Our church is in a very odd place; nearly five years after originally being planted, we are essentially in the process of replanting the church. One of the great oddities of our area is that it is very transient, people move in and out of the area frequently. In fact, I am told by several pastors who have been in this area 20 years or more, that a church needs to grow 15%-30% a year on average to keep pace with shrinkage from families moving away.
And last year we were hit especially hard, with roughly 3/4 of the church moving away. … Continue reading
Talking about sex among conservative Christians might appear to be edgy. Maybe we’re just trying to get more hits and go viral? Trying to play the Mark Driscoll card? Nope. Sex and how we view it is a problem in our culture. If you’ve counseled couples, then you know this is a serious issue with many problems. I have no desire to write this to be racy. Instead, due to the amount of problems surrounding this issue, this article is an attempt to help minister to people. When it comes to this discussion, it seems there are two popular approaches (that I’m aware of).… Continue reading
For the past ten years I have been involved in teaching on rafting trips through the Grand Canyon. The subject matter consists of Genesis 1–11 regarding creation and the Noahic flood. With each trip I exhort the participants to be observant—to look at everything they see, to consider what they can learn about their Creator. The book of Job provides one of the texts I use for this exhortation: Job 12:7–10.
Wisdom and the Deep Things of God
Just before Job launches a three-chapter discourse (Job 12–14), Zophar speaks briefly (Job 11) of wisdom and the deep things of God (Job 11:7–9).… Continue reading
A summer without going to a Bible/church camp doesn’t feel like summer to me. I am 33 years old and 25 of those years I have attended summer camp (either as a camper or counselor/leader). So, missing summer camp is very odd—I am sure many of you just nodded you head, because you know what I am talking about.
Well, this past Sunday, my youth group arrived home from summer camp. We attend ASCEND CAMP. It is a camp of epic games, and clear Bible teaching. Over 600 students show up for this “camp” and it is non-stop fun, as well as life-transforming.… Continue reading
I learned a lot in seminary, I learned theology, Greek, Hebrew, how to craft a sermon and even how to read music, and I worked hard and got good grades. And while I was in seminary, I was discipled and mentored by some of the godliest men I know. I served in the special needs ministry, I taught Sunday School, I said yes to every opportunity to preach, in other words I did everything I could in order to prepare myself for pastoral ministry. But try as I might, I never learned how to shepherd.
I am not saying I was clueless, I knew the things to say, the passages to quote, even resources to recommend in certain situations. … Continue reading