What if church members began their own form of sermon preparation? For countless decades, we have heard about the role of pastors in sermon preparation. The number of hours they need to prepare. The priority of preparation. The role of prayer in sermon preparation. But what if church members prepared for each sermon they heard? What if they believed their roles as re...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....
At the heart of habit is the brilliance of our Creator. Making decisions takes time and energy, and habits keep us from having to make the same decisions over and over again....Keep Reading
"We just don't feel connected." Both of them felt the same way. Somewhere in the timeline of their relationship they had begun to drift apart and now they felt as if they were living lives that were running on a parallel track rather than living lives intimately connected. But how do you solve the problem of "connectedness"?...Keep Reading
The pursuit of porn has bad consequences. We need no special insight to see it erodes relationships and never satisfies. But bad consequences aren't enough to stop us. We must be ready with persuasive reasons to put up a fight....Keep Reading
The Article by Erik Raymond first appreared in The Gospel Coalition Website. After purchasing something during the Christmas season the salesperson handed me the receipt and said, "Here you go. You will be contacted in a few days to complete a brief survey. You could win a gift-certificate." I smiled politely and said, "OK. Thanks." It's not that I was going to avoid the ...Keep Reading
When we trade out sola scriptura for sola experienca we not only lose the power to sanctify but the essence of what it means to live as a Christian. On the other hand, the Christian worldview drives us to an external word...Keep Reading
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15) Jesus felt the full force of all temptations. The ones that we feel and cave upon he felt to the highest level...Keep Reading
We often hear that those who don't affirm modern feminism are "anti-woman." Christians are no exception. We sometimes get tagged with this epithet, and once the label sticks we're either total sellouts (the women) or knuckle-dragging Neanderthals (the men). In light of this claim, it's remarkable to consider how the author and perfecter of our faith, Jesus Christ, inte...Keep Reading
This month we will be inducting new members into the most honored body the world has ever known: the church of Jesus Christ. The initiation fee for this club is so high that no human could have ever paid it; God himself had to pick up the tab. The benefits of the club never expire. The fellowship of the club is unmatched; you receive intimate access to the Lord himself (Jo...Keep Reading
In the midst of struggle, the Christian does well to remind themselves of the gospel comforts of Scripture. There is peace to be had and love to enjoy. Our Heavenly Father ever extends His grace to us. The Christian also does well to take to heart gospel encouragements. We desire to pursue Christ and work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). As we ...Keep Reading