The Word of God was and has always been a community experience.
Countless times it’s been whispered to me, as if it is a sacred secret, “In order to survive as a pastor’s wife, you must not make any friends.”
Why is it, though, that many church members don’t think their pastor amounts to much outside the church walls?
… for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God… —from Acts 5:38-39
It has been asked in a variety of ways from the outside and the inside since the so-called "young, restless, and Reformed" tribe hit the threshold of unignorable visibility: Can this movement be sustained? Is it just a fad? What are your concerns, fears, and…
God is calling us to make adjustments in the areas of our lives that are hindering us from costly participation in the mission of the church.
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.
Ministry is about becoming less impressed with yourself and more smitten with the Savior.
Your imperfect church is God’s way of loving your idolatry out of you.
He is the One who makes everyone in Him not just “better”, but righteous.
The move is subtle. The switch from ordinary human achievement to blasphemy requires no explanation. It just flatout happens.
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.
Our relationships will ebb and flow, as will our affection for the church. But the solution is not always looking for a better fit.
I fear that in our attempt to eliminate distractions we’ve also eliminated the corporate reality of worship.
Sadly, because of its inability, and often unwillingness, to adapt to its surroundings, the church lost its point of contact with culture, and with that, its voice and influence. Thus the need for a gospel-centered missional church. But what is a gospel-centered, missional church?
Here are three reasons to conduct membership interviews with everyone seeking to join your church.
You cannot have a high view of Christ and a low view of the church at the same time.
Understanding ecclesiology’s rightful place among other doctrines and grasping how the Gospel-centered nature of the church positions that doctrine in service of the Great Commission is just the grand beginning of treasures.
Since we are commanded to gather together for the purposes of helping one another grow in love and good works, we shouldn't neglect that activity.
People that have embraced the mission look at the "issues" a church has as opportunities.
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?
Be humble and open to correction from those inside and outside your peer group.
Promising kids the "best Wednesday they'll ever have" gets them thinking as consumers and, eventually, you're bound to disappoint a customer.
Pastor, give yourself to sound doctrine and make much of it from now on. If you cannot do this, resign.
We can have meaningful church membership because what Jesus died for, he will also give life to. Jesus died for the church. He will give life to it.
Meaningful membership attends our gospel witness. Membership communicates the people and the message of the gospel to a watching world.
A person who fears God more than anything is less likely to abuse God’s subjects.
Many of us wondered why our favorite artists articulated a view of God so much bigger than our pastors. Many of us were using podcasts as a way to connect with pastors that preached the same glorious truths. But still, many of us were functionally church orphans. And no movement, even Gospel-centered movements, can expect to be sustained apart from the local church.
The body of Christ should be a refuge for the wounded.
We ought to be the most hospitable toward the sojourners among us.
Roll up your sleeves, labor alongside them, and love them.
I know the reasons we don’t live transparently with each other.
What brings about such seasons? Is it even right to talk about ways and means?
5 errors that masquerade as biblical confession of sin.
The reality is: transparency within gospel community brings about the best kind of freedom.
How should you respond to a fellow member who is leaving for what sounds like a bad reason?
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.
"The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth blog about how cool he is with, you know, whatever your deal is, man."
Too often our creativity and intelligence don’t adorn the gospel, but obscure it.
The pastor should give no harbor to about-talk that avoids to-talk.
Often, in lieu of your local church becoming the best contextualized version of itself, God is fashioning its parts into a whole that looks more like Him.
We sometimes expect pastors leaving under bad terms to leave a bad taste in the church’s mouth, but we don’t really think about what can go wrong when an otherwise good pastor leaves under otherwise good circumstances.
Psalm 48 as a portrait of a gospel-centered church is an incredible song for reflection!
Here are three all-too-common approaches to sign messages I think churches ought to avoid . . .
"The only thing of value the church has to offer is the gospel."
Two things smaller churches can do is opt out of a couple of things they often end up doing that they shouldn't.
Smaller churches are no less hindered from doing what God has called his people to do than are larger churches. Having more people does not maker it easier.
As I have seen several churches in my area continue to dwindle in size I have watched the leadership of many of these churches settle into into one of three dangerous mentalities . . .
My wife and I once attended a small church that had no worship leader. No choir. No instruments. No overhead projection. No cool lights. The building was plain-Jane. Yet their gathering was powerful. Why?
The danger of focusing on things over people is that we might actually get what we want.
It's just this simple: a church is a good church only if it pursues what its Head desires.