“Are You Still Watching?” Thinking Rightly About Online Worship Views

Over the last two months, I've watched a scene unfold more than once. As the reality set in for pastors and church leaders concerning the ramifications of this pandemic, an initial concern followed. Many churches that were already plateaued or declining in regular attendance suddenly faced the need to forego in-person weekly corporate worship services.…

How to react when someone confesses their sin to you

Recently, I wrote about why I think it's important to confess our sins to fellow believers. In that piece, I only considered one side of that paradigm: that of the confessor. But there is a second piece that is equally important: What is an appropriate response when someone confesses their sin to us? We have…

A Thank You to Pastors (And an Encouragement to Their Members)

Life has been full of changes for us in the last year and lately I've been reflecting on the Lord's faithfulness in our lives: helping us feel at home in Houston, giving us a church and friends, and simply helping us to like where we are and what we are doing. But I've also been…

One Overlooked Role of Pastoral Ministry

You know the old adage, 80 percent of the work is done by 20 percent of the people. Honestly, sometimes that even feels generous. Those of us who have pastored churches know the feeling. There always seems to be more to get done than people willing to do it. In the midst of juggling the…

Reflections before SBC17: We are, in fact, better together

This morning, I find myself staring out a window watching the sun rise over the desert valley of Phoenix. The Southern Baptist annual meeting is upon us, and I have joined my family of churches for a few days of fellowship, important decisions, and thankfulness to God for his grace. Every year, the SBC meetings…

The Church that Ought to Be vs. The Church that Is

A recent discussion in one of my seminars reminded me of a very important distinction. There is a difference between the the church that ought to be and the one that is. No human institution is quite like the church. While there are all kinds of clubs, societies, groups, agencies, and even families to which…

In the News: Rural America Is the New ‘Inner City’

A little over a week ago, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled, "Rural America Is the New ‘Inner City’." As the title suggests, the article is a feature piece that does a winsome job telling the narrative of urban renewal and rural demise. It relates the dilemmas now occurring in America's rural areas.…

Immigration may beat a century-old record

As of 2015, the United States had set one record in immigration, and it may be on pace to break another one. According to the most recent data from Pew research, the United States is now home to over 43.2 million international immigrants. That is more than any other time in the country's history. It…

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…

“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…