Christian Unity

Christian Unity
When You Feel Like A Failure (A Good Friday Reflection)
So much of Jesus’ life, ministry and message looked like a failure. Until the resurrection.

The gospel was built on failure.

What we now know as good news started as very bad news.

It was never supposed to work.

For a long time, it looked like it never would.

It started with a young, pregnant, single girl in a backwater town too small to be mentioned in most ancient records. ...

Continue Reading ...
Christian Unity
The Most Important Lesson Older and Younger Ministers Can Learn from Each Other
If I had one chance to tell younger and older ministers how to treat each other, here's what I'd say.

I'm not as old as I used to be.

I just turned 57. A mere 25 years ago, when the average pastor's age was 44, my current age would have made me an older minister.

Today, with the average pastor being 54, I'm in middle age.

In recent years as I’ve traveled and spoken ...

Continue Reading ...
Christian Unity
Why Doesn’t God Answer My Non-Stupid Prayers?
When you're in pain, even good, thoughtful ideas about why God sometimes doesn't answer our prayers can feel trite and fall short.

This should be the shortest blog post I’ve ever written.

Because the answer to the question posed in the title takes just three words.

I

Don’t

Know

A Response to the Hurting

In my previous post ‘Why Doesn’t God Answer All My Prayers? Because Some of Them are ...

Continue Reading ...
Christian Unity
Supporting Small Churches Does Not Mean Bashing Big Churches
When we bash churches for becoming big, we fail to recognize the power of the gospel to draw people to Jesus, in both large and small crowds.

I like big- and megachurches. I wish there were more of them.

I like small churches even more. I wish there were a lot more of them.

As I continue to write and speak about the value of small churches, I’m noticing a disturbing mini-trend that I want to opt out of. It’s ...

Continue Reading ...
Christian Unity
5+ Churchy Things I'm Thankful For – Even If I Don't Like Them
It's important to distinguish between personal preferences and moral absolutes if we hope to maintain our integrity.

I hate opera. And Brussels sprouts. And spiders.

But I'm glad they exist. Because they all serve important functions.

Saying I don't like something is not the same as saying it's bad.

Opera isn't bad. In fact, it's artistically important and brings joy to many ...

Continue Reading ...
Christian Unity
6 Things Church Leaders Need to Know About Small Churches
Big churches matter. Small churches matter. When we work together, Jesus can do amazing things through us.
6 Things Church Leaders Need to Know About Small Churches
Image: Thomas Rousing | Flickr

Ninety percent of the churches on earth are under 200 people. Eighty percent are under 100. There may be no segment of the church that is more normative. But they may also be the most misunderstood.

Here are six truths about small churches that I wish every church leader knew ...

Continue Reading ...
Christian Unity
The 10 Percent Grace Rule: Judging Without Being Judgmental
As Christians and as consumers of content, how do we balance wise discernment with forgiveness and grace? 
The 10 Percent Grace Rule: Judging Without Being Judgmental
Image: Manel | Flickr

I’m going to say something stupid soon.

So will you.

When it happens, I hope people will give both of us the benefit of the doubt and assume the best of us, instead of the worst.

Since I hope to be the beneficiary of such grace, I try to live my life by giving the same grace ...

Continue Reading ...
Christian Unity
No, Our Church Doesn't Sing New Music to Appeal to Nonbelievers
Our church's song list is not an evangelism tool. It's meant to glorify God and involve the saints in worship.
No, Our Church Doesn't Sing New Music to Appeal to Nonbelievers
Image: frankieleon | Flickr

Oh, the worship wars.

Just when you think they’re gone for good, they pop up again.

The debate is no longer raging, but it's not over. Probably never will be.

  • Old music v new
  • Hymns v choruses
  • Choirs v worship teams
  • Organs and pianos v guitars and drums

The subject came up ...

Continue Reading ...
Christian Unity
“Small Church Pastors Should Quit” (and More Monday Google Searches)
I’ve always known that Mondays are hard for pastors. I now have direct evidence that they can be especially hard for small church pastors.
“Small Church Pastors Should Quit” (and More Monday Google Searches)
Image: Alon | Flickr

You give away a lot more than you realize when you’re on the internet.

Now that I operate a website, I get to see some of those secrets because I can read the search terms that have led people there.

I’ve always known that Mondays are hard for pastors. I now have direct ...

Continue Reading ...
Christian Unity
Imagine a World Without Megachurches
Megachurches and small churches aren't in competition with each other. At least we shouldn't be.
Imagine a World Without Megachurches
Image: Trubble | Flickr

What would the world look like if all the megachurches disappeared tomorrow? Would it be a better place? Or worse?

I propose it would be worse.

But, by the way some of my fellow small church pastors talk (and the way I used to talk), you’d think that if all the megachurches ...

Continue Reading ...
Include results from Christianity Today

Read More from Karl

Follow Christianity Today

Free Newsletters

More Newsletters ...