How to Think About Cooperation

What lines should Christians draw when it comes to their allegiances? How do we understand primary, secondary, and tertiary issues? I wrote about this at length in my forthcoming book, Agents of Grace which drops May 9th but I wanted to present this here because the way we cooperate with each other is increasingly a topic of […]

A New Season and a Time to Build

Today it was announced what is next for me and my family. I’ve accepted a position as Director of the Land Center for Cultural Engagement at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I’ll also be serving as assistant professor of faith and culture at Texas Baptist College. I’ll continue to write for World Magazine as a columnist and contribute to USA Today. It’s […]

What We Learn from Peter’s Epic Fail

One of the most poignant scenes in the Easter narrative was written by someone who was not there, but who investigated the claims of the Christian movement and was able to paint for readers an agonizing scene of shame and betrayal. Luke, a medical doctor by trade and commissioned to chronicle the Jesus movement, zooms in on the […]

Resisting the Pharisee Temptation on Social Media

From COVID to racial unrest to a divisive political election, there was no shortage of ways in 2020 to trust in ourselves and look down on everyone else. Brands are quick to remind us they’re on the side of science, against racism, and want us to vote. And our social platforms are like modern-day temples […]

Why It’s Okay To Cheer on Good Economic News

This year has been gut-wrenching for many on almost every level: a global pandemic sweeping through our country has left well over 200,000 dead and many other sick, the restrictions many states have enacted have left many others without work, especially those who labor in the service and hospitality industries, and political and social unrest […]

Grace for Leaders in a Time of Covid

I’ve had conversations with pastors across the United States over the last few months. And while my friends do ministry in vastly different contexts, there is one thing they share in common: pastoring (and pastoral care) in 2020 is the most exhausting, frustrating, difficult season of their lives. The cross-pressures right now on leaders is […]

6 Social Media Habits Pastors Should Avoid

“… And he’s a pastor!” I hear this phrase almost every week about a pastor’s online activity—namely, their treatment toward another human being through harsh speech. It’s almost as if we get behind a keyboard or touchscreen and forget our calling as heralds of God’s Word, shepherds of God’s people. Today there are many ways […]

Why Words Matter to God

It’s a bit ironic that the human race’s descent into darkness began with the serpent’s own twisted misrepresentation of God’s words of instruction to His image-bearers. Words, after humanity’s fall into sin, can now be used either to injure or inspire. This is why King David prayed that the words of his mouth be “acceptable” […]

The Essential Art of Forgiveness in Ministry

I’ll never forget where I was when I nearly quit the ministry: sitting in my office at church, weeping. My wife was out of town with our children, ministering to a friend whose husband had just died from cancer. It was very early in my first pastorate. Being a senior pastor was new, different, and […]

Here is the Church, but Where is the Steeple?

Several years ago, a church I pastored went through a massive remodeling effort, updating a tired, ‘90s-era look with more modern, chic, 21st-century décor. Peeling wallpaper was replaced with fresh paint. Hideous brown siding was covered over with a beautiful new stone treatment. A landscaper transformed some tired and unkempt bushes into a beautiful garden […]

15 Years and Counting

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that […]