Who Have We Come To Worship?

An element of worship we treasure at Grace Fellowship Church is the Call to Worship. This is the element at the beginning of the service that is essentially a declaration that we are now beginning something special, something different from everything else we will experience through the week. As we explicitly call people to worship, we implicitly call them from other activities, other concerns, other responsibilities. Sometimes these calls to worship are spoken by the pastor and sometimes, as below, …

The Local Church Was Made To Serve The Christian, Not The Christian The Local Church

The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. Sabbath is a gift God has given us for our good. We are feeble creatures who need rest, yet foolish creatures who would otherwise work ourselves to the bone. The sabbath is a reminder of our weakness, of our finiteness, of our inability. It is a reminder of all of these in a physical sense and, more ultimately, in a spiritual sense, for so much of what is true …

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7 Books To Help You Understand the Times

You do not need to be a particularly astute observer of society to understand that we have entered into a time of great transition and even great upheaval. A new worldview based around a very particular conception of social justice is quickly gaining traction. Traditional understandings of sex and gender are being overthrown. New words and new ideas have suddenly sprung into our common parlance. And while it’s true that you do not need to be a particularly astute observer …

Learning To Thrive as a Diverse Church

Toronto is the most diverse city in the world which means that Toronto churches are among the most diverse churches in the world. If over fifty percent of the people who live in the city were born in a country other than Canada, which is exactly the case, then in all probability over fifty percent of the people who attend church in the city were born in a country other than Canada. It is rare that a church here does …

Tips for Young (and Maybe Not-So-Young) Bloggers

It’s always a blessing for me to see the launch of a new blog, and perhaps especially so when that blog has been founded by a young Christian. I’m convinced there’s still a place for Christian blogs, even in 2020, and I am eager to give whatever tips I can to help these new bloggers start strong. I long for there to be a new generation of bloggers and I’m committed to supporting them as much as possible. Today I …

When Unanimity is the Enemy of Unity

It is God’s desire that there be unity between his people, and for that reason Christian unity is a prominent theme in the New Testament. Jesus prays for it in his High Priestly prayer, Luke describes it in his history of the early church, Paul demands it of the congregations he writes to, Peter appeals for it in his epistles, and John displays it in its final perfection in his vision of what is to come. As we each live …

That Time I Went After an Older, Godlier Man

It’s not a memory I’m proud of, but every now and again I feel the need to revisit it. I guess if Peter could tell the tale of betraying Jesus—after all, how else would the biblical writers have known the fine details?—, I can tell my tale of failing to be like Jesus. I can tell it for my ongoing benefit and hopefully for yours. It goes back to my early days of blogging, back in the days when I …

When Solomon’s Fool Created a Social Media Platform

The fool of the book of Proverbs is a vivid illustration of practical atheism, for this foolish man lives as if there is no God and as if God isn’t concerned about human behavior. The fool may not actually deny the existence of the divine, but he practically denies it by choosing to live according to his own way rather than God’s. Though wisdom is available, personified in the form of a woman who cries aloud and begs everyone to …

Lessons In Becoming a Better Listener

It is one thing to hear, but another thing to listen. Good communication and healthy relationships depend upon not only on hearing the words other people say, but on carefully listening to what they mean to communicate. To listen is to love. But if we are honest, few of us are good listeners. It’s easy enough to hear others, but very difficult to truly listen to them. That may be particularly true and particularly important in the context of the …

The Place To Begin When Learning About Social Justice

In recent days the topic of social justice has received much attention within the church and without. As Christians we are committed to living according to God’s Word, and so we have rightly been turning to the Bible to learn how it would guide us. We have been scouring its pages to see what it says about matters of justice. That is well and good, but I have become convinced that even as we’ve done this, we may have overlooked …