Going to church on vacation is challenging, but our family has come to value it as an opportunity to fellowship with believers we might not otherwise meet. Some of my most memorable and spiritually refreshing moments while traveling have been worshiping in a local church....Keep Reading
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Criticizing the church can come easily, especially in an age like ours. Though many of us are aware of the dangers of consumer Christianity, few of us escape its influence entirely. I know I can find myself slipping into an attitude of detached critique, rating sermons, music, and small groups as if I were reviewing a blender on Amazon. Alongside our consumerism, we live in a time when criticizing the church is fashionable. A subtle contempt, even in some Christian circles, garners respect. We are the jaded and disillusioned, those who inwardly roll our eyes at Christian clichés and anything that smacks of churchy strictness. When unbelievers share their grievances with “organized religion,” sometimes we offer little more than a sympathetic nod. Whether it arises from consumerism or cynicism, however, such a critical spirit toward the church of God appears nowhere in the New Testament....
Spending an hour with 10 two-year-olds every Sunday may not stretch your preaching skills, but it might just be what the Lord uses to make you a more compassionate and faithful church member in the present and church leader in the future. Nursery service is a great way to grow to love the children in your church...
Christians have a long tradition of referring to elders and deacons as church “officers.” The nomenclature rightly recognizes the role and responsibilities that Scripture gives to our leaders. It also points to the honor due to pastors (1 Tim. 5:17). People show respect to officers, right? I don’t want to downplay any of this. But . . . church membership is an office, too. It’s a job that comes with authority and responsibility. We can call a lieutenant an “officer” without diminishing the honor due to a general. What’s at stake here is not just academic, but pastoral and biblical....
When my church gathers, it appears we have little in common. Our skin colors vary. Our political tastes differ. Cultural backgrounds have ingrained us with diverse identities. We have distinct preferences and convictions....Keep Reading
During his last Sunday here, I asked the evening gathering if they’d ever been in Andrew’s home. Nearly every hand went up. In a small but important way, Andrew made a difference. By opening up his home and sharing his life, he helped others see the priority of the Lord, Jesus Christ. He is a gospel neighbor....Keep Reading
We read of selling possessions and distributing the proceeds, and console ourselves with the idea that modern superannuation and social security make these verses irrelevant. John taking Mary into his home, his family tending to her in her old age? Gosh, thank goodness for nursing homes, am I right?...Keep Reading
Africa has had its fair share of these winds, and as a result missionary efforts here have had to deal with them. One question that combines the philosophical winds blowing in Africa with the world of missions is this: “Are we African Christians or Christians in Africa?”...Keep Reading
One of the most important experiences of my life was when my wife and I attended a dedication ceremony for a Wanca Quechua translation of the New Testament in Peru. People at the ceremony were weeping because they were able to read a Bible in their own language for the first time. ...Keep Reading