Before you think this is going to be a diatribe against Contemporary Christian Music and radio, sorry to disappoint, you’re reading the wrong blog.
Attend a biblically-solid Christian conference and many things will encourage you. Powerful preaching, rich fellowship and robust congregational singing. At different events such as T4G, Shepherds’ Conference, Sing!, Ekklesia, or my own church’s Steadfast Conference, what often strikes people is not the caliber of musicianship, but the glorious sound of voices exuberantly working together to drown out the musicians. Some events have full orchestras and bands, while others simply have a piano.… Continue reading
Fellowship. It’s such a rich and meaningful word in the Bible, and yet a somewhat generic catch-all term in the vernacular of modern Christians. What is fellowship? In Scripture, fellowship is a word used to describe the common life that Christians enjoy with one another, as those who have been brought into a reconciled relationship with God through Christ by grace. Entire books have been written to flesh out this one word, given the depth and breadth of its use in the Bible.
If we were to do a study together of the concept (not just the word itself) of fellowship in the NT – at least as it concerns fellowship between Christians – we would see five major themes emerge from that study. … Continue reading
Recently news broke that Andrew Stoecklein, pastor of Inland Hills Church in Chino California took his own life. It is heartbreaking news, and shocking, but I have to say not overwhelmingly surprising. I’ve heard and read some express sentiments along the lines of “how could a pastor do that?” Sadly, some have gone on to posit that no “truly called” man could possibly be depressed much less suicidal. While I don’t know anything about this man or the church he served, over the last several years, both through my own experiences and through relationships with other pastors, I have learned a thing or two about pastoral ministry. … Continue reading
Working in ministry—and particularly youth ministry—the one question that I get asked often is “how do I grow in my walk with Christ? What practically can I do to grow in my faith?” Every time I am asked this, I give the same response. “Look at your hand.” What does this mean? Let me show you.
I could just give you a list, but a list might not be helpful, because lists are in and of themselves usually forgettable. So, to make this more memorable (at least for me), I use my fingers to help me remember how spiritual, godly growth happens.… Continue reading
I am convinced that one of the sweetest and most valuable expressions of God’s grace in the life of a Christian is that of good, godly, truthful friends. The second wisest man ever to have lived seemed to agree when he said: The sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel (Prov 27:9).
Some of the most beneficial conversations in my life have been the hardest conversations I have ever been a part of. On many occasions throughout my life, it has taken the honest and loving rebuke of a good, godly, and truthful friend to help me see some way that I need to change; and nearly every time, what my friends have had to point out in my life have been things I would have never seen with my own two eyes.… Continue reading