Green Leaf Press Quarterly Newsletter, October, 2008
Green Leaf Press, Inc. is a non-profit Christian corporation with a main purpose of encouraging people to think. Another way to put it is that we are seeking to encourage the teaching ministry of the Christian church. We read in I Corinthians 12:28, "God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers:..." Romans 12:8, "We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.
A primary emphasis on teaching is given in the Great Commission of our Savior: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you." [Matthew 28:19,20] Jesus was addressed as teacher (didaskalos) at least fifty times. In addition, at least fifty-five times it was noted that he was engaged in teaching.
In Deuteronomy 6:6,7, we read, "Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise." Parents are to teach their children! The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, "and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well." [II Timothy 2:2] Paul had taught Timothy and Timothy was to teach others—and bring them to a state of learning so that they also can become teachers of others.
I Peter 3:15 reads, "Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you: yet do it with gentleness and reverence." If we are to be ready for the earnest inquiries of others, we must be prepared. We need to be pro active in improving our minds, and by purposefully studying in order that we may have something worthwhile to share and something to teach.
To help you and others, we sell carefully selected books to help others learn more of the Bible and of matters centrally related to the Christian message. Connected with this, we want to encourage Christians to think of themselves as teachers and to commit themselves to a continuing study of the Bible and to other readings that are harmonious with the Bible. The letters in the New Testament are addressed to churches and, thus, to the many in those churches who have come to faith in Christ. The burden of the letters of Paul, John, Peter, and James is that individual Christians grow in grace: that they be changed into the likeness of the Lord (II Corinthians 3:17) that they attain to the maturity—to the full stature—of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:13). Of course, our responsibilities in teaching will vary according to our gifts. For some it will be primarily in the family, for others person to person, for others teaching in the small group or in the classroom. An obvious advantage of teaching whether as a parent, a pastor or a lay person is that the teacher has to learn what he/she is to teach. So the parent benefits as well as the child; the pastor as well as the disciple; the teacher as well as the student. I am trying to remind myself and you that this mission of teaching should get high priority in our churches and in our lives. It is still true that the Christian church is only one generation away from not existing. A primary goal should be to help people come to faith in Christ. But closely related to that goal should be to help those who come to faith in Christ to become disciples of our Savior.
To sum up: The work of the kingdom of God is not someone else’s business. It is our business! If we then recognize that we are called to be teachers, we must allow substantial amounts of time for the study of the Bible and related materials. And for most of us this means taking time from other areas. The benefit to the teacher is even greater than that to the hearer or student, and it is a vital part of our calling in Christ.
We want to help churches and individual Christians (and inquirers who may be open to the gospel). Please take a close look at the books which we offer. Would one of them make a good Christmas present to someone you know? Could it be of help in a small group study? Do you have a book that you would like to recommend to us for inclusion in our catalog? It should fit our niche of Bible study, Evangelism, and Christian Evidences. We probably will not handle fiction unless it should be a very good book in the children’s area. It would be most helpful if your church would recommend our website address (www.gogreenleaf.com ) on their website. This is a non-profit Christian ministry. We are not a bit interested in selling books to people who don’t want them. We very much would like to introduce people to books that will challenge and inform them, and that they might not know of if it were not for this ministry.
I continue to work on a book which is tentatively titled, "Fifteen Dynamic Presbyterian Churches". This undoubtedly will become a subtitle with a more inclusive main title. It is taking more time than I thought and there have been more interruptions than I expected (sounds something like life does it not?), but I am pretty confident now of a 1 March 2009 release date. I believe that it will be of considerable help to many of our Presbyterian churches encouraging us to focus on our main mission rather than on our problems. And beyond that, we hope that it will be a good example to many churches in other denominations.
Foster H. Shannon, President
Green Leaf Press, Inc., P.O. Box 880, Alhambra, CA 91802-0880
Phone: (626) 281-7221
E-mail: click here
Web Page home : www.gogreenleaf.com
Board of Directors: Richard Erdman, Eric Hoey, Al Soo Hoo, Bibiana Soo Hoo, Warren Potter, Dean Rowley, Foster Shannon, Janis Shannon, Darrel Sager, John Van Genderen, Matthew Welde
Archive of Newsletters: