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Kenneth Hemphill

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FIRST-PERSON: Tithing is biblical

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Recently CBS Sunday Morning news devoted a segment to the question of whether the Bible teaches tithing. The reporter featured a new book by Russell Kelly entitled “Should the Church Teach Tithing?” As a whole, the program had a decidedly negative overtone when it came to the biblical practice of stewardship we call […]

The ministry of deacons

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--"Mom, my knees ache!" I can still remember what my mother called "growing pains." Like most early teens, my physical growth was not gradual and manageable -- it was sudden and explosive. For mom and dad the pain of my rapid growth was felt in the wallet as I outgrew my clothes before I would break them in.

FIRST-PERSON: Working cooperatively for the Kingdom

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--I had a college friend who played basketball in prep school with Pistol Pete Maravich. My friend could also score with the best of them. Their prep school program had several other athletes who had been selected by major college programs.

FIRST-PERSON: Generous stewardship

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--"Houston, we have a problem!" Do you remember those words? Thus began one of the great crises-to-success stories in recent history. An Apollo space mission in great peril was saved by a team of people determined to find a solution.

FIRST-PERSON: A global missions strategy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Not long ago I was invited to preach for a good friend who was pastor of a rural church in Morganton, N.C. This was the town where my mother lived, and he used this fact as a subtle bit of pressure to get me to come for a revival emphasis.

FIRST-PERSON: Nurturing biblical fellowship

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Words like loneliness, isolation and alienation describe how many people feel about their existence. We have become such a transient people that few people live near their nuclear family.

Revival — when?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--My heart was broken as I read the April 17 report about the decline of baptisms in the Southern Baptist Convention. Many of the other statistics we track looked healthy, which caused me to wonder about the issue of priorities.

Worship to the ends of the earth

What comes to mind when you think about worship? Do you think about something that occurs on Sunday morning, or do you think about the total context of your life? Do you “hear” worship in terms of Southern Gospel melodies, contemporary choruses, or a multiplicity of tongues with strange melodies?

FIRST-PERSON: Intentionally evangelistic

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Southern Baptists have determined to focus their energies and resources through a process we have called Empowering Kingdom Growth. Tom Elliff challenged us to recognize that the foundation of all that we do is the home, and thus we looked at the Seven Pillars of a Kingdom Family. Our two mission agencies reminded us that Kingdom-centered people must have a missional heartbeat. They challenged us to join our energies and resources to accomplish the Acts 1:8 Challenge.

FIRST-PERSON: Kingdom-building leadership principles

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--The Empowering Kingdom Growth -- Acts 1:8 Challenge strategy is focused on the local church. We are praying that God will use this emphasis to help us to defeat "spiritual my-opia" by renewing our mission passion. God has given the "keys of the Kingdom" (Matthew 16) to His church. The church has been entrusted with the incredible good news of the Kingdom and, thus, is the primary instrument by which God advances His Kingdom on earth.