Day 23: Christmas: A Mission to the Nations

[Through Jesus we have received] grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:5-6) The first Christmas was a mission trip. The mission trip of all mission trips. Jesus left the comforts…

We Are Going to Be Foster Parents

Six years ago this spring I interviewed to be a child protective services investigator for the State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. I knew next-to-nothing about the job or the field. It had only been three months since I entered the child welfare world, working for a private human services agency tracking youth on house arrest and supervising visits…

My Plea for Pastors and Musicians to Decrease

On his journey to the cross, Jesus said something to the disciples that, if they listened, would change everything about their lives. He said something that, if they took it to heart, would destroy their self-centered and self-aggrandizing identities and reputations, only to give them something infinitely greater. Here’s what Jesus said: “If anyone would come after…

Scattered Thoughts on Seminary and Staying Put

Back in August, Christianity Today ran an article about students choosing and attending seminaries based on geography, not theological affinity. Students want to “stay put” because of the cost of moving and living in a larger city. The article alludes to the fact that the nature of seminary is changing. If seminaries want to survive,…

Pastoral Environment and the Fight for Holiness

My heart was deeply saddened yesterday when I heard about another resignation of a well-known pastor of a mega-church. This time, it was Tullian Tchividjian, pastor at Coral Ridge in Miami. This came about, he said, because of ongoing marital issues. His wife admitted to adultery. He developed an “inappropriate relationship” with someone in the aftermath of the news…

The Way of the West and the Way of the Cross

Westerners, particularly Americans, love big. Big paychecks. Big business. Big burgers. Big houses. Big yards. Big contracts. Big stadiums. Big events. I suppose this is a human thing, of course. But we Americans tend to specialize in big. Unfortunately, churches in America love big, too. We think that if just more people show up on Sunday, we’re growing. We…