Monday, September 25, 2017

Worship Songs, October 1

We post these worship songs leading up to the worship service so that parents may listen to them in the house or in the car within the days leading up to the worship service. Our hope is that children will hear the songs prior to and it will prepare them to participate in worship on Sunday mornings.

10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)
How Great Is Your Faithfulness
Behold Our God
Lamb Of God
Jesus Thank You (Communion)
It’s Your Grace (Communion)
Revelation Song

Sermon Text: John 10:22-30


That the next generation will set their hope in God and not forget the works of God (Psalm 78:7).

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sermon Questions - September 24, 2017




One Flock, One Shepherd
John 10:1-21
September 24, 2017

Questions for Study and Meditation

  1. Read John 10:16. Who are the “other sheep” to whom Jesus referred? What does it mean that they will have one flock and one shepherd?
  2. Read John 10:17-18. Why does the Father love the Son? How does this relate to Jesus’ role as the good shepherd?
  3. Read Ezekiel 34. To whom was this chapter addressed? What was the Lord’s word to the shepherds of Israel? What was his word to the people of Israel? What was his promise to them? How is this promise fulfilled in Jesus? What does this teach us about the relationship between the Father and the Son?
  4. What’s the most important thing you learned from today’s sermon? From John 10:1-21?
  5. How has this sermon helped you to grow in love for God and others?
  6. What’s the most important thing Jesus would have you do in light of this sermon?
  7. Take some time to worship Jesus. Thank him, praise him, and ask for his help as you seek to strive with other believers for the faith of the gospel.   





Announcements - September 24, 2017







Worship Location Update: The work at the Handke Family Center has been delayed. We will meet for worship at Elk River High School's Little Theater until at least October 8.
All Sunday School Classes Have Started: Thanks be to God for his provision of both teachers and classroom space which allowed us to begin Sunday school last week. Check the signs in the hallways to see where classes are meeting.
Glory of Christ Fellowship 10th Anniversary Celebration: We will celebrate our tenth anniversary on Sunday, October 1. Along with our Agape Meal, there will be a silent auction. Funds raised from the auction will go into the short-term missions fund. Help is needed to cover the details of the silent auction—silent auction items, setup and cleanup of event. To get involved, contact Julie Springfield at 763-607-1253.
Annual Men’s Retreat, October 19-21: Men, we look forward to gathering again at Miracle Bible Camp near Longville, Minnesota for a time of recreation, meditation on the Word, prayer, and fellowship. This year we’re adding our first annual GCF fishing tournament, so bring your gear and prepare fishers of fish for the glory of Christ! For more information, contact Pastor Charlie (charlie@gcfmn.org) or Pastor Kevin (kevin@gcfmn.org).


Next Week’s Fighter Verse
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19




Saturday, September 23, 2017

Have Nothing Else but God in Everything, by Pastor Charlie Handren




Have Nothing Else but God in Everything
By Pastor Charlie
In a little book entitled Daily Readings with Saint John of the Cross (Templegate: Springfield, IL, 1985), Saint John writes, “To have God in everything a soul must have nothing in everything, for how can a heart belong in any way to two people at once?” (59). This, of course, is reminiscent of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” I think Saint John is really onto something here, but the question arises, How does one have nothing in everything? Answer: have nothing but God in everything.
For instance, I’m sitting at my computer right now and I have two choices as to how to think about it: (1) I can rejoice in the wonder of the computer itself and the genius of those who invented such a thing, or I can rejoice in the fact that I have resources to own it, or I can rejoice in the fact that I have requisite skills to use it, or I can take it for granted and assume that I deserve it. In other words, I can look at this computer from the perspective of my flesh and rejoice in it as an end in itself, or as a means to rejoicing in the genius of others, or as a means to rejoicing in myself.
(2) I can rejoice in the fact that I am alive and in Christ by the immeasurable grace of God, and that God, in his surpassing genius, created people who could create such things as the computer, and that God granted me the resources to obtain one, and that God provided me a way to use it so that it blesses others and not just me, and that God may take it from me some day with a view to augmenting my joy in and dependence upon him. In other words, I can look at this computer from the perspective of the Spirit and see it as a means to rejoicing in God.
I believe that this basic choice lies before us in all things: nature, food, relationships, money, houses, cars, careers, achievements, fame, and the like. Will we rejoice in these things as an end in themselves, or will we see them as means to the end of rejoicing in God? Will we see these things and nothing more, or will we strive for eyes to see the glory of God in all things and worship him for what we see? Will we live for the joy we get from things and people, or will we live for the joy we get in God himself who freely gives us all things and people?
So, perhaps we can restate what Saint John said as follows: “To have God in everything a soul must have nothing ELSE BUT GOD in everything…” Oh Father, may you give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of you so that we, indeed, would have nothing else but you in everything.




Thursday, September 21, 2017

Worship Songs, September 24

We post these worship songs leading up to the worship service so that parents may listen to them in the house or in the car within the days leading up to the worship service. Our hope is that children will hear the songs prior to and it will prepare them to participate in worship on Sunday mornings.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness
From The Inside Out
Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross
Amazing Love
I Surrender All
Savior Like A Shepherd Lead Us

Oh The Deep Deep Love


That the next generation will set their hope in God and not forget the works of God (Psalm 78:7).

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Catechisms: Building a Heritage of Sound Faith: 10 Reasons Why a Parent Should Utilize a Children’s Catechism to Train the Next Generation

Catechisms: Building a Heritage of Sound Faith
10 Reasons Why a Parent Should Utilize a Children’s Catechism to Train the Next Generation

This is an article I wrote in 2005 and updated in 2017. It is featured in a new resource available through Children’s Desiring God called Discipleship through Doctrinal Teaching and Catechism by Sally Michael. 

It is our desire to encourage parents to use a children’s catechism as a tool in building and strengthening faith in children. A simple definition of a catechism is “organized teaching.” Catechisms are not the only things that can or should be used to instruct the next generation, yet they have useful purposes. Listed here are ten specific benefits a catechism can uniquely offer. Hopefully these ten points will help parents understand how a catechism can be effectively used in their families.

1.  A catechism is a very clear and complete gospel message.

A catechism is, among other things, a very clear and concise gospel message to children. Everything a child needs to know for salvation is embodied within a catechism. The gospel is truly amazing. It is wonderfully basic and infinitely glorious at the same time. A children’s catechism makes it possible to simply communicate a robust theology.

2.  The question answer format of a catechism is engaging for little children.

Children love to ask questions. They have a God-given curiosity and therefore the question answer format of a children’s catechism can be very engaging. Usually, both questions and answers are very brief and concise, keeping facts truthful and clear for children to understand.

3.  A Catechism is a wonderful resource for parents.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 instructs parents to teach God’s Word to their own children when “you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise.” A children’s catechism has done a lot of heavy lifting for parents by determining what needs to be taught. The memorization of the questions and answers provides content to revisit and apply as life unfolds throughout your day together. 

4. Catechisms can guide children into a God-centered curiosity.

Even though children have a God-given curiosity it is important to remember that folly is bound up in their hearts (Proverbs 22:15). Parents have a responsibility to harness and direct their children’s curiosity towards important and deeper matters of spiritual growth. Not only the answers but the questions may very well help a child to channel their curiosity about God into a God-centered curiosity.

5.  A catechism can serve as a basic outline of biblical truth.

The Bible is undoubtedly an overwhelming book for adults, how much more for a child! Understanding the contents of the Bible makes it easier to embrace the Bible. Because catechisms are organized by different doctrines of Scripture they can serve as an overview of key teachings woven through the Scripture. As children grow older and become better readers they may likely take up Bible reading on their own if they have a grasp of foundational Bible doctrines. Each answer has a Scripture reference that can help children use their Bibles and gain an appreciation for the authority and application of Scripture.
  
6.  A catechism forms a good foundation for solid faith later in life.

Younger children tend to operate in black or white, right or wrong, and yes or no. As they grow older they will naturally begin to develop the ability to think abstractly. Solid faith is typically connected to solid theology. As children grow in their ability to think abstractly the more clearly they know theological truth the better they will be safeguarded from faulty convictions or faulty faith. 

7.  Catechisms help children think critically.

The teachings of doctrine that children memorize in a catechism will give them a standard of truth which they will be able to measure other teachings against. Children will begin to question the validity of other teachings when truth is built into them. This is how a child begins to think critically. The nature of a catechism itself suggests to little ones that there is a distinction between right and wrong information. 

8.  A catechism can teach children to pray biblically grounded prayers.

Prayer is something that needs to be learned. Children do not naturally know how to pray or what to pray for. Catechisms are very particular in what they address. Most catechisms point out the Lord’s prayer and highlight petitions Jesus teaches us to pray for. Memorizing these points will certainly help shape a child’s understanding of biblical priorities in prayer. 

9.  A catechism demands active learning instead of passive learning.

As children memorize and recite the answers they are gaining the ability to articulate truth, which is a higher form of internalization and learning. Most children are not required to write papers articulating theology, which means that most children learn theology by passively listening to a teacher or parent explain it to them (if they are being taught theology at all). As they recite the answers they are forced to speak, making them active participants in learning theology.

10.  Catechisms can encourage the beginning stages of biblical interpretation.


Essentially, the answers in a catechism are good interpretations from Scripture that are formatted into Bible doctrine. Biblical interpretation is the process of discovering the intended meaning of a text and making application to present day life. Children who use catechisms will begin to see the idea that a Biblical text has original meaning and a purpose in shaping their own lives.

Sermon Questions - September 17, 2017


I Am the Good Shepherd
John 10:1-21
September 17, 2017

Questions for Study and Meditation

  1. Read John 10:1-6. What do you suppose led Jesus to use this metaphor? What is the nature of the false shepherd? What is the nature of the true shepherd? Why do the sheep follow the true shepherd? Why will they refuse to follow another?
  2. Read John 10:7-18. What does it mean to say that Jesus is the door of the sheep? What does it mean to say that Jesus is the good shepherd? How is he different from false shepherds or hired hands? Who are the “other sheep” to whom Jesus refers?
  3. Read John 10:19-21. Why were the Jews divided? What did each side have to say about Jesus?
  4. What’s the most important thing you learned from today’s sermon? From John 10:1-21?
  5. How has this sermon helped you to grow in love for God and others?
  6. What’s the most important thing Jesus would have you do in light of this sermon?
  7. Take some time to worship Jesus. Thank him, praise him, and ask for his help as you seek to strive with other believers for the faith of the gospel.