The Church That Prays Together, Stays Together

The place where we are most connected to Christ our Mediator, our representative before God, the head of the body (Col 2:19) and, in him, most connected to each other is not the coffee shop.

The preaching of the Word, the use of the two sacraments instituted by Christ (baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and prayer. All these occur in public worship. As important as it is for congregations to bond together horizontally, person to person, it is even more important for the, to be united together in meeting face... Continue Reading

Three Ways We Impede Gospel Ministry in Deprived Communities

We need to resource both existing churches and new plants over the long haul.

We ought to be aware that there aren’t enough churches in our deprived communities. Plenty of them have no church in their midst and no viable means of getting to one. So, without putting too fine a point on it, we need people to plant churches in deprived communities and, one way or another, they... Continue Reading

Go and Tell: Church Social Media

If a church does engage in social media ministry, it must be committed to doing it well.

Like it or not, social media is setting the agenda of personal discussions in our world; people are comfortable talking about what they know their friends already have shared. So, if you want to open doors for members of the church to “go and tell” in discussion, you can help by first giving them something... Continue Reading

Why “We Need to Reach the Young People” Might Distract Your Church

A church focused upon it’s own survival is a church just waiting to die.

The church, just like disciples, is meant to be self-denying for the sake of the kingdom. Doing things which are motivated by self-preservation are opposed to the ethics of God’s kingdom. A church might even “turn around” by a good focused mission. But if the foundation is self-preservation instead of kingdom-expansion, don’t be surprised when... Continue Reading

Satan Isn’t After the SBC, God Is

The blame lies with us when we believe preserving ourselves or a pastor’s position is more important or equal to loving people inside the church.

Self-interested pastors aren’t the only people at fault, or the only people who are self-interested. Cover-ups also happen with the help of well-meaning Christians valuing false peace over justice. They happen because faithful Christians want to live in harmony with all people and rightly so until it’s not so right. They happen because we’d rather... Continue Reading

(Re)Incarnational Ministry?

May we love well the living Christ and those to whom we preach.

It’s good to republish these brethren of a bygone era.  Let the republishing continue; let the attempted reincarnations cease! We’re not from that era so we don’t fully, instinctively and intuitively understand their ministerial context nor therefore can we truly replicate the style and content of the Puritan’s ministry within and to their culture.  The best... Continue Reading

Evangelism at the Bus Stop

Without even thinking about it I was talking about another kind of evidence here—changed lives.

When I visited, many of the church family were quite new Christians. Did it show at the prayer meeting. Oh Yes! The room was bursting at the seams with so many eager to be there. And they were practically falling over themselves to jump in as soon as someone else finished praying. No long awkward... Continue Reading

China Bans 1,000-Member Church In Beijing, Demands Members Vow Not To Attend

China’s crackdown against underground house churches continued last Saturday with the forced closure of Beijing’s Shouwang Church; police changed the locks and demanded congregants vow never to worship as a congregation again.

Zion Church had previously rejected requests from government authorities to install closed-circuit cameras. Officials in Beijing argued that the church had held events without registering. Shouwang Church in the past has been forced to meet in outdoor locations as government pressure made it difficult for the congregation to secure rented or purchased space. As previously... Continue Reading

How Can I Pray for My Church?

We should pray for temporal needs insofar as they are for spiritual ends.

Charles Spurgeon admonished his church, “We cannot all preach; we cannot all rule; we cannot all give gold and silver, but we can all contribute our prayers.” Praying for our churches aligns our affections with the affections of God, who “loves the gates of Zion” (Ps. 87:2).    To know how best to pray for our... Continue Reading

Am I Sitting Under Healthy Preaching?

How will we know whether the full sweep of Christian content we’re regularly feeding on is healthy?

Week after week, Christians sit under the preaching of God’s word in worship. How do we know if the food we’re receiving is spiritually healthy? What will be its long-term effects on our soul-health? If I keep feeding on this teaching, will my spirit be better off for it, or will I look back someday and... Continue Reading