The Pastor’s Job Isn’t To Fix Things

You don’t have to look far to find articles about how and why the pastor’s job is uniquely difficult. Having been a pastor for a number of years now (in both paid, full-time and unpaid, part-time capacities) I can attest there are ways in which it is unlike any other vocation. It really does come with unique challenges, though it certainly provides unique blessings as well. There is one realization about pastoring that came to me slowly but which finally …

How We Worshipped on a Sunday Evening

I have often shared examples of our Sunday morning services at Grace Fellowship Church. Yet are one of those rare churches that also has an evening service, so I thought you might be interested in seeing an example of how we structure them. First, the answer to the question I know you’re asking: Do people actually come to your evening services? The answer: Yes, though in lower numbers. We get perhaps half as many people in the evening as we …

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Please Do & Please Don’t Assume Motives

Though we boast of great things and take confidence in our knowledge, we are actually finite little creatures bound by a million limitations. In fact, our knowledge is so limited we don’t even really know ourselves. We often lack clarity about the motivations behind even our best or worst actions. We can do great things for the Lord while still harboring sinful motives; we can do terrible things that dishonor the Lord while still harboring noble motives. Our hearts are …

What I Love To Ponder at 10:01 AM on Sunday Morning

Eighteen hours ago, brothers and sisters in New Zealand gathered to worship God. City by city and church by church they joined their voices together to praise him in song, to call out to him in prayer, and to hear from him through the Word. So, too, did believers in the easternmost reaches of Russia. As their worship services drew near to a close, Australians in Sydney, then Adelaide, then Perth began to sing their own calls to worship, as …

The Cost of Surrounding Yourself with Negative People

I recently read Rachel Hollis’s runaway bestseller Girl, Wash Your Face, and in my review pointed out a number of concerns with the author’s understanding of what it means to live a good life. Her conviction is that the good life is a happy life, and every woman is responsible for pursuing happiness. What stands in the way is lies, and the very first lie Hollis exposes is that “something else will make me happy.” She believes women are prone …

Thank God We Do/Don’t Know the Future

There are occasions in life in which we would all like to know the future. We come to times of sorrow and wonder when our tears will be dried, times of pain and wonder when we will be healed, times of uncertainty and wonder when we will gain confidence. In such moments we may wish we could elevate our gaze beyond the present moment to see into the future. And we know that it would be within the power of …

How We Worshipped on One Sunday in September

Every few weeks I like to share an example of one of our worship services from Grace Fellowship Church. I hope it serves as simply one model of how we can worship the Lord in a distinctly biblical way. This service’s cast of characters included Steve as our service leader, Josh as our lead worshipper, Murray as the elder who read the Scripture text and prayed, and Paul as the preacher. Our band consisted of two guitars, cajon, and piano …

The Sins Forbidden by the Ninth Commandment in a Social Media World

In an article I shared a couple of days ago, we began to take a look at the ninth commandment (“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”) and its relevance in a world in which so much of our communication takes place through social media. Specifically, we considered some of the duties required by the commandment. Today we want to look at the flip side and consider the sins it forbids. As with the first article, I will …

The Duties Required by the Ninth Commandment in a Social Media World

You must be familiar with the ninth commandment: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” On a surface level it’s simple enough: Don’t tell lies about other people. But Christians have traditionally understood it to entail far more than this. With the rise of modern communications technologies, and especially social media, I am convinced we need to diligently apply ourselves to a fresh consideration of all this commandment requires of us. I plan to do this in two …

How to Pray Like a Pastor

Of all that is unique about the Christian faith, this aspect stands apart: Its leaders are not called to their positions because of rare skill, raw talent, or overwhelming desire. They are not qualified by the charismatic personality, the ability to draw a crowd, or skilled rhetoric. Rather, Christian leaders are called and qualified by godly character. In passages like 1 Timothy 3:2-7, Titus 1:6-9, and 1 Peter 5:1-3 we read what a man must be if he is to …