All posts in ministry & outreach

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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The “Luxury” of Disunity…

It’s the first century. James is Jesus brother. He’s pastoring the church at Jerusalem. It’s big. Lots of people have believed in Jesus—and a very diverse group. (You’ll see that in Acts.) James was a leader—a religious man, well-connected and well-respected. The politics of the day were complicated (to say it simply)—more like a hornet’s…

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Getting Out of the Gospel’s Way…

(Note: Lengthy post—I apologize in advance. But it’s important!) In December we hung a Christmas banner at the street. ECA students hosted a Wednesday night concert. Because of that concert, a young lady  named Emily visited EBC with her family and her fiancé, Gerry. They all heard the gospel. They stopped in the lobby, we…

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New Life in New England

Yesterday was Emmanuel Baptist Church’s second Open House Sunday! Guests were welcomed, the gospel was lovingly presented, and God worked in people’s hearts. It’s an incredible blessing to see God bless the faith of the EBC family. It’s appropriate to share the victory in hopes that your faith will be encouraged. As I reflect on…

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Influence Trumps Authority

Note: This article is directed at parents, but the principle applies to pastors and leaders as well… Do you want your children to love God? Do you want them to truly enjoy living life with and for Jesus Christ? There’s an unspoken principle that many parents or leaders miss. It often goes ignored, unrecognized, and…

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New Sign, New Vision for God’s Glory…

This past Sunday at EBC marked a major moment of renewal and vision for our church family. God allowed us to dedicate a new sign for His glory! It was a moment of celebration, worship, and rededication of our campus. We are asking God to renew His work of preaching the gospel, loving Jesus, loving…

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Blessing the Bruised Generation…

A few weeks ago I had a wonderful lunch appointment with a fantastic young couple. They don’t attend our church and aren’t planning to, but we were thankful to spend time together. During the course of the conversation we were sharing our stories—our journey of faith and growth in local church life. At one point,…

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The Power of Your Words…

Have you thought about your words lately? They are powerful! They either build or destroy. They either encourage or discourage. They either pick up or put down. Words are weighty—powerful influencers. Words stay with people—for a long, long time. James compares words to fruit and water—things that are consumed and digested. What takes seconds for…

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Your First Year at a New Church…

The First Year at a New Church… Recently a new pastor emailed me and asked, “What do you know now that you wish you knew when you arrived at EBC?” That’s a challenging question to answer briefly. I’m a beginner. God knows what He’s doing, but I don’t. This year, I got some things right…

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When You Don’t Know What to Say…

A friend of ours has gone through unthinkable hardship in recent years. In fact, this hardship is so massive and so devastating that, when I see this friend, I really have no idea what to say. And so the temptation is to avoid the conversation. To say nothing. Don’t ask. Don’t call up the emotions….

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When God Leads Change…

Note: Please don’t read into this post that people are resisting change at EBC. In fact, they have embraced change, and seen God glorified by that change for the past year. This post is just my effort to help others release the strangle-hold that “SAME” has on their church. If you call a new pastor,…

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If Only We Refused to Play Games…

Note: Hopefully this post doesn’t apply to you. It’s a bit of satire with a serious message…  Let’s play a game… should be a lot of fun. Anybody can play. It’s sort of like “Family Feud”—let’s call it “Ministry Feud”—or “Pastor Politics!” Round One: The First-Blood Round Either one of us can go first. The…

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10 Wonderful Experiences of Being a New Pastor

Last week I shared 10 Stretching Experiences of Being a New Pastor. Today, I want to rehearse the blessings of serving God with a wonderful group of people. God wants us to enjoy the journey of His will, and Satan desires to make it as miserable and difficult as possible. Here are some things that cause…

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Unbelieving Believers

Our transition to New England has been nothing short of the most tumultuous upheaval imagineable. It’s been shell-shocking, heart-wrenching, and emotionally chaotic. It’s also been abundantly blessed, amazingly grace-filled, and powerfully revealing of God’s heart and goodness. Name the extreme of emotion—from fantastic highs to lonely lows, and yes, we’re there—sometimes both at once! There…

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What If…

What if the Holy Spirit was working in the heart of that person you passed by? What if He would have radically changed them because you invited them to church or told them about Jesus? What if your city is more open to the gospel than you and other Christians believe? What if the Holy…

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Hey, NEW ENGLAND CHRISTIANS, Listen Up!

This is a post for New England Christians! If you know a Christian in New England, please pass it along! I can’t believe this GOOD NEWS! Hey New England—it’s RESURRECTION WEEK! This is the weekend we celebrate the RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ! The God man who gave His life and shed His perfect blood on…

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8 Ways to Help Those Who Grieve

This week our ministry has experienced a devastating loss. Angie Larson—one of the sweetest Christian ladies I’ve ever met, and a joyful servant at Emmanuel Christian Academy, was suddenly taken home to Heaven on Friday morning. For Angie’s husband, five children, and our ministry family, this loss is indescribably painful. And the grieving process has…

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