All posts in ministry & outreach

The Power of Solitude with God

Flourishing through Solitude with God Have you watched any news lately? It’s numbing isn’t it? Is it possible to flourish in a world that is truly floundering? Is it possible to abound with joy in a world that is abounding with chaos and confusion? The Psalmist in Psalm 92 believes so. “The righteous shall flourish…

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5 Simple Ways to Bring a Friend to Church Sunday

Everything you are about to read is based upon the assumption that you attend a church that is “guest friendly.” I’m assuming you attend a church where people are intentionally friendly to new faces and gracious in spirit; a place where the worship is Christ-centered, and the gospel is clearly preached in grace and truth….

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15 Encouraging Thoughts for New Pastors

Last week, and young pastor who is about to transition to New England wrote to me asking for advice. This post is simply the first random fifteen thoughts that came to mind when looking back on my own transition. I’m admittedly NO expert! I’m still limping my way along, trying to be faithful in all…

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Six Steps to Kill a Church

I recently came across a powerful quote from an 18th century English pastor named Job Orton. Ironically, he wrote to the ministers of his day about doctrinal compromise. The struggles of churches nearly 300 years ago are the struggles of churches today. Read what he says: “I have long since found (and every year that…

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The Church I Dream of Pastoring

Joy and optimism ought to characterize every Christian and every church family. The fact is, a lot of Christians are miserable and they show it—they project it. Their lack of joy is like a giant negative billboard for Jesus, the gospel and His church. The same could be said for many churches—they radiate defeat, judgmentalism,…

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Understanding Anointing…

Do you ever feel called to responsibilities that are BIGGER than you? Do you ever cry out to God, “I can’t do this!” You’re not alone! Think Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others. Much of my Christian life I’ve heard the word “anointing” presented in public contexts. Few Biblical words are so skewed and misappropriated than…

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How God Revives a Dying Church

Recently, I fellowshipped with a missionary couple who served for more than 40 years on the foreign field. A huge portion of their focus, for many years in the UK, was to help restore dying churches. In post-Christian America, in this and coming generations, we must not only plant churches—we MUST see older churches renewed…

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The Crisis of God’s Call

Examining the Disruptive Call of God… Not long ago a young ministry leader facing a clear call wrote to me and asked about dealing with the painful reality when God’s call collides with everyone and everything you love and have given your life to. He is being called to leave people he dearly loves and…

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15 Reasons Spiritual Leaders Should Rest

Ministry doesn’t stop—EVER. When do the needs of people “clock out?” When does opportunity to witness “pause?” When do emergencies take a “break?” When are all the church members fully discipled? It doesn’t happen. Therefore, there are only two ways to find durability and sustainability in ministry. The first is to be Superman. (Notice I…

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A Story of Guardians and Innovators

I was wonderfully surprised and grateful for the overwhelming positive response to Thursday’s post about Millennials. I believe understanding these generalizations is critical to benefiting from godly relationships and growing in effective ministry in our day. Thank you for your kind responses and encouragement! I was surprised that what I wrote resonated so intensely, and…

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Things that Discourage Millennial Christian Leaders

I believe in the millennial generation—perhaps because I worked with young adults for over two decades! Because of my age, I regularly find myself on the receiving end of “concerned” conversations from two generations. Those older than me are fearful of where the millennial’s will take the gospel and biblical Christianity. Those younger than me…

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How to Bring Someone 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 a pretty amazing open door. So, I challenge…

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13 Critics You Should Listen To…

Critics are a dime a dozen, some should be heard but many are self-appointed sounding brass. The internet and anonymity empowers them. I’ve had my share is covert critics, and generally they are the same—intentionally deceptive and gifted at distortion. One thing is consistent, they NEVER contact me to get the truth. Truth would nullify…

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Crazy Church—Why Christians Fear for Their Guests!

Churches are a study in variety. Some are grace-filled, gospel-centered. Some are judgment-filled and man-centered. Some are controlling and abrasive. Some are safe and healthy for spiritual growth. Some are Spirit-led, some are Spirit-quenching. Some are formal, some are relaxed. Some are stiflingly stiff, some are refreshingly personable. Some are caustic and critical, some are…

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How to Make 2014 Successful in the Extreme!

appy New Year! Thanks for stopping by and reading my weekly ramblings. It’s a privilege to touch your life in this way, and I appreciate you extending to me that privilege. Today begins 2014! Aren’t you glad to be ALIVE?! Isn’t God good?! He probably answered a ton of prayers for you last year—even those…

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Partnering with New Hope Baptist!

Many readers connect with me often about how they pray for Connecticut and the gospel in New England! We are grateful—beyond words! Thank you for sharing the vision and for asking God to guide and bless. Recently the Lord opened a door for Emmanuel to launch out by faith in a new effort. I wanted…

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Can the Gospel Reach North-East Intellectuals?

The North East has a reputation of being hardened and closed to the gospel. Many in this part of the country take pride in their intellect, their academic prowess, and their financial achievement. New England has been documented as the most biblically illiterate part of the country. Read more about that here. At the same…

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27 Ways to Communicate Better

ne of my greatest passions in life is to communicate God’s Word more effectively. I have a very long way to go, but here are the things I see effective communicators do to strengthen the impact of Bible preaching or teaching. All of this is assuming that prayer, dependence upon God, and integrity are already…

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Shattering Pastoral Caricatures…

Every day I meet people from a variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds. They all define “pastor” with different mental caricatures. As a pastor, I am “mantled” with these caricatures before I even know it—subtly, silently, in the background of each new relationship. I don’t get to have my own persona. Every new relationship is…

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Repost: Skeptics, Spectators, and Servants

In John 11, the amazing story of the raising of Lazarus unfolds. Not long ago, I was studying this passage and it occurred to me that there were three distinct groups of people at this resurrection, and those groups are still pretty much “alive and kicking” in today’s local churches. Picture the scene—Jesus has waited…

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