Category: Church

Five Things Only The Local Church Can Do

There is nothing on earth like the local Christian church. Hundreds of conferences offer life-changing experiences for several days but can’t come close to the life-long impact of a local church. Evangelistic crusades may draw tens of thousands to hear the gospel, but the crusade team can’t possibly facilitate the spiritual growth of those converts the way the local church can. When it comes down to it, Christ loves His bride, and there is no substitute that can satisfy the needs of His growing body like the local church. Providing that a group of believers gather under biblically qualified...

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The Cruciformed View of Wisdom and Power

The Cruciformed View of Wisdom and Power Living in a pluralistic society where relativism is the norm it is inevitable someone is going to be offended. Those of us who live as witnesses of the Crucified Christ know all to well that mentioning the statement “Jesus is Lord” is a cultural “no-no.” If you announce this you’ll likely be labeled as “narrow-minded” or just simply someone who hasn’t progressed far enough into the changing culture. Christians must, so the argument goes, stop being judgmental and be more inclusive of others. It is unfortunate that many who claim to follow...

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Three Important Reasons To Become A Church Member

“Why become a member of a church, I attend the service isn’t that enough?” This is an actual question that I have heard. I want to explain how, as a Pastor, I respond to such a claim. Let me break this down into four apparent areas of confusion. I should also mention that this thinking is based mostly from the American/Western culture and without backing that up with firm data, it may be more conjecture and observation; however, it is a mindset in churches that I have been involved with and comments heard among other pastors. One should also...

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Book Review – Expositional Preaching: How We Speak God’s Word Today

Dozens of preaching books come out every year. Before and during seminary I read at least two dozen books on preaching. I’ve found that most preaching books tend towards focusing on how to explain and apply the text or deliver the sermon. Few books combine the best of scholarship out there without having to go to another book. This is why I liked Expositional Preaching: How We Speak God’s Word Today by David Helm. Over the years the 9 Marks series (Building Healthy Churches) has been a means the Lord has used in my own life to help me think through a variety of ministry related issues in addition to their helpful ministry website. The book is divided into four sections. In the first section the author seeks to explain contextualization that is how to speak the Word of God in a way that people will understand. In chapter three the author focuses on how to exegete the text. Chapter three helps the reader understand the role of biblical and systematic theology and focusing on Jesus. In chapter four the author helps his readers understand how to speak to your audience, arrange your sermon study into a coherent sermon outline and apply your message. The author states his purpose is to expound on how “expositional preaching is empowered preaching that rightfully submits the shape and emphasis of the sermon...

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Book Review – Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive

Churches are dying every day. That isn’t news you’ll read in the latest issue of Time, national or local newspapers but the fact is many churches are dying every day. Many pastors are leaving the ministry every month and every year. What is the Church to do? Should we give up and close our doors? These are difficult questions and difficult issues to address. Thankfully Dr. Thom Rainer an experienced Pastor, researcher and popular author and blogger has written Autospy of a Deceased Church 12 Ways To Keep Yours Alive to help Christians think through these and other issues. I’ve spent my entire life in the Pacific Northwest, specifically the majority of it in Washington State (26 years) and almost seven years now in Idaho. During this time, I’ve seen many churches close their doors for a variety of reasons but the biggest one has been because of failing to heed to biblical orthodoxy and proclaim the gospel. In his book Dr. Rainer looks at the slow erosion that occurs as churches grow older and move away from the gospel, the past as a hero, local churches refusing to reach out to the community, budget issues, churches that focus on preferences, failing to keep the pastor long term, a lack of prayer, no clear process and facility issues in part one of the book. In the final section of...

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