Don’t Sideline the Women in Your Church Plant

Don’t Sideline the Women in Your Church Plant

It was a day I’d been anticipating since the dawn of our new church plant. After years of prayer and preparation, and months of building a team, we were finally starting to feel like we had a church family—a group of people we belonged to and who belonged to us. Today was the first day of community groups. My husband and some of the men on his team had been preparing for months.

Are You Evangelistic?

Are You Evangelistic?

I know, I know. You preach the gospel regularly. You declare weekly or more often the good news about how sinners can be redeemed. But are you evangelistic? Do you regularly put yourself in situations where you can share your faith personally?

9 Reasons Church Revitalization May Be a Serious Faith Challenge

9 Reasons Church Revitalization May Be a Serious Faith Challenge

I believe church revitalization is possible, and I want to help leaders ask the right questions, focus their spiritual disciplines, and move forward in the task. At the same time, though, revitalization can be one of the toughest faith challenges a pastor will face in his ministry. Here’s why:

How I Teach the Sharing Jesus Book

How I Teach the Sharing Jesus Book

It’s now been a year since the Sharing Jesus (Without Freaking Out) book released. It’s been ridiculous to see the response. I’ve written a lot of books over a lot of years, but I’ve seen nothing like the response to this. I give glory to God and attribute it to his good hand, lots of things I’ve learned from students, colleagues, and others. I think slowing down and having more time to think deeply and reflectively as I wrote helped tremendously. And, my most excellent literary agents Robert and Andrew Wolgemuth have given me the encouragement to believe more in myself as a writer, which is no little thing.

Cross-Cultural Church Planting Is Costly

Cross-Cultural Church Planting Is Costly

The call of Christ is not an invitation to an easy life. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer famously said, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” But we know from Jesus that we actually find our lives when we lose them for his sake (Mark 8:35).

Church Planting 101: Follow Up With Guests

Church Planting 101: Follow Up With Guests

When it comes to planting a church (or pastoring an established church for that matter), praying, preaching, singing, and a host of other things demand attention. Recently, Tony Merida wrote about the importance of hospitality in church planting. Pastors who are not hospitable simply should not hold the office of pastor (1 Tim 3:2).

6 Ways the Bible Changed My Perspective on Ethnic Diversity

6 Ways the Bible Changed My Perspective on Ethnic Diversity

Like many Christians, I grew up thinking the Bible was a story about people who looked a lot like me. This natural assumption was strengthened by my pictorial Bible (with Renaissance-era paintings of European-looking characters), Sunday school material, and Hollywood movies like The Ten Commandments (with Charlton Heston playing Moses). Perhaps you grew up with this same impression.

The Gospel-Shaped Pastor

The Gospel-Shaped Pastor

Pastors are a motley bunch of souls. We represent different personalities and tribes, different methodologies and styles, not to mention denominations, traditions, and theologies. But I’ve learned over the years that there is something many of us all have in common—a profound sense of insecurity for which the only antidote is the gospel.