Pastor Note #78: Christian Witness in an Age of Offense

In the 1960s it was the Age of Aquarius.  (If you’re much younger than I am, you probably don’t understand that reference.)  We are now in the Age of Offense.  Everybody is offended these days.  Everybody has become touchy.  We all tend to take everything personally.  We have begun to use the things that offend … Continue reading Pastor Note #78: Christian Witness in an Age of Offense

Pastor Note #71: Loving Each Other in Words

Loving Each Other in Words The sad truth is that not all churches are places where people treat each other well.  Some churches can become notorious for the way their people are prone to fight and mistreat each other.  Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you love … Continue reading Pastor Note #71: Loving Each Other in Words

Sermon #61 — Healing and the Mission of God: The Healing Purpose of God

Our natural and unashamed expectation should be that where the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached, healing -- miraculous, supernatural healing -- should be present.  Although it is the case that miraculous healings can and do serve as confirmation of the truthfulness of the preaching, that isn't the more important reason why gospel preaching and … Continue reading Sermon #61 — Healing and the Mission of God: The Healing Purpose of God

Pastor Note #65 — A Congregational Vision for Prayer and Healing

A Vision for Prayer & Healing in the Life of our Church The Ministry of Prayer in the Life of our Congregation             The presence of God is sought and found in a diligent and unremitting pursuit of God through prayer.  Prayer is not the work of a few.  It … Continue reading Pastor Note #65 — A Congregational Vision for Prayer and Healing

Pastor Note #63 — Mission Field America

Recently, I read about a church that had a sign at the exit from its parking lot, a sign that people read as they were leaving the church. The sign said, “You are now entering the mission field.” It’s a bracing thought and one that is more and more obviously true in North America. American … Continue reading Pastor Note #63 — Mission Field America

Pastor Notes #62 — The Lordship of Jesus Christ and Your Church’s Reason for Being

The Lordship of Jesus Christ and Your Church’s Purpose for Being What is your church’s purpose at this period of our history? What is its reason for being at this particular moment in its life as a congregation? These are important questions that churches can easily get out of the habit of asking. In fact, … Continue reading Pastor Notes #62 — The Lordship of Jesus Christ and Your Church’s Reason for Being

Pastor Note #61 — Music, Worship, and Pleasing God

            Worship music – the music we use in Christian worship – has become a source of sometimes significant conflict in American churches. It is probably inexcusably foolhardy of me to do it, but I propose to wade into the rapids of this dangerous subject in the hope that we can come to a richer, … Continue reading Pastor Note #61 — Music, Worship, and Pleasing God

Pastor Note #60 — One Church, One Pastor, and a Festival of Evangelism

I had lunch with Franklin Graham a few weeks ago. . . . All right, there were about 500 other people at the lunch. . . . Okay, yes, Franklin was sitting at a table on the other side of the room from me. . . .No, it’s true I couldn’t actually see him, so … Continue reading Pastor Note #60 — One Church, One Pastor, and a Festival of Evangelism

Pastor Note #58 — One Pastor’s Annual Report to his Congregation in Pursuit of God’s Presence

WHO ARE WE? As I mentioned in a recent sermon, I have been listening to a recording of a series of lectures given by one of my former seminary professors, Dr. Gordon Fee, who has written a great number of wonderfully helpful and insightful books and articles, especially on the New Testament.  In one of … Continue reading Pastor Note #58 — One Pastor’s Annual Report to his Congregation in Pursuit of God’s Presence

Pastor Note #57 — Worship: A Surprising Conversation with God?

We script them out carefully, planning each part of the service diligently and in detail, so that we know who will do each part of the service, when they will do it, what they will say while they are doing it, and how long it will take them to do it.  Then, we commit the … Continue reading Pastor Note #57 — Worship: A Surprising Conversation with God?