Effective ministry is not simply saying, “Take this Bible verse and call me in the morning."
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.
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.
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.
Through his Holy Spirit, Christ is powerfully present when believers meet together for the purpose of making relationships right.
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.
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?
How do we minister to our wives? How do we encourage them, especially when their hearts are weary?
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.
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.
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.
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.
The importance of repentance is hard to overstate.
Through years of trial and error, I have come to follow these five keys to taking notes during a sermon.
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.
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.
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.
Step One: Throw away your illustration books.
If we are grumbling then we can be sure that we are not content. We are essentially saying that God is getting it wrong.
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.
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.
Good intentions don’t produce good preachers.
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.
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 . . .
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.
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.
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.
Singleness might be a waiting season, but it doesn’t need to be a wasted season.
For one thing, don't be weird.
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.
Can a lack of sleep indicate a spiritual problem? Does the Bible say anything to guide us in our sleep patterns?
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.
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.
The pastor should give no harbor to about-talk that avoids to-talk.
God wants us to experience our messy community when we come together in worship. He is honored by it.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.”
What should you look for in a church?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.