All posts in ministry & outreach

Tell His Story through Your Story…

There’s hardly a scarier and more intimidating thing to do in the Christian life than to speak up and share your faith with a lost person. Every Christian believes that the gospel should be shared with every person on the planet, but also, most Christians struggle with actually “sharing it.” There is perhaps no greater…

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How to Validate God’s Call…

God’s will—how do you know when and how to step out in faith? God’s will is big. It’s also unknown. It’s wonderful. It’s also scary. And being certain that you are in God’s will is critical having the confidence to go forward. Perhaps you’re standing on the shore-line, looking out at the vast unknown that represents “God’s…

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How Leaders Can Foster Resentment

If you are a leader, you’re probably not planning to foster resentment or to hurt people. But you might be on a road that leads there, and not know it. May I begin with this quantifier: resentment is always a bad choice and never justified. Those who become resentful are making a choice to respond wrongfully. Never-the-less, do…

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Make Meetings Great Again!

Ministry involves a lot of meetings. We meet for church, for fellowship, for planning, for relationships, for outreach, for discipleship. We meet with church family, with staff, with guests. We meet for lots of reasons and in lots of contexts. How are your meetings? Do people want to attend? Are they well done? Well planned?…

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Old Testament Giving and Real Christian Living

This post is a bit outside of my normal subject matter, but I invite you to hang with me! (This is a simplified view of old Testament offerings, not designed to be a comprehensive study.) Have you ever been mind-boggled by all the terms and varying kinds of sacrifices and offerings in the Old Testament?…

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Why Nobody Can Rationally Deny Jesus’ Resurrection

Here are TEN quick reasons why nobody can really, rationally deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Jesus is absolutely plausible… 1. Nobody expected it—not even His closest followers. 2. Nobody would have invented it—The cleverest fiction writer wouldn’t have contrived this story, and least of all a bunch of uneducated, perplexed disciples….

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How My Heart Responds to EBC’s 100th Anniversary

This week, Emmanuel celebrates 100 years of gospel ministry. I write this post for two reasons: First, I ask that readers please pray for our special weekend as we lift up Jesus to many guests and give God glory. Second, I want to reflect on the personal aspects of God’s work in my own heart…

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The New Year Plan that Trumps All Others!

The Single Greatest Value for an Effective New Year Six years ago this week (2010), Dana and I were driving home from my chemotherapy appointment, listening to Christmas music. We were still recalibrating our lives and emotions to the seeming “invasion” of life-threatening illness. I was feeling sick, she was being supportive, but generally life was…

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Brand vs. Belief

Are You Perpetuating a Brand or Passing Forward Belief? What is your cause? What is your flag? What are you passionate about advancing? If it’s less than Bible truth, then perhaps it’s a “brand.” Belief is greater than brand. The perpetuation of biblical truth is far more critical than the perpetuation of a brand. And…

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Take-Aways from Idea Day!

Idea Day East is now history, and what a FANTASTIC day is was! It was a privilege to welcome about 100 Bible-believing, good-spirited pastors (and some of their wives) for a full day of fellowship and idea sharing. Together we spent eight hours covering six broad topics of church ministry—Evangelism, Media, Financial Stewardship, Ministry Growth…

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A Gospel Testimony You Will Love to Read!

The gospel still works! If you ever get past the gospel, you’ve gotten past God’s Word—from the first page to the last, the Bible is about the good news of Jesus. One year ago, a terrified single mom stepped into Emmanuel Baptist Church, and her story of salvation and growth has encouraged me greatly. Perhaps…

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Life Lessons from 25 Years…

Twenty-five years ago, Dana and I were newly-weds starting out in ministry. Looking back, the time has evaporated, our family has grown, and God has given us more ministry joys and challenges than we could have ever imagined. I’m grateful to be married to Dana and to take this adventure with her. So here’s a…

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Thoughts on Engaging Culture

“Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.” Luke 15:1  Jesus engaged his culture. Paul engaged his. We should engage ours.  If Christians don’t engage culture, we lose culture. Jesus engaged culture. The Apostle Paul engaged culture. (See Acts 17) What does it mean to “engage culture?” It doesn’t…

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Compromise, Liberal, Emergent, Repentance…

Some Thoughts on Important Words Like: Compromise, Liberal, Emergent, and Repentance. A friend in my church recently asked me “Pastor, what’s an emergent church?” It was a delight to answer him biblically and provide him with several good books I had read on the subject, in hopes to built his discernment and love of truth. That…

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Gratitude to EBC On Our 3rd Anniversary

Note: The following was shared at the beginning of Sunday’s message with our Emmanuel Baptist Church Family. You can hear that message by clicking here.) Less than a handful of times, in the course of your life, God intervenes with events and circumstances that are powerful, providential, and forever altering of the course of your…

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Five Reasons to Come to Idea Day!

Culture is a moving target. The gospel is not. Connecting the gospel to lost culture is a challenge that requires continual growth in grace and understanding. Are you a learner? Me too! I love to learn from others! Every chance I get, I spend time with other pastors—older, younger; larger churches, smaller churches; longer tenure,…

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What the Long-Termers Get Right!

Have you considered the contrast between ministry that is impressive in the short-term vs. ministry that is effective in the long-term? What values possess the “long-termers?” What do they get right? This week I crossed the twenty-five-year mark of ministry—but I still feel like a beginner. Almost incessantly, I contemplate and attempt to learn from the…

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What I Appreciated about Spiritual Leadership Conference

The past few days, I had the privilege to attend the Spiritual Leadership Conference in Lancaster, CA. It was good to be back at LBC and to reconnect with so many people that we dearly love! Our hearts are full from the encouragement of seeing and fellowshipping with so many wonderful friends from CA and…

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How Healthy Pastors Build Balanced Weeks

A guy jumped off a ten-story building because he wanted to fly by flapping his arms. As he passed by, somebody on the fifth floor asked him how it was going. He said “so far so good!” Nobody wants to be that guy! Too many have gone “splat.” In an effort to avoid this, I’m addicted to…

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Why Nobody Can Rationally Deny Jesus’ Resurrection

Here are TEN quick reasons why nobody can really, rationally deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Jesus is absolutely plausible… 1. Nobody expected it—not even His closest followers. 2. Nobody would have invented it—The cleverest fiction writer wouldn’t have contrived this story, and least of all a bunch of uneducated, perplexed disciples….

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