In Transition, God is Enough

Where do you start after taking almost five months off from blogging? The last time I posted a blog was May 7. We had been in Nebraska for a full month and were neck-deep in fundraising. Time was at a premium. Blogging was not a priority. It’s appropriate, I think, to share my thoughts about transition and God’s faithfulness in the midst of it. The past year for our family has been one giant transition (you can read about its origins here and here). No transition is easy. And ours doesn’t feel over yet. But isn’t transition—and the enduring nature of … Continue reading In Transition, God is Enough

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 texts that are always bouncing around my mind. These texts show that we don’t just “do missions.” Missions is not one program of the church or something that a few people have a heart for. Mission is our main task. How do we know? For the earth will … Continue reading We Don’t Just “Do Missions”

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 me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt. 16:24-25). Earlier in the gospel story, John the Baptizer said the … Continue reading My Plea for Pastors and Musicians to Decrease

Readers for Your Reading Pleasure

A while back I compiled a few “readers.” A “reader” is a compilation of shorter works (article, essay, blog, chapters, etc.) on a particular subject. Here are all four of them in one place. If you are a pastor, ministry leader, or just a curious person, you might find this list of resources helpful. These readers aren’t exhaustive, but if you have any other resources that you think are “must-reads,” let us know! A Church Leadership Reader A Gospel-Centered Reader A Pastoral Ministry Reader A Youth Ministry Reader Continue reading Readers for Your Reading Pleasure

The Legacy of Martin Luther

Martin Luther helped spark a revival in the church that continues today. If you worship Jesus as a part of any Protestant community, you can thank God for using this German monk. The son of a copper miner, Martin Luther was an exceptionally bright young man. He began studying law at the university level when he was only 13, and he completed his degree in the shortest amount of time allowed. When he was 21, Luther nearly died in a severe thunderstorm. He thought God was threatening him so in the middle of pouring rain and booming thunder, Luther vowed, “I … Continue reading The Legacy of Martin Luther

Civic Holidays and the Church

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend. Churches all over the country are asking what they should do to honor veterans who have served in the U.S. military. Should we build the whole service around it? Should we give them a standing ovation? Should we say nothing? Let me share my perspective on how the gathered church should handle Memorial Day weekend and other civic holidays. I’m an old Millennial (born in 1984), so I probably have different thoughts on this than pastors and Christians in the Boomer and perhaps even Gen X generations. Much of my perspective is born out of this … Continue reading Civic Holidays and the Church