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  • The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    Quite a long time has passed since we witnessed the unexpected rise of a new kind of Calvinism. Few had anticipated that in the twenty-first century, so many millions of people spanning a host of nations and traditions would find themselves affirming such old and controversial doctrines. Yet many did so because they were wary…

  • The Most Dangerous Thing a Christian Can Do

    The Most Dangerous Thing a Christian Can Do

    It was one of those little pieces of information that helped clarify so much in my mind, that described through data what I had seen with my own eyes and experienced in my own ministry. It is a piece of information we all ought to be aware of and one we all ought to consider.…

  • Stop Swiping Start Serving

    Stop Swiping, Start Serving

    I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that in the past few weeks, you have probably not gotten rip-roaring drunk nor participated in a debauched drinking party. You have probably not given yourself over to rampant sexual immorality or a life obsessed with sensuality. At least, I hope not

  • Optimistic Denominationalism

    Optimistic Denominationalism

    It is one of the realities of the Christian faith that people love to criticize—the reality that there are a host of different denominations and a multitude of different expressions of Christian worship. We hear it from skeptics: If Christianity is true and if it really changes people, then why can’t you get along? We…

  • Ordinary

    We Who Are So Ordinary

    A couple of years ago I listened to an interview with a critic of Christianity. He was a person who claimed to love Christ, yet who seemed to have little use for Christ’s church and little good to say about Christ’s people. There was one critique that especially stood out to me

  • A Difference Making Ministry for Any Christian

    A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian

    The experience of preaching is very different from the front than from the back, when facing the congregation than when facing the preacher. The congregation faces one man who is doing his utmost to be engaging, to hold their attention, and to apply truths that will impact their hearts and transform their lives.

  • Love the Ones Who Drive You Crazy

    Love the Ones Who Drive You Crazy

    An election year is upon us and with it all the debate, suspicion, and rancor that is sure to accompany the culmination of another four-year cycle. Though the election is still months away, I’m already dreading the inevitable interpersonal struggles that will come with it and even the strains it may bring to the unity…

  • I Feel At Home in Your Church

    I Feel At Home in Your Church

    It is one of the realities of the Christian faith that skeptics love to criticize—the reality that there are a host of different denominations and a multitude of different expressions of Christian worship. But while believers have become accustomed to responding to this criticism with a sense of shame, I choose to see it in…

  • Random Pieces of Advice About the Local Church

    32 Random Thoughts About the Local Church

    Every now and again I jot down a thought that I’d like to ponder but that I don’t intend to tease out into an article. After all, not every idea is worthy of a full-length treatment. Hence, today I’ve got a long list of brief, random (and unsolicited) observations and pieces of advice related to…

  • How We Worshipped

    How We Worshipped on One Sunday in April

    Every now and again I like to share one of our worship services from Grace Fellowship Church. I do this to provide just one example of how a church applies the principles of Scripture to its public worship. If there is something you see here that would bless your church, you have permission to pilfer…

  • What I Want From A Church

    What I Want From A Church

    NPR recently ran an article about the future of the Christian church. Church attendance is in decline, they said, but some creative leaders are finding ways to keep it relevant in a new cultural context. Pastor Chris Battle has walked away from traditional church because it “was not connecting with people” and now leads a…

  • Fight For Your Pastor

    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,…

  • Spiritual Abuse

    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.…

  • How We Worshipped

    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…

  • Are You a Peacemaker or a Troublemaker

    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.…

  • If I Was the Worlds Only Christian

    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…

  • How We Worshipped

    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…

  • On Worship

    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…

  • Before You Pack Up and Leave

    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…

  • Are We Performing or Are We Participating

    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.…