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Four Commitments the Church Ought to Keep for the World’s Sake

I'm not an SBC Pastor (Southern Baptist Convention). I'm a BMA Pastor (Baptist Missionary Association of America), but I did grow up in an SBC church, served as a Pastor at an SBC church, and many of my great heroes in ministry have been SBC leaders. So I remain somewhat tuned into SBC happenings, especially via the blogosphere. I was especially intrigued by the election of Dr. Ronnie Floyd as SBC President earlier this month. Dr. Floyd, for me, ties together the posture …

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In a Culture War, There Can Be No Truce Nor Victory, So…

Hobby Lobby went to court. World Vision changed its hiring policy. Then they changed it back. The President visited the Pope. It's been a big week - not for the kingdom, but for western evangelicalism. And it hasn't been pretty. The church is called, in Scripture, the "pillar and ground of truth," so I believe we have a responsibility to be a voice for God's truth in the middle of a society that doesn't recognize or understand Him. That being said, I don't believe our …

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How to Bring Joy to Your City

I love that part of the story of the early church in which God allows persecution to scatter the Christians from Jerusalem like ants. The Bible says that everywhere they went, they preached the gospel (see Acts chapter 8). Phillip, in particular, headed to a city in Samaria and became the earliest cross-cultural missionary. When he preached there, the citizens listened and embraced Jesus. The Bible sums it up by saying, "So there was great joy in that city." (Acts 8:8 …

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Do You Know the Real Jesus?

Our culture is very familiar with Jesus, but often misinterprets Him and His words. Most people who have a problem with organized religion or the church in our culture don't necessarily have a problem with Jesus because of the image that we have of Him. Typically, we see Jesus as: A holy, religious leader A bit of a rebel Morally good Spiritually wise Friendly, gracious, and kind The problem with this picture is that it is incomplete. Yes, He was a religious leader. …

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Why I Hope the Multi-Ethnic Ministry Conversation is Short-Lived

I'm currently reading Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church by Mark DeYmaz. It's one of several books I've read on the subject because it's a big area of concern for me as a Pastor who is planting a church in a community that is diversifying much more quickly than the churches within it. But I hope the multi-ethnic conversation among church leaders is short-lived. Why? Because we tend not to spend a lot of time talking about things we have figured out. You don't hear …

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2 Criteria for Redefining Success for Sanity’s Sake

What is success? Most people define it in one of three ways: How many possessions do you own? How much power do you wield over others? How much prestige do you have among peers? American Christians tend to blend right in. We even apply these standards to churches and church leaders. Which church has the biggest budget, the nicest building, or the largest weekend attendance? There's nothing wrong with any of those things - money is good, influence is invaluable, and …

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I’m Going to Join Jen Hatmaker In the Basement

I avoid writing about politics and culture wars here, and it's because, frankly, the arguments from both sides often annoy me. Occasionally, someone who writes far better than I do is able to articulate what I wish I could say, and in regards to the current debacle over Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A, Jen Hatmaker has done that job quite well. Here's a clipping... So a business leader is no longer entitled to an opinion, even one that roughly half of America shares? Is that …

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One Christian’s Take on The Hunger Games

When there is no freedom, no God, and no food, people go nuts. My wife and I saw The Hunger Games last night. I don't normally review movies, but as far as movies go, I thought it was good. My wife had recently read the book, so she explained that the violence of the movie was scaled back many times over, probably to achieve the PG rating. Leading up to seeing the movie, I had read and heard quite a bit of chatter from the Christian community about the story - much of …

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Change Your Culture Before Changing Your Structure

If you want to change the trajectory of your church or organization, you need to think about how to create a new culture before you begin creating chaos. I believe that the Pastor of a church is the leader God has chosen as overseer and shepherd of the flock. Nowhere in Scripture, or sheep farming for that matter, do we find sheep setting the agenda either as a whole or in little committees of sheep. It is also true that there has never been a good dictatorial leader …

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When Police Pepper Spray Peaceful Protestors… There Is Hope

I just watched a video of police pepper spraying peaceful protestors at UC Davis, which led me to investigate further into why people are occupying Wall Street (and plenty of other streets too), which further led me to read some of the testimonies of people who are suffering in this present economic recession. That last link is a collection of hand-written notes about where people are financially. Most are drowning in student loan or medical debt. Many work very hard for …

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