Category: The Gospel and the Church

Boring Church Services Changed My Life

I’ve never really had a moment in my life—39 years—when I wasn’t going to church. My parents got engaged and married in the church. I was born into, raised in, and baptized in the church. My parents, first-generation Christians, were devout church-goers. We went every time the doors were open—and many times when they weren’t. My father, a plumber, volunteered thousands of man-hours helping build church buildings. My mother volunteered, worked as a secretary, and later served as a preschool teacher. Since the age of five, I sat in church services: Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, and Wednesday night prayer...

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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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Jonathan Edwards A Missional Theologian

I try not to put much stock in buzzwords. They often become part of my vocabulary, but I try always to remember their limits. In recent years “missional” has become one of those buzzwords I use. The word has a dozen different meanings, but it frequently finds a place in discussions about Christian social justice. To be “missional” can often mean to reflect God’s heart for the poor and oppressed. In this sense, then, the idea of missional Christianity is not new. The 17th Century Puritan theologian, Jonathan Edwards was a missional Christian long before the term became buzzworthy....

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Learning to See the Beauty of a Gospel-Centered Church

I love the gospel and the church, and I can’t wait to teach them every Sunday. But it wasn’t always that way. How Do You See the Church? Admittedly, for me, I was slow to understand and appreciate the importance and beauty of the local church. In high school and college, I came to faith, began sharing the gospel, and learning how the Word of God impacted all of life. In this time, the church was important, but only as an extension of my individual Christianity. For me, church was an a la carte affair. I was committed to...

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Four Ways to Respond When a Ministry Leader Is Removed from Ministry

It happened yet again. A popular ministry leader fell into sin. Over the years, I’ve sadly seen this happen so many times. Each time a ministry leader falls and has to resign from his position it breaks my heart breaks. I’ve also sadly seen people who come down overly hard on ministry leaders. These are the same people who I’ve also seen not take their sin seriously. Let me be clear my intention is not to point the finger and say, “I’m better than anyone” because to wave that flag is to commit a whole host of doctrinal and...

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