The Burden of Earning

As the movie Saving Private Ryan reaches its climax, some of us preachers sit on the edge of our seats looking for an epic illustration. The film seems to be leading to a great comparison of Christ’s sacrifice for us. Private Ryan (Matt Damon) has been pursued just as Christ pursues us and has been […]

Four Root Idols

Last week I was honored to spend a day with the team at Austin Stone Church. I preached there two years ago for their summer preaching series, but this time I was blessed to speak to the staff and then teach a systematic theology session at Austin Stone Institute. Each week 300 plus men and […]

Enjoy Your Unique Contribution

As God’s bond servant, your service is unique. Your contribution to the Master’s kingdom and family is uniquely customized to your calling, personality, gifting, and stage of life. In other words, you administer God’s grace through your unique gifting. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace […]

Gospel and the Poor

The apostle Paul reminded the Corinthian Christians of their status when Christ called them to Himself. Brothers, consider your calling: Not many are wise from a human perspective, not many powerful, not many of noble birth. Instead, God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what […]

Budgeting Blunders

As we move into October, many churches are in the midst of budgeting. There are some common budgeting blunders that plague many ministries, and these blunders are often associated with well-meaning individuals who unintentionally bring some bad budgeting practices to the table. Let me introduce you to Calculator Charlie, Sneaky Steve, and Sandbagging Sally. Calculator […]

Please, No More Travel Agents

There is a major difference between a travel agent and a tour guide. This difference is seen best in white-water rafting. There are plenty of rafting outfitters from which to choose along a white-water river trail. A travel agent will mail you brochures. A travel agent will suggest a few rafting outfitters and a river […]

Foundation for Service

The essence of Christian faith is not that we serve Christ but that He served us. In Matthew 20, the mother of James and John came to Jesus, requesting that her sons be allowed to sit at His side in the kingdom—one on His right, the other on His left. So Jesus turned and asked […]

Images of a Faithful Teacher

Our teaching should first be biblical. It should also be faithful to the text. In this video from Ministry Grid, Tony Merida, lead pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, NC, discusses what Paul says to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:14-26. Tony examines and applies images like an “unashamed workmen,” a “holy vessel,” and a “servant.” I […]

Moving People Off the Team

Though the topic of this blog may be perceived by some as cold, I am posting this because leaders frequently ask me questions related to moving people off the team. Ministry leaders are responsible for the flock while also loving and caring for individual sheep. Tension arises when a ministry leader is confronted with a […]