I live in the Southern part of America—also known as “The Bible Belt.” I would actually like to rename this belt by calling it “The Church Belt,” because there are a ton of churches (where I live, there are 100+ churches in a 50-mile radius). The problem with this title is that not all these churches are faithful to Christ. So, I personally call this belt the “Lots of Buildings With The Name ‘Church’ On Them, In Which You Don’t Have To Be Committed, But You Must Go Occasionally To Fit In With The Culture.”
Pretty sure that will not stick.… Continue reading
I have now been a full-time, vocational youth pastor for almost 3 years (party hats! Whoop whoop!) Every year I grow more and more in love with teenagers and in the conviction of the importance of specific ministry toward them. To pass on seeing the importance of youth ministry in the local church is to pass on faithfully shepherding a needy section of the church. It is enjoyable and fun, but youth ministry is also challenging and demanding. It is in every since, work! Why? Simply, youth are people (against popular opinion 🙂 ) who have emotions, make decisions, must live with the consequences of those decisions, and who also have a spiritual life that God is interested in.… Continue reading
Note: This installment of our mini-series on Church Discipline in Church History will be a bit longer than normal in order to address the next time period which influences our current understanding of this practice. For review you may find the first two installments here and here.
Although there are some twelve centuries of history between the third century fathers, Tertullian and Cyprian and the Reformers, I will focus on the latter group. These men heavily influence our modern practice of church discipline. Therefore, it would seem wise to address at least two of the most well-known individual Reformers as well as one group within them.… Continue reading
“Just get them in.”
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
When I think about the marks of today’s contemporary evangelical church, the faithful integrity of its pastors is not one of them. By that, I’m not necessarily referring to men who fall morally, or who are disqualified because of an unrepentant sin (although this too is pandemic). What I’m referring to is a faithful integrity to model biblical manhood. That’s especially true when I think about other pastors my own age. Don’t get me wrong, I know MANY men in the ministry who do model biblical manhood and who express faithful integrity in their ministries, but they are the exception that prove the rule.… Continue reading