Church & Culture

Church & Culture
...But I'm Okay With MY Clichés
Be careful that you don’t find yourself leaving shallow expressions of truth for shallow expressions of falsehood.

A lot of people are talking and writing about leaving the Christian faith lately.

For many, their reasons are profound and horrifying. I have and will write about those tragedies, but this article is not about that. It’s about others who are leaving for reasons that are ...

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Church & Culture
8 Life and Leadership Lessons From The Jayden K. Smith Hoax
If we don't learn what we can from this silly little episode, we might fall for the next big one.

If you were on Facebook in the last few days, you heard from Jayden K. Smith.

Actually, you didn’t hear from Jayden, you heard a lot about Jayden.

For those not on Facebook, here’s what happened.

Someone started a rumor that if you accepted a friend request from Jayden ...

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Church & Culture
Why Was I So Hard On That Church I Visited?
Impacting our community for Jesus takes more than having a great worship service and solid, biblical teaching.

Last week’s blog post, Why Some Great Churches Never Impact Their Community, got a lot of feedback on Facebook, Twitter and email.

Several readers were concerned that I had been harder on the church than I needed to be. Their primary concerns were:

1. I made a snap judgment ...

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Church & Culture
Why Some Great Churches Never Impact Their Community
Your church has the world's greatest treasure. Don’t hide it behind layers of misdirection and insider lingo, daring people to find it.

Several years ago I had the privilege of being in a great church service on a trip away from home.

The worship was dynamic, the people were friendly, the message was biblical and engaging, the sense of the presence of God was genuine.

As I drove away, I thought, “What a ...

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Church & Culture
Grandma Didn't Go To Church: 9 Ways First-Generation Christians Are Making Me A Better Pastor
How do you pastor people when they're not just the only believers in their family, they’re the first Christian in generations?

For the first time in American history we have a generation without Christian parents or grandparents.

Many of the people – especially the youth – who give their lives to Jesus in the church I pastor were never taught Bible stories, prayed at meals or bedtime, or ...

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Church & Culture
4 Reasons Our Church Stopped Doing 'Come and Watch' Events (And 5 Alternatives)
When a first-time guest comes to a church, they should see our faith at its deepest and best.

Many churches have experienced great success and growth doing big ‘come and watch’ events.

Even if choir cantatas on Christmas and Easter have been replaced by an illustrated message with stage design, lighting and video, the idea is the same – to draw people ...

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Church & Culture
The Resurrection: Good News vs Fake News (An Easter Sermon Idea)
The first challenge to the truth of the gospel wasn’t a competing idea or argument. It was the planting of a fake news story.

Easter is coming! All over the world, pastors are preparing to speak to what is usually the biggest church crowd of the year.

If you’re wondering how to make the wonderful, but familiar resurrection story feel fresh again, here’s an idea I’m working on.

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Church & Culture
Why Doesn’t God Answer All My Prayers? Because Some of Them are Stupid
We need to become better pray-ers. But how? Offer prayers God has already said he’ll answer.

God doesn’t do stupid things.

No matter how many times we say “please”. No matter how much faith we have. No matter how hard we pray.

He does strange things. Hard-to-understand things. Even things that can seem totally messed up and cruel from our limited vantage ...

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Church & Culture
Clumped Christians: When Fear Overwhelms Faith
When a healthy church gathers for worship it should renew our passion to mobilize and move out in ministry.

Historically, whenever the church of Jesus is dynamic and healthy, it grows.

But healthy, missional Christians don’t just clump together in larger and larger groups.

The healthier the church is, the more Christians mobilize into outward-looking teams to start new groups. ...

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Church & Culture
8 Reasons Churches Should Partner with Secular Community Groups
How can we reach our communities if they have no idea we love them? And how will they know we love them if we don’t work alongside them?
8 Reasons Churches Should Partner with Secular Community Groups

Our church used to partner exclusively with other Christian ministries. For everything from missions to community service.

Before that, we would only partner with ministries in our denomination.

Today, while we still only partner with Christian groups for missions (can’t ...

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