The Activities of Missions

People have many ideas about what missions is and should be, as I noted last week. But there is no such confusion on the part of the Lord Jesus Christ, who sent his apostles into the world to carry out his charge.

Looking to Jesus’ commands and to his apostles’ example will show us in great measure what the task of the church today should be.

Here are four dimensions of biblical missions that are Christ’s intended design for what the church should be busy doing.

Making New Disciples

Jesus gave the original disciples his command to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).… Continue reading

Why I Am Thankful for the Reformation

Reformation Day is this coming Tuesday. I have no doubt that you will read many blogs about the importance of what Martin Luther did on October 31, 1517, as well as the glorious results that came from the era of the reformation (approx.. AD 1500—1650). It was an important time in the life of the true church of Jesus Christ. The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) had spiritually abused people for 100s of years (and continue to this day) and God had had enough. So He sent a mass of men (Luther, Knox, Calvin, Tyndale, Zwingli, Hus, and others) to expose the abuses of the RCC and to bring God’s truth that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone for the glory of God alone.Continue reading

“I Am Your God”–Whom Do We Serve?

slide_jer-7_23In Leviticus 26:12–13 God declares, “I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people. I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt . . .” (NASU). The middle two phrases present an expression of the covenant relationship between the Lord and His people. That relationship includes His personal presence (“I will walk among you”). This excludes any detached or aloof relationship. The divine title Immanuel (“God with us”) expresses such a close relationship.

For many Bible readers, biblical covenants seem like legal technicalities couched in ancient stipulations.… Continue reading

Reprise: The Believer and Halloween

pumpkinAlthough written over two years ago this post is still relevant; this topic still comes up every October. In The interest of full disclosure, we don’t have any pumpkins on the porch this year.

Halloween has become one the biggest holidays on the American calendar, spending over $6 billion last year on decorations, candy and costumes. What was once essentially a children’s holiday has become a cultural juggernaut, and as it has, Halloween has become an increasingly controversial and at times divisive topic in the Christian community. But it doesn’t have to be, and to that end I humbly offer a few thoughts.… Continue reading

On Mathematics & Ministry Success

church-attendance1For many Christians, a church’s success is a matter of simple mathematics.  The more people, the better.  If attendance and giving numbers are going up, God must be pleased.  And if those numbers are going down, well…you get the picture.

I wish I could say that I’ve never played the numbers game myself, but I can’t, because I have and I do.

However, various circumstances in my life and in our church have led me to some deeper reflection over the issue of church numbers in recent years.  This post is my attempt to summarize most of the big things that I have learned and continue to learn (as I need frequent reminding), hanging my thoughts on some of the larger principles I see in Scripture. … Continue reading