The Vine Project

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Vine Project and was challenged by it

“I have visited congregations where the pastor told me about the influence of The Trellis and the Vine and how he modeled his church after it. Yet when I participated in the worship and listened to the sermon and saw the programs, even for just a Sunday or two, I was not convinced he really... Continue Reading

3 Ways to Recognize Workaholism in Ministry

Ministry leaders, like all leaders, are prone to either laziness or workaholism

If we find our worth in our work, we are workaholics. If my outlook on life is wrapped up in how “work is going,” in how I feel I am performing, then my identity is fully found in my job or career. If our rejoicing is based on the fruit of our ministry, our identity is found in what we do for Christ and not in what Christ has done for us. When identity is in work, working more and more is the logical response. Think about it: Why would you not give more to the place or role that defines you? A way to recognize workaholism is to evaluate how much of our outlook and perspective is formed by how ministry is going.

Liberal churches Are Dying. But Conservative Churches Are Thriving

A Canadian study found that conservative churches are still growing, while less orthodox congregations dwindle away.

Because of their conservative outlook, the growing church clergy members in our study took Jesus’ command to “Go make disciples” literally. Thus, they all held the conviction it’s “very important to encourage non-Christians to become Christians,” and thus likely put effort into converting non-Christians. Conversely, because of their liberal leanings, half the clergy members at... Continue Reading

4 Dangerous Lies That Are Destroying Christians

Four of the most treacherous teachings tickling the ears of professing Christians who do "not endure sound teaching."

The Bible teaches that humans’ main problem is that they are separated from God because of sin. Yes, the Bible commands Christians to feed the hungry, but having a full belly doesn’t repair the broken relationship with God. The heretical social gospel is damning people to hell.   The Apostle Paul warned the young pastor Timothy that... Continue Reading

Thoughts on Christian Publishing

The reality is that times are hard for serious, substantial writing, whether Christian or not.

What I’m more interested in though is the gap between this list of bestselling Christian books, and the evangelical online writing economy. Put simply, the contrast between the work that outsells all other work in Christian bookstores and the work that drives traffic and conversation in the evangelical blogosphere is astonishing. The two worlds look nothing alike. When was the last time you saw an article on your social media written in the first person voice of Jesus, assuring readers of prosperity and emotional centeredness?

Ten Major Trends for Churches in 2017

These trends are relatively easy to predict, but that does not make them less important

Renewed emphasis on practical ministries. Many of our churches have gone through a period of theological recovery for which I am very grateful. Now the leaders want to know the “how” along with the “what.” They are looking for practical solutions built on biblical truths.   For those who read my blog regularly, you know... Continue Reading

What We Need to Learn From the Early Church

The earliest Christians were widely ridiculed, especially by cultural elites

“The earliest church was seen as too exclusive and a threat to the social order because it would not honor all deities; today Christians are again being seen exclusive and a threat to the social order because we will not honor all identities.”   Many say that Christians who maintain the historic, traditional doctrines are behind the... Continue Reading

Scott R. Swain Appointed President of Reformed Seminary in Orlando

The Board of Trustees of Reformed Theological Seminary has appointed Dr. Scott R. Swain as the fifth president of its Orlando campus.

He joined the faculty in 2006 after several years of teaching at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and he served for several years as Assistant and later Associate Professor of Systematic Theology. In fall 2012 he took on administrative duties as Academic Dean, and his service in that role involved the addition of three new faculty... Continue Reading

How Long Should I Preach?

3 principles that might help you answer this question in your particular context

Every preacher has been there. We can sense we are loosing our people and we still have 10 minutes left in the sermon. We want to make sure we give adequate time to the preaching of God’s word, but this principle to leave them longing for a bit more, is a good goal to pursue. I would rather leave my people in a place where they wanted just a little more, verses exasperating them with too much.

A Child Abuse Scandal Is Coming For Pope Francis

In any case, on abuse, the justice dealt out by Müller's CDF seems to be too harsh for the pope and his allies.

Pope Francis and his cardinal allies have been known to interfere with CDF's judgments on abuse cases. This intervention has become so endemic to the system that cases of priestly abuse in Rome are now known to have two sets of distinctions. The first is guilty or innocent. The second is "with cardinal friends" or "without cardinal friends."