Church Life

Open Up Your Hearts: Cultivating the Most Important Relationship for the Health of your Church

Jesus said the World would know which people were HIs followers because of their love for one another. The Apostle Paul called love the greatest of the threesome that would endure beyond time. Scripture declares, “God is love.” Love is truly a vital element of our life in Christ.

We talk so much about how we are to love God. Even in our church I recently preached on God’s desire that we should love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength, and also to love Him above all else. Another common thread is the importance of loving one another.

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But I would dare to say that there is a love that is almost completely ignored, and certainly isn’t spoken about. Once a year we get close but never make the full leap. It is one of the reasons churches continue to struggle on for years, watching pastors and people leave in regular rhythm. Adding this love just might save our churches.

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Christian Living, Church Life, Ministry

Calling Off “The Preacher Hunt”

You have probably found yourself in one of those conversations. The internet is all abuzz because someone figured out that a certain preacher is mixing his theologies. He said something questionable. It’s time to burn all of his books and denounce any pastor or church that has them in its library.

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Maybe you know those kind of people. They scour the internet for everything they can find to discredit a well-known preacher of the Gospel with a mega-church and book deals. To have that many people in their church, so many followers on Facebook or Twitter, they must be watering down the Gospel. “Let’s expose them and tear down their empires,” is the war cry of these people.

I’m hesitant to call them Christians. Sure, they sound like they are sold-out, radical, gung-ho for God and the purity of His Church. But if they were to take some time and read their Scriptures instead of countless articles on the internet, they might be surprised how unbiblical and unChristian they are acting. They are hunting preachers instead of sharing Christ.

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Church Life

Taking Care of the “church”

The church. It is a North American icon. If you search the internet for images of a church you will see country churches and cathedrals, some made of stone and others out of wood. There will be lots of steeples and crosses.

If you drive around your city you will probably see a church or two, or ten, or twenty. Large and small churches. Traditional and modern churches. The one on the corner was renovated last year. One with an orange top was built more recently. And that old one made of stone was converted into a bed and breakfast.

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Have you ever stopped to think about the significance of the church building? While they don’t seem to have the same appeal as they once did, with some folks shouting that they aren’t even necessary anymore, what would our attitude be towards the church?

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Christian Living, Church Life

Passing the Buck: How we apply what we believe about the will of God

There is a common thought, a philosophy, that resides deep in the hearts of modern Christians. It is based on upon our belief that the will of God always finds its completion. Somehow, some way, through someone, God will be certain to accomplish what He desires.

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This line of thought is used by many as a way to excuse themselves from the pressing call of God on their hearts and lives. Afraid of the unknown, they look for a back door or a loophole that will give them permission to ignore that press of the Holy Spirit.

Two issues arise from the presence of this philosophy. Do we really see this expression of the will of God in Scripture? And what happens when we take ourselves out of the equation of the fulfillment of God’s will? But first, let’s look at what this belief is and how it permeates Christ’s Church.

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Church Life

Which Kind of “T.P.” Describes Your Church?

Disclaimer: If you are squeamish or believe that every picture or message about God and the church must be proper and finely tuned, do NOT read this post.  Read at your own risk.

Have you ever had one of those “Eureka!” moments that you felt like you couldn’t share with anyone? That happened to me today. One crazy thought led to a series of truths that are so, well, true.

They are truths about the church. Not the “big C”, Church, the living body of Jesus Christ where He is the head and all the pieces are being brought together and shaped into a living temple of the Holy Spirit. I’m talking about the church, the local assembly of believers that joins in a building to worship, pray, serve, and preach the Gospel.

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Oh, and there’s one more thing you need to know up front. These truths are inspired by T.P. That’s code for toilet paper. Yeah, I know your mind is racing at top speed thinking about things it shouldn’t, so let’s jump to the good stuff.

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Christian Living, Church Life, Ministry

Will You Serve Even If You Aren’t Chosen To Lead?

Life in the church can be complicated. It is painfully obvious, even to the unchurched. It is perhaps one of the reasons so many will visit a church one Sunday morning and then never return.

The church can at times be most complicated to those who feel they have something to give. A woman buys leftover children’s ministry materials in a closeout sale. A young man feels gifted in music and wants to lead the congregation in worship. A businessman believes his savvy and experience should earn him a seat at the leadership table.

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But what if the desired contributions and roles that these folks hope for never materialize? Or what if someone else’s contributions and gifts are chosen instead of theirs?

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