Church & Culture

Church & Culture
No, I Don’t Want to 'Shut Down an Atheist in 15 Seconds Flat!'
We need to stop celebrating the Christian shut-down expert. Jesus gave us a better way.

Ah, social media. You beautiful, hideous beast.

One of my least favorite current trends is the growing number of my Christian friends posting memes, blog posts and videos with headlines like these:

  • “Young Student Humiliates Atheist Professor Who Tried To Tell Him God Isn’t Real!”
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Church & Culture
Smile When You Talk On The Phone
People are more open to hear hard truths when they’re delivered from a positive mindset.

Why should I smile when I’m talking on the phone? Unless it’s a video chat, the listener can’t see me smile.

Because they can hear me smile.

Yes, you can hear a smile.

The same goes for talking on the radio, a podcast, or while preaching a sermon. Smiling when ...

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Church & Culture
4 Assumptions Pastors Can No Longer Make About Church Giving Patterns
While it’s still  true that people stop or slow their giving when they’re unhappy, that is no longer the only reason for a drop in giving.

The way people give is changing.

If your church hasn’t felt the results of those changes yet, you will soon.

If you are feeling them, you may be scrambling to figure out what’s happening, why, and what to do about it.

The good news: everyone is experiencing this, or ...

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Church & Culture
Recalibrate: 10 Steps Every Church Must Take This Year, Or Be Dead In A Decade
Everything but Jesus and the Bible must be on the table.

The church is not dying. It’s in fine shape.

Jesus said he’d build it, and he is. Relentlessly and beautifully.

But individual congregations, denominations and ideologies? Now that’s another story.

While the church of Jesus around the world continues to move forward, ...

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Church & Culture
Want To Reach Unchurched People? Don't Create A Sense Of Urgency, Offer An Alternative To It
Urgency doesn’t pull new people in, it reminds them why they’re staying away.

When I was in training to be a pastor, I was taught to create a sense of urgency to reach people for Jesus.

I was taught wrong.

  • “Jesus is coming and you’d better be ready!”
  • “The world is a mess and only Jesus can fix it!”
  • “What if you were to die today and didn’t have a relationship with Jesus?”
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Church & Culture
8 Assumptions Pastors Can't Make In A Post-Christian Culture
The so-called Christian culture is going... going... gone. We need to get ready for what’s next.

I’ve never lived in a predominantly Christian culture.

But lately, I’ve been travelling a lot through the Bible Belt, so I’m seeing what a Christian culture looks like for the first time in my life. Churches on every corner, Christian radio and TV on more than ...

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Church & Culture
Sorry Christians, We Can’t Blame the Media Any More
More than ever before, we have an obligation to act in a Christ-like manner. Not just in church, but everywhere.

Christians love playing the “blame the media” game.

Not long ago, we might have had a legitimate claim that our reputation was bad because the media was against us. That’s not the case anymore.

Oh sure, the media in general may still think negatively about Christians, ...

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Church & Culture
4 Ways Your Church Can Help People Simplify Christmas
If we want people to slow down, simplify and learn the joy of giving, our church needs to be a place they can do that.

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but Christmas is also the busiest.

A few years ago, our small church decided we weren’t going to compete with all the shopping, school plays, office parties and visits to Santa that were filling people’s calendars. We ...

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Church & Culture
Joel Osteen, Houston Relief, And The Downside Of The Megachurch Spotlight
Not everyone is required to be a first responder. Or even to respond to every crisis. That’s simply not possible. But, as the body of Christ, we’re all called to respond.
Joel Osteen, Houston Relief, And The Downside Of The Megachurch Spotlight
Image: convoyofhope.org

Houston is devastated. But, even as the flood waters recede, the crisis is far from over. The people of Houston need our help, prayers and material assistance.

So, before I get to the subject of this post, here’s a link to the best relief organization I know. Convoy of ...

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Church & Culture
Evil Is Real, But Love Is Stronger
We don’t need a weak, shallow, moderated response right now. We need a strong, deep and clear response. That’s why we need Christ's love.

Evil is not a theory.

It’s not a concept created by angry, red-face preachers trying to stop people from having a good time.

Evil is what flies airplanes into buildings and drives an automobile into pedestrians.

But evil doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

No one wakes up one ...

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