Who’s Who in the Church

Understanding the Differences Between Senior, Associate, and Assistant Pastors

I’d like to take just a few minutes of your time as you read this to try and explain the basic “types” of pastors in the PCA: senior (or solo) pastors, associate pastors, and assistant pastors. All of these are also different from various “directors” that are in churches. I hope by the end you... Continue Reading

When is a Lutheran not a Lutheran?

The phrase “radically inclusive” actually means “radically exclusive in conformity with whatever the mores du jour happen to be.”

The church needs to be a place where all such people are welcomed—with a key qualification. Being welcomed does not entail being affirmed in the beliefs or the identity one has when one walks into the sanctuary. The gospel is, according to Paul, foolishness to Greeks and an offense to Jews. In short, it contradicts... Continue Reading

Five Reasons Why the Children’s Minister is the Staff Position in Greatest Demand

We saw this trend five years ago. It is now a reality

If churches desire to reach families, they must be prepared to reach children. If the Boomer generation acted like helicopters and hovered over their kids, the Millennial generation is acting like sidecars, and want to go wherever the motorcycle/child goes. You can’t reach a family with kids unless you are really prepared to reach the kids.... Continue Reading

Getting Small Churches on Mission (Part 1)

Small church pastors should view their congregations as an elite force.

But while there are many reasons to celebrate the things larger churches have already done (and continue to accomplish), sometimes we fail to overlook (at best) and neglect (at worst) the work that small churches can do and are doing. Small churches (250 or fewer members/attendees) make up the vast majority of evangelical churches in... Continue Reading

Is Your Church Pro-Life?

The American church should stop treating the pro-life issue as primarily political and national and narrow. And we should start seeing it as primarily relational and local and broad.

Being broadly pro-life would extend our passion for people and justice far beyond the scope of the womb. It would mean showing love and value to every human life created in the image of God, refusing to be fundamentally divided from our neighbor by the increasing pressure of identity politics or national borders. It would... Continue Reading

Essential Tools For Preaching Christ (Part 2)

The Bible defines preaching in terms of what it is and what its goals are

“Most New Testament examples of preaching Christ are theological and devotional rather than exegetical and redemptive historical. This stands in partial contrast to predominating patterns in contemporary approaches to preaching.”   Sound exegesis is insufficient for sound preaching. This assertion might seem surprising in light of the popular resurgence of consecutive expository preaching. While we... Continue Reading

5 Things The Church Does That Enable Abuse

Christians can be kind, trusting, and gracious, and predators can see that as a weakness to be exploited

I’ve been thinking though about some of the things in our own church culture that, while well meaning, can enable abuse and create environments that are enticing to abusers and dangerous for abused. Put another way, how do we make our “hospitals” safer for everyone? I don’t have all the answers but I can think... Continue Reading

Threading The #MeToo Needle

Should the church get on board with the #MeToo movement?

“We need to make it easier for vulnerable people to report abuse. We need to make the process less biased towards the rich, the powerful and the established. But. We need to maintain a concern for evidence and due process. And in the church we need to believe in the possibility of repentance, change, growth... Continue Reading

The Selfish Reason To Stay At The Same Church For A Long Time

When a pastor remains at the same church for a long time, the church flourishes. So does the pastor.

A man who lives among the same people for decades will have an entire gallery of character sketches that have been drawn for the church and community to observe. While no pastor is perfect, all pastors are called to make visible spiritual progress. “Practice these things, devote yourself to them, so that all may see... Continue Reading

Looming Debate Over SSA

Conservatives should refrain from drawing the worst possible implications from what seems to be a thoughtful and responsible attempt to address this major cultural touchstone.

While avoiding hysterical division, we can at the same time note that a major question mark hangs over the normalization of SSA as a Christian category. It seems that there is a growing consensus in the PCA that we can and must distinguish between one’s sexual orientation and sinful desires.   These days, it seems... Continue Reading