᛫  

5 Reasons to Pray Your Church Would Grow Slowly

If youre a pastor, what youre about to read may seem strange. As you think about your ministry, Id encourage you to pray for slow growth. Our temptation is to want fast and furious growth. Sometimes this happens. Gods hand of revival has fallen more than once. In 18th-and 19th-century America, revival hit many cities,... Read more

Sipping Poison Wont Make You Wise (Take My Word for It!)

The wisest person isnt always the most experienced. I had to learn that the hard way. I graduated from high school as an evangelical kidinnocent enough to feel at home in church, yet insecure enough in that innocence to feel I was missing out on something. I wanted to add a layer of toughness to... Read more

The Bible You Never Expected – The Gospel Coalition

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy. Collin Hansen: Nothing we expected yet everything we need. That’s what Michael and Lauren McAfee suggest. You’ll find when you read the Bible for yourself. That’s the charge to the millennial generation in... Read more

For People with Special Needs, Every Church Is Accessible Now

For my family, social isolation isnt much different from normal life. Because of my sons social anxiety related to his autism, drive-thrus are our normal way of eating out. We rarely get invited to other peoples houses. And even though my church is one of the approximately 30 percent of churches in the country that... Read more

Longing for Justice in Jericho

One summer, a friend traveled to Paris, where he spent a morning enjoying Luxembourg Gardens. A people watcher, he noticed a group of mothers so engrossed in their conversation that they let their children continually wander away. One toddler eventually crossed the street, standing by herself all alone. He jogged to the child, scooped her... Read more

Joshuas Mysterious Barefoot Encounter

The Bible is full of repeat stories. Peter Leithart describes how he used to train his children during family worship to notice these recurring patterns by saying things like Wow! This is the first time in the Biblethishas happened. He might read the story of Moses meeting Zipporah and say, This is the first man... Read more

Is Youth Ministry Obsolete?

What’s the purpose of youth ministry? I, along with many other youth workers, have been asking this question for more than a few years. We often compete with basketball, ballet, and Beta Club for the limited time and attention of their students. Sadly, youth ministry often doesn’t make the cut. Why is that, especially since... Read more

Compelling Reasons to Trust a 2,000-Year-Old Bible

Growing up in a conservative church in Oklahoma, I never doubted the Bibles trustworthiness until someone told me I should. It wasnt until that day when my confidence in the Scriptures was tested that I realized the significance of having assurance that the book on the dash of my car is Gods Word. Everything I... Read more

What We Can Learn from Unlikely Converts – The Gospel Coalition

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy. Collin Hansen: I don’t know that any religious conversion is more unlikely than another. After all, we’re only born again because a perfect man who is God died on a cross and rose... Read more

What Does the LGBT-Discrimination Decision Mean For Religious Employers?

The Supreme Court recently ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. What are the rulings real-world implications for those who maintain traditional, biblical views about human sexuality? How will it affect churches, schools, camps,... Read more

2 Words for These Unprecedented Times

Unprecedented. It seems like the perfect word for 2020. Never before have we witnessed a pandemic, widespread civil unrest, and a judicial redefinition of sex and gender all in the space of a few months. And dont even get me started on the murder hornets. It hasnt all been bad, of course. Our increasing awareness... Read more

Lydia Brownback on Bible Study Essentials (and Challenges)

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy. Lydia Brownback: Let’s face it, Nancy. I think our biggest goal is that women who do our studies would fall in love with studying God’s word and get a taste for it, where... Read more

Who Really Killed Emmanuel and Juliana Bileya

Earlier this month, a Christian Reformed Church (CRC) pastor and his wife were shot and killed while working some farmland owned by their church in Nigeria. The death of Emmanuel and Juliana Bileya made international headlines. Bileya had a ThM from Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was finishing up his doctor of... Read more

Planning a Preaching Schedule for Months (and Years) Ahead

As many churches shifted their regular services at the outset of COVID-19 into online meetings, so too many preachers changed their scheduled sermons to ensure they speak the words needed in this most challenging season. God’s sovereignty is being explained. The need for Christlike sacrificial love of others is being underscored. The hope of resurrection... Read more

How Can Pastors Care for Their Own Souls? – The Gospel Coalition

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy. Lois Kehlenbrink: Hi, you’re listening to TGC Q and A, a podcast from The Gospel Coalition. And this is the Biblical Counseling Series featuring and hopeful answers to your questions on navigating fear,... Read more

Who Is Melchizedek?

Despite being one of the least mentioned and most obscure figures in the Old Testament, Melchizedek, the king-priest of Salem, is foundational for understanding how Jesus occupies the offices of king and priest—a dual honor that finds little to no precedent among Israelite kings. But who exactly is this mysterious figure? How does this dynastic... Read more

3 Timely Resources for Your Church

Designed to help Christians of various starting points into biblical and theological truth, The Gospel Coalition has produced resources that can help your church during this fraught time. The gospel is for all of life, and it speaks a timeless word in every season. Whether you’re interested in personal study or leading a small group,... Read more

Bible Narratives Are Often Gloriously Ambiguous

This point might make your toes curl up inside your shoes, but the narratives of the Bible are ambiguous. Just to be clear, Im not saying that the Bible is false, untrue, misleading, or culturally confined. But its stories are ambiguous. Perhaps you remember being introduced to literary tools in your high school English classsimile,... Read more

5 Words for This Moment

How should Christians respond to this cultural moment of multifaceted anger, fear, and outrage? There is no lack of words right now in answer to that question. Surely youve already encountered countless articles, social media posts, and video commentaries full of statements and suggestions. I dont pretend to have groundbreaking words to add. But I... Read more

How Is Jesus a Prophet Like Moses?

Jesus is a prophet. In various ways, this truth is affirmed by liberal scholars, Muslim clerics, and evangelical Christians alike. So what makes the difference? If you believe that Jesus is God incarnate and the only way to eternal life, as the New Testament teaches, then Jesuss status as prophet is fundamentally different from those... Read more

Theological Triage Is for Church Members, Too

He was waiting by my office door at 8 a.m. on Monday, and I could tell he wasnt chipper. Church members who rise early to greet you without an invitation usually arent. Pastors arent usually chipper on Monday morning, either. I spoke to him as warmly as an early morning before the requisite two cups... Read more

The Gospel Coalition – I Cant Breathe: A Sermon by Charlie Dates

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy. Charlie Dates: “I can’t breathe.” What a striking sound to come from a human being. “I can’t breathe.” God stepped out onto space and he looked around and he said, “I’ll make me... Read more

Mark Meynell on Becoming a Better Bible Teacher

Mark Meynell: So, I have one dear friend who, you know, he’ll read books but, you know, he wants to go and watch soccer and Formula One racing. That’s his big thing. And he is very easily bored when I get all sort of abstract and stuff. And we’re very different, but we are good... Read more

Whos the Mystery Guest in Isaiahs Servant Songs?

In the United Kingdom, theres a long-running television quiz show called A Question of Sport. One round, Mystery Guest, requires teams to identify a famous athlete on the basis of a 30-second video. But the sportsperson is in disguise. For example, they might be dressed up as a cowboy, with a hat pulled low over... Read more

Dungeons and Dragons: Revelation 12 and Spiritual Warfare

Editors’ note:  This is an excerpt from an article by David Shaw in Primer Issue 10, This World with Devils Filled, available now from 10ofThose.com. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. The ghost of Hamlets father has just appeared to Hamlet and his friend Horatio.... Read more

Physical Presence Is a Spiritual Gift

For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each others faith, both yours and mine. (Rom 1:1112) In his introduction to the church in Rome, Paul communicates with deep, familial emotion that he longs to be... Read more

7 Tips for Transitioning from the Pulpit to the Pew

Every pastor called to serve the church of Jesus hopes that the fruit of his ministry lives on for generations to come. Scripture promises a godly heritage to those who serve him faithfully. Every committed pastor knows he’ll one day pass the torch of leadership to his successor, but the transition remains remote until its... Read more