A Gasp of Pain, A Sigh of Relief

The lockdowns are slowly ending and churches are tentatively re-opening. Of course most are opening during vacation season so have begun with a much-reduced schedule of programming—typically Sunday morning services and not a whole lot else. But summer will soon be past and the busy fall season will be upon us. It’s safe to assume that come August or September, most churches will hope to start up the rest of their programs—youth groups and men’s breakfasts and women’s meetings and …

The Safest Place for the Weakest People

It has been a blessing to hear from friends and family across America whose churches are beginning to meet again after the period of forced separation. It has been fascinating (though a little strange) to see photographs of the spaced-out seating, the masks, the deliberate distancing, the omnipresent bottles of hand sanitizer. While I expect it will be some time before we gain the privilege in Ontario, I look forward to the day when we, too, can once again worship …

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A Pastoral Prayer

Our Father, we are so thankful that you are a God who loves. In fact, you are not just a God who loves, but a God who is love. For you, love is not merely something you do, but it is who you are. To be God is to be love, to be the very source the very fountain of love. For all eternity, you have existed in a relationship of love with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit loving one …

I Miss the Ordinary the Most

Recent conversations with other Christians have shown that I’m not alone in carrying an unusual level of stress, fear, and anxiety. These are uncertain days and many of us are struggling through them in various ways. Some are feeling this struggle as a heavy emotional weight, some are feeling it as despondency or listlessness, some are feeling it physically as cold sweats or a tightening of the chest. And no wonder! We are quarantined within our homes, we are adapting …

A Pastoral Prayer for Easter in Lockdown

From time to time, probably every month or so, I like to share an example of a pastoral prayer that was prayed at Grace Fellowship Church. The pastoral prayer is a time for one of the pastors or elders to pray on behalf of the congregation and to intercede on their behalf. This particular prayer was prayed by me, for our online Easter service, during the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020. *** Our Father in Heaven, In your Word you’ve told …

Why Our Church Is Only Sort Of Streaming Our Services

Like so many other churches across the world, mine had to make a sudden and unexpected decision in the face of a pending lockdown: Do we broadcast our services or do we not? Under normal circumstances we would never even entertain the notion, but with a looming period of isolation that would last no less than weeks and that could well stretch into months, we were suddenly presented with the dilemma. We decided to “sort of” broadcast our services. Let …

10 Church Members God Especially Calls Me To Love

In a recent and widely-shared article, a pastor provides a series of profiles of church members who “drive him crazy” and make pastoral ministry “less than fun.” Though he tells of his love for the local church and his commitment to it, he also says that every church he knows has “members and attenders that get under the skin of a leader.” His article is meant to provide a brief description of each, perhaps to allow other pastors to commiserate …

If We All Stream Our Services, Will Anyone Ever Come Back?

I spend a fair bit of time traveling. At least, under normal circumstances I do. Sometimes these are little more than overnight trips to conferences across the U.S. border and sometimes these are extended journeys to the far corners of the earth. Wherever I go, and for however long I’m away, I am sure to keep in touch with my family, and especially with Aileen. Through the marvels of modern technologies, I usually have the ability to not only hear …

How the World Worshipped on One of the Most Unusual Sundays in Church History

Would it be an exaggeration to say that Sunday, March 22, 2020 was one of the most unusual Sundays in the history of Christianity? I don’t think it would be, because on this day the majority of Christians across the world were either not permitted to gather to worship or considered it inadvisable to do so. Where on a typical Sunday Christians rise in their homes and soon gather for corporate worship, on this Sunday Christians rose in their homes …

Training a New Generation of African Pastors and Church Leaders

Central Africa Baptist College & Seminary in Kitwe, Zambia, is deeply involved in training up a new generation of African pastors and church leaders. My recent travels through Africa took me to the school and allowed me to see how it is impacting Zambia and many other countries in central Africa. I came away extremely encouraged! You can learn more about Central Africa Baptist College & Seminary at cabuniversity.com.