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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


Not long ago, a man said something like this: I enjoyed the ministry today, but one thing you said really caught my attention. It was the statement that there is an active as well as a passive side to the work of elders. I need to do some serious thinking about that, because … through most of my years I have been a passive elder. I remember wondering how many other elders might feel the same way. Some will wonder that an article on such a subject could be needed at all. Isn’t it obvious that both active (action) and [...]


Have you ever felt the need to write up a code of conduct when working with folks within the assemblies? Most people would argue that it shouldn’t be necessary if we are in the Word. Everyone should be following the example Christ set for us and the instructions written in the New Testament. But as I was discussing conflict with a good friend of mine, she pointed out to me that not all conflicts are spiritual issues, they are often human issues. I think this is the main reason why there are many instructions in the New Testament in how [...]