Our world, our very lives have had quite an upheaval over the past year since I sat down to write my last blog post. We have had a global crisis concerning a virus. America has seen the rise of social issues. Government administrations have changed. Many families and friends have made the decision to distance themselves from people they were hugging and kissing only 1 year ago. Those close to us got really sick, while some died unexpectedly. And the church has had their practical ecclesiology exposed (some for the better, other for the worse). It has been a tough year, seemingly, for most.… Continue reading
One of my favorite childhood book series to check out from the school library was the Choose Your Own Adventure series. As the title implies, rather than be restricted (heaven forbid) to a storyline determined by the author, the reader is free to determine, on page after page, his own way forward in the book – resulting in many possible different endings via different paths. The story was more or less what you made it – you were in charge. And it was great!
What works in children’s fiction, however, may not be so great in the realm of Christian discipleship.
I now come to the final blog post of my series on youth ministry as a mirror for your church. Thus far, my thesis has been: when you look at the youth ministry of your church, that should give you a good idea what is going on in the rest of your church. So when you wander down the hall to Sunday school or show up on a Wednesday night or join a youth small group, you are going to find out what is most important to a church because those values have made their way into the youth ministry. In other words, if you have excellent Bible-teaching, Word-driven music, a maturity of leadership, and a heart for evangelism (all four I have already discussed here and here), then you can rest assure that the rest of your church is following the same pattern.… Continue reading
Recently the Pope was in town (you already know this) prompting many discussions regarding Christians and Catholics. One question developed, “Can a Christian participate in Catholic Mass?” This may be a simple answer, but when someone responds, “Why?” I think we need a biblical response. Why is it not okay to participate in Mass?
Think about this from someone who says, “Yes, what’s the problem?” Here is the argument. Often the priests and people do not share similar views regarding Mass and therefore a person may partake with the right heart and theology despite the fact that leadership communicates a wrong theology.… Continue reading
I am a church planter, and while that term is loaded with all sorts of baggage, at the end of the day what that ultimately means is that I am a small church pastor. If on any given Sunday there are sixty people in the worship service, that is a banner week, no one is sick, and all of the occasional attendees have chosen that week to come. I love being a small church pastor, but there is something that weighs on my mind in a way that it might not, if I were part of a large staff at a large church.… Continue reading