In his final instructions to his followers, Jesus is clear; they have a mandate — a ‘great commission’ — over their lives. To be a follower of Jesus, united in His death and resurrection, and the recipient of a restored soul for all eternity, is to be a fully enlisted and endorsed participant in God’s redemptive plan for the world.Continue reading “Disciple-Making is Kingdom Building”
There is something freeing, beautiful & powerful when we get back to the basics. When we strip away the access, fluff, irrelevant, and unnecessary, we’re left with nothing but the essentials. This is how we do church.
Although we’re already a few weeks into 2019, it’s still not too late to share my top books from last year. As you’ll see, my selections center on theology, the church, and pastoral leadership. I tried to limit it to just 4 or 5, but this was a year of hearing from a number of formative voices that are shaping me, my leadership, and our church. So here they are, my top books from 2018.
It’s no secret the church, specifically the broader evangelical church, is in a state of crisis. Attendance and engagement is down, stories of financial, physical, and spiritual abuses are mounting, and any meaningful conversation regarding theology, philosophy, and morality in the cultural mainstream has become nearly impossible. Even the faithful in the evangelical church are becoming disheartened, weary, and have stories of frustration, disenfranchisement and hurt. This growing crisis should cause us to take an honest look inwards through the lens of Scripture, in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, and with a heart of great humility before the Lord.
In the shadows of an ancient mega-empire with a ruler who sits among ‘the gods’, our true King was humbly born in a small desert town that resembled nothing of royalty and worldly success.Continue reading “A Tale of Two Kings”
I remember a time when I went shopping on Christmas Eve for some last minute gifts (okay, probably all of my gift shopping was done that year on Christmas Eve) and was reminded why that was a bad idea. On the eve of what continues to be communicated and sold as the most joyful time of the year, a time of making happy memories and a season of giving, the not-so-hidden ugly side of the holiday was exposed. This is a season filled with stress and anxiety.Continue reading “The Hope of Christmas”
Christmas is about God the Father sending his Son, the promised King, to save us from our sin. It’s an everlasting, immaterial gift that cannot be earned through our good works or deeds, but only received by faith. Mary, the mother of Jesus, knew this fact just as well, that belief brings blessing.
The Christmas season is filled with all sorts of mixed messages. From Black Friday “deals”, to riding in sleighs with bells, Santa Claus coming to town, and images of baby Jesus, it’s no wonder my kids have a hard time remembering what Christmas is all about. And to be honest, sometimes I do too.
In a modern, science-based, data-driven society, everyday supernatural miracles are often difficult to ascertain. Even in our evangelical circles that have a strong emphasis on a ministry of the word (teaching and studying the Bible), we have a tendency to over-intellectualize our reading of scripture and downplay the spiritual activity of God. At Restoration Church, we have sought to recover and acknowledge all that God has done and is actively doing in our world, both through a ministry of his Word, but also through the power of his Spirit.
So if I may, allow me to share a story with you.
The future is a bright one. This is not some post-election day sentiment, but rather a God-revealed promise for all who believe. Continue reading “A Glorious Future”