It's easy to poke holes in the false "prosperity gospel" that permeates our church culture with "name it and claim it" promises, while taking advantage of the generosity of undiscerning parishioners and television viewers. Yet, there is another false gospel that is often ignored, and even welcomed into many of our evangelical churches. In fact, it may be more dangerous than the easily identified "gospel-lite" offered by many. This is called the therapeutic gospel and it's deadly.
We are seeing over 900 churches close down annually in the SBC. The numbers are daunting and cannot be ignored. Yet, the question remains "What should be done?" The truth is that some churches need to close. They forsook their gospel witness years ago and are nothing more than buildings in communities. However, there are many who are positioned for rebirth and with partnerships with healthier churches, a rebirth can occur, thereby keeping a gospel witness alive and well in communities where it is needed. In this podcast I share our journey of revitalization with Oak Harbor Baptist Church, a church that apart from partnership and help would be closing it's doors within the year. We're in the midst of revitalization and it is not easy, but needed. Perhaps this could help you lead well into such a story.
What happened to all the youth pastors?
I was asked that question a while back and one answer given was "They're all church planters now."
I'm being facetious, but in this podcast I address the historical growth of student/youth ministry and the current trend and movement of church planting in light of pastoral leadership and biblical authority. I reference a few things in this podcast you may want to check out.
First, the book Reinventing Youth Ministry (Again) by Wayne Rice
My post on "Maybe You're Not Called to Ministry"
Ron Edmondson's article on Leadership - "7 Signs of Weak Leader"
It seems that everyone was posting that 2016 was the year to survive as we neared December 31. The seemingly high number of celebrity deaths played into this sentiment. Why is it so many Gen Xers and older adults were lamenting the loss of these pop culture icons? Grieving the loss of a person known is one thing. Grieving the loss of a celebrity of famous person is viable as well, but was the grief more for the loss of "characters" than the people? Perhaps it is the realization of the loss of one's childhood becoming clear that led to this?
The four connections are our church's prescription for healthy Christians. However, this seems to be shocking to many who have never broken out of the traditional expectations and schedules of local church life.
It's the day after the election. Welcome to Bizarro World! What does this mean for the the church, race relations, the future, and American Christians?
Recorded November 3, 2016
The Cubs won the World Series last night in amazing fashion. Why is it so many of us love the underdog (BTW - it's hard to call a 100+ win team an underdog, but the Cubs have held that title for decades). Maybe it's how we're wired? Maybe it's because we relate? Maybe it has something to do with the nature of man?
As a pastor of a church in a growing and changing suburban culture, there are numerous things we seek to do to engage the community. As we discussed these things, in addition to all the traditional ministry events and minutia of day-t0-day church life, I was growing frustrated. I found that we were asking the members of our church for much. My question was "Are we asking for too much?"
This episode of the podcasts addresses this issue and while specific to our church I believe many other churches, of all sizes, find the squeeze of paying bills, offering benevolence, and serving the Lord by serving and loving others that we do.
Jesus clearly said "Come and see..." when questioned by potential disciples. However, the end of the gospel account says "Go and make..."
Far too many churches park on the "come and see" model and never get to the "go and make" portion of the command. In this episode, Pastor David Tarkington speaks about the command to go and how it is truly not up for debate for the follower of Christ.
Referenced in this episode is Zach Bradley's writing "The Sending Church: Defined" by The Upstream Collective. Check out the work of Upstream at theupstreamcollective.org.
In this podcast, I share details related to church renewal and revitalization needed in our churches. Churches are dying. Some need to, but many just need refocusing. What would God have us do? Working harder is not the answer. Doing nothing is not an option. Join me in this discussion and check out the transcript as presented in the previous blog post here.