All posts in ministry & outreach

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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How to Bring a Friend to Jesus this Easter!

Resurrection week is one of the BEST weeks of the year to bring someone to hear the clear gospel of Jesus Christ. If you live in New England, 57% of the population said they would respond positively to a FRIEND inviting them to church. How cool! That’s an amazing open door. So, I challenge you…

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11 Ways I’m Trying to Grow in Bible Communication

Every Saturday I imagine how difficult it must be for regular attenders of my church to have to sit through another couple hours of hearing my voice again. It makes me both nervous, and cautious. It makes me review my entire message looking for things that need to “go.” It makes me critically listen to…

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A Standing Ovation to Younger Leaders!

The past three days, I have been privileged to spend time at a marriage retreat led by young pastors and relatively new churches. Call them younger leaders, millennials, generation whatever—the labels are irrelevant. What I marvel at is the moving of God’s Holy Spirit through these godly pastors and their kind! I hope I encouraged…

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Guest Post: Qualities of a Healthy Church Team

By Josue Ortiz A Guest Post—The following post is from a friend of mine, from whom I have learned much. Josue Ortiz and his wife Bekah are currently on deputation to plant churches in Mexico. They are heading to the field very soon. I met Josue a couple of years ago, and my respect for…

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