Category: The Gospel and the Church

Domestic Abuse and the Church

One in four women. Those are the startling national statics for cases of intimate partner violence. For many of us within the church, those numbers reveal just how desperately our world needs Jesus, but we fail to realize that domestic violence is a serious problem within our walls too. In fact, domestic abuse is not just a problem within the church; sometimes we can make it easier for abusers to hide and justify themselves. There are two primary ways that the church can unintentionally provide a safe haven for abusers. The church is often the most ill-equipped and unprepared...

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Don’t Theologize or Spiritualize Ministry Mediocrity

I believe in the primacy of Christ-centered expository preaching in the life of the church. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones asserted in his classic book, Preaching, and Preachers, “I would say without any hesitation that the most urgent need in the Christian Church today is true preaching; and as it is the greatest and the most urgent need in the Church, it is obviously the greatest need of the world also.” I agree wholeheartedly with that statement. Lloyd-Jones also wrote in Preaching and Preachers, “True preaching, after all, is God acting. It is not just a man uttering words; it is...

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Extraordinarily Ordinary: Finding Success in the Simple Rhythms of Life

In high school, I was voted “most likely to become a rock star.” Okay, let me nuance that a bit; I wanted to become a musician. I wanted to play music, travel, and make money. I desired to be successful and make a name for myself. I had dreams and goals of making it “big” in the world of music. Now I find myself in the pastoral ministry—far from the world of music, fame, and money. But within ministry, there is that desire to be “successful.” But ministry “success” is usually defined differently: impacting a large number of people,...

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Welcome One Another: Five Ways to Show Hospitality at Church

Romans 15:7, “Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” In the Bible hospitality is no small matter. From Abraham to the Apostles, God called His people to greet one another with love and concern. For instance, in the Old Testament, it was more than a cultural faux pas to deny hospitality; it was an indictment against the whole village. Likewise, in the New Testament, we find John commending the believers to welcome into their homes those who have gone out for the sake of the name (3 John 8). And Paul makes hospitality (i.e.,...

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Resetting Ministry Priorities with a Laser-Like Focus on Faithfulness to the Gospel

Recently I was in ministry leadership meeting at my local church. During this meeting, it struck me how many of the words out of the participant’s mouths, including my own, focused on how many people were coming to our events. There’s nothing wrong with trying to reach more people in one’s local church especially when it’s from a desire to help them grow in God’s grace. The problem becomes as I realized in the course of this conversation how we were so focused on numbers that the expectations of our ministry were completely wrong. Furthermore, not only were our...

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