The Message Most Needed, But the One Few Want to Hear

As I shared on Monday, I’ve finally gotten around to answering your blog survey questions from last year. On Monday, I answered questions about the rapture and the second coming of Christ.

Another question from the survey was, “Can you give some advice on equipping church planters?”

Another was, “When you discern that God has called you to ministry, what advice do you have with respect to that calling?”

Still another question was, “I read your book Finding Organic Church about apostolic ministry and I believe that I may be called to that ministry. What would you say is the most important quality in someone who has that calling?”

To my mind, all three questions have the same answer.

So I thought the best way to address them was to publish (for the first time) a transcript of a message I delivered to a group of hungry Christians that were attempting to live in community over a decade ago.[Continue Reading…]

Someone Didn’t Get the Memo: Being a Christian in a Social Media Saturated World

In the 90th episode of my podcast, Adrian Warnock and I discuss what Christians need to know about the online world — including social media.

There are moral and spiritual dimensions to reading and posting online. Consequently, God’s people need to be attuned to His ways as it applies to social media, blogging, email, etc.

Adrian and I recorded this podcast with him in England and I in the USA. Amazing!

Oh, Adrian asks you all a question at the end of the podcast. We’d appreciate it if you answered it in the comments below.[Continue Reading…]

How Returning Emails is a Reflection of Your Walk with Jesus

The following is a guest post by T.E. Hanna.

I’m posting this guest article for two reasons: (1) It’s excellent and sorely needed today within the Christian community, and (2) I’ve never heard or read anyone else address it.

Here’s my preface to Hanna’s article.

Have you ever emailed a fellow Christian and never gotten a response? Realizing that they may have missed your email or it went into their spam folder, you send several follow ups and there’s still no reply.

Granted, if you are writing someone flames, nasty notes, personal attacks, spam, or contentious statements, you should expect to be ignored.

But how about if you’ve been very generous to someone . . . maybe they’re even a peer of yours . . . and they simply don’t reply to you.[Continue Reading…]

Should Christians Fall in Love?

The following was written by DeVern Fromke. It’s an excerpt from his superb book, Unto Full Stature.

DeVern’s chapter on this subject is about 3,000 words. I’ve shortened it considerably so that it’s more digestible for a blog post.

Has God intended that a Christian should fall in love?

It seems there are two false notions that dominate the world’s thought about love. First of all there is the fatalistic notion as expressed in the phrase “fall in love.” The very expression seems to suggest that love is a sort of trap into which one falls and, having fallen in, one is a hopeless victim unable to extricate oneself.

Second, love is thought of as an irresistible power that may overcome a person at any time. And, willy-nilly, you have to love a certain one regardless of circumstances and conditions. If things are such that you cannot get the one you have fallen in love with, then your fate is tragic. As the romance lyrics picture, you must pine away in regrets and unsatisfied longings. It is this warped notion of falling in love that has ruined homes and married couples. It accounts for the scandalous record of divorces in our nation.[Continue Reading…]

Scratch a Christian and You’ll Find Out What They’re Made Of

While most of my blog posts are for Christians in ministry, this one is especially so . . . and I believe God has put it on my heart to share it. Thus I’m not going to ignore the still small voice, even though it would be more convenient to do so.

I’ve been following the Lord for over 30 years, and I’ve made an observation that I hear few people talk about today.

It can be summed up by this sentence: Scratch a Christian and you’ll find out what’s underneath.

Gifted communicators are a dime a dozen.

But when a Christian “leader” is scratched and they react in the flesh, then their “leadership” isn’t worth a toot on a tin whistle.

By contrast, Christian leaders who have been sufficiently broken before God wherein they are unoffendable  . . .  Christian leaders who respond gently when criticized . . . Christian leaders who react with grace if someone corrects them . . .  Christians who don’t return evil for evil, even when persecuted or mistreated . . . are rarer than chicken molars.

By contrast, Christian “leaders” who will defend themselves at the drop of a hat and attack those who cross them (intentionally or unwittingly) are countless.

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. [Continue Reading…]

Sin Metrics: The Sins that Christians Condemn & Excuse

“Christians get very angry toward other Christians who sin differently than they do.” 

~ Philip Yancey

I grew up in a denomination that made homosexuality the gravest of all sins, trumping every other transgression (except murder, maybe).

Many of the people in that church were dutifully self-righteous when it came to certain sins. Those who didn’t commit the sins they deemed the worse (externally, that is) saw themselves as more “pure” than their fellow brethren who may have stumbled in those areas.

I regret to say that in my early years as a Christian, I adopted this same attitude. Ironically, these same people winked at the sins of gossip, slander, outbursts of rage, judging the motives of others, and lying. Excuses were routinely made in an attempt to justify these “lesser” sins (so the thinking went). In addition, most of us were monumentally disinterested and unmoved by things like poverty, racism, sexism, genocide, and homelessness.[Continue Reading…]

A Most Pernicious Temptation by T.E. Hanna

I’m taking speaking invitations. If you wish to book me for your event or you are interested in attending an event, click this link.

The following is a guest post by T.E. Hanna. I felt it was so good, I wanted to publish it for my readers.

It is a rampant problem in many Christian circles that believers learn to use the right words rather than embody the right life. Specifically, they are enticed to communicate about people rather than talk to those people.

Perhaps the most pernicious of these temptations comes to us in the form of gossip and slander. If we can simply pinpoint the sins of others — real or imagined — we can elevate ourselves to the righteous role of sage and judge in one fell swoop.

If challenged on it, we can simply default to claims of “accountability” or hide behind the “need to pray” for that individual’s struggles. In the process, we retain the mask but ultimately usurp the very meaning of righteousness, accountability, love, and prayer. More so, we violate love and we thus sin.

Ironically, we do it all in the name of Jesus. 

Left unchallenged, the plagues of gossip and slander will take root within the individual and then quickly spread to those around them, poisoning the minds of others.[Continue Reading…]