We Don’t Just “Do Missions”

This has been a season of lasts for Carly and me. Tonight was our last congregational meeting on missions at Grace Chapel. We came so that I could serve as a pastor. We will be sent out as missionaries one month from today. To begin our meeting tonight, I set the context with three key biblical…

From Shepherding to Spreading

For Carly and me, our call to ministry came long ago. Before marrying, we both sensed that the best hours of our days and weeks would be devoted to introducing people to Jesus and equipping them in their faith. We’ve been doing that in various ways for all of our seven years of marriage. For the…

Day 24: You Are the Fertilizer of the Earth

“Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away.” (Luke 14:34-35) “You are the salt of the earth.” I’ve always struggled with this word from Jesus. Not because I don’t…

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…