Fight For Your Pastor

Sometimes a preposition makes all the difference. We do not need to look far to find examples of Christians who fight with their pastor. If you speak to just about any one of them I expect he will be able to tell you of people who have fought him tooth and nail over some peeve, some cause, some perceived slight. But much rarer are those who fight for their pastor, those who honor him and his position by battling for …

Confronting the Problem of Spiritual Abuse in the Church

Is there more spiritual abuse in the church now than there was in days past? Or could it be that the world has shrunk so that we simply see more evidence of it? I am inclined to believe the latter, but regardless, it is high time that Christians address what is clearly a too-common issue. Whatever we believe about the church’s history, we cannot and should not escape the fact that some pastors and some church leaders behave in abusive …

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How We Worshipped on One Sunday in October

From time to time I like to share one of our worship services from Grace Fellowship Church. In that vein, here is how we worshiped on one October Sunday morning. This week’s cast of characters included Paul as the service leader and preacher, Allie as the lead worshiper, and Patrick as the elder who prayed and read the sermon text. The band was comprised of piano, bass, guitar, and a cajone along with a second vocalist. Welcome and Call to …

Are You a Peacemaker or a Troublemaker?

I recently spent some time studying one of the simplest verses in the New Testament: “blessed are the peacemakers.” There are no tricky words in this verse, no difficult Greek to parse. To be blessed means to be happy or to experience God’s favor; to be a peacemaker is to (wait for it!) make peace. But though the words are simple, the application takes some work. Essentially, Jesus is saying that peace with God leads us to make peace like …

If I Was the World’s Only Christian…

If I was the world’s only Christian, I might easily lose confidence in my faith. Can it really be true if I am the only one who believes it? Similarly, if I was the only kind of Christian—if all the world’s Christians were the same age as me or the same race or the same nationality—I might also lose confidence. Can it really be true if only one demographic affirms it while the great majority reject it? Can it be …

How We Worshipped On One Summer Sunday

Every now and again I like to share an example of one of our worship services from Grace Fellowship Church. I hope that by doing this others will begin to share their services as well so we can learn and benefit from one another. If there is something you see here that would bless your church, you have permission to pilfer freely! This service’s cast of characters included Paul as our service leader and preacher and Steve as the elder …

On Worship

Though we are 2,000 years past the founding of the New Testament church, we are seemingly still confused about how we ought to worship God. There are many competing philosophies of worship, many disagreements about everything from its purpose to its God-ordained elements and methods. We know we must worship, but we so often don’t know how. It is for this reason that we continue to see so many new books on the subject and for this reason that we …

Before You Pack Up and Leave…

Every one of us has become familiar with the pattern. Every one of us has seen church members becoming dissatisfied and then disgruntled, missing church occasionally and then consistently. Every one of us has seen the pattern and begun to dread the nearly-inevitable conclusion. This is especially discouraging when the reason for the departure is not an area of essential theological disagreement but something much more common and much less important—hurt feelings, petty squabbles, matters of preference. This pattern is …

Are We Performing or Are We Participating?

With due respect to my Reformed Presbyterian friends, I think it’s difficult to make the argument that singing in the local church must not be accompanied by instrumentation. But with due respect to everyone else, I think it’s equally difficult to make the argument that singing in the local church must be accompanied by instrumentation. It seems to me that we have a lot of freedom here—freedom to sing in a way that matches our convictions and freedom to sing …

When The Great Resignation Comes to Church

We aren’t colleagues. We aren’t comrades. We aren’t neighbors. We are family. If we are to understand the nature of the relationship between believers, we don’t need to understand work, politics, or geography. We need to understand family. The Bible displays this truth in any number of ways. Together we call God “Father,” and if he is Father, then we are sons and daughters. We call Christ our elder brother, making us his siblings as well as one another’s. Young …