Worship: What Can We Sing?
Whether the psalms and hymns are thousands of years old, or written in the last century, the question of the quality of the words and music is important.
Are the words Scriptural and theologically sound? Hymnody has been an effective means of teaching theology in ages past. Is the music suitable to the words? If you are confessing sin, the music ought not to be bouncy and happy. Some of this is culturally relative but as a rule, confession of sin is a... Continue Reading
Seven Myths of Contextualization
Attempts to contextualize without clear, theologically informed leadership will tend to produce disorder, divisiveness, and distance
“In the past few years, much has been written, advocated, and modeled to help us understand why we should be concerned about leading services in ways that people actually comprehend what we’re doing and saying so that they are impacted in the right ways (Mike Cosper’s Rhythms of Grace is one example). That might mean changing... Continue Reading
Romans, Martin Luther and 1515
Luther personally discovered the powerful gospel of the powerful Christ. And that discovery began, not in 1517, but in 1515, with the book of Romans.
“While many of my colleagues at Reformed Theological Seminary are already thinking about 2017, most of us are not aware of a very important church history anniversary this fall. I’m thinking, of course, of the 500th anniversary of Luther’s lectures on the Book of Romans, which helped pave the way for the Reformation of 1517.”... Continue Reading
Denzel Washington Preaches Gratitude to Church Members at St. Louis Convention
Hollywood star Denzel Washington, the son of a pastor, preached a sermon of gratefulness Saturday evening to hundreds of members of the Church of God in Christ
“Faith and optimism can add years to your life,” he told those at the banquet. “A bad attitude is like a flat tire. Until you change it, you’re not going anywhere,” he said, urging the audience to “use the power of prayer in everything we do.” Hollywood star Denzel Washington, the son of a... Continue Reading
10 Reasons Why You Should Underprogram Your Church
Here are ten thoughts to reiterate and elaborate on the concept of under-programming
“As the attractional church accumulates more complexity, it becomes more rigid, despite all its claims to innovation and cultural relevance. And as more programmatic development takes place, the more inwardly focused the church must necessarily become.” Nearly every evangelical, when pressed, would insist that the church is people, not a place. A building is... Continue Reading
Sex Offenders In The Pews: Let’s Not Be Deceived
Learning about deception is woefully painful. Living in its wake is a nightmare.
“In 2011, a young adult disclosed to me, her pastor, that my own father had sexually abused her as a young child. Three days later, my mother and I were sitting in a police station reporting my childhood hero. How was this possible?” It’s a cold February day and I’m standing on stage eyeing... Continue Reading
California Churches Challenge Abortion Mandate In Federal Court
Three California churches are suing the state in federal court over last year’s mandate that all employee health insurance cover abortions.
“Elective abortions are not part of ‘basic healthcare,’” Galus said. “They have no business being forced into the medical coverage provided by churches that do not wish to support terminating lives due to very real, sincere, and well-known faith convictions. We hope the court will require California to follow the Constitution and respect these churches’... Continue Reading
Why Some Churches Choose to Die
Their choices are subtle and, often, incremental
“They are unwilling to accept responsibility. It’s the fault of culture. All the new churches in town are to blame. If someone wants to come to our church, they know where we are. People just don’t want to come to church anymore. Excuses and more excuses.” The conversation surprised me. I was recently meeting... Continue Reading
Talking About Christianity Could Just Put People Off – Church of England Signals
The Church of England is set to signal to members that speaking openly about their faith could do more harm than good when it comes to spreading Christianity
Asked about the finding that only 19 per cent wanted to know more after speaking to a Christian compared with 59 per cent who said they did not, Mr Fittall said: “How many of us have walked along Victoria Street or somewhere in London and heard somebody standing there shouting things out? The Church... Continue Reading
Despite Wrong Doomsday Stats, Pastors Holding Up Just Fine
Somehow, bad stats about pastor misery persist. LifeWay Research data gives us a clearer picture of reality
I said it in that post, and I’ll say it here again: the people perpetuating these bad stats aren’t bad people—they’re truly trying to help pastors and do what is right. Sometimes, we just need to be more careful about how we do research and how we present data. Facts are our friends, but if... Continue Reading