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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“What did you think about the sermon?” That’s a question you will frequently hear if you attend Grace Church. Perhaps you heard it from the preacher after the Sunday morning service or from one of our members. If you are a member, then this is not a strange question to you. You look forward to both hearing it and asking it, and you delight in the conversation that follows. But if you have never been asked this question, you may treat it as a social courtesy, and feel compelled to say something polite. It is possible that if you have the unbiblical notion that the gathering of the saints in corporate worship is all about ‘customer service’, then you might interpret that question as our desire as ‘service providers’ to know whether you as a consumer of spiritual goodies, were satisfied with the Sunday morning ‘experience’ or not. This is not our intention. This question, while intentional is not our way of assessing whether you will come back next week or not. This is a matter of deliberate discipleship....
The matter calls for our attention. For Christians are, first and foremost, a hearing people (Deuteronomy 6:4; Romans 10:17). And how we hear will determine, over time, whether the word we hear is devoured by the devil, scorched by trials, choked by cares, or nourished by God into abundant fruit (Mark 4:1...
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....
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