THREE THINGS THAT DIVIDE US (AND SHOULD THEY?)

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!Psalm 133:1 ESV The KJV uses the word “brethren” instead of brothers. And while David was not specifically referring to those of us (tongue in cheek) referred to as “the brethren”, he would certainly apply it to us if he could have seen the future. The unity of the Spirit is an undisputed truth. Unfortunately, it is something Paul had to exhort the Ephesians (and us) to endeavor to keep. Living out the reality of unity in the body of Christ requires hard work. It is crucial to decide what [...]

IS A GANG MORE LOVING THAN YOUR CHURCH?

It was heartbreaking because I thought the gangs are a better picture of a family than the churches? The gangs are a better picture of the body than we are? They are having a fellowship and a sharing that we don’t see in the Church of Jesus Christ?Francis Chan This is a sobering thought and I hope that this isn’t true of your church. But if it is, what is the remedy? Could it be like the message to the church at Ephesus that you need to return to your first love? Loving others doesn’t come easily. It takes work. [...]

5 REASONS SOMEONE MIGHT STAY AT YOUR CHURCH

Over 17 years ago my wife and I walked into our current church and by the end of the morning we said to each other, “We’re home.” What makes a church “home”? What makes it special? What makes it worth committing our lives to it? Here are a few suggestions from personal experience. 1. The church is a family This shouldn’t need to be stated. A church that is loving, caring and intentional about serving others will be a true Christ-centered family. This kind of family life is going to be tough to leave. It takes work though. It doesn’t [...]

IS A MID-WEEK MEETING NECESSARY?

I have heard some people recently decry churches who have stopped their corporate mid-week meeting or to meet in home Bible studies instead. Their reasoning is that the church “should” get together during the week to pray, have fellowship and learn from the Word. I certainly have no problem with a church meeting for those purposes at any time. The question that comes to mind is this, “Is a mid-week meeting mandatory from scripture?”  Of course, the simple answer is no. Is a mid-week meeting beneficial? I believe this question needs to be answered by each local church. It would [...]

5 REASONS WHY PLURALITY OF LEADERSHIP IS SO IMPORTANT

Yesterday one of my fellow elders who served for over 32 years in our assembly stepped back from the elders group. He will be missed to say the least. While we haven’t always agreed on every decision since I joined the elders over 6 years ago, we have never had angry or bitter words against each other (or in the elder’s group). I wouldn’t have wanted our leadership without him. Here are 5 reasons a group of leaders is so important to the growth of a local church. 1. Teamwork guards against extreme views The danger of a one-man leadership [...]

IS CHURCH A SPECTATOR SPORT?

Some years ago I was invited to attend a football game at the “big house”.  No, no, not the prison! The “big house” is the nickname of University of Michigan football stadium in Ann Arbor. The stadium is huge with a seating capacity for over one hundred and seven thousand spectators. I have never been so cold. I even went and bought a Michigan ‘hoodie’ in an attempt to get warm, but I digress…. A hundred and seven thousand people in the stands all watching two small teams of eleven players each, plus three officials. That’s just 25 people providing [...]

FELLOWSHIP

What is fellowship? Is it merely sharing a meal together? Is it praying together? Is it both? Is going over to a shut-in’s house or showing hospitality?  Words matter There are two Hebrew words translated as fellowship in the KJV, one noun and one verb. In the Greek there are both feminine and masculine nouns and a verb.  Secular dictionary definitions are, frankly, nebulous and unclear. You could say a club, union league, alliance, confederacy or guild is a fellowship. I can leave any one of those and it’s no big deal. I was in a game club when I [...]

A THRILL OF HOPE

If I asked you right now to picture a peaceful scene in your mind’s eye, what would you see? A mother snuggling a sleeping infant?The muffled hush of freshly fallen snow?Something else entirely? Christmas…the celebration of the birth Jesus Christ, the prince of peace. I wonder how peaceful that birth night was? My realistic mind tends to doubt that it was quite as peaceful as the carols Silent Night or Oh Little Town of Bethlehem might portray. There is rather little that is peaceful in the process of birthing a baby. Maybe the “heavenly peace” came after? Regardless, the birth of our glorious Prince [...]

DISCIPLE MAKERS

Are you a disciple maker? Now don’t misunderstand my question. I did not ask, are you an evangelist?  The Lord Jesus in His last requests to His disciples gives a very simple command. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20. What does it take to make a disciple? Well it takes a team. It takes some to plant the seed, some to water [...]

ARE WE LISTENING TO THE NEXT GENERATIONS?

It’s pretty clear to most people that the two youngest generations in the church speak a much different language than us “older” ones. It’s a language that may be hard to interpret if we are not intentionally listening. I’m referring to those between 18 and 40. If we are going to communicate the Word of God to these generations we must first understand how they think and speak so that we can share the truth of God in a way they will understand.  There’s no point speaking English to a person who only understands French. What is said may be [...]