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One of the most well-known parables in the Bible is the account of the Good Samaritan.

Jesus, in a response to the question “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” describes a situation in which a man has been robbed and left for dead on the side of the road. Two religious leaders of Israel – a Priest and a Levite – disregard the man on their journey to the Temple, but a Samaritan stopped, wrapped up his wounds, paid for a room, and nursed him back to health. Some have defended the religiousleaders by suggesting their minds were simply attuned to the religious duties or spiritual matters of the temple, making it difficult to be distracted by someone in need.

In the 1970’s, Darley and Batson attempted to recreate the Good Samaritan parable to determine if people would stop and help or walk by an injured man. The researchers had three hypotheses they tested for:

  1. People thinking religious, “helping” thoughts would still be no more likely than others to offer assistance.
  2. People in a hurry will be less likely to offer aid than others.
  3. People who are religious in a Samaritan fashion will be more likely to help than those of a priest or Levite fashion. In other words, people who are religious for what it will gain them will be less likely than those who value religion for its own value or are searching for meaning in life.[i]

The researchers recruited seminary students to participate in a religious experiment. After initial personality testing, the students were divided into two groups, each tasked with preparing a presentation to deliver to their classmates. The topic the first group was assigned was “seminary jobs”, while the other group was given the topic of the Good Samaritan parable. The other significant variable was that some were told they were late for the presentation; others were instructed they had a few minutes to stroll over to class.

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We finally nailed down a release!

The long awaited 2nd book in the Growing Up series, Firmly Planted, is scheduled to hit book stores on March 17, 2015. (See below for a copy of the Final cover design.)

Exciting news right? Well, there is a catch. Since Replicate ministries is publishing the book and all the royalties go directly into the ministry (I am not receiving any royalties from the 3 books) to create, distribute, and equip believers to make disciples, I need your help.

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The cost of editing, publishing, printing, marketing, and distributing the book will be $32,000. This may seem like a lofty goal, considering we need it by January to move forward with the process. However, we have received a rather neat offer of matching donations from two private funders. What this means is:

• If you give a $2,500 gift, it’s actually $5,000.
• If you give a $1,000 gift, it’s actually $2,000.
• If you give a $500 gift, it becomes $1,000.
• If you give a $100 gift, it turns into $200.
• If you give a $50 gift, it turns into $100.

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As we think back over this year of ministry at Brainerd Baptist Church, we see discipleship at the catalyst for growth, both spiritually and numerically. It has been the difference that has made the difference. Discipleship isn’t A ministry of our church, it is THE ministry of our church.

You know well that making disciples is easier said than done. This is why we have encapsulated the entire process into a handy reference tool you can refer to for years to come. The Discipleship Pathway takes the guesswork out of the process. Download it, print it out, and refer to it often.

Click here to receive a FREE visual guide on the disciple-making process.

We are continuing on with our Bearing Fruit Sermon Series and the title of the message today is A Ministry with No Regrets. A Ministry with No Regrets.

In Washington State, an Everett High School Senior is suing the school district for being suspended three times in which he says was unconstitutional. A man by the name of Michael Leo, an Everett High School student was handing out tracts on this final time and they suspended him for a third time at his high school. I have to take you back to the story because it happened on a number of occasions.

The first time it happened, Leo was at a bonfire and he got up and started preaching the gospel. He began sharing the Ten Commandments and he started handing out tracts. Some of the teachers told him to be quiet, which he did, and then about twenty minutes later, he started sharing the gospel again and they told him that he is going to be suspended. He gets back to school and he is suspended for preaching the gospel.

On another occasion, he goes to a volleyball game and he is handing out tracts again at the volleyball game and the principal of the school, Kathy Woods, approaches him and says to him, you need to stop telling people about Jesus because you are breaking the law by proselytizing students. Leo, confused, responded with this question. ìIf you allow me to hand out tracts and talk about Jesus, then I am breaking the law? And she said, with a resounding response, Yes.

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In my last post I shared three principles necessary to mentor those called to vocational ministry.

  1. Model Christ-like Behavior.
  2. Encourage and Affirm
  3. Never Cease Praying

It was an encouraging look at principles in the Word, which we will be continuing this week. Follow with me as I share three more principles.

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