The church with the snot-nosed kids and the cantankerous old folks and the arrogant hipsters and the out-of-touch Baby Boomers and the overweight “praise team” and the pastor with his short-sleeved button-up shirt tucked into his high-waisted Dockers? Well, that’s the kind of place where grace can really show off.
Like the apostle Paul, it is every minister's business to glory in his infirmities. The world says, "Pshaw! upon your oratory; it is rough, and rude, and eccentric." Yet, 'tis even so, but we are content, for God blesses it. Then so much the better that it has infirmities in it; for now shall it be plainly seen that it is not of man or by man, but the…
God looks at the available selection, sees that I have no evident talent or ability and that in fact I give all indications of being a liability to the team, not an asset, and says, "I'll take him."
It's just like the disciples - and us - to freak out about the world's storms and be asleep to the things of the cross.
I have sinned against you. I have apologized. But how do you know if I mean it?
How do you know when someone is repentant? In his helpful little book Church Discipline, Jonathan Leeman offers some guidance:
A few verses before Jesus' instruction in Matthew 18 about church discipline, he provides us with help for determining whether an individual is characteristically repentant: would the…
"[G]entleness is essential to Christian living. It is not an add-on. It is… one of the few indisputable evidences of the Holy Spirit alive and well within someone. Gentleness is not just for some Christians, those wired in a certain way. It cannot merely be an inherent character trait, a result of personality or genetic predisposition, because it is listed as part of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians…
The tyranny of hyper-spirituality our church culture had foisted on us set us up for disappointment because it held up religious experiences as the means of God’s grace, rather than the finished work of the cross.
Managing editor Jared Wilson explains the vision of For The Church as a place to help contribute to the burgeoning "writing culture" developing in the gospel-centered movement.
Ever notice how Jude identifies himself not as Jesus' kid brother, but as Jesus' servant?
As it pertains to having the living God draw near to us, fear and trembling assume it is truly God and the glorious Christ we have encountered and not some pitiful caricature.
Our frail earthly faith and our tender heavenly hope will meet their match in the Love that strengthens them, and we will enjoy this Love forever.
In Episode 7 of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson and Barnabas Piper discuss curiosity, platform, pastors' kids, and what it's like growing up the son of John Piper.
In this episode of the For The Church Podcast, Jared Wilson talks with Miles Rohde, lead pastor of Redemption Spokane, which began as the Mars Hill Spokane campus prior to the collapse of that ministry empire, about what we can learn from Mars Hill's fall.
In Episode 5 of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson and Dr. Owen Strachan discuss Rod Dreher's book The Benedict Option and ask the important question, "What would it look like if Satan took over a city?"
Episode 4: Jonathan Leeman
“Churches seem to have lost track of what the Bible says about organizing our lives together.”
Episode 3: Preventing Ministry Burnout
"You might say your season of life does not allow for much rest, but you are setting yourself up for a disastrous next season."
Episode 2 with Matt Boswell
Matt is the pastor of ministries and worship and an elder at Providence Church. A native Texan, he grew up the son of a pastor. He has been leading worship and involved in church planting since 1995. His passion is to see our congregation engaged in gospel-centered ministry, and in this environment live out the great commission. He writes songs for congregational worship…
Episode 1: Matt Chandler
"If you can teach the Bible in a compelling way to 1st through 5th graders, you've got all the raw tools you need."
Richard saw the sheer eternal value in getting Christ's everything for his nothing.
"Just give me the ball. I will run out of gas ten yards in, pull up with a muscle cramp, and collapse with two high ankle sprains."
I hope you will work through this 5-step checklist with eyes open to the impression your church may be leaving visitors.
Don't turn Christmas into a warm fuzzy.
There is a great danger this Christmas season of missing the point. And I'm not referring simply to idolatrous consumption and materialism. I'm talking about Christmas religiosity. It is very easy around this time to set up our Nativity scenes, host our Christmas pageants and cantatas, read the Christmas story with our families, attend church every time the door is open, and insist to ourselves and others that Jesus is…
So this is the story of how J.I. Packer made me cry.
"When I was a young man, I heard D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones comment that he would not go across the street to hear himself preach. Now that I am close to the age he was when I heard him, I am beginning to understand. It is rare for me to finish a sermon without feeling somewhere between slightly discouraged and moderately depressed that I have not preached with more unction, that…
Jesus Christ makes all the difference in the world.
It isn't those who believe the Bible when it says sin is sin that are being divisive; it is those who are introducing the idea that some sins aren't.
What do you think of when you hear the word "discipleship?"
A few years ago I had a book published called Gospel Wakefulness. It is a very important book to me, as it came out of the second most important event of my life, second only to my conversion—the moment when the gospel became realer than real. And this happened out of a great personal disaster. I won't rehash my testimony here; many of my readers are familiar with it. But…
It is Jesus who is available to you 24/7, and I'm not him.
A message of grace may attract people, but a culture of grace will keep them.
Crucifying the defensive impulse is so difficult because it essentially means choosing to allow others to misunderstand you, misjudge you, and even malign you.
The Lord loves a straight shooter
So the great irony of prosperity gospelism is that it actually cultivates its own need for itself. It is built on discontentment and greed and desire and accumulating (whether stuff or "spirituality"), and therefore it turns in on itself, self perpetuating, continuing to create the needs it promises to fill.
5 errors that masquerade as biblical confession of sin.
Ultimately we want to honor God with the resources we've been given. These premises are God's before they are ours.
All men face similar sexual temptations, but the Christian man is to think actual thoughts—clear, articulate, intentional thoughts. The Christian man doesn't just feel things in his mind; he says things to his mind.
Be filled with the Spirit? How can I be something the Spirit does?
Here is a series of tweets about my very best friend.
We need all that Christ is, and in becoming his disciples, we actually receive all that Christ is!
Has Jesus become our mascot, our projection? When you look at him, what do you see?
It shouldn't work. It makes no sense. It is not lofty wisdom and it is not a miraculous sign, as far as signs expected go. It's really just a message, an announcement. When you break it down—you know, information-wise—it's really simply an historical anecdote.
But it's really all we've got.
See, while some seek to persuade by barbarism or bribery, by marauding or manipulation, we've…
The idea that a book could impact a soul, that it could awaken something fresh in a weary spirit, give a reader a new sense of Christ's grace that changes everything -- that's worth writing for.
The gospel explodes niceness.
Maybe Jesus is sifting out his churches that his Church might rise up.
Jesus is supremely radiant.
When we lose the centrality of the gospel, we lose the ability to think straight.
Cheer up. The worst thing they can do is kill us
How would you know if your Christian life has become hijacked by confirmation bias? Here are some possible diagnostic signs . . .
Revival given of the Spirit of the living God, places Christ always and ever at the center.