Has anyone ever asked you this question, what is the Bible about? There could be several different answers to that question. In general, though, it seems to me that there is a popular belief that the Bible is a moral encyclopedia that shows us what “we must do.” It tells us how to live, how to think, how to be a good father, mother or teenager.read more
Jonathan Morrow in Foundations of Spiritual Formation said, “Spiritual formation is divinely enabled by God through three essential resources: God’s Word, God’s Spirit, and God’s people (the church).” Of these 3 essential resources, which do you think is the most neglected resource, and why is it the most neglected?
I would argue that the church is, perhaps, the most neglected spiritual formation tool. This is based on both the positive emphasis the Bible puts on the need for fellowship in community, and the negative impact we see on those who isolate themselves.
Topical. Expositional. Textual. Devotional. Long. Short. Loud. Quiet. Humorous. Sobering. Exciting. Thought-Provoking. Encouraging. Convicting. Informational. Inspirational.read more
Children simply grow up too quickly. Heather and I were out to dinner in January on a date night when the subject matter of children naturally arose. Scarlett’s humor, Savannah’s sensitivity, and Jonathan’s recent growth spurt were the topics at hand when we were suddenly struck by terrible thought.read more
In the rapidly changing culture in which we live, teenagers are always searching for the latest fad or style that will bring them acceptance by their peers. Unfortunately, in a similar bid for acceptance, many of our student ministries have become entertainment and amusement-driven.read more
It is generally understood among evangelical Christians that God’s heartbeat is for His disciples to make more disciples of the Lord Jesus. This vital task is accomplished, primarily, by Christian fellowship with other believers in what is commonly referred to as “life-on-life discipleship.”read more
I will never forget the question. I had been the pastor of our church for all of two weeks when a leader in our church approached me after a service and asked, “So Pastor, where is our church heading?” It felt strange and awkward, then heavy and humbling. Real people with real lives were now looking to me to set a course for the future of their church.read more
I recently came across a powerful quote from an 18th century English pastor named Job Orton. Ironically, he wrote to the ministers of his day about doctrinal compromise. The struggles of churches nearly 300 years ago are the struggles of churches today.read more
There is one common pressure that every pastor feels regardless of the size of his congregation, the structure of his schedule, or the season of his ministry. This tension is felt in the reality that Sunday is always coming. Don’t get me wrong—I love Sundays, and I love what God allows me to do as a shepherd of His flock.read more
In just the first daylight hours of this week, I have sent out several texts that perfectly capture in a microcosm the wide range of emotional connections required in pastoral ministry. The recipients included a younger couple who just bought their first home together, a dear wife aiding her husband’s battle for his life against cancer, a group of faithful deacons willing to launch out by faith, and a couple celebrating yet another anniversary grieving a still-born child.read more
In a world where big tech companies push a yearly update of their flagship devices, outdoing themselves with bigger, better, and faster than last year’s model, there is a permeating philosophy of customizing everything for the customer current needs. All of the sudden, past market trends are obsoletes or become merely historical data, and new market research or focus groups tests are performed all over again. While this consumeristic mentality is damaging in so many levels, it does not even compare to the danger that it presents when it infiltrates church, particularly in the area of preaching.read more