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…

In the news: Where immigrant growth matters most

Today, I want to draw your attention to another research article from the Brookings institute concerning migration in the United States. Notice I said migration, not immigration. Of course, this article deals with the latter, but there is more going on that foreign-born people moving into the US. Instead, this article compares two very important…

Whites living as minorities in the new American city

Census projections have opened a window into the America of 2050, "and it’s Houston today," said Stephen Klineberg, a sociology professor at Rice University. I pulled the above quote from the center of a Los Angeles Times article showcasing Houston as the most diverse city in America. The article begins at a high school soccer…

The One-Down Position: Going in Needy

It is hard to be humble. It is even harder to be needy. And yet, sometimes that is exactly what we need to be... needy. God, in his providence, allows me to be around a lot of church leaders and potential church planters. Multiple times every month, I find myself at training events, breakfasts, equipping…

Scenery, Machinery, or People?

I want to challenge you to an intellectual exercise. Way back in 1957, an anthropologist named Alicja Iwanska gave a lecture entitled "Some American Values." This lecture detailed her experience as a Polish outsider observing American farmers. She noted that these farmers would break their environment down into three basic categories for interaction. Everything fit…

Can You Love People on Social Media?

February 4, 2004 was a very significant day in the world. It was the day that Facebook was created. Whether you love it or not, Facebook was a catalyst for the online “social media” movement. There are now 1.6 billion active users on Facebook, which is nearly one quarter of the world’s population. Along with…

How Not to Use Your Spiritual Gifts

Recently I wrote about spiritual gifts and using your gifts to serve the church. Today, I want to discuss a couple of issues with the whole spiritual gifts conversation. Obviously, I do not mean that spiritual gifts are a problem, but if we are not careful we abuse the idea. Let me give you an…

Fixing Our Eyes on the End Affects the Way We Live Now

Eschatology weirds a lot of Christians out, nowadays. For the uninitiated, eschatology is the study of last things. In other words, it is the theology about how the world will end, or what happens when Christ comes back. It is a subject that historically fascinates people. There is a long history of people predicting when…

There are Only Three Kinds of Church Growth

Back in 1970, Donald McGavran published a book that has since become one of the most influential books in Christian missions. The book is called Understanding Church Growth. For the vast majority of people reading this article (assuming I have my normal audience), you have probably never heard of McGavran or his book. No worries;…