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That Little Something Extra

We recently took a much-needed vacation – a family road trip to Colorado. On the way back we stopped at a truck stop/fast food restaurant outside of Lubbock, TX to gas up and eat. When we walked in we were given the standard greeting. But after that, they totally exceeded our expectations. […]

How Well-Meaning Christians Get In God’s Way

During a mid-week Bible Study we were reading through one of the Gospels (eye-witness accounts) in attempt to discover the real Jesus. After reading a passage, I asked the participants an open-ended question about what we’d just read. I wanted to know their opinion about what Jesus meant by a controversial statement. Timo* was the first to weigh in on the subject. He had recently started attending our church to learn more about Jesus and Christianity. And although he wasn’t a believer, he was definitely interested in spiritual things. Because he had no biblical background, his answer missed the point of what Jesus was getting at. It wasn’t malicious, by any means. But it wasn’t biblically correct either. Daniel*, a Bible School student, was a guest at that Bible study. He disagreed with Timo, but did so in a forceful way that made Timo look and feel stupid. Daniel wasn’t being intentionally rude, he just wanted to set the record straight. After that exchange, Timo didn’t answer any more questions, even though I tried to do some damage control. As a matter of fact, we never saw Timo again. He quit answering his phone and didn’t respond to emails. […]

The Problem With Loyalty

Did the title of this post catch your attention?  Before you troll my comment section, please read to the end of the article.  I wish more church leaders understood the concept I’m writing about.  It can save a church from decline, or even from closing its doors. […]

Takeaways From The NTLC

Last week I was able to attend the NTLC (North Texas Leadership Conference) in Plano, TX.  Pastor Gerald Brooks and his team of speakers did an excellent job of addressing practical issues of leadership, as well as covering timely subjects such as how to create multicultural churches.  I wanted to share some of my main takeaways with you… […]

Don’t Be A Settler!

In Genesis 11:31 we find the story of Abraham’s father, Terah. “Terah took his son Abram [Abraham], his grandson Lot (Haran’s son), and his daughter-in-law Sarai (Abram’s wife) and moved out of Ur of Babylonia. They had planned to go to the land of Canaan, but when they reached the city of Haran, they settled there.” Haran was located just past the halfway point from Ur to Canaan, approximately 1000 km from their point of origin.  Terah set out on an epic journey across the Arabian Peninsula.  But he only made it halfway. […]

Why I Don’t Go To Church

Today my wife, Robin, and my daughter were in an office waiting room.  The owner of the business handed out of list of spiritual questions to everyone in the room and started asking follow-up questions.  He said, “Did you know that there are 613 laws in the Bible, not just the 10 Commandments?”  My wife said, “Actually, there is just one – well, two – that Jesus left us with.” He didn’t even make eye contact with her, but said, “I’m talking about Levitical Law.  I was a pastor for 9 years and still do prison ministry.  I preach to the inmates about how living together is sin.  As a matter of fact, I tell them that if they’ve had children out of wedlock they have produced ‘bastard children.'” (I’m sorry if this is offensive to my readers… I wanted you to see just how over the top this guy was!)  He followed this up by speaking directly to my wife, “That phrase probably offends you, but that’s because the truth is offensive.” You can’t make this stuff up! […]

The Role Of The Arts In The Church

In my conversations with church leaders I often get the question about the role of media and the arts in the Church. Most of the time you can boil their objections down to trying to “dress up” the message of the Gospel, as if it couldn’t stand on its own. The typical argument is that some churches are trying to repackage the Gospel to make it “seeker-friendly,” and in doing so they are watering down the message. While I have seen this done more often than I care to admit, I have also seen some churches that are accessible for “outsiders,” yet producing both converts and disciples. The question needs to be rephrased as one of context. […]

The Forgotten Spiritual Leadership Requirement

If you go to a pastoral job search website you’ll see that a requirement for most openings is that a candidate have a master’s degree in theology – or at least a bachelor’s degree. I do understand this. A pastor should know the Bible. He/she should guard the truths of Scripture and be able to communicate them clearly and effectively. The Apostle Paul provided his protege, Timothy, with a list of qualities necessary for those that wished to serve in spiritual leadership. […]

Building Monuments Or Scrawling Graffiti?

Before moving back to the USA our family was able to do one final European road trip.  We took the ferry from Calais, France to Dover, England, and spent the night there.  The next day we toured the Dover Castle.  It was awesome!  On the walls of the castle church we saw some Crusader graffiti scrawled into the church wall.  These men wanted to leave some sort of mark on the world before heading out into battle. It got me thinking about our mortality.  We are not guaranteed our next breath.  No one knows what is ahead.  Before we depart we want to leave some sort of legacy that will live on after we’re gone. We only have a few short years in which to impact our world, hopefully for the better. […]

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