5 More Reasons I Am Hopeful for the Church in 2023

Jesus promised, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18). Jesus did not assure us He would build our churches or that we could help Him build His Church. He is the One who builds His Church. Because Jesus will keep His people, will push the gates […]

5 Reasons I Am Hopeful for the Church in 2023

A few months ago, I stood in Caesarea Philippi in front of a cave where historians believe a spring once flowed. During Jesus’ day, the spring was known as flowing from the underworld and the cave as the “gates of Hades.” The false god Pan was worshipped in the area, infants were once sacrificed there, […]

A Disturbing Moment in Ministry and What It Has Done for Me

In the last seven weeks, God has moved in beautiful and profound ways in the church I am honored to serve as pastor. We have seen nearly 500 people stand and declare “I Believe” in public gatherings… which I realize needs a bit of explaining. Every church I have served has invited people to “repent […]

Fire, Momentum, and Three Questions Leaders Should Ask

When we lived in Nashville, our favorite place to hang out as a family was the outdoor fireplace in our backyard. I loved gathering sticks and picking up firewood with my daughters. We often enjoyed the warmth of the fire on a cool evening and the conversations around the fire were rich. To maximize our […]

Pastors and the Paradox of Being Resented and Revered

We are reading through the book of Acts as a life group. In Acts 14 we see a glaring paradox in the lives of apostles Paul and Barnabas. They were despised by some. “The unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.” And “an attempt was made to mistreat and […]

5 Leadership Reminders from Launching 4 New Congregations

In early 2019 we set plans, as a leadership team, to launch one new Mariners congregation in Orange County each year for the next five years. Orange County is filled with 3.2M people spread out through 34 cities, and we believe Jesus loves each person and each city. We were in early stages of planning […]

2 Things We Must Do Because the Bible Calls us Sheep

Our dog Roscoe sometimes wanders away from home, but thankfully he is smart enough to come back home or even smarter to go to Brian and Marianna’s home – friends of ours who live on the next street. Roscoe likely prefers their home to ours because when they watch him for sometimes, they feed him […]

Our Fragility and the Church’s Antifragility

In recent days there has been more conversations about “the greatest threat to the Church.” From people concerned about loss of religious liberty to those bemoaning a philosophical or theological position, the statement is seemingly used with ever-increasing frequency. While there could always be threats to how churches currently gather or to even what a […]

Televised Sports, Church Gatherings, and some Good News

College and professional sports completely shut down in March of 2020 and people, including me, believed when televised sports returned that people would long to watch again – perhaps as an escape from reality or from a hunger to feel connected with other fans. To the joy of sports fans, ESPN released the Michael Jordan […]

3 Reasons We Should Help Teenagers Serve in Their Church

I spoke last night to our high school students at our high school outside gathering before the students break into life groups (I lead a group of tenth grade guys). I always enjoy speaking to teenagers, especially the ones I am honored to pastor. I spoke about the joy of serving others and challenged our […]