Slight Revision to This Blog’s Title and a Return to Its Original Focus

With the launch of the new blog – Marriage and Family in the Kingdom of God [Editorial note, December 2016: I’ve since folded said blog into the main blog, A Spiritual Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom, adding “Marriage and Family” as a “category” there.]  – I’ve tweaked the name of this blog from Leadership in the Kingdom of God to

Christian Leaders and the Kingdom of God

with a subtitle of

Not lording it over them, but serving like the youngest of them.
–  Luke 22:25-26

If you’ll read the first post of the new blog [see “Editorial note above], you’ll see why it allows me to slightly change the name of this blog and now return it to its original purpose: speaking to Christian leaders.  (Note that the URL, which has never changed during the life of the blog, is “blogforthelordjesuschristianleaders.”

By “Christian leaders,” I mean pastors, preachers, teachers, ministers, bishops, popes, elders, overseers, or any other position of leadership associated with the name of Christ.

By “tweaking” the name of the blog, I’m referring to the last change I made to the name.  In that post, I described a return to speaking to Christian leaders, but I also said I felt responsible to write for Christian parents in that regard as well, since they were leading children.

By the way, I don’t expect all of you to care about the history of this blog.  I only lay it out for those who are interested, and for whom it might be relevant when searching prior content.  (After all, I’ve been writing at least one post a day on this particular blog since March 4, 2010.  So there’s a lot of content to navigate.)

I was in professional full-time ministry for 15 years, and I look forward to being able to speak more directly to those who hold positions like I did.  I am also interested in speaking to those of you who, whether in ministry or laity, who want to see the light of Christ shine brighter and spread farther.

Revising the Name and Purpose of This Blog

I’m revising the name of this blog from “A Bible Reader’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom” to “Leadership in the Kingdom of God.”  In some ways, this is a return to the original purpose of the blog, which was a focus on Christian leaders.  (Some of the blog’s history is given here; you can also see “Christian Leaders” is in the blog URL, which has always remained the same, even when the blog name changed.)

This change will not mean dramatic change in the content, especially in the beginning.  That’s because I have a backlog of posts written which will continue to be published on schedule.  Even when I start writing new posts, they will still be directed to people familiar with the Bible.  I will just start having a sharper focus on leadership.

My focus on leadership will mean helping Christian leaders – such as pastors, elders, and bishops – understand how they can serve the people of God without having authority over them, and without trying to build an institution out of them.  I know this transitional path because I used to be a pastor, with authority over a parishioners and the goal to build a church for God.  I learned that God does not want or need us to do that.  He Himself builds…and it’s His church that He’s building.  Leadership is the kingdom of God is about being a servant.  And isn’t this just what Jesus told us in the beginning?  (See Matthew 18:4.)

I also want to address, at least to some degree, Christian parenting – precisely because it is a manifestation of Christian leadership.  Parents lead their children to the kingdom of God and disciple them in it.

The reason for my refocusing of this blog lies in the change I recently made to another of my blogs.  Because Bible Study Notes for the Kingdom of God exists, I can narrow the focus of this blog.  I had been trying to address both people who were familiar with the Bible as well as people who wanted to become familiar with it.  Now the “Bible Study” blog can help those who want to become familiar with the Bible, and this blog can focus on those who’ve achieved familiarity with it.  A specific focus for each blog should help the writing be more focused…which should, of course, benefit readers.

My purpose for this blog – and for all my blogs, podcasts, and other output – remains the same as it has been from the beginning: to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.  May you find in Him all that is important.

“The Implications of Everyone Going to Heaven” Audio Book Now Available

The audio version of the book The Implications of Everyone Going to Heaven is now accessible on the “Mike Gantt” app.  If you already have the app, just refresh the episode list if its chapter titles are not already showing.  Look for the prefix “TIEGTH” at the beginning of each title and begin with the episode labeled “TIEGTH00” which is the Introduction.  There are 21 chapters following the Introduction.  If you don’t have the app, just go to the app store supported by your mobile device and search on “Mike Gantt.”  As with everything else I provide, there is no cost to you, nor will I seek donations or anything else from you.

You can also listen to this book using your browser, beginning at The Implications of Everyone Going to Heaven.  You will find the written text for each chapter beneath the audio player for that chapter.

The total listening time required for this audio version of the book is 3 hours, 41 minutes, and 52 seconds.  Because I hope you are completing the audio book The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven, and that you will also want to listen to this book, I am going to continue holding off on publishing the weekly podcast Scriptural Literacy…so that I am not found trying to give you water to drink through a fire hose.

Sometime next week, this audio book should show up as a podcast in the iTunes and Stitcher directories.

That everyone is going to heaven is a truth that has important implications.  One of them, which may be counterintuitive for some folks, is that we should repent and live holy lives.  Be sure you understand that everyone is going to heaven, and be sure that you understand all that it implies and all that is required of us.

The “Heaven” Book Now Available as Podcast on iTunes

My book – The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven – is now published as a podcast and listed in the iTunes Directory.  Here is what the listing looks like: iTunes.

You can most easily find it by searching from your iOS device on “mike gantt,” where it will show up next to my other podcasts.  You can also find it by searching on the title of the book.

For those of you with Android devices, the podcast has been submitted to Stitcher but has not yet been listed.  That will probably happen in the next few days.  I don’t plan to send out an announcement about that, as it should happen as a matter of course.  If it doesn’t show up for you in the next couple of days, please post a comment to this post and I will follow up with Stitcher.

I remind you that whether you have an Android or an iOS device, you can download the “Mike Gantt app” from the app store.  With this app you will have access not just to this book, but to every podcast I have produced and will produce.  Moreover, every podcast episode I publish goes to that app before it goes anywhere else.  Therefore, no matter what your smartphone or other device, the best way to receive every audio teaching I release – and the moment I release it – is through the “Mike Gantt app.”  (By the way, I am not proud of the app’s name, but I am willing to take responsibility for what I say.)

Ministry Newsletter Covering All My Blogs, Podcasts, Books, Etc.

Since my ministry activities include multiple blogs, podcasts, and books, I have decided to produce a periodic newsletter which will cover all these and related activities – in case there are any of you who want to keep up with it all.  I’m calling it Mike Gantt’s Ministry Newsletter.  It won’t be fancy.  It will just explain my overall view of things from time to time – but a minimum of monthly.  You can sign up for it on the right-hand side of this About page.  (And this is the only place on all of my blogs that you will be able to sign up for it.)

Note that my various blogs will allow you to sign up for an e-mail notification of each new blog post, but this newsletter sign-up is different.  Although I allow anonymous comments on my blogs and anonymous sign-ups for the blog post e-mails, for this ministry newsletter I wanted it to be a little more personal, which is why I ask for a name.  It should go without saying that I’m not going to use your information for any purpose other than the purposes I just stated for the newsletter, and that I am never going to try to sell you something or obtain a donation or anything else from you.  I just feel that I should provide a way for interested people to know more about the thinking of the person behind these various forms of content I am providing.

I do not expect many people to sign up for this newsletter, but for those want to keep up with all that I am doing in this ministry, this newsletter will provide a cohesive view of my activities and make sure that I don’t take on anything new without your knowing about it.

Audio Version of “The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven” Is Now Available

An audio version of the book The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven is now available.  There are several ways to hear it.

If you have the “Mike Gantt” smartphone app, it has probably already downloaded to your device.  There is an episode for each chapter and it will look like this in your episode list:

BCEGTH13 – The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven – Summary of the Book
BCEGTH12 – The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven – Ch. 12
BCEGTH11 – The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven – Ch. 11
BCEGTH10 – The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven – Ch. 10
BCEGTH09 – The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven – Ch. 9
BCEGTH08 – The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven – Ch. 8
BCEGTH07 – The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven – Ch. 7
BCEGTH06 – The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven – Ch. 6
BCEGTH05 – The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven – Ch. 5
BCEGTH04 – The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven – Ch. 4
BCEGTH03 – The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven – Ch. 3
BCEGTH02 – The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven – Ch. 2
BCEGTH01 – The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven – Ch. 1
BCEGTH00 – The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven – Preface

The reverse order is because, of course, podcasts are delivered with the most recent podcast on top.  That means the beginning of the book is on the bottom.

If you have a smartphone but don’t have this app, just go to your app store (whether iOS or Android) and you can download it for free.

Another way you can listen to the book is to go to the written version online with your browser.  (Use the link at the top of this post.)  I have placed an audio player at the beginning of every chapter which will play the audio version of that chapter.  Just beneath the player is a link to download the mp3 file to your computer if you want.

It will take a week or so before this audio book is available as a podcast in the iTunes Directory.  Plus, I will have to publish individual posts of the chapters on the Bible Notes website (where the books are stored) to achieve the iTunes listing, which will take a day or two itself.

The total listening time required for the book is 6 hours, 7 minutes, and 2 seconds.  Therefore, I won’t be publishing a Scriptural Christianity or Scriptural Literacy podcast for a while so that you can have time to listen to this book.

“Whatever Became of Jesus Christ?” Now Available on iTunes

The audio book Whatever Became of Jesus Christ? The Biblical Case for the Second Coming as Accomplished Fact is now available for download from iTunes.   What this means is that you can “subscribe” to the book from your smartphone or other mobile device and then be able to listen to it from that device.  In other words, you’ll be “untethered” from your computer browser.  (The computer browser version is available here.)

To find this podcast in iTunes, you can use the link I gave above or you can search from your smartphone or other mobile device on either “whatever became of jesus christ” or “mike gantt” and find it.  (If you search on “mike gantt,” you will also find Scriptural Christianity and Biblical Literacy, the two ongoing podcasts I have begun recording and publishing.  They are each being issued on a weekly schedule, but I’m pausing that so listeners will have a chance to digest Whatever Became of Jesus Christ?)

I hope that you will take this opportunity to  impress upon your mind the faithfulness of the Lord.  That is, I hope you will take thoroughly to heart the fact that the promises the Lord makes, He keeps.  While you are driving, walking, or exercising, you can partake of the word of our Lord.  May He bless you as you do so.

(It will take about three and a half hours of listening time.  There is no cost and it is not copyrighted.  Please share with anyone you think cares about the issue.)

Audio Book Available

I have just published a complete audio version of my book Whatever Became of Jesus Christ? The Biblical Case for the Second Coming as Accomplished Fact.  Though you can listen to the entire book on this blog, it will be a few days before you can download it to your smartphone or other mobile device.  That’s because it’s being listed in iTunes and other podcast directories separate from my other podcasts, and that process takes a few days.

If you have not read the book, I hope you’ll take this opportunity to listen to it.  Beyond that, you might want to read it and listen to it multiple times until the issue becomes completely settled in your mind.  This settling is important because you will be impressing upon yourself just how faithful the Lord is to His word.  What He promises, He does.  Just as He kept His promises concerning Messiah, you can be sure He will keep His promises concerning you.

Because I want you to have time to listen to this book, and because I needed the time to record it, there will not be an edition of the Biblical Literacy podcast this week.  It will take you three and a half hours to listen to the book.  The next episode of Biblical Literacy should be released first thing Friday, April 11th.

Service Post-Mortem

It appears that the transition from my old web hosting provider to the new one is complete, except for the mopping up.  That is, I’ll probably spend the next few days or weeks refining the presentation of the pages because many of the settings were altered slightly, but the major problems appear to have been resolved.  If you notice any other problems, please bring them to my attention.

Anyone following the blog through the WordPress Reader were not transferred over.   Apparently, there was a technical obstacle to that which could not be overcome. Anyone subscribing by e-mail, however, should have been effectively transferred.  Again, if any problems, let me know.

As I complete the finishing touches on the transition, I look forward to working on the additional capabilities that this new environment provides so that I can bring you more awareness of His grace.  Thanks for your patience.

 

Service Update

We are in the midst of the migration from one web hosting provider for this blog to another that I announced a few days ago.  The only change you should notice from this change is that the web site address for this blog will change from

http://blogforthelordjesuschristianleaders.wordpress.com

to

http://blogforthelordjesuschristianleaders.com

That is, “wordpress” is being removed from the URL.  That should not create issues for you, because if you enter the old address you’ll automatically be forwarded to the new one.

Nevertheless, some issues have arisen.  For one thing, if you are signed up for an e-mail or RSS feed for each post you may not have received yours this morning.  They are working on that.  For another, some links are broken, such that if you click on a link, it may not take you to the proper page.  Also, you may run across duplicate posts or comments.  They are working on that, too.

If you encounter any other problems, please leave a comment about it below so that I can bring it to the attention of the folks that are working on this transition.

Over the past four years, I have written 6,733 posts and pages.  I should not therefore expect to transfer this much data, along with all the comments attached to these posts and pages, without a few issues.  I hope for your understanding.

Service Announcement

In order to be able to support some additional services I want to provide you, I am switching web hosting providers.  This change will be take place over the next few days.  It may take as long as a week to complete.

We always hope transitions like this will be smooth, but there is a chance there will be some service disruptions.  For example, there may be an occasion or two when the web site is unavailable.  More importantly, there may be delays or omissions in the e-mail delivery of posts for those of you who are signed up for that.

Let’s hope for the best.  But if there are difficulties, at least you have been forewarned.  I will report to you when the transition is complete.

I need to send out this notice for each of my five blogs because I don’t have access to the e-mail addresses and therefore don’t know who is signed up for more than one blog.  Therefore, I apologize if you receive duplicates of this notice.

God bless you.

Mike

Comment Policy Revised

I’ve stopped moderating comments before they appear on the blog.  From now on, whatever you write will be posted as soon as you submit it.  It just seemed like a good time to make this change.

Below is the revised comment policy, which you can also find on the About section on this blog.

Comment Policy

I welcome challenge and criticism; the truths I proclaim will withstand testing.  If you’d rather not identify yourself, that’s okay, as I do allow comments to be made anonymously.

I only delete comments that are spam or excessively profane.  The only editing I do of comments is to remove profanity as an alternative to deleting the entire comment.

Where a response is sought, I try to give one in a timely manner.  Otherwise, I only respond if I think it will be helpful.  In cases where there is no reconciliation of views, I prefer to let the challenger have the last word.  May the Spirit of Jesus Christ prevail and may His truth make progress in all our hearts.

If you like what I write, just practice it – you don’t need say anything to me about it or make yourself known to me. I don’t need your approval and you don’t need mine.  Walk before God and walk with God – that’s what matters.

Altering the Name of This Blog

When I began this blog on March 4, 2010, it was titled “Blog for the Lord Jesus to Christian Leaders.”  I am now revising it to “A Bible Reader’s Guide to Jesus.”   This blog is an adjunct to my primary blog, A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus.  This adjunct began as a way to speak to those who had greater knowledge of the Bible (the primary blog assumes minimum biblical literacy) and who had authority in the Christian movement.  While I will still sometimes speak through this blog to Christian leaders, my broader and primary focus will be to those who are familiar with the Bible – whether they are considered a Christian leader or not.

(By the way, while the title of the blog changes, the URL remains the same.  This is just the way WordPress, the mechanism through which the blog is managed and published, works.)

This slight alteration in focus broadens the audience, but, more importantly, allows me to write more positively.  Christian or institutional leadership is something I hope will cease.  That is, I hope that churches will free their people to walk with the Lord and that church leaders will step down from having authority over any believers and walk away from their churches, leaving them to disappear.  Therefore, I will always be appealing to Christian leaders that they repent and transform themselves into Christlike followers – the path I myself took.  Writing to Bible readers (which will, of course, include the former group) allows me to praise the Lord and extol His goodness in a vocabulary that will be understood and appreciated by a group of people who may or may not be in church leadership.  Repentance therefore will be part, and not the whole of, the messages.

This will continue to be a subsidiary blog to Blog for the Lord Jesus, which is written to the broadest possible audience: all my fellow human beings.

[P.S. In July 2010 I added the words “and His Kingdom” to the name of the blog because I thought it made my point about Jesus clearer:  if you would know Him, you must act on what He says.  He is not looking for mere lip service.]