Nearsighted churches vs. farsighted churches

Eyeballs are fascinating. They take in all of this information around us and translate it into a vision that is meaningful. They give us the information we need to see the road ahead and watch out for hazards. They interpret our surroundings and show us the best ways to get somewhere. But sometimes, they don't…

New findings about declining (and growing) churches

If you follow Thom Rainer's blog, you have most likely seen this. If not, get ready to dig in to some important information on local churches in North America. For the last couple of weeks, Rainer's blog has been dropping the findings from a recent Lifeway Research study into the growth and decline of North…

Having a Bold Witness, Even When It Is Unpopular

For the Christian, the question is not if we will suffer but when. Of course, that statement is contingent upon the kind of lifestyle we choose to live. Perhaps a better way to say that is the Christian who lives as the Bible tells a Christian to live will inevitably face suffering because they are…

The Word Christian Means More Than We Think

Good church leaders long for the participation of their congregation. Yesterday on the Intersect blog at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, a good friend of mine posted an article that gets right to the heart of this dilemma. Greg Mathias is the associate director of the Center for Great Commission Studies at Southeastern, and he writes…

Ministering with Our Eyes Open: Three Questions We Must Ask Ourselves

Acts 17:16-34 gets a lot of love. In my brief existence, I have heard it used as justification for all kinds of things. Growing up in my extra-conservative church as a young boy, I heard preachers use Paul's indignation at the culture in Athens as grounds for our culture wars in the midst of godless…

The Church was Saved by Refugees

Had it not been for refugees, the Christian faith would have died in Jerusalem. At least, that is the argument made by Andrew Walls in his classic work, Missionary Movement in Christian History. Walls makes some excellent observations about the unique nature of Christianity, and one of those is its inherent translatability across cultural lines. Unlike…

One resource your church may be overlooking

Tips, tools, books, and conferences are the craze in church circles these days. You are, in fact, reading a resource website right now. My work here is no exception. Today, though, I want to step away from simple content creation and make a suggestion. There is a resource right in front of your church, one…

“Missions is the Mother of Theology”

I did not come up with this headline, a guy by the name of Martin Kähler did. Kähler was a theologian himself, from Germany, and was making a very important point when he penned these words. In fact, it is significant enough that it bears repeating. In short, Kähler is claiming missions birthed theology.  Put…