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.
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.
Presenting the gospel in a way people can understand doesn’t mean we water down the gospel.
From my perspective, churches in need of revitalization are lacking in three primary areas: godly leadership, generational discipleship, and grace infused works.
One of the great dangers in doing theology is the desire to do all the talking.
It is a bitter sweet,
A sorrow full of joy . . .
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%.
Cultural Opposition: Lie Down, Lean In, Lay Low, or Leave?
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.
It is my prayer that your church incorporates a practice of ministry sabbaticals. There are enough burned-out pastors. Let us not add more.
With an iPod the music is for you. But in worship the music is for someone other than yourself.
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.
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.
It’s so very hard but so very worth it. It's the best of times but the worst of times. Somehow simultaneously.
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.
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.
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.
What does "first among equals" mean on an elder board?
The first heart that the preached Word must affect in your gospel-centered community is yours.
Paul in 1 Corinthians 4 lays out six qualities a congregation should expect of their pastor.
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.
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!
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?
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
A ministry sabbatical is not a glorified vacation, but a time for spiritual reflection, renewal, training, or contribution.
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.
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.
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.
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?
For either churches or pastors who refuse to consider a sabbatical period for the minister, the root of the refusal is often sin.
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.
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.
I fear we vastly underestimate the spiritual damage inflicted on our churches by "How To" sermons without an explicit gospel connection.
Beware the temptation of cleverness.
God delights in children, and since he delights in children, we do too.
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.
Countless books are written each year on methodologies and stratagem. But there are few that are written to engage our hearts.
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.
We recently sat down with D.A. Horton in the FTC video suite and asked him, "How can a pastor win his church to mission?"
We sat down with D.A. Horton in the FTC video suite and asked, "What advice would you give the pastor who wants his church to look like his neighborhood?"
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.
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.
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.
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.
My parents divorced when I was nine. I’m not a victim, but the break still broke me.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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