Does Church Membership Really Matter?

To the modern ear, the notion of church membership can sound odd, intimidating, or even abusive. Should we care about church membership and, if so, why?   Transcript Why do I need to be a member of a church? Can’t I just attend and be involved? There’s a couple of great benefits to church membership. The first is the commitment of yourself to a group of people. I want to be clear, when you’re becoming a member of a church, …

It Takes a Church To Raise Your Child

You’ve probably heard it said that it takes a village to raise a child. Parenting is so difficult, so complex, so relentless, that it is more than any two people can successfully handle. Children thrive under the responsibility of loving parents but also under the watchful eye of a caring community. I have always believed in the wisdom of this proverb, but I’ve come to appreciate it even more as my kids grow older. And as I’ve come to appreciate …

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How We Worshipped: One Sunday in February

Every few weeks I like to share an example of one of our services at Grace Fellowship Church. I hope that by doing this others will follow suit! I love to learn how other churches worship and often find myself both challenged and encouraged as I see how other congregations worship God in their unique contexts and cultures. This service’s cast of characters included Steve as our service leader, Paul as our preacher, Joshua as our lead worshipper, and Stefan as …

From Every Tribe and Language and People and Nation (A Video from Grace Fellowship Church)

At the 2018 G3 Conference I spoke on “Discipleship in Diversity.” I told of how we, at Grace Fellowship Church, have learned to be a church that is united in a context of great diversity. I concluded the message with a video of some of the people of Grace Fellowship Church reading Revelation 5 in many different languages. I hope you enjoy it.   We also have a Spanish and Portuguese version of this video if you are interested in …

How We Worshipped for Christmas

Every now and again I like to share an order of worship from Grace Fellowship Church. This service’s cast of characters included Paul (our lead pastor) as the preacher and service leader, Josh as the lead worshipper, and Murray as the elder who led the pastoral prayer. Steve, our new associate pastor, also led a couple of elements while Thushara and Stefan each read a short passage of Scripture. Our band consisted of two guitars, piano, and drums accompanying one …

God Has a Heart for the Vulnerable. Do You?

With my arms still ailing through nerve damage, I thought it an appropriate time to ask a couple of friends to help ease the load just a little with some guest articles. Thus, today’s article is from my friend Paul Martin (who, as you know, also co-hosts my podcast). From here on out, you’re reading his words! We were explaining our son’s disability to a neighbor one day when she asked, “Don’t they have a pre-natal test for that?” We …

Services Shaped Like an Hourglass

There are some Sundays when the worship service simply unfolds around me. With the rest of the congregation, I am moved from element to element, from songs, to Scripture, to sermon, to shaking hands. But there are other Sundays when I am very mindful of our church’s order of worship. On these Sundays, I maintain a sharp awareness of how the service has been planned and is now unfolding, which is to say, I maintain a sharp awareness of our …

How We Worshipped: Reformation Sunday

Every now and again I like to share an order of worship from Grace Fellowship Church. This service’s cast of characters included Paul (our lead pastor) as the preacher and service leader, Josh as the lead worshipper, and Murray as the elder who led the pastoral prayer. Our band consisted of guitar, piano, and drums accompanying one male and one female vocalist. The various elements of the service are in bold with the name of the person who led the …

How We Worshipped: A Sunday in October

Every now and again I like to share an order of worship from Grace Fellowship Church. This service’s cast of characters included Paul (our lead pastor) as the preacher, Josh as the lead worshipper, Peter (one of our Assistant Ministers) as the service leader, Thushara (one of our deacons) as Scripture-reader, and Steve as the elder who led the Scripture-reading and pastoral prayer. Our band consisted of guitar, piano, cajon, and accordion accompanying one male and two female vocalists. The …

What’s the Purpose of … Pastors?

The Bible knows nothing of lone Christians, of believers who are willfully independent from a local church. Rather, Christians gather in communities to worship together and serve one another. And as God commands his people to gather in community, he also commands them to be led—led by men called and qualified as pastors or elders (terms the Bible uses interchangeably). As we progress through a series of questions  about things we as Christians often take for granted, we now come …