7 Ways to Prepare Your Church Against Violence

Over the past few years, church shootings like the one this week in Texas have captured our attention.

We live in a world under God’s providential control. We must be cautious, but not fearful. We can’t shut our doors to those who need to hear the gospel because of our anxiety about violence. As Paul tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let... Continue Reading

Wanted: Good Assistant Pastors

He not only serves the congregation, but also the Senior Pastor.

Whatever his “job description” may entail, he understands that he is assisting. His ministry is tied to the Senior Pastor’s ministry. In fact, it proves helpful if the Assistant Pastor understands his ministry as an extension of the Senior Pastor’s ministry. He may supplement gifts that are lacking in the Senior Pastor or possess similar... Continue Reading

The Church Has Two Missions: Narrow and Broad

I don’t expect to revive the language of “joint” versus “several,” but that is the distinction we need for thinking about the church’s mission.

The narrow mission of a church-as-organized collective is to make disciples and citizens of Christ’s kingdom. The broad mission of a church-as-its-members is to be disciples and citizens of Christ’s kingdom. The narrow employs judge-like or priestly words of formal separation, identification, and instruction. The broad rules and lives as sons of the king, representing... Continue Reading

The Church’s One Foundation

“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)

The Apostles spoke with a transferred authority from Christ to deliver His teachings. The Apostles taught with the authority of Jesus, who taught with the authority of God. Therefore, as the church father Irenaeus argued long ago, to reject Apostolic authority is to reject the authority of Jesus. And in the final analysis, to reject... Continue Reading

Protecting The Flock

The case for armed security at churches gains new momentum after Sutherland Springs

Churches are what the FBI would call a “soft target,” security consultant Mike Gurley said. They are an open-door, welcoming environment. And they don’t just open one door, they open all doors, to anyone who wants to come in.   Defenseless people. That’s how Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. described the members of... Continue Reading

On Being Forgotten

Be like Tychicus. Be boring. Be ordinary. Be forgettable.

“Fame is sought for the sake of fame. Even in the church we seek celebrities more than faithful servants. Some pastors become too big to fail. They are kept in the pulpit or put back in the pulpit when they have clearly disqualified themselves by their behavior. In the end, it is the church who... Continue Reading

What is a Faithful Preacher?

All of this, and more, facilitates spiritual growth and maturation—not just for the preacher, but for his hearers.

Year after year, the rigor of preparing sermons has deepened my Scriptural knowledge. The thousands of hours wrestling with texts have been incalculably sanctifying. Moreover, preaching verse-by-verse through books in the Bible forces me to confront difficult doctrines, grapple with knotty texts, and apply the full complement of Scripture to my own life. Plus, regularly... Continue Reading

City Church (Houston) Affiliates With ECO

City Church began as a church plant of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).

For many reasons I’m excited about how ECO will help us realize the mission of City Church. ECO’s core values align with City Church’s. ECO is committed to the authority of scripture, winsomely reformed, devoted to relational accountability, enthusiastically missional, and gospel-centered. They celebrate the gifts the Holy Spirit has given to all believers and extend... Continue Reading

North American Mission Board To Pay Funeral Expenses For Shooting Victims; Gaines, Page To Minister To Survivors

Southern Baptist Mission Board has offered to cover funeral expenses for the shooting victims in Sutherland Springs, Texas

First Baptist Pastor Frank Pomeroy, who was out of town when the shooting occurred and whose 14-year-old daughter Annabelle was among the dead, told reporters the church’s tragedy will exalt Christ. “Christ is the one who’s going to be lifted up,” Pomeroy said at a Nov. 6 news conference. “That’s what I’m telling everybody. You... Continue Reading

You Can’t Reform What You Won’t Touch

Reformation, like swimming, takes more than just standing on the side talking about it.

Examples of this abound. Those who add volumes of Puritan works to their libraries but who never visit the sick or imprisoned (like many of those books would tell them to do). Those busy building their web presence with Calvin quotes but who do not have a presence in their local community. Those who talk... Continue Reading