What is worship? Can governments restrict worship? Can churches really be shut down? We talk about this and more!Read More What is Worship? Can Churches Really Shut Down? Can Governments Really Restrict Worship?
I think some people assume that I’m anti-large church gatherings, or anti-a lot of things apparently, because of the stuff I often write about micro-church expressions. So, my hope is to offer some clarification in 4 areas: church gatherings, facilities, paid ministers, and education.Read More Micro-church Misunderstandings: Clarifying My Position on Church Gatherings, Facilities, Paid Ministers, and Education.
You see, we’ve spent countless years building our little castles in the sand, adorning them with seashells and other ocean matter, inviting people to come see what we have done instead of inviting people into a relationship with a mighty God and see what HE is doing, enjoying ourselves immensely as the masses are entertained, only to have 2020 come in and a virus come along and wash it all away.Read More Churches and Sand Castles
There is such a thing as an optimal environment for everything in life. Optimal environments for raising children. Optimal environments for pets. Optimal work environments. Optimal health environments. And so on. There is one thing I’ve been learning with my wife as we explore growing our own food that stands out pretty clearly in my […]Read More Optimal Church Environment
The Age of the Shopping Mall Perhaps I’m dating myself here a little, but I remember when shopping malls were all the rage and acted as the primary place where people of all ages would come and spend their weekends. Friday nights, especially, were spent roaming the halls of the malls. These malls were packed […]Read More COVID19 – Shopping Mall Churches Face the Music
Yesterday (05/06/2020), a new social media storm began to brew as social media everywhere (from Twitter to Facebook) erupted in outrage over the fact that the killers of Ahmaud Arbery still have not been arrested or charged since they killed him back in February of this year. The details resurfaced as new video evidence was […]Read More Racism: Does God Really Not See Color?
Imagine with me, for a moment, a Church where… there is no paid staff, and the pastor and other staff do not rely on the local church to provide for their families. there is a pastor, and other leaders are organically raised up from within the body – including future pastors of more churches and […]Read More All Has Been Stripped Away, But Will We Simply Come?
Most churches are still putting a great deal of effort into making the 1 hour Sunday gathering viable over the internet for most of their church body. Some are making efforts to find discipleship opportunities outside of Sunday morning. And unfortunately, a great deal of people are still screaming that they want things to go back to the way they were.
Seeing all of these reactions, I can’t help but ask, should we go back?Read More COVID19 Aftermath: The Church Cannot Go Back to Egypt
According to Pew Research, about 15-20% of Christians in America are under the age of 30 leaving the mass majority of individuals identifying as Christian in America over the age of 30, with about 45-50% being over the age of 50.Read More COVID19 – To Close or Not to Close – That is the Question
I cannot hold others accountable for the wounds they did not inflict on me.Read More Thoughts on Church Hurt
I’ve got to admit that I do miss the predominantly black church. The big choir, the animated sing/preaching, the dancing during praise, the soulful southern gospel style of music — almost everything. Yes, it is easier to go and be with people that also love those things, were brought up speaking the same kinda slang […]Read More Black Christian/White Church
Matthew 19:13-14 NLT – One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”Read More Let the Children Come
Before The Mandalorian told us that “This is the way” as he protected that undeniably cute baby Yoda (spawning COUNTLESS memes), Jesus had already come before and shook up the world as he claimed and proved to be “the Way”, the Truth, and the life (John 14:6), and Paul who was once persecuting the followers of “The Way” was now claiming to be a follower of the teachings of “the Way” (Acts 24:14).Read More This is “The Way”
What is to follow is a response from me to the article, Why Churches Should Ditch The Projector Screens and Bring Back Hymnals that was posted to http://www.thefederalist.com back in June of last year (2019). I have seen this article numerous times before, and had debated on responding, but it seems to have resurfaced again, and so I felt a respectful push back would do the discussion some good. And that is what I intend to do.
Please note that this article is not intended to attack traditional churches, or solely support contemporary churches, but to directly address the points made by this author in his article. As a worship leader, I have a deep appreciation for all aspects of church musical worship, so I appreciate and see the value in it all.Read More A Response to “Why Churches Should Ditch the Projector Screens and Bring Back Hymnals”
I’ve started noticing a trend with some (not all or even most) Christians, especially male Christians, and even more specifically male Christians who would consider themselves “culturally engaged” or taking on cultural ideologies that conflict with Biblical principles and moral standards found in the Bible.
That trend is this…any time someone (like myself) mentions that we as believers need to love others better (not just those within the church, but also those outside of the church) and be kinder, more patient, and more gentle with people…there seems to rise up from the ranks of the individuals I mentioned above an immediate defensive posture, and their responses come across as almost a disdain for what is being said.Read More When did the Fruit of the Spirit become trigger words for Christians?
After watching the western church response to John MacArthur/Beth Moore, Kanye, then Kanye/Joel Osteen, and now Chick-fil-A I can confidently say that the reality is these folks get triggered just as easily as their liberal and millennial counterparts…they just get triggered over different things.Read More Triggered: The Christian Outrage Culture
You may not believe this, but I don’t agree with every Christian about every topic to come across the Church table. An even bigger shock is that every Christian doesn’t agree with me about every topic to come across the Church table. I mean they should…because I’m usually right…but that’s beside the point (totally joking!).Read More Sticks and Stones – Disagreeing with Grace
In case you’ve been living under a rock or out of the country for the last month, let me just tell you…it’s been a busy couple of weeks for the American Church.Read More Kanye, MacArthur, and Moore – Exposing the Division in the American Church
On one side you have the pastors and church leaders (the shepherds), and on the other you have the church body (the sheep). For decades (if not centuries) there has always been a tension between these 2 sides of the coin, which results in church splits, hurt relationships, broken testimonies, people being turned away from and turned off of the church, and a whole lot more. Each side of the coin seems to think they ARE the coin not realizing that they are but one side of the same coin….that there is another side.Read More Don’t Bite the Shepherd
Recently, I started a podcast with several friends called The Angry Christian Podcast, which explores the topic of anger as it relates to being a Christian. We talk through various topics and questions and scriptures trying to explore and understand better the concept of anger in the life of Christians. Our first episode explored the […]Read More Is Being Angry a Sin?
We have all been there before. Someone (or perhaps even it is us) is trying to communicate something very important but the delivery of the message is conducted in such a way that it immediately causes the hearer to throw up walls, tune them out, or flat out reject the message. It doesn’t matter if what is being communicated is true, important, or eternally impacting…the delivery is simply abysmal and causing more harm than it is helping.Read More The Importance of Communication Cannot Be Over Communicated
I’ve been in a lot of churches over the years, and not just ones that I have served on staff at or been a member at, but also visited alone or with friends, and there is a phrase I have heard quite frequently no matter the denomination, style, or location…and that is this: To understand […]Read More The Fine Line Between Culture and Cult
There once was a man who was in the market for a car that was really good on gas mileage, was cheap, and was small (he worked in a downtown area where parking was minimal). This man found a 2002 Mini Cooper with 56,000 miles on it for a darn good price. He took it […]Read More The Parable of the 2002 Mini Cooper: A Lesson On Getting Help
I’ve always struggled a bit with my temper. OK…scratch that…I have always struggled with getting angry ENTIRELY too quickly. Just ask my wife…my kids…people who have served along side me in ministry…people in traffic…Let me just be real for a moment…more often than not, my fuse was (and sometimes still is) shorter than the line to the men’s restroom at a Backstreet Boys concert.Read More Angry Christian: So Much for that Whole “Truth in Love” Thing
I used to be pretty critical about those who didn’t “go to church”. Clearly, they lacked something I didn’t because they didn’t want to be AT church. Clearly they weren’t as committed to God and the Church as I was…I who was on staff and being paid by the church to be there. That is…until […]Read More Don’t Just Judge, Judge Rightly: An Inconvenient Truth
Being called a Spiritual Son or hearing someone call themselves my Spiritual Father (or mother) was something I wasn’t used to growing up in the Southern Baptist Church. Which is odd, because there is certainly this type of relationship displayed throughout the Bible.Read More A Word of Caution to the Spiritual Fathers of this World
au-thor-i-tar-i-an /əˌTHôrəˈterēən/ adjective: favoring or enforcing strict obedience to authority, especially that of the government at the expense of personal freedom showing a lack of concern for the wishes or opinions of others; domineering; dictatorial. noun: an authoritarian person Nothing is more unattractive to me than a church who has leaders and a pastor who […]Read More 6 Signs of an Authoritarian Church Leader
THROWING UP THE WALLS Since I’ve begun my foray into examining and critiquing modern Church practices and settings in hopes to find what the Church really should look like, I have found that from the moment I began I have been met with a whole bunch of seemingly unnecessary defensiveness from other believers. The walls […]Read More Obese Church VS Keto Church
CLEARING THE STAGE AND THE AIR Jimmy Needham put out a cover of the song “Clear the Stage” back in 2012, but I was only introduced to it a year or 2 ago by my former pastor. It is a song that challenges the notion that worship may, in fact, be more than a song […]Read More Worship Is More Than a Song
On January 20th, 2013, my life changed drastically in an instant. In the span of maybe an hour, I went from looking for trouble at the bar to being distraught at the realization that I was at the mercy of a God I didn’t know. All that is a story for another day. For now, […]Read More Identifying a True Christian
THE MOVEMENT Around 1997, a man by the name of Jay Shafer began a now growing and increasingly popular movement known as The Tiny House Movement. The purpose or vision of most who are moving toward the Tiny House movement is really quite simple: simplifying life. Don’t be fooled by these tiny houses though! These […]Read More The Tiny House Movement: A Big Lesson for the American Church
A ROYAL INVITATION Imagine, the Queen of England sends word to you that she would like for you to pay her a visit. She would like for you to come to England, sit down in her living room (or whatever that looks like in a palace), just you and her, and she wants to talk […]Read More An Audience With the King
It was announced back at the end of October that the church I had been serving on staff at would close it’s doors on December 30, 2018. And so it did. This, of course, left my family wondering what we were going to do in this next season of life. Would we find another church? […]Read More The Table – What is Fellowship?
Have you ever seen those commercials or read the inserts on some prescriptions that seem to describe side-effects that far exceed the issue it is supposedly treating? You know, crazy things like, “This drug treating a mild cough could cause internal bleeding, the breakdown of the intestinal walls, or cause cancer.” And you’re like “Look, […]Read More No, Your Pastor Shouldn’t Be Expected to Lead Your Friend to Jesus and The Church Gathering is Not For The Unbeliever
If you’re seeing this article, and haven’t had a chance to read Part 1, I HIGHLY encourage you to start there as I lay this whole thing out in a fairly structured way. And much of what will be said in Part 2 gets its foundation from Part 1. If you’ve already read Part 1, […]Read More A Pastoral Epidemic of Biblical Proportions (Part 2)
In recent weeks, months, and even years there has been a growing concern for the mental and emotional health of pastors (especially younger pastors) as we have seen far too many of them take their own lives leaving behind ministries, families, and friends behind to wonder why. Many of these pastors were the senior pastors […]Read More A Pastoral Epidemic of Biblical Proportions (Part 1)
I just recently read an article titled 20 Signs of a Toxic Church Culture, where the author Dr. Joseph Mattera recounts several signs that he has observed over time that indicate that the church you are part of may have a toxic culture. The article appeared on Ministry Today Magazine‘s website, and to be fair, the author […]Read More 20 Signs of a Consumer Driven Church Culture
“We need more community at our Church.” “We need more youth events at our church.” “We need more contemporary music at our church.” “We need more children’s stuff at our church.” “We need more outreach at our church.” “We need more…..” “We need…” “We need…” We need….” These are common phrases I have heard from […]Read More We Need More “Community” At Our Church – So I’m Leaving
Brand = the sum of every interaction with your organization This is what my boss told us today in our weekly team meeting. He was speaking, of course, about how we brand ourselves as a business, and how branding goes deeper than simply a logo and some colors. That our brand (as a company) is […]Read More Re-Branding the American Church
There seems to be this…I don’t know…unwritten rule in the Church that any sign of unhappiness suddenly means that you either lack faith or even trust in God, OR you are somehow ungrateful for the lot God has given you at the moment. And many times, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Unfortunately, though, often times the […]Read More To the People Who Mean Well In Your Season of Pain