Could it be that we are sacrificing efficacy at the altar of efficiency? Have we embraced winning decisions over making disciples? Continue reading Shepherding Students Through Conversion
We don’t see 15-year-olds playing in the NFL. But you better believe 15-year-olds can turn a church upside down for Jesus. Continue reading What Passing the Baton Requires
I remember walking into youth group that Wednesday night around a decade ago. I was so excited about the evening’s upcoming events. As a church, we had been advertising this night heavily, encouraged on multiple occasions to make sure we invite our friends to be a part of what we were doing. There was more … Continue reading Is Inviting People to Church Enough?
Yes, we preachers may not ask people to respond in a tangible way on Sundays. But are we asking them to respond at all? Continue reading The Pulpit Call
I have good news, and I want to tell you about it. I’m going to become an astronaut preacher, with less rockets but all the adventure. In some ways, it is time to leave home, and in other ways, time to go home. Continue reading Deep in the Heart (some personal news)
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall … Continue reading Hope for the Hurting
I visited this house last week. It looks like a normal, New England home. The pastel paint with dark shutters, pillared entryways, and two chimneys. But this house is anything from ordinary. Hundreds of years ago (246 years ago to be exact), the house belonged to Jonathan Parsons, the pastor of Old South Church in Newburyport, … Continue reading George Whitefield’s Last Sermon
While I appreciate Einstein’s commitment to knowing problems well, it’s pertinent that we spend significant time on solutions, too. Continue reading Majoring on Solutions
The great British preacher Martyn Lloyd-Jones, as usual, made a striking declaration to his audience. “The most urgent need in the Christian Church today is true preaching; and as it is the greatest and most urgent need in the Church, it is the greatest need of the world also.” Of course, I believe Lloyd-Jones is right … Continue reading Verse-by-Verse or Bust?
Recently our life group was having some discussion about leadership in the workplace. We watched a few testimonial videos of business owners who try to implement working to the glory of God into their workplaces, and leading their people well. During our time talking about how these spiritual matters find their way into our practical … Continue reading Where Females Should Lead
It is a question I have been asking and thinking through for years. It really started while sitting behind the drum set, doing yet another rehearsal, preparing to play a new song by a band whose worship album was the go-to music pre-service. Not only was their music refreshing and new and stylistically pleasing, but … Continue reading When Worship+Doctrine Don’t Seem To Mesh
Last week I had the privilege of attending Exponential East 2016 for the first time with some fellow staff members. Exponential is a conference and organization founded by Todd Wilson and Dave Ferguson. Their team puts on these annual conferences with an emphasis on church planting, multiplication, discipleship, and the missional movement. It was a week full … Continue reading 4 Takeaways From Exponential East 2016
Last week I was shocked to learn the news of a pastor I highly respect was fired for several instances of pastoral misconduct. When I read the statement prepared by the eldership of his church, I couldn’t believe it. I just listened to this guy preach a deeply encouraging sermon at a conference I recently attended. … Continue reading Witnessing Confessions, and Making Them Our Own
“Love on people.” “Doing life together.” “Being Missional.” “Life on Life Discipleship.” “Being Disciple-Makers.” You’ve probably heard at least one of those phrases used by someone in a Christian gathering this week. Some of the phrases are downright creepy (seriously, can we just cut “love on _______” from our Christianese vocab?) These kinds of phrases are not … Continue reading Are You Really A Disciple-Maker?
Just short of ten years ago, my family closed the heavy metal door to the moving truck. My whole life, in one sense, was being transported across the country to Maryville, Tennessee. In another sense, though, my whole life was staying behind. Growing up in Cut-N’-Shoot, Texas, a population under 1500 residents, had its drawbacks, … Continue reading To Freeman
During some recent devotional time through John’s Epistles, I noticed perhaps for the first time the peculiarity of the endings to two of his three epistles: Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so … Continue reading Paper and Ink
There is arguably no one more important to the preacher on Sunday morning than the worship leader, for a few reasons. Continue reading What the Preacher Thinks of the Worship Leader
January 4, 2010. It was a cold day in Atlanta, Georgia, and I had just finished grabbing a bite to eat for dinner and heading toward the Phillips Arena for the evening session of the Passion Conference. I was nineteen at the time, a college freshman who came into town for winter break and to … Continue reading The Joy of Glorifying God — A Tribute to John Piper
It seems simple. The apostles get the Holy Spirit, and they’re going to go places. But there is deeper gravity to these thirty-four words than you may anticipate. Continue reading Be Empowered Everywhere
Our series continues on the “trivial church” and how we can regain an accurate understanding of its designed function. In the first post, we looked at some common “blanket statements” made about the universal Church. This time we will be focusing on the some of the more localized and personal reasons why people may choose … Continue reading Attacking Trivial Church: Part Two