Cinderella, You Shall Go to the Ball!

The second century of the early church is generally neglected in favor of other, apparently more exciting and accessible, periods.

 Michael Kruger argues in his new book, Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church, this period is critical for understanding the development of the post-apostolic church.    Issues of theology, authority, worship, ecclesiology, culture and canon all emerge at this time and directions of later discussions are established.   The second... Continue Reading

SBC Gives DC Baptist Convention 90 Days to Sever Ties With Church Led by Lesbian Pastors

The motion effectively gives DCBC the option to either sever its ties with the 155-year-old Calvary Baptist Church or help lead the church to "repentance."

SBC’s official news service, Baptist Press, reports that the SBC Executive Committee approved a motion on Feb. 20 giving the DCBC until May 20 to end its affiliation with churches “that have demonstrated a faith or practice affirming, approving or endorsing homosexual behavior.”   The District of Columbia Baptist Convention has been given 90 days to remove... Continue Reading

Pastor, Be What You Want to See

The leadership will set the tone of the community’s discipleship culture, setting the example of the church body’s “personality.”

If we want our churches to be of one mind, to be of one heart, to assassinate their idols and feast on Christ, to be wise and winsome with the world they have forsaken, to be gentle of spirit but full of confidence and boldness, to be blossoming with the fruit of the Spirit, we... Continue Reading

Five Reasons To Include Women on Your Church Staff

Men and women need each other and benefit from doing ministry alongside each other.

Building on the prior point, women contribute to and enrich so many different ministries in the church.  Examples include: missions, counseling, evangelism, discipleship, women’s ministry, mercy ministry, youth ministry, children’s ministry, administration, college ministry, and more. And for each of these ministries, women bring a wonderful set of gifts, abilities, and perspectives. Members of the... Continue Reading

One Body, The Church

As I reflected on this and our great need for one another in the church, I wrote this poem:

I recently read about Martin Luther and the ways he depended upon the church body in his life. He often battled intense physical pain and depression. There were times he was in so much pain he thought he would die. In those instances, he relied upon his community—the communion of saints—to help him. They prayed... Continue Reading

Pastors and Congregational Reading

As a pastor, you are a shepherd. You want to feed your sheep good food, but it had better be food that they’re willing and able to eat.

Pastors need to keep this in mind when they recommend books for people in their congregations. The fact that a given book is not difficult for you does not mean that it won’t be difficult for them. There’s a reason that most of the books on sale in a Christian bookstore are theologically substandard. They... Continue Reading

3 Things I Learned Growing up in the Black Church

I’m grateful for at least three lessons I learned from the church I was raised in: a reverence for God, an encouragement to walk with him through pain and suffering, and the importance of community.

It was as if, in a healthy way, suffering was expected. There was a palpable understanding that we live in a fallen and fractured world—and that the greatest days for the Christian are always ahead. So there was no sense in trying too hard to make this earth their home. That would be like going... Continue Reading

Things I’ve Failed To Do When People Left Our Church

Though it might feel hard to humble ourselves and hear where we blew it, remember, God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. You can’t go wrong in humbling yourself.

As I have met with a few who left because they felt I mishandled a situation, they said, “And you know what? Not only did you not call me, but no one from the church called me.” Or maybe one or two called to see how they were doing. But it was like they had... Continue Reading

The Church’s Role in Promoting Mental Health

Mental health is a legitimate issue, one that deserves serious attention within the Church.

So as the dialogue continues about mental health in America, the Church should take time to consider how it can renew its efforts to make a positive difference. It is time to examine our hearts to repent of holding any stigma against mental illness, engage in conversation with those in need, and generously use our... Continue Reading

Which Country Sends the [Second] Most Missionaries?

South Korea has sent out 27,436 missionaries in 2017, second only to the United States

This passion for cross-cultural missions is shared by Korean-American immigrant churches. It is not uncommon for the smallest of the 4,000 plus Korean-American churches to set aside a significant portion of the church’s budget for missions and proudly display the names of the supported missionaries in their weekly bulletins.   My friends and I recently... Continue Reading