Why Preaching Verse-By-Verse Is Not ‘Biblical’

Help me understand something, please. (I can already sense the mounting outrage, feel free to throw shade in the comments section). I've preached weekly for over 15 years now, and my style has always been a topical/expository hybrid. I'll jump from passage to passage each week, but in each message I'll only deal with one primary passage, walking through it verse-by-verse. Sermon delivery is an art, and God has gifted many preachers in many ways to effectively communicate the word of God. In my ex … [Read more...]

The Simplest Way to Get Church Members to Invite People to Church

Think of you daughter's fourth-grade school play. She's been working hard for weeks but let's be honest, she's ten. You're expecting a semi-awkward production, several forgotten lines, and a lurching momentum that finally drags everyone across the finish line. But that's okay. She's your daughter and you're proud of her. You've lowered your expectations and can excuse the lack of professionalism. You'll always support her and will be at every performance. But that doesn't mean you're inviting y … [Read more...]

The Biggest Issue Evangelicals Will Face For the Next 50 Years

Transgender bathroom laws, legalizing gay marriage, the assault on religious liberty, the list goes on and on. The reason it seems like Christian values are under attack on every front is because they are under attack on every front. The slow erosion of biblical ethics in American culture has seemingly turned into a landslide within the last decade. Christians are openly mocked in the media, and yet it's politically incorrect to speak ill of any other religion.All of these issues are s … [Read more...]

Would Jesus Boycott Target?

We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity. (Target corporate website)Obviously this policy has created a firestorm of debate and outrage, especially among the evangelical community that holds to a traditional/biblical view of sexuality and gender identity. The American Family Association has picked up the culture warrior torch and started a petition to boycott Target stores (over 850,000 signatures … [Read more...]

5 Reasons Why Blended Worship Doesn’t Work in Churches Today

Yesterday I had a conversation with a pastor friend and he mentioned a truth that I have been advocating for years: blended worship doesn't work in churches today. With the continuation of worship wars and with the unsettling truth that the younger generation is walking away from the faith, many churches are attempting half measures (blended worship) to appease the few younger families left in the church. The problem is blended worship rarely works. Here are five reasons why:1. Blended … [Read more...]

5 Simple Steps to Creating Pharisees In Your Church

No one ever sets out to create Pharisees in their church. Pharisees are the Bible's favorite bad guys, the "Klingons" (for all you Star Trek fans out there) of the New Testament. Everyone loves to hate them, and for good reason. They show up on the opposing end of Jesus more than anyone else in the Gospels.And yet if we look closely, we should be alarmed at just how simple it is to reproduce Pharisees in our own churches today. Don't believe me? Here are five simple steps to creating … [Read more...]

When a Church Throws a Prom for the Special Needs Community

For the past decade, I've been a part of a very special event that you wouldn't expect to see in a Baptist church: a prom. Baptists and dancing have had a long and storied history, but this is different, I assure you. Every spring for the past decade the church I've had the privilege of serving at as thrown a Joy Prom, a prom for the special needs community. It's an opportunity for folks from all ages in the special needs community to come together and have a night where they are the kings and … [Read more...]

Why Your Church Parking Lot is More Important Than Your Pulpit

Preachers like me love pulpits (or standing round tables, if you fancy yourself über hip), and for centuries they've been the centerpiece of today's worship experience. Preachers will spend hours pouring over commentaries, digging into the Greek, consulting the best online resources and 'borrowing' the best ideas from other preachers on their subject of choice. We will walk confidently into the pulpit, convinced that this week's gem of truth will single-handedly win over sinners and skeptics … [Read more...]

Is It Sacrilegious to Preach in a Sports Jersey?

Twice in the past two years I've preached in a sports jersey (specifically a sports team shirt for the New Orleans Saints, can I get a 'Who Dat'?). The idea of a preacher preaching in a sports jersey would have elicited a mixture of awkward laughter and downright revulsion in the churches I grew up in. Many would claim that preaching in a sports jersey is sacrilegious, an affront to the reverence of God and disrespecting the upstanding folks who attend church every week. I hear those objections, … [Read more...]

Are Evangelicals Becoming the Amish of the 21st Century?

No one would equate today's evangelical church with horse-drawn buggies and straw hats, but I would argue that there is an alarming similarity between the Amish and many of today's evangelical churches. As odd and out of place as it might seem to zoom past an Amish buggy in the back country of Pennsylvania, a similar trend is manifesting itself in the evangelical world.Now, without getting into the theological side of the equation, there's a very practical aspect that marks the Amish as … [Read more...]