For 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
This week I am in Los Angeles, attending the Shepherd’s Conference through the generosity of others. This year the church I serve couldn’t afford to send me, but the Lord provided. And I’m glad he did, I really needed it this year. Two years after first writing this, It is just as true and maybe more valuable than ever. The Shepherd’s conference isn’t the only game around, there is the Shepherd’s 360 conference associated with Shepherds Theological Seminary, There is the Banner of Truth Minister’s Conference, For the Church as well as smaller regional conferences like the annual GAMA Equipping Conference.… Continue reading
God has been very gracious to me. He mercifully saved my soul at age 8. He then gave me the strength to go to school everyday as a outcast because I loved Christ more than the world. When I was 14yrs old, I had the desire to be in full-time pastoral ministry. After high school, God granted me schooling at Moody Bible Institute to be trained in full-time ministry. When I first arrived, I had dropped the pastoral-desire and instead wanted to pursue sports-ministry (specifically camp ministry). I was unhappy with that major, because it was more about me than about serving Christ and His church.… Continue reading
About six months ago, I stopped wearing a tie when I preach (at least at my home church). It was an intentional, considered decision. One that I made prayerfully with reverence and out of love for God and the people and church that I am privileged to serve. For me I feel that the most reverent thing I can do is not wear a tie when I preach.
Let me explain. The church I serve was recently seriously injured by someone who sought and was admitted into leadership, all the while (over a period of several years) expertly concealing that he functionally rejected sola scriptura in favor of “capital F” Fundamentalism.… Continue reading
God has used all kinds of literature in the Bible to convey His truth. Poetry, narrative, exhortation, etc. One of those is Satire. Satire can be defined as the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues. This genre is used quite a bit in God’s Word. Elijah the prophet used it (1 Kings 18:27). Isaiah used it (Isa 40:19-20). Paul used it (1 Cor 4:8-13). Jesus used it (Matt 7:5). And God used it (Jer 46:11). In fact, it is possible that Jonah is a whole 4-chapter book that is satirical, though still historical.… Continue reading