“Gospel-centered” Must Mean More Than the Preaching

"A gospel-centered church is not one where the preacher preaches the gospel, but where the people share the gospel." ~John Meador A couple of weeks ago, I commented on an article at Christianity Today by John Meador of First Baptist Euless, TX. Meador writes about his church's return to evangelism as an every member ministry.…

In the News: 20% of Americans are on the Threshold of Religion

"For every one American who consistently rejects religion, there are two who are on the fence about it." That's the claim of an article published yesterday at Christianity Today, and the article is worth a read for those of us concerned about Christian ministry. It deals with one of the basic limitations in the research…

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…

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…

“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…

What If Our Biggest Problem Isn’t Relevancy?

You do not make the gospel relevant. I want to be careful here, because it is easy to pit two things against each other in Western minds. That is not what I am doing. I am all for contextualization, and I think it is a big concern, especially in the super-diverse urban settings in North…