The Whole Christian Life Every Sunday

A well-planned worship service is a tremendous blessing to those who participate in it. A well-planned service is not necessarily one in which the projector never flickers and the microphones never buzz, or one in which the transitions are smooth and the sermon doesn’t go long. Rather, a well-planned service is one whose elements have been carefully planned to fulfill God’s purposes for the public gatherings of his church. How, then, do we plan our services? What elements should a …

What We Gained When We Lost Our Hymnals

A few weeks ago I wrote an article titled What We Lost When We Lost Our Hymnals and was rather surprised to see 300,000 people stop by to read it! I meant to point out that there are consequences in shifting from one medium to another—in this case, shifting from hymnals to PowerPoint projection. (I use “PowerPoint” to stand in for all forms of projection.) It is true of every new technology that it brings benefits and drawbacks. Neither hymnals …

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Hack Your Worship Service

I recently read an article about the architectural design of airports. Yes, that was an actual article I actually read, and I found it fascinating. A specialist in airport design told how he had been involved in planning Atlanta’s new international terminal and how he and his team had been specially tasked with finding ways to minimize the signage that so often clutters airports. He was convinced they could use design to guide people through the airport experience, from entering …

The Creative Arts Director

I was making my way home after speaking at an event in Indiana. Or maybe it was Illinois, or Idaho—they all kind of blur together sometimes. Either way, I boarded my plane to find the seat beside me empty. I couldn’t stop myself from hoping that it might just stay that way, that I’d be able to spread out my stuff a little and enjoy a quiet flight. But sure enough, just as the flight attendants were about to close …

Letters to the Editor (Sleepovers, ESV, Modern Worship, More)

This was a banner week for letters to the editor and I had a lot of them to read through and select from. In the end, I’ve chosen ones that speak about sleepovers, the ESV, problems with modern worship, and Roman sexual morality. I hope you find them helpful! Letters on Why My Family Doesn’t Do Sleepovers Tim: Far more people have read my article on sleepovers than any other article I’ve written. Not surprisingly, then, I receive far more …

The Missing Elements of Modern Worship

I once paid a visit to one of the most mega of America’s megachurches. It’s a church whose pastor is well-known, a church known for its innovation, a church held up as a model for modern evangelicalism. I went in with as open a mind as I could muster. I left perplexed. I was perplexed not by what was said or done in the service as much as what was left unsaid and undone. Since that visit I’ve had the …

3 Quick Questions Before Quitting Your Church

We all know there are times and circumstances in which the only right course of action is to leave a church. If the church leadership has apostatized or proven themselves unqualified for ministry, if they are preaching a false gospel, if they have surrendered to the culture, we need to get out. We can leave these churches boldly and without looking back, shaking the dust from our feet. But more often than not, we leave churches for what we might consider …

3 Errors of Musical Style that Stifle Community

It is ironic that music, an element meant to draw Christians together in mutual love and service (see Colossians 3:16) has become a force for significant division within the church. It just goes to show, I guess, that we can make a mess of pretty much anything. In their book The Compelling Community, Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop point out 3 common errors of musical style can stifle local church community: Music that’s difficult to sing corporately. If your music …

A La Carte (5/21)

The Goodness of God and the Reality of Evil – Dr. Mohler reflects on the tornado in Oklahoma: “Every thoughtful person must deal with the problem of evil. Evil acts and tragic events come to us all in this vale of tears known as human life. The problem of evil and suffering is undoubtedly the greatest theological challenge we face.” The Mystery of Suffering and Sovereignty – Sam Storms, who pastors in Oklahoma City, also reflects on the tragedy. Christian …

A La Carte (3/7)

A Surrogate’s Dilemma – This is a horrible story from CNN that so clearly displays the horrors of a culture that devalues life in the womb. “Crystal Kelley was offered $10,000 to have an abortion after ultrasounds showed the baby she was carrying for another couple had severe medical problems.” The Link Between Spirituality and Sexuality – On a similar note, this article is thought-provoking. “[T]here is an embedded creational link between sexuality and spirituality. We were created for monogamy …