What Pastors Owe Their People

If you are a pastor, you cannot escape the unmistakeable call of spiritual leaders, in the New Testament to “feed the flock of God”: Jesus commissioned Peter to do “feed my sheep”, no less than three times, in that famous scene on the shores of Galilee (John 21:15-19) Jesus commissioned the disciples, in the Great […]

Grace Makes the Medicine Go Down

One of the things that confounds me, as a parent, is the refusal of my kids to take their medicine, even as they are crying out in pain. It’s particularly annoying in the middle of the night (you know, those few nights when it’s actually me getting up instead of my long-suffering and faithful wife, Angela). It’s […]

Thy Kingdom Come

I’m currently in the midst of a series on The Lord’s Prayer. This past Sunday I preached on the phrase: “They Kingdom Come.” I came across some great quotes in preparation: From Ray Pritchard‘s excellent book, And When You Pray:  Consider the matter this way. Every time you pray you must say one of two things. […]

What Evangelism Is

I’m highly skeptical of mechanics. If you are one, I’m sorry, but I think you probably realize that it goes with the trade. It’s this way with pastors, too, so perhaps we can commiserate some time. But there is one shop in our community who does exceptional work, whose proprietors rise above the usual price-gouging […]

If There is No Sin, There is No Grace

Be of sin, the double cure, save from wrath and make me pure – Augustus Toplady There is a hesitance, actually more like a firm resistance, to calling any behavior, “sin.” When the issue of sexual lifestyles are discussed, even evangelicals are wary of labeling any one behavior as sin. It’s the word we want to […]

Three Kinds of Christians Who Should Always Keep Their Cool

I was struck this week as I studied 1 Peter 4:7-11 as part of our Exiles series at church. I was struck particularly by this phrase: “Be self-controlled and sober-minded.” (v 4 ESV). There are differing ways translators have translated this. HCSB says “Be serious and disciplined.” NASB: “of sound judgement and sober spirit.” NLT: […]

The Gospel Versus Nostalgia

This summer I had the privilege of travelling to Eastern Europe to attend my brother’s wedding. His wife, Annette, is a native of Krakow, Poland. After the wedding, I continued on to Slovakia to visit missionaries we support near Bratislavia. Jason and Adele Rice and their three young boys have just got to the field […]

The Surprising Fruit of Balance

It would be hard to find a more boring word in ministry circles than “balance.” There is a lot of talk about being “radical”, “edgy”, “relevant”, etc. But balance sounds rather unhip. But I’m finding this word may be the key to lifelong, steady, sustained ministry success. There is a part of all of us […]

When We Add Stuff to the Bible, We Hurt People

Orthodox evangelicals believe in something called a “closed cannon.” In other words, we believe the Bible as it is presently constructed-39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament-are the complete, written, inspired, inerrant Word of God. This matters for lots of reasons, but two big ones: a) we have all […]

Les Lofquist on Leadership and Preaching

I especially loved this piece by Les Lofquist on how to respond to a criticism of preaching: I think the only way is to be determined to be prayed up and studied up the next time you’re in the pulpit. Resolve to get up early each day the next week and pray as a man […]

Three Dangers of Simplistic Evangelistic Methods

If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, undoubtedly you’ve been exposed to one or more “proven” methods of sharing your faith. In my lifetime I’ve been exposed to a few of these. They have been helpful in narrowing down the message, helping me get more comfortable sharing the gospel, and summarizing the […]

Is there something wrong with our love?

I’ve been preaching through the book of 1 Peter for our Exiles series at church on Sunday mornings. It’s a powerful book. Just this Sunday I preached on 1 Peter 1:22-25 where Peter calls the church to a deep kind of love. What struck me most about this chapter is a simple, seemingly throwaway line, […]