When Grumbling Meets Gossip

It’s for good reason that the Apostle Paul is considered one of the greatest leaders among the first generation of Christians. He was the early church’s foremost theologian, pastor, missionary, and church planter. He was also the Christian faith’s chief exemplar. Through the descriptions of his life in the book of Acts and the biographical details contained in the various epistles, we see him setting an example of how a Christian is to live. In fact, he lived such a …

Confession of Sin & Assurance of Pardon

One of the key elements in our worship services at Grace Fellowship Church is a confession of sin and assurance of pardon. We try to vary the way we do these and I found last week’s particular effective and moving. Here’s how it went. We began this portion of the service by reading Psalm 119:65–72, then singing verses 81-88 (set to Belmont). Then Steve, our associate pastor, said this: God’s Word is good, delightful, true, and reliable. It always points …

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A Pastoral Prayer

Every now and again I like to share an example of a pastoral prayer from Grace Fellowship Church. I do this because there are few examples of pastoral prayers online and I thought these may serve to inspire themes, passages, or ideas as other pastors and elders prepare to lead their churches in prayer. Here is one Dwight Miller, one of our elders, prayed before our church not too long ago. *** O Great God, who is like you? We could …

How We Worshipped One Sunday in February

Every few weeks I like to share an example of one of our worship services from Grace Fellowship Church. I do so hoping they serve as a model of how one church attempts to worship the Lord in a distinctly biblical way. This service’s cast of characters included Paul as our service leader and preacher, Brian as our lead worshipper, and Dwight as the elder who read the Scripture text and prayed. Steve, our associate pastor, closed out the service …

A Pastoral Prayer

Every now and again I like to share an example of a pastoral prayer from Grace Fellowship Church. I do this because there are few examples of pastoral prayers online and I thought these may serve to inspire themes, passages, or ideas as other pastors and elders prepare to lead their churches in prayer. Here is one pastor Paul Martin prayed before our church not too long ago. *** O God our Father, We love you so much, and thank …

How Can I Leave My Church Well? (Video)

This is a question that I get from time to time (in different variations): “I have come to differ theologically with my church in some significant ways, so should I leave, and if so, how?” This was asked at an Ask Me Anything event in the Philippines, and here’s my stab at an answer. (Context: This specific question involved leaving a non-Reformed charismatic church for a non-charismatic Reformed one.) Transcript I have come to differ with my church theologically – …

What’s Encouraging You at Your Church?

A couple of days ago I was eager for some encouragement, so put the question out to Twitter: What’s something encouraging you’ve seen in your church over the past few months? The answers were a blessing to me! And, just so you can be encouraged as well, I thought I’d share some of them with you. Here’s how the Lord is at work in churches around the world… (If you receive this via the email newsletter, you may need to …

How We Worshipped One Sunday in December

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, Brian 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 …

A Pastoral Prayer from December

Last week I shared a sample pastoral prayer–one I prayed during one of our worship services at Grace Fellowship Church. In the coming weeks and months I will be sharing some more of these, some prayed by me and some by others. I am doing this primarily as a resource that may help inspire or kick-start others as they prepare to lead God’s people in prayer. Father, you are kind and good, while we are sinful and bad. Father, you …

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 …