Category: The Gospel and the Church

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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Go Back to the Local Church

Go Back to Church Perhaps a Pastor painted a poor picture of Pastors for you. Maybe a church staffer didn’t elevate your ministry the way you thought it deserved. Did a fellow member rebuke you harshly instead of with gentleness and in love? Cultural Christians and their hypocrisy, possibly, have made you sick over the years. Or is it that members, your friends, left your church, and it no longer has the same homey feel? No matter whose fault it was (it could have been yours), the local church burned you like a finger that touched a hot stove....

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When Christians Hurt You

As the culture war rages on, there is another battle raging to which we must turn our attention. When I was a boy, my dad would sometimes tell me, “No one will hurt you so much as others in the church.” In my lifetime, this has generally proven to be true. Believers sometimes experience the greatest hurt in their relationships with other professing believers in the church at large. When a professing believer hurts our feelings or reputation, how should we respond? Should we, in turn, demean that individual by telling others (whether privately or publicly), “I can’t stand him,” or “she’s such a mess” or “I’m...

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