melihat keadaan istrinya yang sangat kurus dan sangat tidak terawat karena menderita kekurangan gizi. Dengan hati yang sangat sedih, sang Raja berkata, "Seharusnya aku lebih memperhatikan kamu ketika aku masih sempat!"

Sebenarnya, kita semua memiliki empat istri di dalam hidup kita.

Istri keempat kita adalah tubuh kita. Tidak kira sebanyak mana waktu dan usaha kita investasikan untuk menjaga penampilan kita, tubuh ini akan meninggalkan kita saat kita mati.

Istri kita yang ketiga adalah harta milik, status dan kekayaan. Saat kita mati, harta kita akan menjadi milik orang lain.

Istri kedua kita adalah keluarga dan sahabat-sahabat kita. Walaupun mereka selalu membantu kita selama kita hidup tetapi mereka hanya dapat menemani kita sampai ke tempat penguburan dan tidak lebih dari itu.

Istri pertama kita adalah Jiwa kita. Jiwa kita yang sering kita abaikan dalam pengejaran kita akan kekayaan, kekuasaan dan kenikmatan dunia. Tetapi, Jiwa kita merupakan satu-satunya hal yang akan mengikuti kita ke mana pun kita pergi.

Pupuklah, kuatkanlah dan hargailah jiwa kita saat ini juga, karena jiwa kitalah satu-satunya bagian kita yang akan mengikuti kita ke takhta Allah dan terus menyertai kita di sepanjang kekekalan!

Dikutip dari http://www.christianchallengeandblessing.com dan diterjemahkan oleh redaktur.

Minggu, 08 Mei 2011

Eight Reasons to Use Technology During Worship

Eight Reasons to Use Technology During Worship - What you ought to
consider before bringing multimedia into the sanctuary.

The following excellent article by Quentin J. Schultze is taken from FaithVisuals, and is well worth a read.


A lot of churches have started to use multimedia technology in their services. But what often gets lost in the rush to have "the next great thing" is the question "why?" What will necessarily be gained and lost by incorporating multimedia into our services?

1. We want to keep our young people interested in worship.
In our survey, three-quarters of churches said they began using visual media technologies in worship to achieve "better relevance" for youth. But who are we kidding when it comes to the average congregation keeping youth involved in church by importing flashy presentations into liturgical practices? Most of our productions will be second-rate compared with popular culture—unless we limit our efforts to what is appropriate for worship and what we can do well.

To the extent that presentational technologies are fitting for parts of your liturgy, why not involve congregational youth in the planning, training, and use of such technologies? Some young people have skill and experience when it comes to designing computer graphics, editing videotapes, and using presentational software. One of the strengths of high-tech churches is that they tend to be more open to the gifts and talents of younger members.

2. It's time to boost the quality of congregational singing.
Contemporary worship music is melody driven and relatively easy to sing. I have heard repeatedly from advocates that this music, when projected on a screen, stimulates congregations to sing vibrantly.

So far this probably has been the greatest benefit of using presentational technologies in worship. If the rest of the liturgy is untouched, however, will members sing more enthusiastically just because words are on a screen and hands are free to be raised? Not always, because each congregation has its own, long-existing culture influenced by ethnicity, neighborhood, age, and the like. We should use new music when it is doctrinally sound, leads people to praise God, and helps to form the parishioners into Gods obedient people.

3. We need to change with the culture or we will lose members to other churches.
It's time to embrace the twenty-first century, or so the argument goes. Churches that fail to adopt new worship technologies will become dinosaurs—extraneous to the broader culture. High-tech is the future, whether we like it or not. Since some people prefer worship that includes more technology, this is probably a legitimate concern. Nevertheless, each congregation has to discover its route to faithfulness, given its distinctive history, local community, and available gifts and talents. The twenty-first century will not look the same for all congregations. Nor should it.

4. We have to create more powerful worship experiences.
An overly enthusiastic desire to use technology to create a powerful worship experience can too easily lead a church to a darkly utilitarian view of worship. Simplistic ends—like an emotional high or a feel-good experience—do not justify technological means.

Worship is not meant to hinge on individual or collective experience, but to focus our attention on what God has done, is doing, and has promised to do in the world. Ultimately, liturgy is the work of God's grace in our lives, not our techniques for creating experiences.

5. We want to let visitors and members know that we are a first- rate church.
This rationale rightly suggests that believers ought to attend to the impression that their worship facilities, services, and technologies give to the wider world.

A goal of being first-rate technologically, without a commitment to worship per se, is not a sign of godly progress. If a church brags about its investment in presentational technologies, but its presentations could be done almost as well with hundreds of thousands of dollars less, something is fundamentally wrong. Why not impress people with the quality of worship and the richness of congregational life—with or without high-tech methods?

6. Without using new technologies, we will not be able to increase the size of our congregation.
This is a knotty rationale to address, because larger, wealthy congregations often have all kinds of other things going for them: greater word of mouth (the best church "advertising" there is), higher visibility locations, a less threatening environment because of being able to visit anonymously, a larger and more skilled technology staff, paid worship leaders and sometimes even musicians, psychological momentum, and more.

Smaller churches are not as likely to use advanced technologies well, partly because they do not have the resources or expertise and partly because they sometimes overestimate their own capabilities.

Numerical congregational growth is a thorny criterion. Depending on what else comes with it, it could be blessing or bane to good worship.

7. Presentational technologies will allow us to expand our worship space.
This rationale carries considerable weight, because all churches should consider the visual and aural aspects of worship space. If a church is growing numerically, a time will come when its existing worship space will not be adequate.

Technology can expand the spatial scale of worship with enhanced visual and aural clarity, but technologies cannot guarantee that congregants will be a church, only that they can do church.

Regardless of how much presentational technology a congregation implements, a church has to use the technology to counter mainstream culture, which defines public events in terms of consumption rather than participation.

8. New technologies offer us a means of serving members of our congregations who are hard of hearing or have difficulty seeing.

This alone is a solid argument in favor of incorporating presentational technology in worship. As followers of Jesus Christ we need to think seriously about how new technologies can serve those in our churches who have special needs. To bring them more fully into corporate worship is a laudatory goal.

It is one thing to improve only marginally the quality of worship for everyone in a congregation and something far greater to include in the liturgical dialogue people who are otherwise unable to participate well or fully.

—Quentin J. Schultze, High-Tech Worship (Baker, 2004). Pages 53-60.

Used by permission of Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, copyright © 2004.
http://churchtech.spinningfish.net/2010/06/eight-reasons-to-use-technology-during.html

Senin, 02 Mei 2011

Lord's Prayer Drama

Lord's Prayer Drama

Characters
Person (seen)
God (unseen)
Stage Setting

No particular setting is necessary, but it is good if the person could sit on a chair and lean on a table that has a Bible on it.
Script

Person: Our Father, who...
God: Yes?
Person: Don't interrupt me! I'm praying.
God: But you called me.
Person: Called you? I didn't call you. I was praying. Our Father who art in heaven...
God: There, you did it again.
Person:Did what?
God: Called me. You said, "Our Father who art in heaven." Here I am. What's on your mind?
Person: But I didn't mean anything by it. I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day. I always say the Lord's Prayer. It makes me feel good, sort of like getting a job done.
God: All right. Go on.
Person: Hallowed be thy name...
God: Hold it! What do you mean by that?
Person: By what?
God: By "hallowed be thy name"?
Person: It means...it means.... Good grief! How should I know what it means? It's just part of the prayer. (pause) By the way, what does it mean?
God: It means honoured, holy, wonderful.
Person: Ah, that makes sense. I never thought about what hallowed meant before. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
God: Do you really mean that?
Person: Of course! Why not?
God: What are you going to do about it?
Person: Do? Nothing, I suppose. I just think it would be rather good it you got control of things down here the way you have up there.
God: Have I got control of you?
Person: Well, I go to church.
God: That isn't what I asked you. What about that bad temper? You've really got a problem there you know!
Person: Stop picking on me! I'm just as good as some of those hypocrites down at the church!
God: Excuse me, but I thought you were praying for my will to be done? If that is to happen, it will have to start with the ones who are praying for it. Like you, for example.
Person: Oh, all right! I guess I do have a few hang-ups. Now that you mention it, I probably could name some others.
God: So could I.
Person: I haven't thought about it much until now, but I really would like to cut out some of those things. I really would like to know how to be free.
God: Good! Now we're getting somewhere! We'll work together, you and I. Some real victories can be won. I'm proud of you!
Person: Look, Lord, I need to finish this up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does! Give us this day our daily bread.
God: You need to cut out the bread you're a little overweight as it is!
Person: Hey! Wait a minute! What is this? Here I am doing my religious duty and all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all my faults!
God: Praying is a dangerous thing. You could end up changed, you know. That's what I'm trying to bring across to you. You called me, and here I am. It's too late to stop now. Keep on praying. I'm interested in the next part of your prayer. (Pause) Well. go on!
Person: I'm scared to...
God: Scared of what?
Person: I know what you'll say!
God: Try me and see.
Person: Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.
God: What about Peter Brown?
Person: See! I knew you would bring him up! Why, Lord he told lies about me, and he cheated me out of some money. I swear that I'll get even with him.
God: But your prayer. What about your prayer?
Person: I didn't mean it.
God: Well, at least you're honest! But it's not much fun carrying around that load of bitterness inside, is it?
Person: No, but I'll feel better as soon as I get even! Have I got some plans for old Peter!
God: You won't feel any better. You'll feel worse. Revenge isn't sweet. Think of how unhappy you really are. But I'll change all that.
Person: You will? How?
God: Forgive Peter. Then I'll forgive you. Then the hate and sin will be Peter's problem and not yours. You may lose the money, but you will have settled your heart.
Person: It doesn't sound easy, but deep down, I know it would be worth the effort. Thank you, Lord, for helping me work through this. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory for ever and ever. AMEN.

This document copyright (c)1995 by Mathew Pole. Reproduction and/or distribution for non-commercial purposes is permissible providing that the drama is left fully intact. Permission is given to modify the drama for personal use, under the condition that the changes are not redistributed. Please send additions or corrections to Mathew and Paulyn Pole (mathew.paulyn@iname.com)
Last changed: Saturday 12 August 1995