Okay, I am going to admit the elephant in the room. I want to be great. When pastors talk with each other about their vision and future ministry — it is envisioned as great. As a church planter, I never think, “I hope our church is adequate;” “I hope my ministry is sub-par;” or “May our legacy be good.’ No, I want our church to be great! In fact, I do not know a single person who wants to be mediocre. Even the 35 year old male living with his parents playing video games dreams of being great! Why do we not talk about this?… Continue reading
It is more than likely that by this time you have seen the viral clip of Victoria Osteen, “co-pastor” of Lakewood church in Houston Texas declaring the purpose of worship and obedience, but in case you haven’t here it is. [And if this seems like it is old news, forgive me I recently spent two glorious weeks completely unplugged from the media, so it is still fresh in my mind.]
If your brain involuntarily blocked out the words on hearing them or simply shut down entirely, this is what she said: “…when you come to church, when you worship Him, you are not doing it for God really, you’re doing it for yourself…”
Now make no mistake this, and all of the blather that surrounded this quote is horribly blasphemous.… Continue reading
As believers, our most basic mission is to spread the gospel (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8). We, who have been saved by the grace of God, are called as ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) to spread the truth of his death for sin, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). We are called to be evangelists.
Yet, this is often a difficult and intimidating task. We may have the zeal to proclaim the “good news” to all who will listen (and even to those who won’t), but often lack the confidence or clarity to do so. The lack of confidence, or simple competence of the basics, can often cripple believers with regard to evangelism, whether they are babies of the faith or seasoned saints.… Continue reading
As I have shared previously (here, here, and here) I am currently burdened to look at my own attitudes toward evangelism both as an individual and as a corporate responsibility. In order to clarify my own thoughts I have undertaken a prayerfully closer look at some of the things I have previously learned on the subject/activity. Likewise, I have endeavored to share what I am learning with whomever out there finds these posts. Today I would like to introduce or even reintroduce you to a short book by pastor and author Mark Dever.
Pragmatism. Marketing schemes. Church growth tactics. Shock techniques. Raunchy slogans and billboards. Grunge Christianity.
Translation? It misses the point of the church. Unfortunately, these kinds of efforts aren’t the exception to the rule, they’ve become standard practices in many of today’s churches. It’s easy to identify them, because more often than not their objective is to be seen – loud, obnoxiously, and clear by using whatever rubber-neck producing means necessary for their marketing campaigns. With V-neck T-shirts, thick rimmed glasses and skinny jeans, these churches are led by pastors who earnestly believe that this is how you grow your church and make a difference in your community.… Continue reading