Interrupted Expectations

September 16, 2021 ...

If you went to the Festival of Tabernacles in the time of Jesus, what would you have expected? You would have expected an amazing time. Each morning for seven days, the priest drew water from a well and marched through Jerusalem to the Temple. Crowds celebrated with music, waving palm branches and dancing in a …

Cladding vs. Heavy Stone Discipleship

September 16, 2021 ...

Given the slow and costly process required to progress from apprentice to journeyman to master mason, it’s no surprise that there are relatively few master masons. But when a master mason builds something, that structure can last thousands of years, even in severe weather conditions. We see this in the pyramids of Egypt, in medieval …

3 Ways to Fight Back With Joy

September 14, 2021 ...

Long before the pandemic, I faced a brutal battle with cancer. Tortured alive by more than a year of treatment, joy felt out of reach. But somewhere along the way, I discovered that more than whimsy, joy is a weapon we use to fight life’s battles. Here are three ways you can begin to fight …

Rescue Missions Pursue a New Normal

September 13, 2021 ...

For many ministry organizations, dealing with the new normal COVID left behind is proving to be every bit as difficult as coming to terms with its initial arrival and vexing ramifications. How do we bring congregations back together for face-to-face fellowship now that we’ve shown they can have a great church experience in their easy …

Vaccination Clinics Open Doors for Connection and Service

September 10, 2021 ...

Located in Prince George’s County, Maryland, First Baptist Church partnered with the University of Maryland Capitol Region Health Center and an army of volunteers to provide vaccinations. Over 1,000 volunteers signed up to facilitate the clinic, cycling through three daily shifts. First Baptist’s vaccine clinic is one of many hosted by churches around the country. …

Recalibrating Churches and Leadership

September 6, 2021 ...

Some of the changes in churches are ephemeral. For example, we are already seeing how the streaming, digital worship service has been transitioned from critical to supplemental at best. Likewise, we have seen a significant decline in digital small groups as churches regather in-person. Still, some changes are long-lasting. They will likely change the shape …

Recovering From a Year in the Wilderness

September 6, 2021 ...

As a ministry leader, after all you have been through, if you feel drained, if you feel numb, even if you feel like a failure — it’s OK. That’s actually a very normal and human reaction to the kinds of pressures and stresses you’ve had to weather over the past year. And undoubtedly, the pressures …

Discipleship in the Age of Conspiracy Theories

June 21, 2021 ...

The past few years have been a painful reminder of the consequences of this decline as we’ve witnessed the growing popularity of conspiracy theories in our churches. While we have taught our people to serve, evangelize, worship and lead, too frequently our pragmatism limits our commitment to discipling our people to think well (Romans 12:2). …

On Science and Faith

June 21, 2021 ...

Based on your research, how do people of faith view science and scientists? And how do scientists view people of faith? In “Why Science and Faith Need Each Other,” I talk about the fears different groups have of each other. In some ways people of faith fear scientists and scientists often fear people of faith. Fear can masquerade as …

How the Bereans Sought the Truth

June 21, 2021 ...

The earliest followers of Jesus understood that ideas have consequences. Those disciples could not have a casual relationship with the truth, because persecution often accompanied the gospel and faith became a matter of life and death. The Book of Acts commends the commitment to truth: “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than …