Christian Living

The Fine Line: COVID-19, Vaccines, and Social Media

I stopped myself recently. It wasn’t anything inflammatory or even for/against any side of the debate. It was just math; information based on calculations from other information. Zero commentary. All I had to do was copy, paste, and post.

Are you wondering what it was? Tempting as it was, and is, I had to choose to leave it alone.

Discussing COVID-19 vaccinations is a dangerous game. Just saying the term out loud sets off defense mechanisms on all sides of the camp.

How involved should we be? Can’t we share our opinion? What about if it is “just the facts”? Sounds like another “Fine Line” we have to walk as Christians.

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Faith

Is My Bible App Making Me Lazy?

I am a tech guy. I love innovation and possibilities when it comes to technology. One of my friends calls me first whenever something doesn’t work on any of his devices.

As a pastor and worship leader, my favorite tool was my iPad. It is loaded with applications for writing, reading and researching, note taking, Bible study, sermon writing, worship leading, and much more.

When I was a kid my dad brought home a Commodore 64. I used one of the first word processing programs on that computer, and played a game called Lode Runner where you were a white stick figure running back and forth on different levels of white lines.

So when Bible apps became a thing I jumped on them. I have two favorites, one for casual reading and one connected to my ministry library. I highly recommend Bible apps.

But this week at a prayer meeting, I saw a few pastors on their phones, and I assume they were checking on Bible verses. That got me thinking: While I love my Bible apps, and rely heavily on them, are they making me lazy?

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Ministry

Explaining and Teaching During Services (Removing Roadblocks to Experience)

Have you ever wondered what seekers feel when they come to your church? One of the most common reasons people give as to why they will not attend a service is because they don’t know what to do or feel like they will not know what is going on.

As preachers and worship leaders, we can help make it easier for people to overcome that hurdle. Sometimes all it takes is an explanation for 30 seconds or less. Doing so opens the door for acquiring the small bit of knowledge to launch a seeker into a participant.

Years ago I learned a very important lesson about preaching: Don’t assume the people listening know what you are talking about.

Whether we consider our time as the post-church era or recognize how many people have little to no history within the Church or knowledge about the Bible, to understand the knowledge divide between the pulpit/platform and the pew is essential.

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Christian Living, Faith

The Fine Line: Tearing Down Government Leaders

Today marks 100 days since President Joe Biden took office. Media will be posting all types of statistics to help shape our personal opinion of the President, some of them based on the opinions of others.

It’s a tempting today for people to jump online and look for ways to fill their social media ammunition buckets. There will be posts to rave about the President and others to tear him down. Comparisons will be made to past leaders. Fact-checkers will be busy proving and disproving stats. And President Biden will be judged against the promises he made while campaigning.

Which side will Christians be on? Both. Unfortunately, we will join the masses in picking political fights, debating and arguing with each other, all with the name of Jesus attached to us.

I defined the idea of The Fine Line we walk as Christians a little while back. Here is a great example of it in action. Choosing whether or not to tear down our government leaders.

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Ministry

You can’t be “Pastoral” with Everyone

When you are a pastor, there are two primary elements of your ministry you and the people agree on. You study the Bible and you tell people about it. Whether you preach, teach, or write, most people understand these basic parts of what you do.

Another element of pastoral ministry is counseling. Real counseling isn’t just listening and being a friendly ear to hear about people’s problems, though some who go to a pastor’s office think of it like that. It also involves sharing biblical guidance for problems and situations.

As a result of all of this talking about the Bible, the impulse for a pastor or Bible teacher is to try and speak into everyone’s life as a pastoral influence. But we do not have permission to be such a voice into every life we are connected with or bump into.

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Christian Living

Don’t Fear Feelings of Loss (A lesson from Good Friday)

Holy week is the most important season for Christianity. So much is unpacked and delivered over these days in the lives of Jesus and the Disciples.

Celebration. Teaching. Looking to the future. Taking advantage of the present.

It can be hard to go through this week from a strictly “in the moment” perspective. We see it all in hindsight, with books and sermons and podcasts and musings of almost 2,000 years. Through all of the good and bad, we process these events through the lens of Easter Sunday.

This year, why not pause a little longer and try to feel Good Friday like the Disciples did? The emotions might seem scary to delve into, but aren’t the world around us and our own lives full of those already?

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