A New Heart

Much has been said and written (including by me!) about the ways churches need to change in order to be the church we are called to be in the world as it is today.  Over the past several decades, we’ve used all kinds of adjectives to describe what the church should be like: Missional Attractional…

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How Do Churches Change?

  How does change happen? How do organizations and institutions change? How do churches change? The world has changed dramatically—and churches have noticed! There’s no getting around it. The way we’ve done ministry in the past—strategic planning leading to lots of felt-needs-based programming—doesn’t seem to cut it anymore. Something has to change. Exactly what needs…

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Thingification

I love the church I’ve heard it said that the church is the hope of the world—and I agree! The church is the Body of Christ and the Light of the World. I firmly believe that it is through the church – God’s people – that He will bring healing and redemption to the brokenness of…

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Really Listening Really Matters

I’m going to start this post off with a bad joke…  Ready? My wife yelled at me today saying, “You weren’t even listening just now, were you?”  I thought to myself, “Man, what a weird way to start a conversation…” For some people, listening is hard, isn’t it?  We get caught up in our own thoughts…

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A Way Which is Full of Promise

Like many of you, I turned on the news this past week and saw the reports… Another school shooting. This time in Parkdale, Florida. I couldn’t bear to watch for more than a minute… Another tragedy. More death. More shattered lives. It’s times like these that our emotions can run rampant… grief, fear, anger… These…

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Drop the Agenda

Most of the time it’s good to have a plan.  If you’re starting a church, or beginning an exercise program, or moving into a new career you should probably have a plan.  You should know how much it’s going to cost, how long it will take, who will help you accomplish it, and what the…

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A Process for Discerning God’s Call

Vocational Connection Groups—which I began to discuss in this post and in this post—can be the key that unlocks a church’s ability to discern how God is calling them to engage their community.  I call them Vocational Connection Groups because they involve three activities: Living out our vocations.  In other words, as God’s people, we…

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New

As we enter the New Year we recognize a few things: 2017 Was A Tough Year No doubt, there was a lot of good that happened in 2017.  But there was also a lot of tragedy. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Jose destroyed hundreds of homes and shattered countless lives while wildfires ravaged both Northern and…

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A Sacred Dance

Let me start by saying that the video below is a moving and powerful expression of God’s love for us lived out through the vocations of his children.  I urge you to watch the video below and share it with your friends and family.  You can find out more about the video HERE. That being…

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God’s People Are Out There

When I was a pastor, one of the greatest challenges was to try to figure out how to bring Jesus into our communities.  We would talk about that a lot—in our staff meetings, in our elder meetings, in our deacons meetings.  I would talk about it from the pulpit.  I would write e-mails about it. …

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Finding Christ in the Situation

We’ve seen in this post and this post that God has been at work in the world ahead of his people throughout the scriptures.  He was ahead of Joseph (Genesis 37-50), ahead of Daniel (Daniel 4:10-17), ahead of Peter (Acts 10:19-48), and ahead of all the apostles (Acts 11:19-30). If we see examples of God at work ahead…

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God Is Up To Something

The “previousness” of God, which I wrote about HERE, refers to the idea that God is already at work in the world before his people even get there.  It refers to the fact that God doesn’t need to wait for us—God can begin his work well before we have even realized what God is up…

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The Previousness of God

I’m a big believer in the sovereignty of God.  What does “sovereignty” mean?  It essentially means that God can and will do as God chooses. ​I know that raises a lot of questions.  Questions about the existence of evil and why God doesn’t always prevent catastrophes.  And what about free will?  If God is sovereign,…

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Vocation As Discipleship

How do people grow in their faith?  Well, the question I really want to ask is, what kinds of things do churches do to help people grow in their faith?  Here are a few things we did in my church: Held worship services Sang worship songs Had small groups Asked people to usher and serve…

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Ministry Wherever

The unique way in which we live out our calling is what we call our vocation.  I used to think of vocation as nothing more than a job.  When I was in high school, I had friends who would go to a place called “Vo-Tech” in the afternoons, which stood for “Vocational Technology.”  There they…

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Living Into Both Callings

One of the greatest challenges for the church today is the re-integration of the sacred and the secular.  Too many people live with the false belief that their Monday through Saturday lives are less important to God than their life on Sunday—especially Sunday morning.  Too many people think that only pastors and missionaries and worship…

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