The Las Vegas Shootings Were Evil—and Why We Don’t Want to Admit It

Stephen Paddock’s murder spree was the latest in the growing list of American encounters with evil in its purest form. But I’m not sure we’re ready to admit it.   Last Sunday night at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival near Las Vegas, Nevada, the 64-year-old Paddock took aim from his suite in the upper stories of the hotel across the street and began pouring automatic weapons fire into the 22,000 people gathered at the concert. When the 11-minute barrage ended 58 people lay dead on the ground and over 500 were wounded. Even for a nation grown numb with murder Paddock’s act stands alone. He killed more people than […]

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What Millennials Want in Worship

The collective wisdom of denominational analysts, church leadership gurus and congregational consultants is that Millennials reject traditional worship music in favor of contemporary music and churches that want to reach them must adjust their style of worship accordingly. I’m not so sure.   The millennial generation is the age cohort born from the 1980s through the early 2000s. Now coming into their own, Millennials are raising families and moving in large numbers into the workforce and positions of authority throughout the country.   But it’s from the perspective of religion that Millennials occupy such a strategic place for the church because so many studies seem to say that the group […]

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How Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers Proves the Priority of Discipleship

HOW GREEN BAY’S AARON RODGERS PROVES THE PRIORITY OF DISICPLESHIP. The Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers is according to most analysts the best quarterback in the NFL—Tom Brady’s five Super Bowl rings notwithstanding. He’s the all-time career leader in passing efficiency and holds records in more passing categories than anyone else in NFL history. His team won the Super Bowl in 2010 and he was recognized as the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2011 and 2014. In this, his tenth year at the Packers’ helm, his team will once again be among the favorites to play in the Super Bowl.   Rodgers proves the priority of discipleship and should be […]

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How Can Local Churches Help Houston’s Flood Victims?

HOW CAN LOCAL CHURCHES HELP HOUSTON’S FLOOD VICTIMS? When Hurricane Harvey made landfall on Texas’s east coast on August 26, it dumped over 50 inches of rain and caused catastrophic flooding in Houston. Streets and neighborhoods vanished beneath the rising waters. Over 100,000 people almost immediately lost their homes and many more will follow in coming days. Thirty-one people are known to have drowned so far. First responders continue working overtime trying to locate the many others who are in danger. The city is shut down and the entire region has come to a standstill in the tide of human misery.   Our first response to the tragedy is how can we help? […]

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A Great Children’s Ministry Is Key to Reaching the Millennial Generation

If you believe current demographic studies, Millennials—the age cohort born from the 1980s through the early 2000s—are more interested in pursuing their own interests and goals than in religion. I don’t buy into that line of thought at all.   I blogged a couple of months ago on how my experience has been quite the opposite:   I’ve found them to be among the most gifted, hard-working and, yes, religious of all the age-groups I work with as a local church pastor. I’ve discovered that Millennials are not only embracing biblical faith in large numbers but also that their leadership holds great promise in moving the American church in new and more promising directions. […]

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Raising Christian Children in a Transgender World

How can Christian parents teach their kids the truth about gender in a transgender world?   That’s a question many parents struggle with today. While they want their children to learn about sexuality from God’s Word, the fact is that the modern world often has more influence. It’s not easy for kids to take the Bible to heart in a Facebook age.   I think the problem began in earnest two years ago when Olympic Gold Medal winner Bruce Jenner went public with his sexual identity crisis and decided to come out as a woman. What until then seemed to have been the practice of a small, confused group of people became overnight the symbol of […]

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What Homeless Veterans Can Teach Churches

Earlier this week I led the mid-week service at a local shelter for homeless veterans. But what began as a standard-issue Bible study for men who served our nation turned unexpectedly into a worship service that I believe has something to teach the church.   We met in the facility’s cafeteria, and the forty or so male residents sat singly or in small groups around the tables. Most were African-American and looked to be between thirty and fifty years of age. They were living in the shelter for a variety of reasons—some had lost their jobs and homes, others had gone through a divorce and have no place to go, […]

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Why Worship Services Are the Church’s Best Means of Evangelism

Every evangelical church wrestles with evangelism—how to lead lost people to a personal faith in Jesus. We teach our congregations to share their faith with their friends and neighbors. We design special events to carry the gospel into our community. We make evangelistic outreach a cornerstone of our overall ministry.   The effort is critical to our life and mission. Churches that are intentional about evangelism grow. Churches that neglect it decline and eventually die.   Nothing moves a lost person to faith like being in a church where worship is so authentic that barriers to belief are overcome not through rational argument or emotional manipulation but through the manifest presence of […]

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How Can a Pastor and His Church Have a Healthy Marriage?

How can a pastor and his church have a healthy marriage?   Maybe “marriage” is a strange way to describe it,  but since the Bible uses the image by saying, “husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church,” pointing to marriage as a way of explaining how a pastor and his church are connected makes a certain kind of sense.   Like a husband and wife, a pastor and his church are two unique entities—one individual and one corporate—in covenant, growing in love and service to one another, their relationship building a platform for God to display his glory. That’s more like a biblical marriage than many people realize.   The […]

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Coaches Like Dabo Swinney and Mark Richt Can Teach the Church How to Build Spiritual Leaders

Dabo Sweeney and Mark Richt stand out in the world of college football. The two coaches know the game through and through. They’re gifted leaders and unusually effective at recruiting and motivating young athletes. Both have been successful at every stop of their coaching careers. But they have something else going for them that rises above whatever they’ve accomplished professionally. For them, Jesus is more important than anything else.   Dabo’s Clemson Tigers won the National Championship in January (here’s a previous post about that game called “The Secret to Clemson’s National Championship”) and Richt’s record at the University of Georgia and now at Miami is among college football’s best. The two have […]

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