A Pastoral Prayer

One of the missing elements of modern worship is prayer, and especially prayers that are more than perfunctory. Especially lacking is the traditional pastoral prayer in which a pastor represents the congregation in praying for their needs and concerns. At Grace Fellowship Church we maintain this element and attempt to give it good effort. I’ve often gone looking for examples of pastoral prayers for purposes of inspiration and have found surprisingly few. I thought I might occasionally share one from …

Reading The Bible Fast And Slow In 2019

Today I’m glad to share an article by Paul Carter, a friend who has contributed to my site a couple of times in the past. He is passionate about reading and teaching God’s Word and I’m glad to have him lay down the challenge to read the Bible fast and slow in 2019. ***** One of the most transformative things I ever did was read through the entire Book of Genesis – slowly – with the help of several commentaries …

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Should We Make a Priority of Diversity in Church Leadership?

Over the past few weeks I’ve encountered a number of articles about diversity in church leadership. Specifically, I’ve seen discussions about whether churches should make diversity in their pastoral leadership a matter of priority or even consideration. Not surprisingly, given the medium of the internet and the current cultural context, many of these discussions have not gone very well. Living and ministering as I do in the most diverse city in the world, this is something I have had to …

Mind Your Christmas Imperatives

Christmas is coming and with it a special season for Christians. Or most Christians, anyway. As we get into the season and as so many people begin their month-long reflections on the birth of Jesus Christ, it’s probably a good time to consider our Christmas imperatives. What are Christians commanded to do in the Christmas season? The Incarnation is nothing short of a miracle. As Christians, we believe that God took on flesh. Jesus Christ, who was and is and …

Sunday A La Carte (December 2)

This is one of those rare Sunday editions of A La Carte. I collected so many great articles and videos over the course of the week that, rather than deleting a bunch of them, I thought I’d put them into this bonus A La Carte. President George H.W. Bush, 1924–2018 WORLD magazine remembers President George H.W. Bush. “Bush began his presidency on Jan. 20, 1989, and led the country during an era of tumultuous foreign politics in a fragile, rapidly …

On the Death of John Allen Chau

Suddenly the whole world is talking about Christian missions. In his own way, John Allen Chau has sparked a conversation that now rages within the church and outside of it. I’ve spent the past week gathering my thoughts about his situation, and would like to offer a few points I hope you find helpful. First, we don’t need to rush to judgment. One of the consequences of this digital world is that it demands immediate responses. News spreads quickly and …

When the Mission Field Comes To You

What Christian hasn’t been moved by the beautiful vision of Revelation 7? John sees a powerful display of what God means to accomplish—and, indeed, what he is accomplishing and will accomplish—through the gospel of Jesus Christ. “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying …

I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye

There are times when a kind of weirdness settles over evangelicalism, when for a while people are swept away by strange and flawed ideas. This usually happens when Christians are attempting to counter ideas that are prevalent outside the church. Instead of reacting in a measured way, we collectively over-react. I think the purity and courtship movements were two examples—or perhaps one example, since they were so closely aligned. You can hardly remember or evaluate either without raising the name …

My Top Book Reviews of All-Time

It’s a question I’m asked often: What are the top book reviews you’ve written? I take that to mean this: Which of the reviews you’ve written have been read the most? I suppose it’s not surprising that the most popular book reviews are all for books I disagreed with in various ways. Here’s the top-five. The Shack by Paul Young. I guess this shouldn’t be any great surprise since The Shack is one of the bestselling Christian books of all-time. …

Black Friday 2018 Deals for Christians

While there are many places you can go today to find deals on electronics and other big-ticket items, I like to provide a place for Christian retailers to make their deals known to Christians who are trying to kick-start their Christmas shopping. I will update this list regularly throughout the weekend, so check back often. Be sure to check back on Monday for Cyber Monday deals. Accordance Accordance has 30 percent off everything as well as some even deeper cuts …