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5 Warning Signs for Today’s Churches

It is our responsibility as Christians to love the church, to protect it, and to prevent it from false doctrine. In Revelation 2-3 , we read Christ’s words to seven young churches. In these letters, he provides hope, encouragement, warning, and rebuke.

We would do well to heed Christ’s loving words, and to apply his warnings to our churches today. This article helps to inform us of the risk of falsehood, and provides cautions against the false teaching that can easily entrap churches today. Continue reading “5 Warning Signs for Today’s Churches” »


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Build Courage Through Faith

 

Because we are surrounded by the physical, it is much easier to acknowledge being subject to its laws and limitations than it is to contemplate the spiritual clash of powers going on behind the scenes. But it is in this realm that battles are actually won or lost. Courage against a giant does not come from fortifying an arsenal with mere physical assets. The battle is always the Lord’s and we have been prescribed the tactical knowledge and resources to give us the ability to see the unseen with certainty, to have great authority against forces of evil, and to continue in hope even when the physical evidence shows something contrary. The highest level of courage can only be obtained if our confidence is in something or someone greater than our enemies and much greater than ourselves. Continue reading “Build Courage Through Faith” »


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What We’re Here For: Preaching the Resurrection

Preaching the resurrection is the thing we do every Sunday more or less, is it not? The entire Christian life is a direct result of the resurrection of Christ. All of our work as pastors focuses on teaching people to live in the resurrection reality. All grief management, discipleship encouragement, judgment warning and instruction in righteousness grows directly from the fact that Jesus Christ has inaugurated the New Age in the midst of the Old Age.

Continue reading “What We’re Here For: Preaching the Resurrection” »


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6 Terrible Reasons to Leave the Church

This topic is addressed to believers who are regular church-goers; those who have made a commitment to a particular church family. It seems these days dedication to a church body tracks pretty closing with the life cycle of today’s marriages. Too many join up with a community of other believers – with like passions, goals, and vision – but the moment needs aren’t met and things start to sour, it’s time to quit, citing irreconcilable differences. The metaphor isn’t perfect, because let’s face it, there are far more legitimate reasons to leave a church than to leave a marriage. But I think it helps illustrate the general lack of commitment dominating today’s culture. Below are six reasons that are not good enough to call it quits on your church. Continue reading “6 Terrible Reasons to Leave the Church” »


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Spiritual Formation or Superficial Ritualization?


One of the hardest aspects of pastoring is riding with the Lord’s people (including ourselves) through our tumultuous struggle toward spiritual maturity. Any experienced minister knows the frustration of seeking to direct a disciple or a group toward loyalty to the Lord, only to watch helplessly as they flame out and crash. I think this is why so many of us subtly (or not) shift the foundation of our preaching from who Christ is and what he did, to who we are and what we must do. We change our emphasis from the gospel to character development out of frustration with the “slow growth” we seem to see. To do this we apply “less grace” in an attempt to elicit more obvious compliance. But bare compliance is not discipleship. Pastoral work degenerates into behavior modification. This is a huge mistake. Grace is what actually transforms character in a real Christian. And the real Christians are, after all, the ones the Lord charged us to nourish (Jn.21:15-18; Acts 20:28). Forcing goats to obey rules does not turn them into sheep. This is not to say that pastors should never be direct and forthright to the Lord’s people on moral issues. But the pastor’s theology must be clear on how spiritual formation actually takes place. Continue reading “Spiritual Formation or Superficial Ritualization?” »


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Three Things You’re Forgetting to do in Your Easter Preparation

For most churches, Easter is a really busy time. Easter Sunday is usually the best-attended service of the year. It’s the day where there is the most preparation, most planning, and most anticipation. Pastor unleashes his best sermon. The choir delivers a top-notch performance. And even the kids with angel wings strapped on their backs are on their best behavior.

 

Maybe you’re not doing the whole kids-in-angel-wings thing. And maybe you’re not even having a choir number. But whatever you’re doing, I’m sure that Easter is a pretty big deal for your church. After all, the resurrection is the focal point of our faith! The resurrection is the very reason, according to Paul, that we have anything to believe in at all (1 Corinthians 15:14).

 

So, with all the busyness, rehearsals, planning, media preparation, and organizational meetings, are we forgetting anything? Yes, you might be.

Continue reading “Three Things You’re Forgetting to do in Your Easter Preparation” »


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Why Young and Old Church Leaders Might Clash

Sometimes, young leaders make stupid mistakes. Sometimes, more senior leaders shake their heads in dismay, wishing that these foolish young leaders would just listen, learn, and quit being so bullheaded. There are times, however, when young leaders take unfair heat from older leaders because of generational misunderstandings.

This article attempts to explain the tension from the perspective of misunderstandings that older leaders might have towards younger leaders. The broad brush strokes used are not an attempt to stereotype “young” or “old,” but to sort out some misunderstandings that might arise.

Continue reading “Why Young and Old Church Leaders Might Clash” »


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What Should Go in Your Easter Church Bulletin

Resurrection day is one of the most important events on the calendar. Without the death and resurrection of Christ we would have no church, there would be no reason for ministry, and we would have no message. It is the foundation to the hope we enjoy, the faith to endure and the reason many of us get up in morning. He is risen!  Celebrating the resurrection is a joyful event for believers and the intrigue of those searching, so let’s not lose focus or be distracted by tradition, habit or culture; instead let’s create maximum impact on the gospel in all areas of this special service, including the bulletin. Continue reading “What Should Go in Your Easter Church Bulletin” »


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How to Audition Church Members for your Worship Team

So you want to grow your worship team…

 

You are trying to determine the best way to audition prospective worship team members and to come up with a successful format. Should they come prepared with a song they choose, or will you choose one for them? Will the entire band be included in the audition, or should each audition be done solo – or maybe something in-between? In a previous article I discussed the qualifications for team members (Selecting Members for Your Worship Team) but this discussion will center more on practical tips for conducting auditions. Continue reading “How to Audition Church Members for your Worship Team” »


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How to Create A System For Coaching And Developing Worship Leaders

 

If I showed up at your church and asked, “I feel called to lead worship. Can you help me?”

 

What would you say? Would you have a process in place to help me? If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know we are all about discipleship. But discipleship can be difficult if you don’t know how to disciple. What are the specific areas a young worship leader needs to work on?

Here’s the exciting part: there may be called, gifted potential waiting to happen in your congregation. Without a process – a system of leading people – tremendous possibility could be overlooked. People don’t grow unless they’re given specific feedback on their performance. You must communicate your values and expectations.

Continue reading “How to Create A System For Coaching And Developing Worship Leaders” »


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