'Church Life' Tagged Posts

'Church Life' Tagged Posts

Why do Some Pastors Deliberately Avoid Teaching Doctrine?

I have been involved in leading churches for four decades, with an emphasis on church planting in the last few years. I’ve also visited and addressed hundreds of churches around the world and have had the privilege of meeting thousands of Christian leaders. Through this time I’ve watched an unintentional doctrinal imprecision on the part of many pastors become intentional. In other words, I have witnessed a new “conventional wisdom” emerge. Simply stated it is the “wisdom” of attempting to…

Rebuilding Our Churches with Bible Reading

I’m no prophet, but I believe we may soon see a swelling interest in reading the Bible both together & alone that could rebuild our faltering churches, and improve the good ones. My information is purely anecdotal but substantial. I’m certainly not the only one seeing this tremendous need and trying to do something about it. Perhaps God will use each of us who care about this to repair the crumbling base in these slanderous, corrupt and morally compromised days.…

Tolerance Trouble

The Corinthian church boasted about its tolerance of the incestuous man who was permitted to retain membership and acceptance within the Corinthian church. They were congratulating themselves for such open-mindedness when they should have been weeping. Their tolerance was beyond even what Roman law allowed. “We should note that under Roman law both this man and his stepmother would be sentenced to exile on an island, his possessions would be confiscated, and his social status would be repealed.” (Schnabel: Paul…

Women in Your Ministry Context: An Appeal for Male Christian Leaders to Choose Male Assistants

A fine young pastor and his family take a small church in a rural area, or perhaps in a tired part of an otherwise thriving city. It’s their first opportunity to lead a church, and they have dreams of something deep, growing, and lasting. There is little money given by the church to hire anyone else other than this single leader. Well enough. It can’t be other than it is in the beginning. But right off the pastor is in…

Less Lecture, More Learning: Ideas for a Better Sunday School Hour

My wife and I recently spoke with a woman from a church in town. “I don’t have any idea how to study the Bible,” she complained. “It’s so difficult to understand.” What’s worse, she concluded by saying, “So I don’t really read the Bible much.” I’m fairly familiar with this church and know it to be one that cares about the Bible. I also know for a fact that, for the last three years, this woman has been sitting in…

Christians and No Work Sundays

Believers haven’t always had Sundays free from work. Though our culture is changing in this regard, it still is largely expected that most of our members will be exempt from Sunday work to give attention to our worship. The earliest Christians did not have such a privilege. Though surely some believed that it should be so prior to this, it appears that “work free Sundays” were imposed upon the Roman society through an A.D. 321 decree of the Roman Emperor…

Looking For a Church? Here’s What to Look For

My list doesn’t include a gymnasium or a youth group that does a lot of fun things, since the Bible doesn’t require a church to have these amenities. Here are a few items, however, that are absolutely critical for your consideration: 1. A resolve on the part of its leaders to seek the will of the Head of the Church You may think that this is a “given” among most leaders, but you would be wrong. Many pastors and church…

Restoring Those Who Fall

Our Statement Regarding Church Discipline Church discipline is one of the primary means God uses to correct and restore His children when they fall into sin. It is also one way in which He maintains the unity, purity, integrity, and reputation of the church. Through private or public instruction, warning, counsel, or rebuke, and even social avoidance or expulsion from membership, God corrects his disobedient children or removes those who are not truly His. Christ Himself declared the church to…

Discouraged Pastors

There are plenty of pastors with generous smiles on their faces each Sunday who, deep down, are very disheartened. Pastoring a church is hard work. For one thing, it is usually thankless. I know there are some churches that seem to remember their pastors with such fanfare, but most do not ever esteem them. They don’t work for just the members ultimately, so they can get over it, but never hearing those words, “Thanks for what you do, pastor,” is…

A Journey in Search of Comfort as a Christian Parent of Unconverted Children

There are few events in the Christian life that can be more disturbing and cause more anguish of heart than to see your children become young adults while continuing to evidence a spiritual disposition that seems to betray that these most precious gifts from God remain strangers to His grace. Yes, they may think that they are believers, but there is no love for His Word, no desire to be with His people, and no desire to live for the…

Suggestions For Pastors When Your Church Is Not Happy With You

Years ago, in a church that was experiencing good changes and lots of growth, I heard from various sources that the many people were not happy with me. This floating disapproval went on for some time. As a younger pastor this was extremely disconcerting. Like most pastors, I was concerned about being liked by the congregation that I was given to lead—a natural tendency. But mainly, I didn’t want the church to suffer through distraction, and, if I was leading…

Nine Men at Panera

A group of nine men and I just finished a year and half discussion about John. I’m not going to let you in on the beauties of the book at this point, but rather I want to comment on the idea of men reading and studying the Scripture together. My comments apply to women and youth also, but my experience is with men, so I will lay this out in that context. These men, members of my congregation, met at…