Three years ago, I met an Iranian scientist with an incredible brain and a stunning story: He had met Jesus through the disillusionment of the Islamic revolution and the music of J. S. Bach.
In Iran my friend had witnessed the full force of religious coercion, and he’d hated it. He’d converted to a new faith partly as a reaction against that force. He knew religious coercion is wrong, but now a Christian, he was wrestling with this question: Is it wrong to try to persuade someone to change his beliefs?
No one is running around our church, setting up activities today.
Even though it’s October 31 as I write this, we’re not decorating our cars, prepping games in our classrooms, or cooking food in our kitchen.
Because this year, for the first time in many years, we’re not doing a Trunk-Or-Treat Halloween alternative. And we’re doing better ministry to children because of it.
Recently, I was asked about the greatest obstacles to church growth I see in evangelical churches. Based on my consultations and studies, here are some of the primary ones I’ve seen
Have you ever been disappointed in the results of campus ministry? Have you struggled to set the right expectations for what campus ministry can be, or what you should hope it will accomplish in the lives of students? In this podcast, experienced campus ministers talk openly and honestly about discouragement and frustration in campus ministry, while also considering the beauty and strategic nature of Word ministry to students in this “short season” of life.
Let’s talk about the essence of Jesus’s identity in John 1:1. I’m going to skip a phrase and come back to it, just because I want to link it together with the relationship with the world. The end of John 1:1: “The Word was God.” One of the marks of this Gospel is that the weightiest doctrines and the simplest language go together. I don’t think that statement in John 1:1 could be made grammatically simpler than it is — or more weighty than it is. I don’t know how to make it more weighty. I don’t know how to make it more simple.
In many parts of the world today, it can be easy to live a comfortable life as a Christian. Certainly where I live—in Orange County, California—this is the case. But is that a good thing?
Almost every Church Health Survey our consulting company does shows that church members believe their congregation has cliques. In fact, I can’t remember ever reading a survey that did not reveal that same finding. If that’s the case, how should we try to avoid cliques in our church?
Discovering and embracing the fact that I am a small church pastor was one of the most liberating moments of my life.
It took me years to get there, but once I did… wow! What a relief!
Increasingly, people are becoming critical of short-term mission trips. Some of this criticism is appropriate. However, in the midst of it all, we must not forget the ways short-term mission trips can be helpful. A qualification should be made here. This post is primarily about gospel-driven mission trips versus trips that are primarily service oriented with little to no verbal witness.
Church membership is a concept that while not explicitly articulated in the Scriptures is assumed and supported. Many of the New Testament letters were written to local congregations with instructions as to how they were to deal with their life together (for example, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, and Philippians). Even though church membership is common in churches today and throughout history, I’ve found it helpful to broaden out the answer to help fill out my reasons for why we have church membership.