Baptist groups to host Leading Women gathering

As the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship celebrates 25 years, it also celebrates the influential women who call CBF home and are leaders in their churches and communities around the world. Leading Women, a three-day gathering co-hosted by Baptist Women in Ministry, will be held April 26-28 at First Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tenn. [Read more…]

Was Jesus Political?

Jesus of Nazareth was radical only in the classic sense of that word. Radical means “root.” Remember doing your radicals in school, finding square roots? In the truest sense, Jesus was a conservative, committed to recovering the root of God’s dream for Israel and all nations. He was passionate about returning—returning to personal and social holiness and wholeness. Along with the Hebrew prophets, Jesus chose to align his politics with the oppressed, not the oppressors. And that cost him his life. [Read more…]

Giving up Cynicism this Lenten Season

We all have our reasons to be cynical, and no I’m not talking about a healthy skepticism that doesn’t believe anything and everything you hear. I am, to a certain degree, talking about how we can diminish this narrative of “fake news” and come to know what the truth is when we are confronted by it. I do want to be part of a people who “walks in the truth” so the world will know there’s an alternative, more positive approach to life (3 John 4). [Read more…]

Getting Healthy

Our churches deserve us to be in our best condition for leading, teaching and proclaiming. Our families need us to be in our best condition for loving them, guiding them and caring for them. The Kingdom needs us to be in our best condition for being the presence of Christ in the world living out the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. [Read more…]

The Age of the Spirit has Come

Ruach is in all living things. We love to remember the Holy Spirit at Pentacost that comes to all believers of Christ, but we forget that ruach was given to all living things back in Genesis. This significance is two-fold. First, the ruach in Genesis is not something external that we pray to come upon us but is something internal that is discovered deep within us. To know ruach is to know ourselves fully. We often live life unconscious of the things we do not know. It’s why we’re shocked when we hear about news that happened the day before. The same is true of ourselves. It’s why we’re shocked when we realize that we unconsciously drove all the way to work on a Saturday morning. If we want to feel closer to the Holy Spirit, the we need to become conscious of the things we do not know. We need to begin to step from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence and see where that leads us. [Read more…]

5 Things Megachurches Do Really Well (And You Should Too)

Today, beautiful, inspiring artwork is being created for churches not through statues and paintings but through digital media. In 2017, the World Wide Web will have been around for nearly 30 years. It has moved beyond a fad for youth and young adults and turned into a powerful tool for multi-generational communication. If my grandmother has a Facebook account, then your church needs to consider how they are viewed online. Web design, graphic arts, photography, and video producing are modern avenues for creativity that churches often substitute with free clipart or meaningless stock footage. Sacred art tells a story, and hopefully, attempts to display the Gospel in a way that would attract more people to come visit your church. [Read more…]

Lint, Life and the Lenten Season

I believe this is why Lent is known in the Eastern Orthodox tradition as the season of “Bright Sadness”. This is a time where many in our community are experiencing hardships and suffering: Immigrants who remain strong despite the threats and persecution, couples who have lost a child or are unable to get pregnant, or those recovering from the effects of divorce or alcoholism. The list goes on and on. [Read more…]

Lenten Fasting

This Lenten season it may be easiest to give up chocolate or soda in attempt to curb our indulgent habits and transform our bodies. Yet, Isaiah tells us “Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day” (Isaiah 58:3). May this condemnation continue to haunt God’s people. It is often easier to turn inward and address our own pesky personal vices instead of acknowledging the plight of our neighbor and our complicity in injustice. [Read more…]

The Journey You Don’t Want to Take

Well, here we are again. The 40 days of Lent are coming quickly and the road stretches long before us and while I know that the end result is resurrection, I also know it’s going to get a lot harder before it gets better. I know that it is going to be overwhelming and exhausting and that I am already behind. I also know that while the season of Lent is only 40 days, some of us are beginning and continuing journeys that won’t end on April 16 [Read more…]

Criticizing Christian Contemporary Music Will Get Us Nowhere

Criticizing Christian Contemporary Music will get us nowhere. The only thing that is really going to improve worship music is for the church to make the investment in better music, and take responsibility for its proliferation. [Read more…]