Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Don’t Theologize or Spiritualize Ministry Mediocrity
Don’t Theologize or Spiritualize Ministry Mediocrity

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...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Extraordinarily Ordinary: Finding Success in the Simple Rhythms of Life
Extraordinarily Ordinary: Finding Success in the Simple Rhythms of Life

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...

Read More

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

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...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Learning to See the Beauty of a Gospel-Centered Church
Learning to See the Beauty of a Gospel-Centered Church

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...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Four Ways to Respond When a Ministry Leader Is Removed from Ministry
Four Ways to Respond When a Ministry Leader Is Removed from Ministry

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...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
‘Seedtimes of Tears’: The Goodness and Necessity of Tears in Ministry
‘Seedtimes of Tears’: The Goodness and Necessity of Tears in Ministry

‘Seedtimes of Tears’: The Goodness and Necessity of Tears in Ministry

When Paul called the Ephesian elders to himself in Miletus (Acts 20), he recounted his three years of service before them. His words focused on preparing the elders whom he loved and labored with for the challenges they would soon face. Just as Paul fought the...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
New Ministry Resolutions: Remembering the Old Convictions of Preaching
New Ministry Resolutions: Remembering the Old Convictions of Preaching

New Ministry Resolutions: Remembering the Old Convictions of Preaching

The old has passed and the new has arrived. The calendar has turned and we’ve entered into 2017. However, we know that the “new” will soon wear off and the fresh reminder of the “old” will define the plowing of pastoral ministry. If you’re like me you probably have...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
“You Will Be My Witnesses”: Five Truths About Witnessing From the Book of Acts
“You Will Be My Witnesses”: Five Truths About Witnessing From the Book of Acts

“You Will Be My Witnesses”: Five Truths About Witnessing From the Book of Acts

When I was in College and a young believer, one of the first Christian books I read was Bill Bright’s Witnessing without Fear. It was a helpful introduction to evangelism and the call of disciples to be witnesses for Jesus. Just beginning to understand what it...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
The Four DNA Elements You Must Understand About Your Church
The Four DNA Elements You Must Understand About Your Church

The Four DNA Elements You Must Understand About Your Church

Every local church is one of a kind. Each one is unique. There are an estimated 350,000 churches in the United States. They are all distinct and unlike any other. You can find churches with similarities based on common beliefs or methods, but no church is exactly...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
The Pain of a Failed Adoption and God’s Grace in the Midst of It
The Pain of a Failed Adoption and God’s Grace in the Midst of It

The Pain of a Failed Adoption and God’s Grace in the Midst of It

The past Fall and even early Winter have been a very difficult and trying season for my wife and me. Early in the Fall, we were asked if we would be willing to adopt a child. Of the two times, we’ve been asked to adopt a child; this past one hurt the most as we...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
4 Personal Elements to Help Your Preaching Connect to the Lost & Unchurched
4 Personal Elements to Help Your Preaching Connect to the Lost & Unchurched

4 Personal Elements to Help Your Preaching Connect to the Lost & Unchurched

Preaching matters. No matter how many new fads try to eliminate or minimize preaching, here it stands. From the prophets of the Old Testament to Jesus, to the apostles in the book of Acts, preaching has been a vehicle for God’s redemptive purposes. Preaching isn’t...

Read More

FeaturedIssues in the Church
How Pastors Can Help Their People Find Their Calling
How Pastors Can Help Their People Find Their Calling

How Pastors Can Help Their People Find Their Calling

I remember sitting in church hearing sermon after sermon on the importance of giving it all up to serve God. These were great convicting sermons God used to melt my heart toward him. But I never knew exactly what God’s will looked like, specifically. Did it mean...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Being Theologically Intentional: The Importance of the Sunday Morning Gathering
Being Theologically Intentional: The Importance of the Sunday Morning Gathering

Being Theologically Intentional: The Importance of the Sunday Morning Gathering

From Monday through Saturday we are beat up by the world. We are persuaded to believe that our lives ought to be consumed with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:15-17). The week has the ability to take its toll on us. This...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Three Ways to Receive a Compliment While Giving God Glory
Three Ways to Receive a Compliment While Giving God Glory

Three Ways to Receive a Compliment While Giving God Glory

Receiving compliments can be awkward. This is especially true if you are in ministry. While you want to be appreciated for the work you do, you also want to avoid taking the glory. Nobody wants to be guilty of—or experience in—what Herod did in Acts 12 when the...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
A Greater Vision for Your Church: Pastoral internships
A Greater Vision for Your Church: Pastoral internships

A Greater Vision for Your Church: Pastoral internships

As a local church, dare to think beyond yourself. There is everything right about encouraging or inviting people to your church services, and promoting such outreach events as a summer VBS. In fact, it is good and right to focus on ministry in our own little...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Why You Should Become a Knowledgable AND Wise Leader
Why You Should Become a Knowledgable AND Wise Leader

Why You Should Become a Knowledgable AND Wise Leader

I pastor a fast-growing church, and our staff is incredible. We are young. The median age of our staff is 31 years old, and if it wasn’t for our 52-year-old family pastor—who is a rockstar, but busts the curve—our average would be 29 years old. Having a young staff...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Three Emotions Pastors Bear Which Are Unknown to Most Congregants
Three Emotions Pastors Bear Which Are Unknown to Most Congregants

Three Emotions Pastors Bear Which Are Unknown to Most Congregants

Pastors are like ogres. No, we are not hideous monsters who smell, at least not all of us. We are like ogres because we have layers. My Shrek reference and a poor attempt at humor are to lead into a discussion about the emotions pastors often feel. As I seek to...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Your First and Most Important Labor: Communion with Christ
Your First and Most Important Labor: Communion with Christ

Your First and Most Important Labor: Communion with Christ

Most of the people I know in ministry are exceptionally busy people. Yes, there are some who are lazy and idle, but they are like overweight distant runners or pale lifeguards – rare. The majority of those in ministry are usually running after more things than time...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Platforms or Stewardship: The Issue of Influence in a Digital Age
Platforms or Stewardship: The Issue of Influence in a Digital Age

Platforms or Stewardship: The Issue of Influence in a Digital Age

The other day I was talking with a good friend at my local church about my writing and ministry in general. We were talking about celebrity pastors and the tendency with this approach to pastoral success for them to fall from their ministry position. I made the...

Read More

Issues in the Church
Bite Marks, Open Wounds, and Lasting Scars: Recovering from Church Hurt and Disappointment
Bite Marks, Open Wounds, and Lasting Scars: Recovering from Church Hurt and Disappointment

Bite Marks, Open Wounds, and Lasting Scars: Recovering from Church Hurt and Disappointment

“Give yourself to the Church. You that are members of the Church have not found it perfect and I hope that you feel almost glad that you have not. If I had never joined a Church till I had found one that was perfect, I would never have joined one at all! And the...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Sin, Discipline, and Not Being the Next Pastor Who Falls
Sin, Discipline, and Not Being the Next Pastor Who Falls

Sin, Discipline, and Not Being the Next Pastor Who Falls

Sin is no respecter of persons. It does not care what your name is, what your title is, how successful you are, or how large your platform is. It’s not impressed with how long you have been in ministry, how big your church is, or what degrees you have hanging on...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Ministry and Legitimacy: Understanding the Place of the Local Church for Ministry
Ministry and Legitimacy: Understanding the Place of the Local Church for Ministry

Ministry and Legitimacy: Understanding the Place of the Local Church for Ministry

One of my main concerns with writing posts for myself is that my writing ministry will take me away from my ministry at my local church. I currently serve in a variety of ways at my local church: from preaching at many of the Men’s events, to teaching the Wednesday...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
The Making of a ‘Theologian: Twelve Ways to Grow in Grace and Knowledge of the Lord
The Making of a ‘Theologian: Twelve Ways to Grow in Grace and Knowledge of the Lord

The Making of a ‘Theologian: Twelve Ways to Grow in Grace and Knowledge of the Lord

Awhile back, I wrote a blogpost, “Theology is not Just for Theologians.” Fairly recently Edmond Sanganyado ran a post (“Becoming a Better Theologian“) on the same subject, where he queried more than twenty theologians on how to grow in knowing and loving God (i.e.,...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Four Things to Look for When Listening to a Sermon
Four Things to Look for When Listening to a Sermon

Four Things to Look for When Listening to a Sermon

Disclaimer: I don’t mean for the title of this blog post to sound so self-serving. “I want this, I want that, me, me and more me.” I’m not coming at it from that angle. I’m coming (hopefully) from the angle of Scripture and what we ought to want from the preaching...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Six Important Reasons Church Is Important, Especially If You Think You Know It All Already
Six Important Reasons Church Is Important, Especially If You Think You Know It All Already

Six Important Reasons Church Is Important, Especially If You Think You Know It All Already

If you're like me, you grew up going to church every time the doors were open. As I grew older, and became more involved in ministry and began studying in Bible college, I likely went to church or chapel services 7-10 times a week for years. Since graduation, as...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Six Ways God Uses Difficult People in the Life of His People
Six Ways God Uses Difficult People in the Life of His People

Six Ways God Uses Difficult People in the Life of His People

Dealing with difficult people in a Christ-like manner may be one of the most difficult ways to live out the Gospel. Difficult, because this requires patience, something I struggle to display. It has been said that if you pray for patience, God will indulge you with...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Four Reasons You Should Read and Preach the Old Testament
Four Reasons You Should Read and Preach the Old Testament

Four Reasons You Should Read and Preach the Old Testament

“Long ago, at many time and in many ways, God spoke to our father by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through who also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Six Ways Pastors Can Equip Churches to Engage Cultural Issues
Six Ways Pastors Can Equip Churches to Engage Cultural Issues

Six Ways Pastors Can Equip Churches to Engage Cultural Issues

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to write on "Issues in the Church" that either aren't talked about, ignored entirely, or that we want to contribute to the discussion on. Our goal with this series is to help our readers think through these issues from a...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Five Helpful Considerations for Sermon Preparation
Five Helpful Considerations for Sermon Preparation

Five Helpful Considerations for Sermon Preparation

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to write on "Issues in the Church" that either aren't talked about, ignored entirely, or that we want to contribute to the discussion on. Our goal with this series is to help our readers think through these issues from a...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Nine Characteristics of a Healthy Christian Who Represents Jesus Well
Nine Characteristics of a Healthy Christian Who Represents Jesus Well

Nine Characteristics of a Healthy Christian Who Represents Jesus Well

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to write on "Issues in the Church" that either aren't talked about, ignored entirely, or that we want to contribute to the discussion on. Our goal with this series is to help our readers think through these issues from a...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Handling Grumbling and Critique from the Congregation
Handling Grumbling and Critique from the Congregation

Handling Grumbling and Critique from the Congregation

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to write on "Issues in the Church" that either aren't talked about, ignored entirely, or that we want to contribute to the discussion on. Our goal with this series is to help our readers think through these issues from a...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Brotherly Affection Protects the Purity of One Another
Brotherly Affection Protects the Purity of One Another

Brotherly Affection Protects the Purity of One Another

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to write on "Issues in the Church" that either aren't talked about, ignored entirely, or that we want to contribute to the discussion on. Our goal with this series is to help our readers think through these issues from a...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
W.E.L.C.O.M.E. Seven Good Actions Towards a Better Welcome
W.E.L.C.O.M.E. Seven Good Actions Towards a Better Welcome

W.E.L.C.O.M.E. Seven Good Actions Towards a Better Welcome

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to write on "Issues in the Church" that either aren't talked about, ignored entirely, or that we want to contribute to the discussion on. Our goal with this series is to help our readers think through these issues from a...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Battling Discouragement and Depression with the Gospel
Battling Discouragement and Depression with the Gospel

Battling Discouragement and Depression with the Gospel

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to write on "Issues in the Church" that either aren't talked about, ignored entirely, or that we want to contribute to the discussion on. Our goal with this series is to help our readers think through these issues from a...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Applying the Doctrine of the Authority and Sufficiency of Scripture
Applying the Doctrine of the Authority and Sufficiency of Scripture

Applying the Doctrine of the Authority and Sufficiency of Scripture

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to write on "Issues in the Church" that either aren't talked about, ignored entirely, or that we want to contribute to the discussion on. Our goal with this series is to help our readers think through these issues from a...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Logs, Splinters and Specks: Seeing People Through the Eyes of God’s Grace
Logs, Splinters and Specks: Seeing People Through the Eyes of God’s Grace

Logs, Splinters and Specks: Seeing People Through the Eyes of God’s Grace

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to write on "Issues in the Church" that either aren't talked about, ignored entirely, or that we want to contribute to the discussion on. Our goal with this series is to help our readers think through these issues from a...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Preventing Poverty of the Soul Through Bible Intake
Preventing Poverty of the Soul Through Bible Intake

Preventing Poverty of the Soul Through Bible Intake

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to write on "Issues in the Church" that either aren't talked about, ignored entirely, or that we want to contribute to the discussion on. Our goal with this series is to help our readers think through these issues from a...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Biblical Doctrine: The Lifeblood of the Christian Life
Biblical Doctrine: The Lifeblood of the Christian Life

Biblical Doctrine: The Lifeblood of the Christian Life

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to write on "Issues in the Church" that either aren't talked about, ignored entirely, or that we want to contribute to the discussion on. Our goal with this series is to help our readers think through these issues from a...

Read More

Issues in the ChurchFeatured
Encountering the Gospel in the ICU: The Importance of Visiting the Sick and Afflicted
Encountering the Gospel in the ICU: The Importance of Visiting the Sick and Afflicted

Encountering the Gospel in the ICU: The Importance of Visiting the Sick and Afflicted

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to write on "Issues in the Church" that either aren't talked about, ignored entirely, or that we want to contribute to the discussion on. Our goal with this series is to help our readers think through these issues from a...

Read More