Blog Entries from 2015

December

Dec 31, 2015

A Guide to Biblical New Year’s Resolutions by Kristen Wetherell

Confession: I used to roll my eyes at the thought of making New Year’s resolutions. After all, how many people actually keep them? I wondered.

Dec 31, 2015

The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards by Staff

Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God . . .

Dec 31, 2015

The One Resolution the Pastor Must Make

Or, How You Uncheapen Grace in Your Church

We don’t begin by the Spirit and continue by the flesh (Gal. 3:3). We are not followers of Christ-and-something-else-ianity.

Dec 30, 2015

The Great Exchange by Jason Alligood

Here we come to the place that we must recognize that it is Jesus who bore the sins of all who would believe and as our substitute, He not only paid for our sins, but has also become our righteousness.

Dec 30, 2015

Open Doors and Adversaries by Jared Sparks

My wife and I are coming off a season of ministry when we had no clue what God was up to in our lives. We were in a very unhealthy situation and it seemed as if we had no way out or way forward.

Dec 30, 2015

Righteousness On the Broad Way? by Jim Elliff

Do you merely perform religious duties like a pharisee, or is your life the fruit of a changed heart?

Dec 29, 2015

The Subtle Pride of Self-Condemnation by Michael Kelley

While self-condemnation might come off as holy in our churchified contexts, the truth is that self-condemnation is more than a bad character trait; it’s sin in and of itself.

Dec 29, 2015

From Generalist to Specialist

What to Do When You’re Doing it All

All church planting wives start as generalists. We are children’s ministry coordinators, counselors, graphic designers, web managers, worship leaders, hostesses, and the primary sounding board for the church planter. Multiply this work times years of church planting, and it can make for one exhausted woman. I know, because I was one.

Dec 28, 2015

4 Truths That Debunk the Prosperity Gospel's Lies by Cole Ryan

We have to choose - give or take, selflessness or selfishness. We’re given an incredible opportunity to be sacrificial and submissive and Christ-like. Here is what The Prosperity Gospel has done: it has eliminated the choice.

Dec 28, 2015

Navigating the Mess by Jim Essian

Navigating the messiness of our lives and the mess of others brings about a humility and a unity in us that pleases the Spirit.

Dec 27, 2015

5 Habits of Pastor Dad by Dayton Hartman

No man wakes up one day and instantly becomes the pastor of his home. It takes years of experience to grow into that role and many awkward face-plants while trying to shepherd their family. But here are a few simple habits that will get you on the trajectory to being a healthy "pastor dad." 

Dec 27, 2015

You Can Lead a Man to Living Water, But You Can’t Make Him Drink by Sean Nolan

It is possible to have a fascination with the Bible that does not lead to faith in Christ.

Dec 27, 2015

Charles Spurgeon on The Incarnation by Charles Spurgeon

No aristocratic Christ have I to commend to you, but the Savior of the people, the Friend of publicans and sinners.

Dec 26, 2015

Pastoral Transplant Criteria by Benjamin Vrbicek

From watching the organ donation process, I’ve learned how seriously doctors take matching the right donor with the right person in need. They do this because the better the match is across all of their criteria, the higher the chance of a successful transplant. As pastors, we can learn from this.

Dec 26, 2015

A Signaling Savior by Adam McClendon

Our present difficulties do not dismiss God’s future promises.

Dec 25, 2015

Jesus and The Image of Man by Jared C. Wilson

Here's one personal test I subject my own reading of the Gospels to (which actually works quite well when reading any Scripture): Is it freaking me out?

Dec 25, 2015

Elizabeth Coleridge's Stable

A Christmas Poem

by Staff

A punchy little Christmas poem.

Dec 25, 2015

O, Come Let Us Ignore Him

Singing Songs About the Jesus You Won't Love

Better than all other possible “solutions,” following the Christ you sing about would be the best.

Dec 25, 2015

Christmas is About Mankind's Only Hope by Eric Hankins

This is the witness of Scripture, the confession of the Church, and the only hope for humankind.

Dec 24, 2015

Less is More (or, Let It Go) by Chris Thomas

My wife is currently in the throes of a full-blown "simplify" campaign, and I need to be careful—if I place my half-drunk coffee cup down it's likely to be thrown out. Anything not nailed to the floor may very well disappear.

Dec 24, 2015

Starting Points by Jeff Crawford

A person’s worldview works the same way as putting together a puzzle.  Everyone has corners and borders, and these important starting points frame the rest of the picture.  

Dec 24, 2015

The Fullness of God Dwells Embryonically by Jared C. Wilson

If God came as a vulnerable, needful, weak baby, we have no need to fear for our own vulnerability, needfulness, and weakness.

Dec 24, 2015

Drained? Receive His Fullness by Kristen Wetherell

Christmas can leave a good number of people feeling more empty than full.

Dec 23, 2015

The Crucible of Bivocational Ministry, Part 2

The Personal

Here are four ways that bi-vocational ministry has been for me a crucible that God has used to refine me personally . . .

Dec 23, 2015

How Do You Know if a Sermon is Expository? by Jason K. Allen

“Preaching the word” is marked by these three essentials . . .

Dec 22, 2015

A Worshipful Christmas by Peter Beck

The right response to the Christmas story isn’t “oh how cute” but “oh, how gracious.”

Dec 22, 2015

Confrontation, Speaking the Truth in Love, and Unity by Tish Hedger

The enemy delights in hijacking relational complications for his purpose of disunity.

Dec 22, 2015

Say The Right Thing by Mason King

People leave a church for many reasons. Some are good; some are less than good. Some members disappear without a trace, and others leave a tumultuous wake in their exit. As a pastor, these situations often leave me wishing I knew just what to say.

Dec 21, 2015

4 Reasons Why Getting Conversion Right is Important by Darin Smith

Our greatest need before conversion is the Gospel. Our greatest need after conversion is the Gospel.

Dec 21, 2015

Our Relatives and Friends Without Christ by Jim Elliff

They don’t really want to listen to you. At least it appears to be so.

Dec 20, 2015

Orchestrating Seasons For His Glory by Joel Littlefield

Your current season may be cold and bitter too, but if you wait on the Lord you will find that the next season is full of the warmth of God’s faithfulness and the sweet reassurance of His constant care.

Dec 20, 2015

False Hope by Chris Thomas

Your only hope—my only hope—is that God himself would deliver us.

Dec 20, 2015

Do Not Be Dismayed When Your Soul is Troubled by Charles Spurgeon

The lesson of wisdom is, be not dismayed by soul-trouble. Count it no strange thing, but a part of ordinary ministerial experience.

Dec 19, 2015

When The Church Stings Her Pastor by Greg Spires

 I knew when I entered full-time pastoral ministry that I wouldn’t be able to please everybody. I thought my experience in the world of auto claims would prepare me for the times when I would let people down and upset them. Man, was I ever wrong about that.

Dec 19, 2015

How Can We Praise God During The Hard Times? by Casey Lewis

We will face difficult situations, but none of them will ultimately defeat us because God will keep us in Christ.

Dec 18, 2015

The Worst Chapter in the Bible and Your Daily Newsfeed by Nick Murray

And then I look from Judges to my newsfeed, and I see videos of tiny human beings, who have been dismembered, who have been packaged up, sold, and utilized for research. I look to my newsfeed and see the celebration of sexual freedom, that lauds sex without cost or price.

Dec 17, 2015

You Need Gospel Community by Brad Gray

The gospel is uniquely relational—it’s about people. Thus, to separate yourself from people and attempt to survive the turmoil and travail of life on your own is to ignore the gospel altogether.

Dec 17, 2015

Can Savoring Food Be An Act of Worship? by Becky Wilson

Why do you suppose He gave us such a gorgeously diverse menu to choose from when we feed ourselves? Couldn't He have fed us simple manna every day?

Dec 17, 2015

Jesus Loves The Traditional Church by Michael Cooper

I actually serve in a small, rural, established traditional Baptist church. It is filled with the old hymns accompanied by a single piano. Sounds sexy, right?

Dec 16, 2015

Even So, Come, Lord Jesus

A Reflection on 'O Come, O Come, Emmanuel'

We are held captive until Christ delivers us.

Dec 16, 2015

The Crucible of Bivocational Ministry, Part 1

The Pastoral

I would like to share with you three ways that bi-vocational ministry has been for me a crucible that God has used to refine me pastorally.

Dec 16, 2015

How To Evaluate Your Pastor's Sermons by Keith Collier

Unfamiliar with the search process, this dear sister asked if, after examining all of the resumes, we would whittle the number of candidates down to two and have them come in to participate in some kind of “Preach Off.” Then and only then would the members vote for the one they liked best.

Dec 15, 2015

2 Active Ways to Grow in Our Desire for the Kingdom by Michael Kelley

I wish that I longed for the kingdom of God to come so much that its coming is a heartfelt and genuine request from the deepest recesses of my soul. But I don’t.

Dec 15, 2015

Fear and Trembling at Advent by Mason King

Our hearts tremble with love for that we have yet to see—as we long for the day when we see Him face to face.

Dec 14, 2015

9 Ways To Become a Disciple-Making Disciple by Phil Bartuska

Here are 9 practical ways to help you and I become disciple-making disciples.

Dec 14, 2015

How To Stay Christian During Xmas by Jake Rainwater

Along with the various sounds of the holidays, there is a tension in the air. And it’s not just the umpteenth repeat of “Christmas Shoes.”

Dec 14, 2015

The Christmas Miracle of the Incarnate Omnipresent Word by Jared C. Wilson

What we see in the wonder of the God-Man is a miraculous extension, not reduction!

Dec 13, 2015

Sunday Mornings As The Definition of Insanity by Jared C. Wilson

So you keep going. Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. What’s the definition of insanity again?

Dec 13, 2015

Oh, The Intensity of the Divine Love of the Father to the Son! by Charles Spurgeon

This Fall and this redemption, and the story as a whole, so far as the divine purpose is concerned, are the fruit of the Father’s love to the Son and his delight in glorifying the Son.

Dec 13, 2015

Prayer For The Mission by Seth Shelton

Isn’t it God’s mission to hallow His name? Isn’t His grandest purpose in the Gospel to reveal His glory?

Dec 12, 2015

Knowing Enough

How Jesus’ Mission Moves Us From Fretting to Faith

Our inability to know our future is a gift from God that teaches us to trust him.

Dec 12, 2015

Church is Messy by Darrell Deer

Because the church is people, church can often be messy. It’s never as neat and as ideal as we’d like it to be. We’d like things to run in perfect harmony, but they seldom do.

Dec 12, 2015

Preaching the Gospel from the Bread of Ruth 1 by Peyton Hill

The bread of Ruth 1 provides more than a theme in the Bible. It provides one of the keys to unlocking the meaning of the text by showing how Christ fulfills the passage.

Dec 11, 2015

A Discipleship Inventory by Samuel Stephens

Through Christ’s teachings on discipleship, I guide my counselees in taking a personal inventory of their current ways of thinking and living so they can discern where their thinking has gone wrong and how their heart has become hardened to biblical truth.

Dec 11, 2015

What's The Big Deal With Plagiarizing Pastors? by Jonathan Leeman

A reader writes to say, "I recently found out that my senior pastor’s sermons are mostly plagiarized. And he doesn’t cite anything or anyone, but acts as if it is all his own. What should I do?"

Dec 10, 2015

5 Strategies for Daily Bible Reading by Gavin Ortlund

As I have tried to help guys struggling in this area, and also remain vigilant and creative and fresh in my own Bible intake, I’ve come up with a couple basic ideas that some have found helpful.

Dec 10, 2015

3 Ways To Build A Legacy by Darrin Patrick

Here are 3 ways your family can participate in God's mission by building a God-honoring legacy . . .

Dec 9, 2015

Was Jesus Anxious to Start His Ministry? by Phil Wade

Did our Lord chafe during these pre-ministry years? Did he long to get started preaching the kingdom?

Dec 9, 2015

One Reason Pastors Can Be So Miserable by Mike Leake

This is why I believe so many of us pastors battle depression and discouragement . . .

Dec 8, 2015

How 'It's Not a Religion, It's a Relationship' Is A Religion by Jared Sparks

If I feel like my relationship with Jesus is bad right now I can look to Jesus and remember it's all about Him.

Dec 8, 2015

What God Celebrates In Us by Christine Hoover

God asks for our faithfulness, but we don't get to choose the shape our faithfulness takes. 

Dec 7, 2015

Cynicism and Christmas Songs by Jared Musgrove

What are the songs of Christmas that help you fight off cynicism or even despair? THE ones that remind you of the reason for the hope of Christ?

Dec 7, 2015

Don't Let Christmas Distract You From Jesus by Jared C. Wilson

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…

Dec 6, 2015

In Praise of Sunday Mornings by Sam Bierig

Corporate worship is one of the primary means by which God saves you to himself.

Dec 6, 2015

Preach Christ or Go Home by Charles Spurgeon

If a man can preach one sermon without mentioning Christ’s name in it, it ought to be his last, certainly the last that any Christian ought to go to hear him preach.

Dec 6, 2015

Church Facilities: Holiness and Hospitality by Jared C. Wilson

Ultimately we want to honor God with the resources we've been given. These premises are God's before they are ours.

Dec 5, 2015

Don't Miss the Moments by Bill Laky

“Daddy, worshipping Jesus makes my heart happy,” her little voice whispered into my ear. “Do you know why that is?” I asked.

Dec 5, 2015

Are You Prepared to be A Part of the Salvation Process? by Casey Lewis

While I would like to think my preaching convinced someone in that moment to come to Christ, when I really stop and think about it, I know a lot has happened behind the scenes beforehand.

Dec 5, 2015

Preaching Jesus vs. Namedropping Jesus by Cole Deike

Does your preaching simply mention Jesus, or does it portray him?

Dec 4, 2015

Jesus Is: A Greater King Than David by Jared Bumpers

As Christians, we look forward to the perfection or consummation of Christ’s reign, when sin will be defeated and we will enjoy the presence of God forever.

Dec 4, 2015

Pastor, You Are Not A Child of Hagar by Chris Thomas

Your identity of sonship isn't founded on performance-based assessment. Your standing before God was not procured by strategy or tribal association. Your preaching did not gain you merit, nor your vision give rise to redemption.

Dec 3, 2015

My Lunch With An Atheist by Jeff Crawford

When you genuinely like another person, it’s a lot harder to be mean and cruel when it comes to their ideas.

Dec 3, 2015

6 Things You Should Say To Your Wife by Dayton Hartman

All wives need to hear their husband say these six things.

Dec 3, 2015

The Men In Your Church Don’t Need John Wayne; They Need Jesus by Daniel Darling

There is a strain of the manhood movement in the church that troubles me. It’s a version of masculinity that makes Jesus look more like William Wallace than the King of Kings.

Dec 2, 2015

4 Unpopular Ways Your Church May Grow by Darin Smith

The first Christians made their choices and priorities, and we are making ours.

Dec 2, 2015

Letters to a New Believer, Part Seven

How to enjoy Comic Books, Sci-Fi, and Rock and Roll to the Glory of God

I've got to be honest: Christian art really bums me out.

Dec 2, 2015

The Modern Worship Wars by Stephen Miller

At first glance, the worship wars that once plagued the church seem to have died down. So it might be easy to chalk it all up to a problem from a bygone era. Until we walk out of a church service that didn’t meet our own standards. We have become professional critics of corporate worship.

Dec 1, 2015

Living On Mission in An Area Saturated With Churches by Steve Rahn

One big challenge is how many people in the community think they know what it means to be Christian

Dec 1, 2015

Contentment Isn't Natural, But It Can Be Learned by Michael Kelley

It was a crisis of faith, born under the lights of Friday night Texas football.

November

Nov 30, 2015

Pastor, Are You Tempted to Phone It In This Holiday Season? by Jason Alligood

Pastors, when it comes to the seasons of the church, especially Christmas or Easter, are you ever tempted to phone it in?

Nov 30, 2015

6 Principles for Student Ministry by Jonathan Leeman

Here are a few biblical principles that we should heed no matter what in youth ministry. My sense is the many youth groups don’t heed them.

Nov 30, 2015

He Must Increase; Our Churches Must Decrease by Jared C. Wilson

A gospel-centered church is okay with its own decreasing -- in reputation, in acclaim, in legacy, even in (gasp!) numbers, but especially in self-regard -- so long as it serves the increasing of the sense of the glory of God.

Nov 29, 2015

A Feeble Faith May Lay Hold of a Strong Christ by Staff

Are there any weak in faith who come under the denomination of bruised reeds and smoking flax? Let them know that God will take care of them.

Nov 29, 2015

When Church Leaders Get Gossiped About by Matt Mitchell

It hurts to be gossiped about. Because church leaders are out in front, their lives can be closely scrutinized. They make obvious targets. And no leader is immune, no matter how godly.

Nov 29, 2015

Pastor, You Labor Not in Vain by Jason Corn

Whenever you need victory in your ministry, God gives it.

Nov 28, 2015

We're All Getting Tattoos by Chris Thomas

I've finally come to terms with it. I'm getting a tattoo. But not just yet.

Nov 28, 2015

Proven Savior by Adam McClendon

He frustratingly questioned, “If all this is Bible stuff is true, why won’t God just prove that he is real!? Why won’t God just prove he loves me!?”

Nov 28, 2015

A Theology of the Heart from James by Peyton Hill

Unfortunately, on this side of heaven we will continue to have churches filled with quarreling members. In James 4:1, Pastor James asks rhetorically, “And what causes this behavior?” He answers himself, “You quarrel and fight because of what’s in your hearts.”

Nov 27, 2015

Jesus Is: A Greater Priest Than Melchizedek by Jared Bumpers

What are the implications of the priestly ministry of Jesus Christ?

Nov 27, 2015

What Does it Mean to Find Your Identity in Christ? by Gavin Ortlund

What does it actually feel like to find our identity in Christ in real time and amidst genuine struggle? I was thinking about this the other idea day and jotted down 5 initial thoughts . . .

Nov 26, 2015

Sing Habitually the Praises of the Father in Heaven by Charles Spurgeon

Let no thought distress you about death's coming to you at an unseasonable hour. Should it come to-morrow should it come now, if your faith is fixed on nothing less than Jesu's blood and righteousness, you shall see the face of God with acceptance.

Nov 25, 2015

You Don't Need Your Perfect Church Now by Stephen Miller

Your imperfect church is God’s way of loving your idolatry out of you.

Nov 25, 2015

In Defense of Christian Happiness by David Prince

"God does not want you to be happy, he wants you to be holy." "It does not matter whether you are happy, as long as you have joy." "Satan wants you to try to be happy, but God wants you to be faithful." Whatever one thinks of this approach in pitting happiness against Christian sanctification, it must be acknowledged that it is a novel perspective among Christians throughout the ages.

Nov 25, 2015

The Most Important Word I Learned in Seminary by Jason G. Duesing

Words are something our Creator loves as well. He spoke the world into existence with words, sent his Son as the Word, and the Spirit breathed perfectly all the words we have in the Bible as Scripture. Thus, the Christian life is a life clothed and shaped by words even as some of those words require hard work to gain their full meaning.

Nov 24, 2015

3 Emphases of the Enduring by Tyler Velin

Rather than adopting a "Doomsday Preppers" theology in response to the cultural decline, we must realize the opportunity we have to fashion a message of gospel urgency. Here are three points of emphasis that I think are essential to missional endurance in today's cultural climate.

Nov 24, 2015

Bringing Good News Into Your Workplace by Darrin Patrick

You’re not there just for your job. You’re not there just for a promotion. You’re not there just to make a name for yourself and build your resume. God didn’t just put you there for you. He put you there for others. He wants to reach your workplace with the gospel through you.

Nov 23, 2015

Ego Depletion and Sin Deletion by Cole Deike

The victory over the fight against sin is not at root due to the muscle of self-control.

Nov 23, 2015

Jesus Fell Asleep by Wendy Alsup

For centuries, earnest Christians faithfully following Jesus have experienced a God who seems asleep at times, sometimes for long seasons in their lives. In the disciples' case in Luke 8, He literally was asleep. In my life, it has seemed He slept as I needed direction. Sometimes, He felt asleep as I needed deliverance from a trial. But as time goes on and I can look back, I recognize that…

Nov 22, 2015

7 Reasons to Give Generously by Darin Smith

Money is part of our discipleship.  How baptized are our pocketbooks?

Nov 22, 2015

A Faithful Friend by Charles Spurgeon

“He, near your side hath always stood. His loving-kindness. O! how good.”

Nov 22, 2015

What They Need on Sundays by Jared C. Wilson

A word to my brother-pastors, who every week labor in preparing to teach the Bible in the weekend gathering while the dark cloud of the new cultural downgrade hangs over them:

Brothers, let's not go about our weekly sermon preparation and personal discipleship in sackcloth and ashes. Let's get into the vineyard of God's word, get some holy sweat worked up, whistling while we work, lifting our hearts…

Nov 21, 2015

5 Reasons Some Bible-Believing Preachers Don't Preach Judgment by Kevin Halloran

What if someone told your preaching was missing one critical ingredient that could undermine the effectiveness of your entire ministry?

Nov 21, 2015

Darkness Only Seems to Succeed by Joel Littlefield

The darkness that seems to hide the face of grace is actually a defeated darkness. It is inferior to the power of God’s unchanging light and grace. That’s like saying that clouds can smother the Sun.

Nov 20, 2015

Jesus Is: A Greater Prophet Than Moses by Jared Bumpers

We must constantly look to Christ as He has revealed Himself in Scripture.

Nov 20, 2015

On Being Matt Chandler's Roommate by Steve Bezner

This is a story about two young men who were friends, roommates, and pastors. In other words, this is a story about jealousy.

Nov 19, 2015

Denial, Acceptance, and Radical Grace by Jared Sparks

Do we have confidence in our savior Jesus? Are we secure in the fact that Jesus will have us?

Nov 19, 2015

A Distorted Vision of Self in the Face of Ahaz by Adam McClendon

As I piously read Ahaz’s failure, I began to ponder how we in the church, all too often, act similarly in resorting to the ways of the word while ignoring God’s promises.

Nov 19, 2015

Should Christians "Disown" Gay Children? by Jonathan Leeman

From time to time I hear about Christian parents disowning, cutting off, or permanently shunning a son or daughter who adopts a gay lifestyle. Is that the right thing to do? Is this a requirement of biblical faithfulness?

Nov 18, 2015

Beneath the Veneer by Chris Thomas

"Don't let them get too close." That was the advice I received from an experienced pastor early in my ministry experience. I knew it to be rubbish then—even more so now.

Nov 18, 2015

3 Ways Churches Can Stop Treating Singles Like a Problem to be Solved by Kristen Wetherell

Practically speaking, how can the church aim for the total up-building of the body for Christ’s glory and the spiritual growth of each individual saint, rather than treating singles like they're a problem to be solved?

Nov 18, 2015

5 Words That Strengthen Every Sermon by Jason K. Allen

Preaching is too consequential to settle for subpar sermons. These five words will help any preacher step up their game.

Nov 17, 2015

Self-Esteem and the Esteem of Christ by Brandon D. Smith

My self-esteem, good or bad, cannot sustain me. It’s a toothpick house in a tornado.

Nov 16, 2015

How You Know You're Susceptible to the Prosperity Gospel by Erik Raymond

Here are a few ways that you can tell that you are nibbling at the hook of the prosperity gospel, without, perhaps, even knowing it . . .

Nov 16, 2015

Dear Church, Missions Is Not For Your Own Discipleship by Alison Whitely

I have heard mission agencies, pastors and parents say, “We pray that our people (or students) will be changed” by going on this trip. Their goal in missions is to make us more “thankful for what we have" and to disciple the short-term missionaries. But here’s the deal folks: People around the world are not tourist attractions.

Nov 16, 2015

All Dogs Go To Heaven by Jared C. Wilson

When his dog was suffering a particularly noisome barking fit, Martin supposedly preached this gospel implication to him, exhorting the pooch this way: “Never mind, little Hans . . . Thou too, in the Resurrection, shalt have a little golden tail.”

Nov 15, 2015

Gospel Deeps From My Two Week-Old by Sam Parkison

It is amazing to me that my helplessness before God mirrors the helpless of my two week-old son.

Nov 15, 2015

Rejoice and Be Exceedingly Glad! by Charles Spurgeon

He is not robbed of any glory, but his name is now surrounded with brighter lustre than ever.

Nov 15, 2015

Do Not Let Your Sense of Failure Blind You to the Glory of Gospel Freedom by Staff

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.

Nov 14, 2015

4 Gospel-Shaped Praises of Thanks to God by Darin Smith

What should you put on that master list for life? Only one thing is necessary: to praise God for who He is and for what he has done for us in Christ.

Nov 14, 2015

Guiding Light by Adam McClendon

Peter introduces his letter to God’s chosen people with a glimpse of the front porch light.

Nov 14, 2015

How To Win The Battle For Your Heart by Casey Lewis

Christians are in a battle with the world, a battle that rages continually as we are confronted with promises of pleasure, joy, and satisfaction at every turn. These messages are often subtle, chipping away at our defenses little by little.

Nov 13, 2015

Why I'm Complementarian by Gavin Ortlund

Whereas egalitarianism tries to redress real problems by taking away the principle of male headship altogether, complementarianism does so by radically redefining it in light of the gospel.

Nov 13, 2015

22 Mistakes Pastors Make in Practicing Church Discipline by Jonathan Leeman

There are more than a few ways church discipline can go wrong. Here are some mistakes pastors should avoid.

Nov 12, 2015

Charles Spurgeon on Counting Conversions by Charles Spurgeon

I am weary of this public bragging, this counting of unhatched chickens, this exhibition of doubtful spoils. Lay aside such numberings of the people, such idle pretence of certifying in half a minute that which will need the testing of a lifetime.

Nov 12, 2015

Christians Should Be The Best Conversationalists by Jim Elliff

Good conversation went fugitive with the invasion of electronic media. Yet you long for it, and so do those in your circle of acquaintances. Believers in Christ ought to be excellent at it. Even our non-believing friends ought to leave us saying, “That was the best conversation I’ve had for months.”

Nov 11, 2015

When Our Children Ask for Stones, Let's Give Them Bread by Jared C. Wilson

We familyolaters take what most of us consider the most important thing in our lives and give it the weight of our worship in a way that is both dishonorable and unsustainable. And we end up living "Thus saith the family" rather than "Thus saith the Lord."

Nov 11, 2015

Keep the Calendar, Keep Your Brother by Mason King

For all the celebrations to be remembered, the occasions of suffering are the dates that stick with me. It was then, when the day came that she would call -  or we’d get in the car with a warm meal in the back seat. A note would get dropped in the mail, a meal on the doorstep to say: you are loved, you are not forgotten, and neither are they.

Nov 11, 2015

5 Words That Weaken Every Sermon by Jason K. Allen

 Successful sermons optimally leverage words to explain the meaning of the text and to bring it to bear in the lives of the congregants. Strategically deploying words can strengthen a preaching event, but carelessly letting unhelpful words clutter the sermon will weaken it.

Nov 10, 2015

The Beauty of Congregational Worship by Matt Capps

I know that the men and women around me are singing to God while they are struggling in their marriages, fighting cancer, and feeling the uncertainty of job loss. I have come to realize that worship isn’t just something we do; it does something to us.

Nov 10, 2015

Help! I'm Not Attracted To My Spouse by Tish Hedger

A friend recently asked me what you do when you are not attracted to your husband. This is an excellent question for both men and women. What do you do if you are not attracted to your spouse?

Nov 9, 2015

Unlocking the Cage Stage by Zach Barnhart

Ever since I got hyper on Piper towards the end of my high school years, I've found myself growing into a deeper understanding of the doctrines of grace, to the point that now most of my mornings and evenings are happily spent reading men like Charles Spurgeon (see what I did there?).

Nov 9, 2015

Learning to Count by Michael Kelley

Like a kindergartner learning his numbers, so do we practice the discipline of counting . . .

Nov 9, 2015

10 Reasons Why You Should Underprogram Your Church by Jared C. Wilson

The "simple church" is able to cast off that which entangles it, even the religious nets of its own devising for the fishing for men, and follow Christ wherever he may go.

Nov 8, 2015

Why Do We Not See Him? by Charles Spurgeon

To a great extent in spiritual things we get what we expect of the Lord.

Nov 8, 2015

Discipleship and You (and Me) by Jason Alligood

Other than in temporary moments of devotional solitude, there was never a time when Jesus was not with his men. After Jesus called his disciples, he had them with him doing ministry.

Nov 8, 2015

Aiming Our Worship by Dustin Rouse

The beauty of the gospel is that it hijacks our worship and aims it at the One in whom our worship finds its consummation of joy.

Nov 7, 2015

Battling Your Church's Budget Crisis by John Powell

I eventually came to accept the surreal fact that my church could be bankrupt in 4 years.

Nov 7, 2015

The Biblical Celebrity Preacher by Jared Sparks

I bet he was okay having his name decrease so that Christ's name could increase.

Nov 7, 2015

So You Want to Develop a Gospel-Centered Culture in Your Church... by Casey Lewis

The gospel must be what all of our ministries are based on, empowered by, and result from.

Nov 6, 2015

Ministering Through the Desert by Adam McClendon

I don’t recall struggling consistently with depression before I entered the ministry.

Nov 6, 2015

The 6 Assassins of A Man's Contentment by Darrin Patrick

You have enemies as you try to live as a content man. Most of the time we think the enemies are from without—people around us and circumstances upon us. But the true enemies of contentment are within in us, which is where contentment is either fed or starved.

Nov 5, 2015

How to Perservere When You're Weary in Serving by Kristen Wetherell

Those of us who are also weary in serving and aware of our limitations can learn five helpful keys to our perseverance in ministry . . .

Nov 5, 2015

7 Reasons Not To Skip Church by Garrett Kell

Faithful church attendance does not earn salvation, nor does it act as a measure to rate spiritual greatness over and against other people. It does, however, reflect a growing commitment to the gospel, the good of the church community, and spiritual health.

Nov 5, 2015

4 Magic Words For Your Next Argument by Erik Raymond

This step of humility has a very high success rate because it does one thing right away: it fires our prestigious lawyers.

Nov 4, 2015

Wielding the Sword of God Without Being Trite by Sean Nolan

Effective ministry is not simply saying, “Take this Bible verse and call me in the morning."

Nov 4, 2015

Can You Be A Sold-Out Christian in the Suburbs? by Owen Strachan

Whether you live in the country, the ‘burbs, or a global city, you have the opportunity to honor the Lord and taste the enthralling power of his gospel.

Nov 3, 2015

Darrin and Amie Patrick's 'The Dude's Guide to Marriage' by Paul Tripp

Darrin and Amie have not only written a very provocative call to men to give themselves to their wives and their marriage, but also show us in beautiful and practical detail what that looks like.

Nov 3, 2015

Is Building Your Business Bruising the Body?

Multi-Level Marketing and the Church

Everywhere I look are photos and testimonies about the wonders of this dark spot correcting cream, essential oils, healthy shakes that aid in weight loss, and that body shaping wrap. What strikes me most about these posts is that they are coming from men and women in the church.

Nov 2, 2015

The Lie of the 'Nobody's Perfect' Mentality by Peyton Hill

Though some denominations historically have wrongly understood the call to moral holiness and perfection to mean that sinners can attain perfection on this earth, the pursuit of holiness is no less important.

Nov 2, 2015

The First Cut is the Deepest

Self-Harmers in the Church

Rarely in Christian circles have I found the subject of "cutting" or other self-harm discussed with any depth. I don’t know why that is. But I do know one thing for sure: Christians who self-harm often experience an added layer of the guilt and shame that a self-harmer already experiences. The good news is that there is hope and freedom from the cycle of self-harm in Jesus Christ.

Nov 2, 2015

10 Surprising Realities of Mission in New England by Jared C. Wilson

Although I moved in early 2015 to the Midwest, I left a big piece of my heart back in New England, the least-churched region of the nation. I still hear regularly from folks interested in the future of church planting, revitalization, and gospel ministry in the New England states, so the following ten items are meant to help those praying and planning adjust their expectations in one respect or another.

Nov 1, 2015

Getting Knocked Off the Pedestal by Jason Alligood

“We want you to know, we as elders are mere men. We will eventually and unintentionally let you down.”

Nov 1, 2015

Are You Desperate Enough Yet? - Part 3 by Micheal Pardue

May it never been that you get to the point where you believe that all things are possible for you—that you can do anything on your own.

Nov 1, 2015

Christians and No-Work Sundays by Jim Elliff

Believers haven’t always had Sundays free from work. Though our culture is changing in this regard, it still is largely expected that most of our members will be exempt from Sunday work to give attention to our worship. The earliest Christians did not have such a privilege.

October

Oct 31, 2015

Martin Luther: Your Praise is Not the Boss of Me by Staff

A faithful minister cares little what people think of him.

Oct 31, 2015

Whenever God Does a Mighty Work, It Has Been By Some Very Insignifcant Instrument by Charles Spurgeon

God has done his mightiest works by the meanest instruments: that is a fact most true of all God’s works—Peter the fisherman at Pentecost, Luther the humble monk at the Reformation, Whitefield the potboy of the Old Bell Inn at Gloucester in the time of the last century’s revival; and so it must be to the end.

Oct 30, 2015

A Word of Caution from John 16 by Adam McClendon

Let us listen to wisdom and grow in grace and knowledge as we seek to be the community that God intended for us to be.

Oct 30, 2015

Do You Have A Family Mission Statement? by Joshua Hedger

On our fourth day, after a few days of rest and detox, we sat at a picnic table under an Aspen tree, next to the Colorado River, and we created our family mission statement. We want to spend our days and our nights on purpose.

Oct 29, 2015

Be The Father You Want To Be by Darrin Patrick

Most guys fail to parent their children well because they don’t know how to parent themselves.

Oct 28, 2015

On Remembering Well by Russell L. Meek

I often misremember. I’m prone to long for Egypt because I forget the truth about God’s character and faithfulness.

Oct 28, 2015

Pastoral PTSD by J.A. Medders

Pastor Ted plops down in his chair, opens his Gmail, and reads a two-sentence email from a church member: “Hey, can we meet? I’d like to talk you about something.”

Oct 28, 2015

How To Marvel At Your Wife's Creativity by Erik Raymond

Over the last several years I have watched my wife prepare for birthday parties, holiday seasons, or other special events. She, like many women, gives considerable time and attention to the details. This is what women do. Men on the other hand, we think function. We reuse our forks, wipe our chin on our sleeves, and pass on the straws. We skim past the details without noticing.

Oct 27, 2015

Don't Underestimate the Importance of the Foundation by Michael Kelley

Christian, no one might know what internal fear, insecurity, or idolatry the Holy Spirit is convicting you of and walking you through. And because it’s internal, you might be tempted to put it to the side in favor of something seemingly more flashy and exciting. But don’t neglect His work. Embrace it. Because the storm is coming.

Oct 27, 2015

5 Things You Should Never Do On Facebook (As A Multilevel Marketing Business Owner) by Julie Masson

Since I love to help women business owners be effective on social media, I find that a lot of people that ask me for help are those that work from home as a “consultant” or “rep” for a Multi-Level Marking (MLM) company. Here is my short and condensed list of things that you definitely should NOT do if you want to go far with your business.

Oct 26, 2015

Before Galaxies Stood Forth, He Knew You by Jim Essian

This is the cosmic love and wisdom of God for you . . .

Oct 26, 2015

Resolving Conflict God's Way by Mike Ayers

Through his Holy Spirit, Christ is powerfully present when believers meet together for the purpose of making relationships right.

Oct 26, 2015

Attractional Church: All Bait, No Switch by Jared C. Wilson

When we lose the centrality of the gospel, we lose the ability to think straight.

Oct 25, 2015

Worship According to Habakkuk by K.V. Paxton

Worship should change us. If we are encountered by the same God Habakkuk speaks of, we will be transformed. We will leave different than we were when we came. If we aren’t transformed, we aren’t worshipping.

Oct 25, 2015

Sensitivity in the Midst of Sensationalism by Zach Crook

While it is tempting to try to join into the current media trend of “whoever yells the loudest must be right,” there might just be a better way

Oct 25, 2015

Are You Desperate Enough Yet? - Part 2 by Micheal Pardue

We must become desperate to find favor in the eyes of the LORD.

Oct 24, 2015

He Will Not Despise the Broken by Joel Littlefield

The next time you enter the church to fellowship with God’s people, go with a sacrifice of brokenness.

Oct 24, 2015

10 Strategies to Safeguard Regenerate Membership by Tom Johnston

In a perfect world all members of a church would be regenerate and would remain so throughout their lives. But we do not live in a perfect world. So it is beneficial that we have strategies in mind to safeguard regenerate church membership.

Oct 23, 2015

Taming the Tongue by Jeremy Wilson

Why does Christlikeness always go and get in the way of a good two cents?

Oct 23, 2015

Busy Unlike Jesus by Jim Elliff

Becoming more conscious that Jesus walked isn’t perhaps a profound revelation to you, but is necessary for you who fill every moment trying to attain maximum productivity. It isn’t Jesus-like to be harried in life, even if it seems noble to others.

Oct 22, 2015

The Kingdom is Greater Than Its Appearance

Hope in the Small Things

If Christ the King has come, and He has proclaimed that the kingdom has arrived, then where is it?

Oct 22, 2015

3 Barometers for Church Growth by Jim Fowler

How does one measure health in the church? This has been a question that has plagued me for years. How do we take a step back and take an honest view about where we are at as a church?

Oct 22, 2015

3 Ways to Minister To Your Wife's Weary Soul by Joshua Hedger

How do we minister to our wives? How do we encourage them, especially when their hearts are weary?

Oct 21, 2015

On Loving My Neighbor Through Email by Russell L. Meek

God showed me that my attitude toward email was sinful. In writing short, to-the-point, sometimes brusque emails, I was misrepresenting the gospel. By not seeing the people behind the emails I was essentially elevating myself above them and ignoring an opportunity to share Christ’s love with them.

Oct 21, 2015

The Importance of Ministry to Senior Adults by R. Lucas Stamps

In my relatively young ministry, I have also developed deeply meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with senior adults.  At several different stops in my ministry, I have had the blessing to minister to and receive ministry from seasoned Christian laypeople. It’s difficult to express in words what these relationships have meant to me and my family, but I offer below a few lessons learned in senior adult ministry.

Oct 21, 2015

When You Wonder if All the Work is Worth It by Christine Hoover

We planted our church over six years ago. There is a church where there used to not be one, yes, but we're still working really hard and sometimes it feels like we're spinning our wheels. When is it going to get easier? When is God going to do something big and miraculous instead of the small and incremental? 

Oct 20, 2015

Your Work Has An Eschatology by Sam Parkison

A ministry position in a local church is not the only possible work you can do to the glory of God.

Oct 20, 2015

Marriage: Covenant vs. Contract by Joel Lindsey

For us to better understand the marriage as covenant we need to understand what makes a covenant different from a contract.

Oct 19, 2015

Community Groups - When? by Pat Aldridge

"When should we have Community Group?" and "When is it time to start new groups?"

Oct 19, 2015

The Bible is Not an Instruction Manual by Jared C. Wilson

If the emphasis of our preaching is on being more like Jesus and not on the good news of grace despite our not being able to be like Jesus, we end up actually achieving the opposite of our intent. We inadvertently become legalists, actually.

Oct 18, 2015

Adversity Can Drive Our Affections to Christ by Liz Wann

I didn't want to get married. But I knew I was turning away a gift from God . . .

Oct 18, 2015

2 Effects of Unity by Rob Trahan

Too many churches still treat church growth as a competition.

Oct 18, 2015

5 Reasons to Join a Local Church by Darin Smith

I’ve got a personal relationship with Jesus. I spend daily, personal, and private time with the triune God in prayer, petition, study, worship, confession, etc. So why do I need to join a local church?

Oct 17, 2015

Voices by Darrell Deer

In an age of information overload, where do we find the real answers we need?

Oct 17, 2015

The Anti-Beatitudes by Jim Essian

Cursed are you when others love you and accept you and say all kinds of good about you because you have moderate, tolerant views of a safe Jesus.

Oct 17, 2015

3 Ways to Help Your Deacons by Casey Lewis

If you want your deacons to be all they can be, to serve your church, and Christ’s mission well, you should not only pray for them, but you should also encourage them in their work. 

Oct 16, 2015

Beyond Survival by Tish Hedger

I did not know I was depressed until I got married . . .

Oct 16, 2015

I Am 'Ashley Madison' by Caleb Brasher

We are always about ten feet from the edge of that moral failure cliff.

Oct 15, 2015

A Father to the Fatherless by Chris Thomas

I have a son. I did not father him, nor did my wife give birth to him. Yet, he is my son.

Oct 15, 2015

3 Phases of Faithful Gospel Communication by Darrin Patrick

If you are a follower of Jesus, you are a missionary. But my guess is that you feel ill-equipped to share your faith with your friends. It’s not desire you lack, but training. So how about some advice on contextualizing for your particular mission field?

Oct 14, 2015

Blood-Sprinkled Words by Charles Spurgeon

Believe, I pray thee, and rest thee on the blood-sprinkled words of this wondrous Book.

Oct 14, 2015

Dealing With Accusation As A Pastor's Wife by Becky Wilson

Recently, I’ve been asked if I have any insight as to how to deal with people who treat their pastors and pastors’ wives disrespectfully. It’s sadly epidemic, which probably surprises most people. The truth is, I have no idea why grown, seemingly mature believers behave this way. It makes no sense to me. Except for this . . .

Oct 14, 2015

Simple, Practical Ways to Improve Your Preaching by Erik Raymond

These are things you can do right away and they will bring immediate impact. As I look back on sermons that have seemed to have the most traction, they have most often been the ones when I have faithfully unfolded the passage, gotten out of the way, and let these 5 friends loose.

Oct 13, 2015

Your Small Group Should Read Out Loud by Jared Musgrove

The Word of God was and has always been a community experience.

Oct 13, 2015

Grace For Transparency by Trillia Newbell

I wonder how many marriages would be saved if everyone could get a glimpse into our email accounts? What if all our private messages were aired for all to see? Would we still have friends?

Oct 12, 2015

Being a Multi-Generational Church

9 Lessons from the Pastoral Epistles

By God’s all-encompassing grace, fast-forward 5 years and there’s a bit more variety in style, coif, music, gender, and seasons of life at Maranatha.

Oct 12, 2015

Community Groups - How? by Pat Aldridge

This is where life on life discipleship happens, where the truths of Scripture are worked out within the lives of those in attendance.

Oct 12, 2015

Milestones in Ministry (Seminary Can't Prepare You For) by Jared C. Wilson

There are many experiences that seminary can tell you about but can't prepare you for.

Oct 11, 2015

The Pastor's Wife: A Helper Fit For Him by Jordan Sparks

I know that I have often felt the tug of the Mama Bear inside of me to get the claws out when I feel that my pastor husband is being wronged in some way. Although at times my response may be fleshly, I wonder if I indeed have some role in helping through these times.

Oct 11, 2015

The Gospel According to Esther, Part 2 by Steve Rahn

Because our churches are filled with, and led by, people who have caved under far less pressure than what Esther faced. We have all been guilty of hiding our heavenly identity and submitting to the faithless systems of life around us.

Oct 10, 2015

Joy Comes in the Mourning by Drew Griffin

In order to have great heavenly riches we have to become poor in spirit; now, in order to find comfort, we must mourn.

Oct 10, 2015

Be Empowered Everywhere by Zach Barnhart

If we dig into Acts 1:8 we'll unlock a plethora of insight into what authentic "missional living" looks like.

Oct 10, 2015

Why The Church Needs Biblical Theology by Jesse Benack

Why is it essential the church utilize biblical theology to help interpret the Scriptures? There are at least three reasons . . .

Oct 9, 2015

What if Churches Started Churches? by Jim Elliff

Good churches should add “church starting” to the list of ingredients that define their health.

Oct 8, 2015

Shepherding God's People by Jim Fowler

Are you shepherding? As an elder/pastor, are you feeding, leading, protecting, committing, and dwelling with the flock?

Oct 8, 2015

Letters to a New Believer, Part Six

How to Know When to Go

The biggest mistake I made in leaving the first church I was a part of was I didn't leave soon enough. I know that sounds awful, but let me explain . . .

Oct 8, 2015

Face Your Fear by Darrin Patrick

Fighting fear out of fear doesn’t work.

Oct 7, 2015

A Tree Between Two Mountains by Chris Thomas

God was at work. The Holy Spirit powerfully wielded the Word in that place. I have no doubt that hundreds, if not thousands, of lives and ministries were altered in profound ways over those four days. Then I came home.

Oct 7, 2015

7 Things I Wish I'd Known Earlier About Being a Pastor's Wife by Christine Hoover

There is no training ground for ministry life for the pastor's wife, there is just the doing it. But if I could go back in time and talk to my first-year-in-the-ministry self, this is what I would say.

Oct 6, 2015

The Right Kind of Worship War by Sam Parkison

There is a right kind of worship war, a kind that every Christian -- and particularly, those who are leaders in the church -- should be engaging in on a daily basis.

Oct 6, 2015

The Lion Roars, and We Are Free by Michael Kelley

Let me take you back to Narnia for a second . . .

Oct 5, 2015

Community Groups - What? by Pat Aldridge

What should be the goal of community groups?

Oct 5, 2015

Spiritual Amnesia by Adam McClendon

I come to church and remember how awesome God is, how wonderful my salvation is, and how glorious heaven is, and then, after leaving, I act like my world is falling apart at the first hint of difficulty. 

Oct 5, 2015

Safeguarding Against Abuse In the Church by Jared C. Wilson

It seems that every week brings more stories of abuse occurring on church premises. We are hearing about this more and more, and there should be no doubt that the problem is actually more prevalent than what we see reported. And quite often in retrospect these cases reveal not simply mistakes made but systemic dysfunctions in a church community and a church's discipleship culture.

Oct 4, 2015

We Are 'They' by Jason Alligood

The task before the leadership is to disciple these dear people in their understanding that in fact, “we are they.”

Oct 4, 2015

The Gospel According to Esther, Part 1 by Steve Rahn

Esther's first nine verses make Xerxes out to be pretty intimidating. It's obvious from the lavish banquet throws and the riches he has and the way he micromanages absolutely everything that he is one powerful dude. But then the wheels fall off.

Oct 4, 2015

Are the New Testament Condemnations of Homosexuality Simply References to Temple Prostitution? by Staff

You have likely heard the arguments, becoming more and more common among progressive Christians and others seeking to make same-sex romantic relationships compatible with the orthodox faith. It goes something like this: "Paul and the other NT writers were not condemning committed, consensual, monogamous homosexual relationships." Have we had it wrong for so long?

Oct 3, 2015

When Can A Child Respond to the Gospel? by Robert Matz

While the Bible does not provide a fully-developed treatment of child-development, a careful study of the Old Testament reveals several presuppositions about the nature of children which can be applied to questions regarding their readiness for the Gospel.

Oct 3, 2015

What The Dark Side Can Teach Us by Reid Monaghan

Though we might rather just have a happy, coffee cup verse of the day, God in his wisdom only gives such hope and encouragement in the context of our fallen reality.

Oct 3, 2015

Are You Prepared For Persecution? by Casey Lewis

Christian persecution is not something new.

Oct 2, 2015

Encouragements for Pastors by Jared Sparks

When we understand the Gospel, we are secure with being who God calls us to be. Our identity is never going to be found in the shadows or footsteps of other preachers.

Oct 2, 2015

Sharing at the Expense of Learning by Mason King

There is a difference between sharing and learning. Don’t confuse the two, thinking you have learned what you have shared.

Oct 1, 2015

5 Steps of Repentance by Joel Lindsey

The importance of repentance is hard to overstate.

Oct 1, 2015

3 Priorities of Pastoral Ministry by Nathan Rose

As a pastor, I am constantly faced with deciding between what is urgent and what is important. Too often, they are not the same. So what guides me in making daily decisions? How do I plan out my week to ensure I am not sacrificing the most important tasks for the urgent ones?

Oct 1, 2015

Letters to a New Believer, Part Five

Know What To Look For in a Church

After the service, we asked one of the pastors, "Does this happen every Sunday?"

September

Sep 30, 2015

The Reputation of Your Church by Jason Alligood

Pastor, what do you desire your church to be known for?

Sep 30, 2015

Ditching the Rhythm by Jonathan Shradar

Nearly every conversation I had in the first months on my pastorate would bring up the question of how I was “settling in.” There were moments when I could have answered, “I have the Internet and know I need to preach on Sunday” but not much else was settled.

Sep 30, 2015

3 Pitfalls of Suffering by Michael Kelley

We can look to Jesus and see a Savior who did it the good and right way, and we can be humbled under the weight of His sacrifice and emboldened to feel deeply for others in light of His compassion.

Sep 29, 2015

Dear, Pastor: Rest by Joshua Hedger

Rest requires faith and is the expression of faith.

Sep 29, 2015

Cleverness and Wisdom by Steve Bezner

"So much content; so little wisdom."

Sep 28, 2015

The Fan Club?

A Parable Featuring Harry Potter

Jay became concerned about his new group. As he would begin to discuss the Harry Potter storyline he noticed that many of the people in the club had not read all the novels.

Sep 28, 2015

Community Groups - Why? by Pat Aldridge

“Why is community important and why should believers be involved in community groups?”

Sep 27, 2015

The Beauty of Christ by Staff

He is indeed possessed of infinite majesty . . .

Sep 26, 2015

The Practice of Sermon Note-Taking by Jim Fowler

Through years of trial and error, I have come to follow these five keys to taking notes during a sermon.
 

Sep 26, 2015

Why I Am A Complementarian by Lore Ferguson Wilbert

You may call me foolish or underfoot, you may even accuse me of being blinded by my male leadership, and I am okay with that, because here is what I know . . .

Sep 26, 2015

Boundaries That Promote Sexual Purity in the Pastor's Life by J. Alan Branch

These five boundaries promote an attitude of sexual purity and can keep us safely away from situations which could make it easier to commit sexual sin.

Sep 25, 2015

Where Was the Grace for Achan? by Phil Wade

We understand that the One who cut his covenant with the people of Israel is the One who raised our Savior from the dead. He is the unchanging, holy, and eternal God of heaven and earth. So shouldn’t Achan have received some grace?

Sep 25, 2015

The Danger of the Ordinary by Jason Kees

If we get into the habit of weekly preparing our sermons while forgetting the who of the biblical text, we miss the point of the Gospel.

Sep 24, 2015

Same-Sex Marriage is An Opportunity for the Gospel by Jeff Dodge

From a global and epochal perspective, we have a rare privilege! Few Christ-followers have ever enjoyed the level of freedom that God has given to us to engage our neighbors and our government with our Biblical worldview.

Sep 24, 2015

Knowing and Growing in the Fruit of the Spirit by Joel Lindsey

When Paul says that Christians belong to Christ Jesus, it means, at least, that the blessings that are Christ’s are the blessings bestowed on Christians right now.

Sep 24, 2015

The Undercurrent of Temptation in Ministry by Christine Hoover

We know we are not Jesus, but we're tempted to believe and act from the idea that we're able to be all-knowing, all-present, all-powerful, self-sufficient, without limits, self-existent, and in control of all things. Especially in how we minister to others.

Sep 23, 2015

Pastoring in the Shadow of Your Predecessor by Jonathan Shradar

So here I am, pastoring people that have been through trauma and I am doing my best to not mind the shadow. His preaching compared to mine. His promises compared to my unwillingness to make promises. His experience and intellect compared to my . . . well, lack of experience or intellect.

Sep 23, 2015

Work and Worship by Michael Kelley

If Adam had a business card, it would have read “Gardener.” Nothing exciting there. And yet the words God used to describe his job are anything but ordinary.

Sep 23, 2015

Learning in War Time by Jason G. Duesing

The men and women in college and seminary are studying during an ongoing war–a spiritual war–and often the call of the front lines of full time ministry service in contrast to the present semesterly demands strains one to question if he is really in the right place pursing the right things.

Sep 22, 2015

Dying for Glory: A Funeral Sermon for a Friend by Jared C. Wilson

 

Richard saw the sheer eternal value in getting Christ's everything for his nothing.

Sep 22, 2015

The Day God's Grace Seemed Evil by Chris Thomas

Before I let my gospel-centered infatuation cause me to point a judgmental finger at Jonah, maybe I too need to learn a lesson from the shrivelled up plant.

Sep 22, 2015

Hometown Roads Never Leave You by Mason King

There’s something to place. Something to knowing and being known. There is beauty in surrendering to it, recounting the faithfulness of God down every road.

Sep 21, 2015

Topical Preaching is Not the Problem by Patrick Schreiner

While I think the regular diet of a congregation should be expositional preaching, I want to make a case for intermittent topical preaching . . .

Sep 21, 2015

Leadership Looks Like A Cross by Chuck Fuller

In the shape of the cross, Paul led people to the cross.

Sep 21, 2015

God Wants the Liabilities by Jared C. Wilson

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."

Sep 20, 2015

Pastors Should Never Stand Alone by Jim Fowler

The dominant models in the church today tend to be those of "pastor as pope" or "pastor as pawn." Looking at Scripture, however, we see a better way . . .

Sep 20, 2015

Pastor, Make Time For Your Family by Jason Alligood

How does a busy pastor not only keep up with the fast pace of ministry, but also include his family in that pace, as well as make time for them when nothing concerned with ministry is going on?

Sep 20, 2015

Courage and Christian Ministry by J. Alan Branch

There are two types of courage. Both types of courage are required for Christian ministry. 

Sep 19, 2015

Embrace Your Platform by Drew Dixon

Most of the people in our churches possess rather unimpressive platforms—they aren’t famous or important or even “Christian” famous. They are, however, in good company—by the world’s standards, Christ’s platform was rather unimpressive.

Sep 19, 2015

Jonathan Edwards's Resolutions by Staff

Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or no.

Sep 19, 2015

The Gospel Cycle That Kills Sin by Casey Lewis

As we set our minds on the things above, we are reminded of our freedom from and power over sin, as well as of our future sinless reality.

Sep 18, 2015

Pastor, You Aren't Superman by Matt Capps

While Superman is a character of fiction, the battle between selflessness, self-interest, and self-limitations is very real.

Sep 18, 2015

Trust God For How Long? by Daniel Ross

Unfortunately, we live in the very present world and waiting is hard. Joining David,
we cry out with the familiar refrain of ‘how long?’

Sep 17, 2015

Push Through The Awkward by Christine Hoover

After living a lot of my life passively, I've discovered that pushing through the awkward is better than retreating almost all of the time. Because it's in pushing through the awkward that life gets a little bit crazy and a lot more complicated but also where God gets to come through.

Sep 17, 2015

Narnia, Sanctification, and The Hardest Prayer by Jake Rainwater

When we attempt to solve our shortcomings on our own, we are doing nothing more than scratching the scales off of our bodies, like Eustace did.

Sep 17, 2015

Fight Yourself by Darrin Patrick

What most men fail to see is that they are in the ring with themselves.

Sep 16, 2015

The 60 Second Gospel by Erik Raymond

If you cannot explain the gospel in this period of time, then you probably don’t understand it.

Sep 16, 2015

Are You Persuading or Polarizing? by Katie McCoy

Sometimes we think that zinger of a Facebook post or that Twitter tirade is championing a cause, when in reality, all we really accomplish is alienating those who disagree.

Sep 16, 2015

The Spectacle of Preaching by Steve Bezner

Over against the society enamored with spectacle, the church has been given something completely different.

Sep 15, 2015

The New Food Legalism by Griffin Gulledge

Baptists like us have two ordinances and one sacrament. The ordinances are baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The sacrament is a church-wide potluck.

Sep 15, 2015

Where Are All The Godly Men? by Jason K. Allen

It seems as though the designation “man of God” has gone the way of the bus ministry and the youth choir—a largely passé referent to a bygone era of church life.

Sep 14, 2015

How Grace is Like Grace (and How Grace Isn't) by Jared C. Wilson

One of the most vivid illustrations and daily reminders of God's grace in my life is my daughter Grace.

Sep 14, 2015

Why Your Pastor Might Be Depressed Today by Mike Leake

He isn’t being lazy—he’s being human. Monday morning depression is a real thing for most pastors.

Sep 13, 2015

Worship as 'Play' by Staff

The cumulative effect of the gospel is affectionate worship of the one true God. The grand design of gospel proclamation, then, is gospel enthrallment, gospel enjoyment.

Sep 13, 2015

Bitterness and The Christian Soul by Matt LaMaster

Are you bitter? Do you catch yourself only giving critique and never giving compliments? Do you find yourself reacting strongly to confrontation but all too willing to enact it yourself?

Sep 12, 2015

How To Face the Challenges of the Pastorate by Casey Lewis

For the those who are thinking of entering the pastorate, there are three things that will help you face the unique challenges in ministry...

Sep 12, 2015

The Way to Joy is to Die Before You Die by Staff

To take up the cross is to take up joy—painful joy, but real joy.

Sep 11, 2015

Christian, Do Not Stop Preaching Sin by Jake Rainwater

Christian, do not stop preaching sin, because sin is what makes the gospel beautiful.

Sep 11, 2015

Spontaneous Regeneration by Jeff Dodge

When we come to Christ we are instantaneously swept into a spiritual, life-giving current - even before our conscience minds are aware of it.

Sep 10, 2015

Lessons in Humility by Jace Williamson

Death was a distant cousin to me. I knew he existed, but I knew nothing of him. But this has changed.

Sep 10, 2015

Dear Mama of Littles by Christine Hoover

When I was Mama to littles, I mothered hard but often only with reward in mind: the end of the day, the occasional morning to sleep in, the dazed stroll around Target. My hope, I'm saying to you, was in false hopes, temporary hopes, lifeless hopes, hopes that were never guaranteed to give me anything.

Sep 10, 2015

Let's Be a Weeping People by R.D. McClenagan

If we are not a weeping people then we are not the people of Jesus.

Sep 9, 2015

Eating To Make God Happy by Becky Wilson

What do you suppose it might look like to eat or drink to the glory of God?

Sep 9, 2015

Trusting God Like Jesus Did by Joel Lindsey

Given the variety of difficult circumstances in our lives, recalling and trusting the promises of God can feel nearly impossible. Thankfully, our gracious God provides a model for trust through his gracious Son.

Sep 9, 2015

In Defense of Calling by Mike Ayers

The idea of God’s calling has been over-spiritualized, used to justify one’s own self-made ambitions, and marginalized due to people’s discomfort with the notion of a supernatural prompting by God. Yet, the Scripture is filled with example after example of people whose lives were interrupted by a call from God.

Sep 8, 2015

Churches on Fire

What Goes Up Must Come Down

It is possible that your favorite leader could end up with nothing to show for years of labor! It is also possible that he could be rewarded beyond imagination.

Sep 8, 2015

You Have Not Been Overlooked by Jeff Lawrence

In Acts, the disciples set the criteria for who would be chosen, and they land on two possible candidates: Joseph and Matthias. They cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias. This, of course, had to be a downer to Joseph.

Sep 7, 2015

How The Gospel Ended My Same-Sex Relationship by Anonymous

Jesus is worth a broken heart. In fact, He’s the only One who can heal it again.

Sep 7, 2015

His Body Is For You by J.A. Medders

What does Jesus mean when he says, "This is my body which is for you?"

Sep 7, 2015

Perversion of Justice (in Another Sense) by Jared C. Wilson

It was not justice for the state to sanction same-sex marriage. It is in fact injustice, because it sanctions as "righteous" what God has called unrighteous.

Sep 6, 2015

Your Church's Music is a Language by Daniel Ross

Paul meets them where they are. The music in your church has the same effect.

Sep 6, 2015

Run the Race to Win the Prize by Casey Lewis

The encouraging part of running the Christian race is that we don't have to run it in our own power. At salvation, not only is our heart created anew, which causes us to desire to run for Christ, but we are also empowered by God to run.

Sep 6, 2015

Like Wind and Fire by Staff

How are God's messengers like wind and fire?

Sep 5, 2015

Hitting Singles In The Age of the Home Run by Keith Collier

There’s nothing really exciting about hitting singles. But a steady string of them can prove more powerful than a home run.

Sep 5, 2015

The Trinitarian Gospel Deeps by Staff

We have no defense against this brilliant triangle offense!

Sep 5, 2015

How and Why We Need To Live Out The Golden Rule by Casey Lewis

Not only are we a witness to the power of the gospel when we live out the Golden Rule, but we also promote peace and societal flourishing.

Sep 4, 2015

Christ Holds No Empty Titles by Phil Wade

These titles for Jesus are unimaginably marvelous, and there are more incredible things about him. He charges us to live in his name, as if he is sending himself to the world through us.

Sep 4, 2015

7 Suggestions For Responding to Criticism by Jared Bumpers

According to James, our tongues are small but powerful firemakers and untamable beasts. They are capable of great danger, and we must pursue maturity and seek to avoid stumbling with our words.

Sep 3, 2015

Do You Want To Move Up in Ministry? by Jim Fowler

People keep asking me if I am excited to be "moving up" in ministry. I cannot tell you how much I hate that phrase.

Sep 3, 2015

Gospel Balm in 2 Timothy by Peyton Hill

Like many of us, young Timothy seemed to suffer with bouts of discouragement. Yet Paul does not write Timothy to encourage him with warm fuzzy thoughts about how awesome he is as a person.

Sep 2, 2015

Sometimes 'I Don't Know' Is The Right Answer by Trey Bechtold

Like Job and his friends, I am often tempted to explain God’s actions through the lens of my assured theological assumptions. I am afraid of saying “I don’t know” to tough questions. But the book of Job makes me less quick to offer assured answers.

Sep 2, 2015

A Break-Wall For The Soul by Chris Thomas

Without a break-wall, disaster is only a storm away.

Sep 2, 2015

Learning From The Global Church on Same-Sex Marriage by Logan Gentry

We have a lot to learn from the global church in how to follow God in our current time.

Sep 1, 2015

Born This Way by Tish Hedger

In all the chubby glory of his toothless grin and dimpled cheeks, he desperately needs Jesus to save him. If not, those beautiful feet can only run him away from God.

Sep 1, 2015

Preacher, Don't Move the Fence in Your Sermon by Mike Leake

It isn’t wise to go about moving fences unless you realize why that fence was there in the first place.

August

Aug 31, 2015

How Do You Know If You're Discontent? by Erik Raymond

If we are grumbling then we can be sure that we are not content. We are essentially saying that God is getting it wrong.

Aug 31, 2015

3 Ways to Make Church Boring by Darrin Patrick

What works with commerce doesn’t work with Christianity.

Aug 31, 2015

Only As Deep As Your Gospel by Jared C. Wilson

They can only go as deep as the gospel we give them.

Aug 30, 2015

Why Pastors Should Share the Pulpit by Kevin Larson

So why should you, pastor, share your pulpit?

Aug 30, 2015

How Our Fullness and Christ's Fullness Differ by Staff

In Christ, there is the fullness of a fountain, which proceeds from himself and depends on no one else.

Aug 29, 2015

The Gospel's Antidote for Envy by Staff

Why do you think Abel's sacrifice was accepted and Cain's was not. Did God just like Abel better? Did Abel know the right religious words or jump through the right religious hoops?

Aug 29, 2015

5 Christian Lifehacks - Debunked by Adam McClendon

The desire for instant gratification has also crept into the church to combine with this self-gratifying approach to the spiritual life. As a result, we often want an instant spirituality that results in comfort.

Aug 29, 2015

Sons and Daughters by Chase L. Durham

The apex of the Father's re-creation of us in Christ is adoption.

Aug 28, 2015

On Charleston and Christian Forgiveness by Jenny Gabbert

How do we function in our communities, then? How do we encourage those fearful ones who hate and face hatred on all sides?

Aug 28, 2015

3 Ways Creation Impacts The Gospel by Russell L. Meek

Jesus Christ makes all things new. This applies not only to the personal implications of a life surrendered to his lordship but also to how we understand and relate to the theology of creation.

Aug 27, 2015

Words of Unnatural Comfort in the Midst of Unrelenting Conflict by Miles Morrison

So according to Jesus things are going to continue to get worse but that shouldn’t be cause for concern for us.

Aug 27, 2015

Letters to a New Believer, Part Four

Concessions, Confessions, and Untangling Tangly Bits

Where the Bible speaks on sexual purity it does not offer suggestions. It provides commands. And these are commands we are to obey.

Aug 27, 2015

Cultivating a Gracious Climate in Your Church by Jared C. Wilson

A message of grace may attract people, but a culture of grace will keep them.

Aug 26, 2015

The Gospel For Kids by Rob Trahan

Alvin Reid said recently, “If youth can learn trigonometry in high school they can learn theology in church.” How can we expect to grow mature adult disciples without a solid foundation when they are younger?

Aug 26, 2015

Discipline and The Spiritual Disciplines by Matthew Emerson

For many Christians, myself included, regularly seeking God’s face in prayer, reading his Word, sharing the gospel, and fasting is, at one point or another, one of the most frustrating parts of the Christian life.

Aug 25, 2015

How Do You Back Away From God? by Peter Brunton

It's wonderful to feel the joy and thrill of God's Presence that comes through ministry. But we don't live in a church service or Christian environment 24-7. And neither could we.

Aug 25, 2015

Cough Drop Christianity by Jeremy Wilson

We may want to believe that we can do anything if we just believe in ourselves, but we are saved by faith in Christ, not faith in ourselves.

Aug 24, 2015

Train, Part 2

Rusted Hammers and Grace for Immaturity

Training men means that you and I will spend much of our time wire brush grinders, chipping away at the rust of hammers left in the grass. Let’s do it with grace, using the opportunity to train men how to avoid mistakes as much as possible how to take responsibility for mistakes when they are made, and how to rest in the grace of our God through it all.

Aug 24, 2015

Pushing Past Fear to Share Your Faith by Joel Lindsey

Becoming a courageous witness is not based upon our natural strength or abilities; it is based on faith in the absolute power of the Holy Spirit.

Aug 24, 2015

Seek Souls, Not Stats by Jared C. Wilson

Pastoral ministry is about souls, not stats. If your number of souls grows, fantastic. To God be the glory. Let’s just remember that we are responsible mainly for the care of the souls, not the accumulation of them.

Aug 23, 2015

A Christian is a Person Who Can Never Be Conquered by Staff

The sun shall not shine, the wind shall not blow, to the church’s hurt.

Aug 23, 2015

The Infinite Glory of the Cross by Charles Spurgeon

Atonement is a divine business; its sacrifice is infinite, even as the God who conceived it.

Aug 23, 2015

Do Not Be Anxious About the Threats of Man by Staff

Therefore, the demand of Jesus stands, and there is sufficient reason to obey it with joy and courage. Don't be anxious about the ordinary needs of life, and don't fear the threats of man.

Aug 22, 2015

Prepare for the After-Show by Adam McClendon

A desire exists to be famous and live for the applause of others despite reality showing us that the applause does not satisfy. Nor does the applause last.

Aug 22, 2015

How Do We Cherish Virginity Without Moralistic Fearmongering? by Staff

Must we teach our teens to be responsible, to cherish their purity, and to save the gift of sexual intimacy for marriage? Yes, without question. But so many of our
efforts amount to condemning present affections without that expulsive power of a new one.

Aug 21, 2015

How To Preach Like Peter by Jared Bumpers

Preachers today should seek to emulate Peter by exalting Christ in their sermons.

Aug 20, 2015

Praying Imprecatory Psalms Evangelistically by Sam Parkison

God will vindicate his holiness by pouring out wrath on the injustice that disregards it.

Aug 20, 2015

Letters to a New Believer, Part Three

Tell The Story That's *Yours*

It was 2006, I'd been a Christian for just over a year, it was my first missions trip, and it was super-awkward. It wasn't that I didn't know what happened (though I did), nor was it that I was particularly uncomfortable in front of a crowd (though I was). What made it awkward was the way I was telling the story wasn't right.

Aug 20, 2015

Holy vs. Holier Than Thou by Jared C. Wilson

How do we become holy without becoming 'holier than thou'?

Aug 19, 2015

Chasing Sunsets by Becky Wilson

Oh, that I might treat the glory of God like a sunset!

Aug 19, 2015

Why Do Good Things Happen to Bad People? by David Prince

If people were basically good, Jesus would have had no need to talk of the necessity of repentance for all to avoid perishing.

Aug 19, 2015

The Single Person's Good Desire For Sex by Paul Maxwell

We’re not dirty and sinful because of our sexual desires, and God fights for us as creatures in his image with sexual desires.

Aug 18, 2015

The Danger of Comparison by Tish Hedger

I wasn’t thinking about my unwashed hair or the spit up (and coffee) on my clothes or the fact that I honestly couldn’t remember if I had put on makeup that morning. That is, I wasn’t thinking about it until I saw my beautiful friend walking up to say hello.

Aug 18, 2015

Why People Leave Big Churches by Darrin Patrick

People that have embraced the mission look at the "issues" a church has as opportunities.

Aug 17, 2015

The Priest Has A Billion Jacobs Engraved On His Breastplate by Erik Raymond

Not only did Jesus endure such injustice from sinners but he did it for sinners.

Aug 17, 2015

A Plea to Churches to Use Their Bibles by Jim Elliff

I’ll never forget my shock the first time I attended a Bible-less church . . .

Aug 17, 2015

The Face of Evil, and of Love by Jared C. Wilson

There is no sin so great that God's gospel is not greater still.

Aug 16, 2015

Holy Spirit-Less Preaching? by Jason Corn

Unfortunately, there are pastors who rarely depend on the Holy Spirit for anything sermon related. Instead, they rely on rhetorical ability or are more concerned with relevance.

Aug 16, 2015

To Assume the Gospel is to Lose Grip of It by Staff

"He is, after all, the one about whom the book was written."

Aug 16, 2015

The Three Generosities of a Local Church by Jared C. Wilson

A gospel-centered church will grow into a kingdom-mindedness that is a constant reminder that no local church owns anybody and that what is best for every local church is whatever is best for the expansion of the gospel and worship of Christ.

Aug 15, 2015

Nominally Christian Community Like Adding Up Zeros by Staff

Francis Schaeffer cuts to the heart of the problem with "vaguely Christian" community.

Aug 15, 2015

Congregational Church Discipline by Adam Blosser

Why is congregational involvement so essential to biblical church discipline?

Aug 15, 2015

The Extra Calvinisticum by Staff

"So Christ, who 'is in heaven,' has clothed himself in our flesh, so that by stretching out his brotherly hand to us he may raise us to heaven with himself."

Aug 14, 2015

3 Tips for a Healthier Prayer Life by Joel Lindsey

Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar: You decide it’s time to pray, so you close your eyes. Fifteen seconds in, out of nowhere, tomorrow’s to-do list pops up and your thoughts are off on a tangent . . .

Aug 14, 2015

The Haunting of Ministry Failure by Joshua Wilson

"I am now a statistic," I thought. I am the percentage they talk about at conferences and church planting workshops.

Aug 13, 2015

The High Places by Adam McClendon

All of this makes me wonder:  If a king doing "what is right in the eyes of the Lord" could miss such blatant idolatry . . . couldn’t I? 

Aug 13, 2015

When The Clouds Gather by Collin Huber

As I write, I think of a 26-year old girl struck by a drunk driver less than five miles from my home. In an instant, a man’s carelessness wrecked her dreams and now she clings to life in a hospital bed. Around the world today, ISIS carries out its atrocities, natural disasters riddle lives with heartache, and still we drift forward. Can we find comfort? Peace? Hope?

Aug 13, 2015

5 Things the Ascension Means by Jared C. Wilson

The ascension is an integral part of gospel doctrine and has many implications. Here are just five . . .

Aug 12, 2015

Preparing Your Soul For Seminary

A Reading List

A small compendium of voices, saints of old and new, who will both challenge and grace you with the things necessary for “survival and thrival” in seminary.

Aug 12, 2015

Pastor, You Need the Gospel Too by Andrew Hebert

The gospel frees me from the pressure to be the hero of the church.

Aug 12, 2015

6 Traits of Authentic Christian Community by Mike Ayers

People want to be a part of something God-sized.

Aug 11, 2015

Indicatives and Imperatives

Preaching Biblical Commands without Preaching Moralism

How do we preach the imperatives of Scripture without falling into moralistic preaching?

Aug 10, 2015

5 Lessons I've Re-Learned About Prayer by Darin Smith

You and I can no more attempt to live this thing called the Christian life without prayer than we can live each second and day without breath. And yet the weakest prayers yield the most grace.

Aug 10, 2015

Repurposed Pain by Tish Hedger

Pain is a funny thing. How I wish I could shield my baby from it all. But that would not be love.

Aug 9, 2015

How to Almost Guarantee Your Children Will Run in the Opposite Direction from the Faith by Staff

Do we want to guarantee that our children will run in the opposite direction of our most cherished biblical convictions? All we have to do is sterilize our churches.

Aug 9, 2015

More Than Sovereign by Adam McClendon

Is God good?  As I reflected upon this question, I had a decision to make.  If the answer was “yes,” then that answer had to hold even if God allowed my child to die.

Aug 8, 2015

7 Dangers For Seminary Students by Dayton Hartman

I love the fact that those who populate these institutions will be sent out all over the world to serve as pastors, planters, missionaries, teachers, scholars, and more. Yet, many students find themselves "flaming out" during their time in seminary.

Aug 8, 2015

Free From the Law, O Happy Condition by Staff

The apostle having established the doctrine of justification, and answered the objections commonly urged against it, now asserts his triumphant conclusion . . .

Aug 7, 2015

The Importance of Corporate Confession by Sam Parkison

If Luther was right that "all of life is repentance," then a non-repenter is a non-believer.

Aug 7, 2015

Story Wars by Sean Post

From the moment Tristan first stepped into my car on the way to the coffee shop, he seemed burdened. We ordered drinks, sat down, and the whole situation came pouring out. He was confused about why he continued to look at pornography even though he didn’t want to. Together, we began to unpack the broken story he was trusting in.

Aug 6, 2015

The Deep Waters of Biblical Exposition by Mark Hampton

Do not be discouraged at this daunting task, rather, be encouraged that we have such a tremendously deep and rich resource from which to draw.

Aug 6, 2015

Encouragement for the Seminarian Family Man by Steven Leatherbury

This is isn't a post about how I have the perfect formula to manage a busy life in seminary, or how I have this figured out. This is just a post to encourage fellow family men in seminary with full plates.

Aug 6, 2015

The Mystery Unfolding, Grasping by Jared C. Wilson

This mystery is grasp-able because it itself comes near and grasps.

Aug 5, 2015

Trusting God in The Valley by Nicholas Haines

Our valley has been long, and we are still in it. We do not know when we will begin to climb the hills again. But we do know our God.

Aug 5, 2015

Love Should Lead Us by Casey Lewis

Knowledge is a hindrance when we allow it alone to guide us.

Aug 5, 2015

11 Ways Single Christians Enjoy Their Singleness Without Wasting It by David Qaoud

Singleness might be a waiting season, but it doesn’t need to be a wasted season.

Aug 4, 2015

9 Marks of a Healthy Worship Leader by Alex Duke

I’m convinced these nine things are must-haves for anyone leading a congregation in song week after week.

Aug 4, 2015

Christ 'Plus Something' Brings Bondage and Destroys Community by David Prince

The core of every person’s testimony is the exactly the same—grace, which is Christ + nothing.

Aug 3, 2015

New Series: "One Thing" by Staff

Introducing our new video interview series.

Aug 3, 2015

How to Repent Without Really Repenting by Jim Elliff

The religious man often deceives himself in his repentance.

Aug 3, 2015

What Would Jesus Say to People Buying and Selling Baby Parts? by Garrett Kell

While there certainly should be political and legal discussions about these events, the most important question we must always ask is, “What would Jesus say about it?”

Aug 3, 2015

Why Knowing Your Flock is Critical to Meaningful Preaching by Jared C. Wilson

The ministry of preaching cannot be divorced from the ministry of soul care; in fact, preaching is actually an extension of soul care. There are a host of reasons why it is important for pastors who want to preach meaningfully to know their flocks as well as they can, but here are three of the most important.

Aug 2, 2015

Heaven is Taking Over: Yield by Staff

This is the meaning of existence, if you will accept it and enter in.

Aug 2, 2015

Worship Style Isn't Always Neutral by Staff

You can't just go pick some popular cultural form and insert the Gospel message and think you have thereby come up with relevant worship.

Aug 2, 2015

Traditionalism is Winning by Jared C. Wilson

As changing views on gay marriage, among others, go to show, secularization marches on. Traditionalists may be on the losing end of historic real estate, at least for now, as well as booed out of the public square for their views on sex. Down the road, though, they still look to possess something else critical.

Aug 1, 2015

Conspiracy Theories and God's Sovereignty by Staff

The facts demonstrate that Christian people who believe and embrace these kinds of theories are in the same boat as atheists, agnostics, and evolutionists. They have thrown God out of the picture as one who has lost control of his world.

Aug 1, 2015

All Things to All People to Win Some by Casey Lewis

Presenting the gospel in a way people can understand doesn’t mean we water down the gospel.

Aug 1, 2015

Being Spectacularly Unspectacular for the Kingdom by Staff

Instead of obsessing about changing the world, what if we just gave ourselves to living in glad obedience to Jesus in the trenches of an ordinary life?

July

Jul 31, 2015

An Explosion of Joy by Staff

Mission begins with a kind of explosion of joy.

Jul 31, 2015

Brothers, Don't Forget Titus by Justin McLendon

From my perspective, churches in need of revitalization are lacking in three primary areas: godly leadership, generational discipleship, and grace infused works.

Jul 31, 2015

Since God Has Spoken, Let's Listen by J.T. English

One of the great dangers in doing theology is the desire to do all the talking.

Jul 31, 2015

Run Your Race by Keri Seavey

I am running on a trail along a lake. I haven't run (or exercised) in months and so I really have to pace myself. But then she passes me. I don't even know who she is. All I know is she is about my age, she's wearing cute yoga pants and she just passed me.

Jul 30, 2015

John Newton's Pastoral Poem by Staff

It is a bitter sweet,
A sorrow full of joy . . .

Jul 30, 2015

The Epidemic of Male Body Hatred by Paul Maxwell

A six pack plays no role in God’s love for you. You being conformed to the physical cultural ideal changes God’s love for you exactly 0%.

Jul 30, 2015

Do We Always Have to Fight To Be Faithful? by Jonathan Leeman

Cultural Opposition: Lie Down, Lean In, Lay Low, or Leave?

Jul 29, 2015

Pastor, Appreciate Your Wife's Unique Ministry by Jamaal Williams

We must take time to mediate not just on our own pastoring but on the incredible responsibilities that most pastor’s wives have each week. 

Jul 29, 2015

Train, Part 1

6 Musts in Training Men

All men, whether they desire to be pastors or are simply husbands and fathers, need training in 6 key areas. Men who desire to be pastors must then learn to apply these 6 areas to a whole other section of life, a larger family -- their church.

Jul 29, 2015

The Practice of Ministry Sabbaticals, Part 4

Planning and Prepping for a Sabbatical

It is my prayer that your church incorporates a practice of ministry sabbaticals. There are enough burned-out pastors. Let us not add more.

Jul 28, 2015

We've Got Spirit, Yes We Do by Dustin Rouse

We must be careful that we don’t gauge the Spirit’s effectiveness in our church based on how many people feel a certain way.

Jul 28, 2015

Don't Treat Sunday Morning Like It's Your iPod by Nathan Rose

With an iPod the music is for you. But in worship the music is for someone other than yourself.

Jul 28, 2015

The Time I Said I Don't Always Like Women's Ministry Events by Christine Hoover

I invite her to our women's day retreat. She says no. She describes past experiences of women's events characterized by shallow conversation, girly crafts, and topics never veering far from marriage and motherhood.

Jul 27, 2015

Go to Christ by Staff

Let us therefore be incited, when we hear of such a fullness, not to take the grace of God in vain, but strive to participate in it . . .

Jul 27, 2015

The Responsibility of Suffering by Michael Kelley

Suffering is the gift that no one wants, and yet God chooses to give sometimes nonetheless.

Jul 27, 2015

The Fuel That Grows Courage by Darrin Patrick

The fear of man leads to hypocrisy. The fear of God leads to courage.

Jul 27, 2015

Fear and Trembling by Jared C. Wilson

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.

Jul 26, 2015

Keep Your Heart by Staff

The call to keep your heart is a call to work on your life internally, not merely externally.

Jul 26, 2015

The Truth About David and Jonathan by Jared Musgrove

I've consistently encountered such misunderstanding, as well as bold-faced attempts to hijack David and Jonathan for the sake of normalizing (and wrongly biblicizing) homosexual relationships.

Jul 26, 2015

A Lesson from King Asa by Joshua Hedger

We had no idea when we named our son Asa, that he would have a disease of the foot. Perhaps it is simply coincidence . . .

Jul 25, 2015

A Divine and Supernatural Light by Staff

This knowledge, or sight of God and Christ, cannot be a mere speculative knowledge . . .

Jul 25, 2015

Does The Bible Say Anything About Sleep Habits? by David Roach

Can a lack of sleep indicate a spiritual problem? Does the Bible say anything to guide us in our sleep patterns?

Jul 25, 2015

How To Have the Best Vacation Ever by Jim Fowler

A perfect vacation is not about the waves, fresh powder, or the length of stay.  It is found with your loved ones, by being alone, present, willing, and intentional.

Jul 24, 2015

Church Planter, Rest Well by Bill Laky

Hoping and praying for the largest possible impact for the glory of God is fine and well, but wrapping your identity into the success of your church is a one-way ticket to misery.

Jul 24, 2015

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Leaving Your Church by Sean Lillis

The bad reasons for leaving a church are many, but they all share one thing in common—they are born out of the error of thinking that the church exists primarily for me.

Jul 24, 2015

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

Life as a Pastor's Wife

It’s so very hard but so very worth it. It's the best of times but the worst of times. Somehow simultaneously.

Jul 23, 2015

What to Do With 'Some People Are Saying . . .' by Jared C. Wilson

The pastor should give no harbor to about-talk that avoids to-talk.

Jul 23, 2015

The Lavishness of Grace by Jesse Benack

Through faith in Jesus, God gives us an eternal country, a heavenly wealth, and the favor of the King of the Universe. These are blessings we did not earn and could never deserve.

Jul 23, 2015

Help for Worship Leaders From Hebrews by Josh Starkey

Worship in your church does not stand or fall with you as the corporate worship leader. Be faithful to prepare, and lead music and other elements in your gatherings that put Christ on full display for your church. Look to Jesus.

Jul 22, 2015

Should A Pastor's Wife Play Second Fiddle? by Chad Ashby

She tries not to be bitter, but he was out late last night for a meeting, and the night before that he was preaching for a nearby church's evening service, and he's missed every lunch for two weeks. She thinks, Is this what God expects of a pastor's wife? Maybe I just need to get used to this.

Jul 22, 2015

Are You Desperate Enough Yet? by Micheal Pardue

I was recently conversing with a good friend about the spiritual condition of the Church. He made a comment that I am sure is not exclusive to him, but struck me deeply: “We are not desperate enough yet.”

Jul 22, 2015

The Practice of Ministry Sabbaticals, Part 3

Implementing A Sabbatical Policy

I know it sounds weird but it is important to clearly lay out expectations. As much as pastors love the people God has blessed them with, it is important that they spend time away during their vacation or sabbatical.

Jul 22, 2015

How We Teach and Admonish in Our Worship by Sam Parkison

God wants us to experience our messy community when we come together in worship. He is honored by it.

Jul 21, 2015

Why I Wasn't Overjoyed When Our Town's Porno Shop Closed by Jared C. Wilson

Of course we should be glad when any purveyor of smut shuts down or suffers a setback. But we should not delude ourselves. The culture of porn is financially rich and dangerously addictive.

Jul 21, 2015

Life As a House by Sean Post

With each young man still wearing a smile of pride and accomplishment, I poured lighter fluid on each project and lit them aflame.

Jul 21, 2015

The Need For Need by Chad Francis

If the gospel of Jesus Christ is true, how can we be so unmoved by it?

Jul 20, 2015

By Faith, By Faith, By Faith by Staff

Oh, how eminently is Jesus thus glorified in His saints!

Jul 20, 2015

Who Pours Into You? by Christine Hoover

I wonder if, in all our talk of discipleship and mentoring and "pouring into", we've created for ourselves a culture of entitlement.

Jul 19, 2015

When the Real King Emerges, Things Stand Differently by Staff

Now this is proof that Christ is God, the Word and Power of God . . .

Jul 19, 2015

The Place of the Preached Word in Community by Jared Musgrove

The first heart that the preached Word must affect in your gospel-centered community is yours.

Jul 19, 2015

Rebellion and Worship by Nick Jones

The time had come for God’s justice to be laid out on the Amalekites, and King Saul was to be the mediator. But, as often is the case, a simple command gets transfigured into something more palatable between the hearing and the doing.

Jul 18, 2015

Look Up by Staff

Do not be always poring down over the imperfections of your own heart, and dissecting your own besetting sins.

Jul 18, 2015

3 Surprising Ways to Boast in the Lord by Michael Kelley

What does it look like to boast in the Lord? There is, of course, the most straight forward meaning – that boasting in the Lord is not being proud of your own accomplishments, but instead sharing freely and loudly what Jesus has done on the cross. But is that the only way to boast in the Lord?

Jul 18, 2015

6 Qualities A Congregation Should Want in Their Pastor by Casey Lewis

Paul in 1 Corinthians 4 lays out six qualities a congregation should expect of their pastor.

Jul 17, 2015

Jesus' Call Was to Plant Churches by Staff

According to Tim Keller, virtually all the great evangelistic challenges of the New Testament are basically calls to plant churches, not simply to share the faith.

Jul 17, 2015

6 Bible Passages I Consistently Pray Over My Wife by Sam Bierig

My practice has been to try to take one of these passages each day of the week and use it to give momentum to my prayer for my wife.  What a joy and weighty responsibility it is to pray on behalf of our wives!

Jul 17, 2015

5 Ways to Get More Out of Your Daily Devos by Chris Martin

Here are five easy ways that you can engage with the Bible in such a way that you may get a little more out of your daily devotions.

Jul 16, 2015

How to Help People Leave Your Church the Right Way by Brent Prentice

Many church leaders strategize about ways to grow their membership in number and maturity, but how much thought is given to how they are helping their members leave in a healthy way?

Jul 16, 2015

A Voice To Be Heard by Joshua Hedger

I have much insecurity when it comes to the value of my input and wisdom. I always feel there is someone smarter, wiser, more experienced, and better qualified than I to speak on an issue. And the truth is that there is.

Jul 16, 2015

OK, These Are Crazy Times, But Let's Not Forget Why We're Here by David Prince

Our hope in the face of demonic assault is that the glory of the age to come has already invaded this present evil age in Jesus of Nazareth whose kingdom will not be consummated until the eschaton. The believer must realize that he or she lives in the overlap of the ages

Jul 15, 2015

Not Simply a Promise, But a Happening by Staff

This was no new theology or new idea or new promise; it was a new event in history.

Jul 15, 2015

What Is The Good Life? by Darrin Patrick

No so-called "expert," when surveyed, associated the good life with being poor, mournful, and meek. But if you asked Jesus that very same question, that’s where he’d start.

Jul 15, 2015

The Practice of Ministry Sabbaticals, Part 2

What Is a Sabbatical?

A ministry sabbatical is not a glorified vacation, but a time for spiritual reflection, renewal, training, or contribution.

Jul 14, 2015

Christian Men Think Clearly Christianly by Jared C. Wilson

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.

Jul 14, 2015

Dissolving the Wish-Dream by Cody Barnhart

After months of feeling like my role in our church was nothing more than drudgery, this little book destroyed what had been dragging me down: a wish-dream.

Jul 14, 2015

The Wrath of God Warms My Heart by Peyton Hill

Hellfire and brimstone preaching will not suffice, but neither will a mushy Christianity.

Jul 13, 2015

The Greatest Doctrine You've Never Heard Of by Ronni Kurtz

If you want to have your breath taken away by grace, wonder the New Testament in search for what happens to wicked men and women who are “in, with, through, and by” Christ.

Jul 13, 2015

Utterly Saved by Jared C. Wilson

Salvation by Christ's work is a gift of grace received through faith. This salvation is total (Romans 8:30) and we see its totality in John 6.

Jul 13, 2015

Loaves, Fish, and Un-Self-Conscious Little Boys by Michael Kelley

You know the feeling. It’s the one when you find yourself surrounded by people who work more interesting jobs, take more interesting vacations, and live generally more interesting lives. Suddenly, you find yourself shrinking into yourself, very conscious of your normality in light of what’s surrounding you.

Jul 12, 2015

The Fountain, The Ocean by Staff

To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here.

Jul 12, 2015

Casting Upon a Caring Savior by Drew Griffin

God cares for His people from beginning to end, throughout all circumstances.  We do not rely on an unsympathetic God, or one who is distant or emotionally uninvolved.

Jul 12, 2015

Psalm 38 and Freedom From Consequences by Derrick Lynch

Is it possible to be at the same time repentant and also to boldly ask for relief from sin’s consequences? Or does God’s grace for our sin stop only at the point of forgiveness?  Are we on our own after that?

Jul 11, 2015

Stop Saying Students Are the Future of the Church by Jared Bumpers

I get it. The goal is to acknowledge the value of students and the important role they play in the future of the church. Here’s the problem: it implies that students are not part of the church right now.

Jul 11, 2015

Thoughts On Prayer by Jeff Crawford

What prayer is and what it does and how it works and the ways it changes us and the world is nearly impossible to grasp. So here are just a few thoughts on prayer that have been camping out in my mind . . .

Jul 11, 2015

Union With Christ as Assurance of Life by Staff

When both our justification and our new life are found in Jesus Christ, then this burdensome, disingenuous Christianity is replaced by Spirit-empowered gratitude.

Jul 11, 2015

Don't Study to Pass by Jason Kees

My encouragement to you is that if you are presently in your Bible college or seminary education, do not study for a passing grade. Remember now why you are studying God’s word.

Jul 10, 2015

Consider Where Sin is Leading You by Garrett Kell

See yourself taking down those smiling pictures from the wall and taping up the moving boxes, unsure if you’ll ever open them again. Do you see it? Sin doesn’t tell you about those days, does it?

Jul 10, 2015

A Garden, A Sword, A Healing Savior

Discernment in Defending the Faith

When we face the enemies of God we would be well-served to remember that Jesus commanded that we take up the cross rather than the sword.

Jul 10, 2015

Pixel Lust, Part 2

The Single Christian and Porn

Trusting God’s eternal gospel, believing him to be good in the middle of it, will become the fuel you use for the fight that awaits you just on the other side of that supposed cyber meadow.

Jul 9, 2015

Exiles Don't Swagger by Staff

Being Christian exiles in American culture does not end our influence; it takes the swagger out of it.

Jul 9, 2015

The Proper Feeding of the Christian Soul by Dustin Rouse

A lot of worship diets are like "Oreos for breakfast."

Jul 9, 2015

The Dirty Jobs Pastor by Daniel Darling

My years of ministry experience tell me that most still feel that the work they do with their hands during the week is inferior to the work of people whose paycheck comes from a church or Christian ministry. Why is this?

Jul 8, 2015

What Do You Need to Offload? by Staff

If you are a Christian, but bored, maybe you need to lose something

Jul 8, 2015

Our Worship Has a Reason by Sam Parkison

When we are focusing on the grandeur of God’s actual glory, we are freed from superficial stimulation of our emotions. This is actually how we safeguard authenticity in our worship.

Jul 8, 2015

The Practice of Ministry Sabbaticals, Part 1

Why Don't More Ministers Take Them?

For either churches or pastors who refuse to consider a sabbatical period for the minister, the root of the refusal is often sin.

Jul 8, 2015

When God Lays Down His Bow by Jared C. Wilson

The rainbow symbolizes the gospel, for God has "laid down his bow." To turn it into a symbol of pride, then, is sadly and truly to test God into taking it up again, to invite his wrath.

Jul 7, 2015

Discipline and The Church by Casey Lewis

Church discipline shouldn’t be a taboo topic or action in the church today. It should be talked about and practiced because it ultimately brings the most glory to God and helps us accomplish our God given goal — to make disciples.

Jul 7, 2015

The Road Not Taken by Jonathan Elliff

I believe we are in an age where pastors and churchgoers alike are at a fork in the road when it comes to the kind of pastor they will be and what kind of church they will serve.  And it boils down to a choice between the well-worn road and the road less traveled.

Jul 7, 2015

How Your Preaching Might Increase Sin in Your Church by Jared C. Wilson

I fear we vastly underestimate the spiritual damage inflicted on our churches by "How To" sermons without an explicit gospel connection.

Jul 6, 2015

The Wolves, Swords, and Foxes by Andrea Burke

How long will I keep anxiety on a leash pretending I’m not on the end of his?

Jul 6, 2015

In Praise of Children by Peyton Hill

God delights in children, and since he delights in children, we do too.

Jul 6, 2015

When Gospel Motivation is Gone by Logan Gentry

While it would be nice for all of us to get a sabbatical to sort through everything, we all still have responsibilities, jobs, families, and friends that we can’t block out for an extended season until we are motivated by the gospel again. In these things, we must learn dependence in our weakness and watch the truth of scripture come to real life around us.

Jul 5, 2015

The Joy of Serving by Jim Fowler

The saying goes that church is not to be a "spectator sport" whereby we come, watch, grab our fill, and leave.  We are called to come and be a part of the life of the church, not watching from the sidelines, but getting involved.

Jul 5, 2015

I Need to Tell You About My Friend Anne by Jared C. Wilson

Just like our brother Jesus, Anne faced death with a natural amount of fear and a Spiritual amount of faith in the Father who loves her, cares for her, and secures her. Like Jesus, she had abandoned herself to the sovereign grace of God.

Jul 5, 2015

A Fusion of Grace by Zach Barnhart

Some congregations have turned the phrase "Come As You Are" into "Stay As You Are," while other church bodies proclaim, "Be Ashamed With Who You Are." Neither approach is right.

Jul 4, 2015

Pastors Need Heart Work by Phil Auxier

Countless books are written each year on methodologies and stratagem.  But there are few that are written to engage our hearts.

Jul 4, 2015

Convicting Conversations

Apologetics and Waging War Within the Hostile Mind

The role of apologetics is not to engage the mind in order to sway it but rather to use worldviews to weave past the mind’s defenses and confront the rebellious soul with the gospel of Truth.  Once Christ is proclaimed as Lord within the conversation the person’s mind will engage in every manner of distraction to avoid confronting the uncomfortable truth that they are subject to a sovereign God.

Jul 4, 2015

6 Cries for Saving Mercy from Psalm 119 by Tom Johnston

From death to life, from lost to saved, from bondage to deliverance, from captivity to redemption, from guilty to acquitted. All these requested for mercy granted through the death of Jesus on the cross.

Jul 3, 2015

Pixel Lust, Part 1

The Married Christian and Porn

The sexual provisions he has provided you in the truth of the gospel and in the body and soul of your spouse is enough for you.  It is more than enough for you.

Jul 3, 2015

Sticks and Stones by Tish Hedger

When all is lost, Christ is not lost to us.

Jul 3, 2015

Pastor, You Should Share The Pulpit by Steve Rahn

If your church is blessed to have another guy or two gifted by God to preach, I encourage you to share the pulpit. It'll be good for you and good for your church.  

Jul 2, 2015

A Roach, A Spider and A Tangled Web by Katie McCoy

Make no mistake, whatever your posture towards it may be right now, wherever you are in relationship to the web, it is serious stuff.

Jul 2, 2015

It Takes a Hard Forehead and a Heavy Heart to Preach by Derek Rishmawy

In moments of weakness I want to turn aside from saying what I need to say and console myself with the thought that, in the grand scheme of things, my words won’t really make that great a difference. The bracing truth is that this is a lie that our people can’t afford for us to believe.

Jul 2, 2015

Light and Fellowship in The Darkness by Jason G. Duesing

In the real world of the twenty-first century, the Christian’s sojourn through our contemporary culture is very much like that of the Fellowship of the Ring's journey through the Mines of Moria.

Jul 1, 2015

Believing Prayer by Staff

Believing prayer is prevailing, successful prayer.

Jul 1, 2015

To The Sons and Daughters of Divorce by Paul Maxwell

My parents divorced when I was nine. I’m not a victim, but the break still broke me.

Jul 1, 2015

How To Make Jesus The Hero Of Every Sermon by Andrew Hebert

Practically speaking, what does it look like to preach a text and point people to Jesus while faithfully handling the authorial intent of the text itself?

Jul 1, 2015

3 Marks of a Spirit-Filled Leader by Darrin Patrick

If you’re a follower of Jesus, the Holy Spirit wants you to become a leader. The good news is He stands by ready to empower you in every situation.

June

Jun 30, 2015

To The Praise of His Glory by Rob Trahan

When we orient our lives toward God, doing all “to the praise of his glory,” we reap the benefits of all of the spiritual blessings promised to us before the foundation of the world.

Jun 30, 2015

Prioritizing Replenishing Relationships by Jamaal Williams

My wife and I began to pray intentionally that the Lord would send replenishing relationships that would loosen me up and lighten my load. And he did. This experience has been life-giving.

Jun 30, 2015

Family? Or Church? by Tish Hedger

When one voice tells me that my family comes first and another tells me I'm being selfish and need to sacrifice for the ministry vision, I am torn between which to follow.

Jun 29, 2015

To All Who Despair: Jesus is Making All Things New by Jared C. Wilson

Someday, Jesus the Redeemer will return to redeem everything. Fully. Completely. Eternally.

Jun 29, 2015

The Long-Term Consequences of Pragmatism in the Church by Jonathan Leeman

When one generation of Christians decides to downplay or relativize or pragmatize the local church, they just might find that the next generation no longer values the same gospel.

Jun 29, 2015

The One Phrase That Will Help You Embrace The Cost of Relationships by Michael Kelley

Relationships are costly endeavors, and if you’re like me, it’s a battle many times to get passed that cost. But there is a phrase you can say to yourself that will help you embrace that cost, and it’s not as complicated as you might think.

Jun 29, 2015

Preachers Must Sweat Out The Text by Erik Raymond

Why do some guys walk to the pulpit and from first word to last seems to be clicking, dripping with passion, demonstrable brokenness, and a visible burden for their people to ‘get it’? While others are able to deliver a biblically faithful message but seem to lack that extra ‘something’ that makes a good sermon different?

Jun 28, 2015

Can I Tell You About My Friend Jesus? by Jared C. Wilson

Here is a series of tweets about my very best friend.

Jun 28, 2015

AAA Leadership by Adam McClendon

Learning from the biblical Aaron’s missteps continues to be a helpful marker for me and leads me to think about a practical three-step process to keep my leaders from self-sabotage

Jun 28, 2015

The Pastor as Shepherd by Matt Capps

The beautiful thing about the shepherding metaphor is that it instructs us on the nature of pastoral leadership with deep emotive insight. In many ways, this is why the Biblical writers employed the shepherding metaphor for pastoral ministry.

Jun 27, 2015

God Grammar by Derrick Lynch

Your preferred adjective when thinking about God is the single most important word in your theological vocabulary.

Jun 27, 2015

Cleaning Up Relational Waste by Andy Love

If you’ve submitted your life to the call of church planting and church leadership, you cannot escape the fact that you’ve entered into a relational work. Your effectiveness in ministry, for better or worse, is going to be influenced by your ability to live out the call from Romans 12 to “as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all men.”

Jun 27, 2015

What NASCAR Taught Me About Church by Jeff Crawford

As I was watching Speedweek’s events, particularly the qualifying duels on the Thursday before the 500, I learned something about, of all things, the church.

Jun 26, 2015

Finding The Right Church by Jim Elliff

What should you look for in a church?

Jun 26, 2015

Give Us This Day Our Daily News by Jared Musgrove

Let the news be an instigator to get you involved in all that God is doing in this world that belongs—without hype, sensationalism or slant—to Him. 

Jun 26, 2015

9 Truths Nobody Told You About Small Groups by Ben Reed

I don’t know what the hook was that got you “in,” but that won’t be the hook that gets you to stay. Allow me to tell you what nobody else told you when you signed up.

Jun 25, 2015

I Am Satisfied About You by Nick Jones

In our defense of the doctrine of depravity, which is right and necessary, we must not forget the transformative grace of the gospel.

Jun 25, 2015

How Often Should We Celebrate The Lord's Supper? by Peyton Hill

If the gospel is truly of “first importance” (1 Cor 15:3), then what are some ways the church can continue to move the gospel to its proper place of preeminence? Certainly there are more ways than one, but according to the Spirit’s words in 1 Corinthians 11, a great way to reclaim the gospel as the focal point of the church is to recover a regular observance of the Supper.

Jun 25, 2015

Christians and Culture

Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and The Great Commission

If it were true that direct gospel ministry and Bible reading are all that matter, that would mean that we waste most of our lives in the meaningless daily stuff of ordinary living.

Jun 24, 2015

Salvation From The Lord by Jonathan Shradar

Whatever you face today, be it a hard conversation or the good report and everything in between, take your trust in the Lord along.

Jun 24, 2015

Converted to Christ and His Church by Joe Thorn

Evangelism is not only winning someone to Jesus by the grace of God in the preaching of the gospel. It is also winning them to the church by that same grace and gospel.

Jun 24, 2015

Have We Lost Our Sense of Sacredness? by J.A. Medders

Our churches will experience a super-nova of the Spirit when we stop trading personal and meaningful holiness for what is safe in the world’s eyes.

Jun 23, 2015

The Gospel is the Food of Faith by Staff

"The new life in Christ, just like all natural life, must be nourished and strengthened."

Jun 23, 2015

Hannah's Loss by Courtney Reissig

Hannah was able to look in the face of her precious boy as she walked away from him for the last time and know that God would win in the end and her loss was not in vain.

Jun 23, 2015

Building Relationships With Internationals by Joshua Hedger

According to the Mission Society, approximately 75% of internationals are never invited into an American home. Most internationals come from cultures that put great emphasis on hospitality and yet they find that in America there is little hospitality offered to them.

Jun 23, 2015

A Better Word by Jared C. Wilson

Let them come with their words, then. Let the devil come with his barrage of lies, even his truths-turned-lies.

Jun 22, 2015

Nobody Ever Came to Christ Because He Knew Himself To Be Elect by Staff

The question for you is not, 'Am I one of the elect?' but 'Am I a sinner?'

Jun 22, 2015

Even the Best Sermon Cannot Do Any Good Without a Savour of Christ In It by Charles Spurgeon

"I will go over hedge and ditch but I would get at my Master, for the sermon cannot do any good unless there is a savour of Christ in it."

Jun 22, 2015

Ministry Is Not A Game by Mark A. Howell

Every day of ministry brings with it a battle for our minds. And this battle has much higher stakes than that of playing a game. If you lose this battle you are likely to lose your ministry.

Jun 22, 2015

Preaching Like A Boy Band Trying To Play The Blues by Jeff Lawrence

When we preach in our own strength, it is easy to come off like a boy band in a self-focused, over-choreographed performance. But if we pretend to have it all together, we rob our people of the comfort of the gospel.

Jun 21, 2015

Training Up Leaders by Jeremy Writebol

I have learned that “growing a garden” is one of the most enjoyable and fruitful things that you can do in ministry. In fact, I might be so bold as to say that unless you are working to train up and develop leaders in your church plant you probably aren’t being faithful to the biblical calling you have as a pastor or church planter.

Jun 21, 2015

From Rubble to Restoration by Christine Hoover

He longs to transform their spiritual rubble into complete life restoration because this is His way, the way of Jesus. If they would just let Him.

Jun 21, 2015

Fathers, Give Yourself to the Lord, Then to Your Family

A Father's Day Reflection

There was a time when obeying my parents ended. There will never be a time on this earth when honoring my parents will end.

Jun 20, 2015

3 Bad Reasons To Leave Your Church by Chris Martin

Your church is broken because it’s made up of broken people, including yourself. Abandoning the local church is only acceptable under a few extreme circumstances. Other than in certain circumstances, the people of God have the responsibility to sacrificially love their local churches as Jesus has.

Jun 20, 2015

A Privileged People by Adam McClendon

Circumstances may currently be tough, but they are temporary.  On the other side of this life, a future glory awaits.  Don’t forget that.

Jun 20, 2015

Christian Community Happens In and Through Jesus by Casey Lewis

Only through His empowering are we able to live together in a way that honors Him.

Jun 19, 2015

Christianity and a Much Deeper Problem Than the Will by Staff

Christianity recognizes our problem as a matter of character, of human nature.

Jun 19, 2015

Fighting Legalism In Your Heart by Joel Lindsey

It is helpful for us to examine our own hearts for signs of legalism, signs of places where we are trusting in or protecting our moral self-sufficiency for our identity.

Jun 19, 2015

Do You Have A Dysfunctional Relationship With God? by Erik Raymond

Like a regular relationship, we have to see the warning signs here in our spiritual relationship. If we find ourselves intentionally avoiding or carelessly neglecting communion with God then we are on a troubling trajectory.

Jun 19, 2015

Church Going Downhill? by Jim Elliff

Was your church meeting disappointing this week? Do you find that there seems to be little life in the church? Are there troubles stirring? Are there way too many parking lot conversations? What can you do as a member to make things better?

Jun 18, 2015

The Sweetness of Jesus by Jared C. Wilson

I love my friend Jesus, because he's sweet in all the ways I deeply need and greatly want.

Jun 18, 2015

What is this Gospel-Centered Stuff? by Staff

Some helpful links defining and explaining the importance of gospel-centrality for the church.

Jun 18, 2015

Trusting God To Do and Trusting God To Be by Becky Wilson

I have discovered that there is quite a massive chasm between trusting God to do and trusting God to be. So what's the difference?

Jun 18, 2015

Why Foolishness is Better Than Self-Esteem by David Prince

The question we must all answer is, are we willing to be thought a fool for the sake of Jesus?

Jun 18, 2015

The Greatest Miracle Of All by Steve Bezner

The universe, as I understand logic, demands a creator. But I do not believe the universe itself to be the greatest miracle of all.

Jun 17, 2015

Pastors Getting Real by Staff

"We all must remember who we are in Christ and who we are not without him."

Jun 17, 2015

Should I Attend My Friend's Same-Sex Wedding? by Sam Parkison

What if I go there to show the love of Jesus; to show some grace? After all, didn’t Jesus hang out with sinners?

Jun 17, 2015

Ministering to Singles by Jeremy Wilson

If the church’s message seems to be that marriage and parenting bring the "real" issues in life, you may be sending the message that singles are second-class citizens.

Jun 17, 2015

Confession Is A Cosmic Trust Fall by J.A. Medders

We typically think that if given enough time, our sins will work themselves out. Boy, are we wrong.

Jun 16, 2015

Race Is A Gospel Issue by Matthew Emerson

What gives you the eyes to see and ears to hear the image of God in your fellow man clearly and truly other than the gospel?

Jun 16, 2015

His Eye Is On The Sasquatch by Jared C. Wilson

I'll tell you why I hope Bigfoot exists -- and why, in a way, I hope he is never discovered . . .

Jun 16, 2015

An Acquired Taste by Michael Kelley

Developing new tastes take time. Instead of being frustrated by the time it takes to grow and love spiritual disciplines, think of time as your ally.

Jun 15, 2015

Grounded in God's Powerful Words by Staff

At each new beginning, the centrality of God's authoritative and creative word is reaffirmed and reemphasized. Because our salvation is not born of human will or merit but the powerful word of God, which dissolves darkness into light and raises the dead to life.

Jun 15, 2015

The Shape of Complementarian Husbanding by Jared C. Wilson

Complementarianism is not generally about authority/submission, as if they exist in a moral vacuum. It is about what biblical authority/submission look like. Any man who treats his wife in a neglectful or abusive way is no complementarian; he is a walking perversion of manhood in need of repentance.

Jun 15, 2015

A Goodbye to Youth Ministry by Mike Leake

As I find myself passing the student ministry baton off to others, I have laid out for them a simple philosophy of youth ministry. Perhaps it will be beneficial to you as well

Jun 15, 2015

4 Barriers to Community by Darrin Patrick

If you want to be known, served, and celebrated in community, you’ll need to be challenged by that community. And that community will help you live the life you’ve always wanted.

Jun 14, 2015

Questions to Ask Yourself About Eternal Security by Staff

Because eternal life is integral to the gospel's promise, eternal security is an integral blessing of the gospel.

Jun 14, 2015

Troubleshooting Division in the Church by Casey Lewis

I believe our sinful desire for power, control, and praise are at the root of most church divisions.

Jun 14, 2015

I'm Not Nervous (and That's Not Bad) by Adam McClendon

I regularly hear conference speakers claim that if someone isn’t nervous before they stand up to declare the words of God then something is wrong.  I'm not sure this is right.

Jun 13, 2015

Don't Just Have A Mission, Live Your Mission by Rob Trahan

Your church's vision must become more than just a catchphrase. It should be the embodiment of the way God is driving your church to achieve His mission.

Jun 13, 2015

What Does The Resurrection Have To Do With Forgiveness? by Joel Lindsey

It stands, then, that if Jesus was not raised, Christ’s sacrifice was deficient, that Jesus’ blood was somehow insufficient to pay the full penalty for sin.

Jun 12, 2015

Bruce Jenner's Tragic Misadventure by Thor Madsen

God can save us, one by one.  He can bring the awakening that we need, with all the good side-effects that would follow from it.  We’ve always known that, based on Scripture; and now, with each new headline, we can also feel its truth as never before.

Jun 12, 2015

When Holy Ambitions Take Wrong Turns by Adam Cavalier

I’ve noticed in my own heart is that my definition of ministry success is often determined by what other people think of me. Strong influence, wide recognition, and powerful spiritual authority can be good things. Those things can be leveraged for tremendous impact in God’s kingdom. But often my heart can gravitate towards those things quicker than they do the ultimate goal: honoring Christ.

Jun 12, 2015

4 Reasons to Preach Imprecatory Psalms by Russell L. Meek

It would make the preacher’s job a lot easier if these tough words appeared in the mouths of the wicked. Then we could just brush them aside -- "Nothing to see here, folks." So, sure, I get why people don’t preach these psalms. But here are four reasons why you should . . .

Jun 11, 2015

Theology Needs the Church; The Church Needs Theology by Staff

What is the relationship between theology and the church?

Jun 11, 2015

5 Ways to Keep Church Discipline from Seeming Weird by Jared C. Wilson

To mention the idea of a church disciplining its members strikes tenderhearted and naive Christians as weird, mean, and legalistic. So how do we work at keeping the biblical admonition to church discipline from seeming weird?

Jun 11, 2015

Letting the Bible Speak

Why Expository Preaching?

The power of an effective pulpit ministry is not determined by the rhetorical ability with which one preaches. Nor is it authenticated by the size of the congregation to which one speaks. The power of an effective ministry is determined by the faithfulness with which one seeks clearly, consistently, and courageously to proclaim the whole counsel of God.

Jun 11, 2015

Mapping a Pastoral Call, Part Four

Compulsion

Has God clearly impressed upon your heart and life in some way that the only course of life and action for you is to serve the Lord, even to the final drop of blood and the last breath of your lungs in laboring hard for the advance of the gospel? If not, please do something else.

Jun 10, 2015

The Church is Full of Orphans by John Wohlgemuth

What happens when someone gets lost in the crowd of church? They feel more like a number than a family member.

Jun 10, 2015

Paul's All-Purpose Pastoral and Missional Key by Jonny Woodrow

I’m not against strategies and tools. But what I’ve learned in the last few years is that Jesus hasn’t hidden anything from us. He is not at the Father’s side hoping we are clever enough to unlock the mystery of a healthy church.

Jun 9, 2015

How God Cares For Those Who Don't by Paul Maxwell

We now face a bigger, badder “I don’t care.” It’s more complex. Topics of God, church, love, community, spiritual discipline, theological conviction, relational faithfulness, life, work, family, friends, whatever . . . all receive a definitive, self-assured “Meh.”

Jun 9, 2015

Tucking Them In by Becky Wilson

I'm finding these days that tucking my children in to bed has much more to do with securing the edges of life than the edges of blankets.

Jun 9, 2015

Fast Forward by Adam McClendon

The better the ending the less necessary the tension. When I know something will end well, I don’t have to fret as much in the middle.

Jun 8, 2015

When The Pastoral Thrill Is Gone by Brandon Shields

Let the thrill of ministry die away, and seek the presence of the thrill-giver through communion, solitude, service, and contentment, and you will find a world of new thrills all the time.

Jun 8, 2015

Church Planter, Act Your Age by Jeff Lawrence

We miss out when we fail to act our age. So, take a long range perspective of your church’s journey, and fight for the joy of this particular season in the life of your church.

Jun 8, 2015

On Preaching and Public Invitations by Jason K. Allen

Should the sermon conclude with an invitation?

Jun 7, 2015

Make Disciples, Not Clones by Steve Patton

Let's find ways to welcome and celebrate diverse cultural expressions among believers. To fail to do so is to rob God of the varying forms of worship due His name.

Jun 7, 2015

The Power of Music by Caleb Brasher

So when you sing on Sunday, make sure you are raising your hands and heart because of the words that you are singing and not simply because of the emotions that you are feeling.

Jun 7, 2015

The Decline of Biblical Languages by David Roach

Augustine of Hippo, the great theologian and North African bishop, said men who “speak the common tongue” need “two other languages for the study of Scripture: Hebrew and Greek.”

Jun 6, 2015

Why Ordination? by Rob Trahan

Since churches looking for pastoral candidates seem to be all the map when it comes to ordination, does it make sense for aspiring ministers to pursue it?

Jun 6, 2015

Put a Rock in Their Shoe by Aaron Armstrong

Evangelism is often a slow process; sometimes it’s enough to stick a rock in someone’s shoe, and see what God does with it.

Jun 6, 2015

How To Pace Yourself

The Art of Rest

Since rest is part of God’s good plan for us, I want to be obedient in an overflow of my love for Him. After all, he’s already lived the life I can’t live and paid the price I couldn’t pay for my sin. The culture around us says, “Go work, gain merit, and prove yourself worthy.” The gospel, though, says, “Rest in Christ.”

Jun 5, 2015

The Importance of the Pastoral "I Don't Know" by Jared C. Wilson

One of the most valuable sentences in a pastor's arsenal is "I don't know."

Jun 5, 2015

God's Pleasing Placement by Ronnie Parrott

Pastor, you primary calling is to the people God has you with now, not who you think you deserve.

Jun 5, 2015

4 Reasons to Beware the Goodness Gospel by Christine Hoover

For many of my formative years, the overarching and consistent message I received at church was, “Be good." I attempted with everything in me to be good, but my efforts only reinforced what I knew deep inside: I wasn’t good enough and could never be.

Jun 5, 2015

How Do I Know When I Should Plant A Church?

5 Components for Chasing Your Vision

Discerning a call to plant a church presents a great challenge. I have been blessed to network with church planters and coach them through discerning their call. The conversation inevitably arrives at a question very similar to this: “I've got this vision that I know God has given me, but I keep asking ‘How do I know when it is time to go?’"

Jun 4, 2015

7 Words of Advice For The First-Time Pastor by John Powell

When a minister assumes his first pastorate, it can be an exciting time for everyone. There is so much hope and anticipation. But there is also so much that is mysterious and fraught with difficulty. The following are some bits of advice from some lessons I've learned over the years, some of them the hard way.

Jun 4, 2015

The Church and Her Transgender Neighbors by Katie McCoy

The increasing presence of transgender individuals demonstrates humanity’s underlying desire to understand themselves, to achieve a sense of wholeness.

Jun 4, 2015

Mapping a Pastoral Call, Part Three

Affirmation and Opportunity

It was probably the most difficult conversation I had ever had. Sitting across from me were two leaders I had a great deal of respect for and a large desire to work with. I couldn't wait to be part of this team, launching a new work with them. And then the bottom fell out.

Jun 3, 2015

Pastor, Don't Take Chances in Ministry by Nick Jones

Again and again we see Paul saying: don’t wait for things to happen. Go minister. Be active. Don’t neglect your gifts; use them. Don’t wait to see if ministry happens; go make it happen.

Jun 3, 2015

Serving Your Spouse During Their Dark Seasons by Jamaal Williams

At the end of the day, loving our spouse through darkness means doing everything we can to make sure they know they are loved.  Sometimes this means speaking hard truths to them in love, but many times this means entering into their state as a listener and a lover.

Jun 3, 2015

All His Breakers and His Waves

On One Church's Suffering and Stubborn Faith

I would say that the chief thing I learned during my relatively short ministry time in Vermont was how to pastor a suffering church. But we learned that God is sweet and gracious and what it actually means for the death of his saints to be precious to him.

Jun 2, 2015

Confronting The Sins We Tolerate by Casey Lewis

We overlook “respectable sins” not only because they are pervasive, but also because they don't seem as bad as others that get more press. But when we turn a blind eye to these "ordinary" sins, they begin to fester. 

Jun 2, 2015

"Our Church Will Never Grow" by Ben Reed

Basically I was being told, “Evangelism won’t work for us. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) is for everyone else."

Jun 2, 2015

The Spectacularly Ordinary Ministry of My Wife by Steve Bezner

At root, I think a move of the gospel requires many more ordinary moments than we realize—and far fewer grand gatherings. It is in the little moments, the simple times of meals and working and expressing kindness that Jesus is displayed. Such moments are, after all, much more poignant than any sort of spectacle we might produce.

Jun 1, 2015

Evangelical Engagement In Evil Times by Drew Griffin

Above all, preach unceasingly the glory of the Kingdom that is here and is to come; it is the only hope we have in these “last days.” We must all “do the work of an evangelist.”

Jun 1, 2015

What Do You Do With The Discouraged Pastor? by Jim Elliff

There are things you can do for your pastor that are like a drink of cool water on a dry, dusty day.

Jun 1, 2015

Why We Sing by Courtney Reissig

We sing because we love God, not because we are the next Whitney Houston. Making a joyful noise is more about the One who makes us joyful than the squeaky noise coming from our vocal chords.

May

May 31, 2015

Preaching With Patience by Jonathan Shradar

When I am inclined to be frustrated when someone is just not “getting it," I am reminded of Jesus’ gracious and patient teaching by way of reminder among the disciples.

May 31, 2015

Jesus and Homosexuality by J. Alan Branch

A careful reading of the Gospels reveals it is a non sequitur to argue that Jesus affirmed homosexual relationships. I’d like to suggest six reasons why this form of “Gay Christian” argumentation fails . . .

May 30, 2015

Organization To The Glory of God by Jason Kees

We have been given a set, predetermined number of days to walk this earth. We should, by God’s grace, make every one of them count.

May 30, 2015

5 Spiritual Dangers of Skipping Church by Nathan Rose

Is skipping church whenever we feel like really no big deal?