Today is not a rehearsal for anything. Today is your life. Read More
January 22, 2015
“There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more.” Proverbs 11:24
Have you experienced this principle firsthand? How about your church? Kathy and I have. And as our church family has scattered what the Lord has entrusted to us, over time we have experienced the kind of unexpected provision that only He could bring. You can’t out-give God—and I would rather have 90% in partnership with the Lord than 100% on my own. But many people struggle in this area. How can you help those you lead to live and experience the blessing of a generous life? That’s what today’s Fast 5 is all about.
December 30, 2014
“Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire.” Martin Lloyd Jones once said that, and it’s a favorite quote of mine. If a man can speak dispassionately about the Word of God, he has no right to be in a pulpit. But you can have right theology and authentic passion, yet not be growing consistently in the impact and effectiveness of your preaching.
I know what it feels like to reach Monday and wish I’d done some things differently on Sunday—no doubt, you know the feeling too. By this weekend, we’ll be into a new year. So for today’s Fast 5, here are five impactful things you can do to preach a better sermon, starting with your first message of 2015.
December 24, 2014
If you’re like most believers, you want to connect with your family on Christmas Eve and Christmas day to have fun, play games, share a meal together. But if you leave that time and haven’t connected meaningfully about your faith in the Lord, it just seems kind of hollow in the end.
I’d encourage you to take some time to come together with your family and gather around God’s Word. You don’t have to have something powerful or profound to say—the power is in the Christmas story itself. My kids remember our family living this out together at Christmas every year, but I don’t think they recall a single thing I’ve said. What does stick with them is that we cared enough to help them see that our time together is about so much more than giving gifts, eating turkey, having time off—it’s about the real meaning of Christmas, Jesus Christ Himself.
Merry Christmas to your family from ours! May you be refreshed anew in your spirit and your relationships as you celebrate our Savior and the significance of His coming.
December 09, 2014
Forgiveness is the decision to release someone from the obligation that resulted when they injured you. Many in ministry leadership are failing in this area, to the detriment of their churches, their families, and themselves. When people end up in the ditch and out of ministry, it is very often because of unforgiveness.
Two years ago, we made a Christmas Eve short film for our church, called The Ride, dealing with some of the harsh realities that can surround forgiveness and reconciliation. Though only intended for our church family, this film went on to win awards and impact churches across the country. And tonight, Trinity Broadcasting Network will air it in a special program at 9pm, CT. I’d love to encourage you to tune in, or you can order your own copy here as a gift or ministry tool. You’ll be glad you did.
December 01, 2014
Every pastor has felt the weight of disappointment as significant people transition through their ministry from life stage to life stage. Youth pastors probably feel this most potently of all. Too often they see students who had flourished in their faith begin to struggle during the often tumultuous post-college years.
We have seen this happen in our church, and I am excited my son Luke is trying to do something about it through the Vertical Conference. Though catalytic events aren’t the only thing needed for spiritual growth, they can foster amazing work in re-directing us at crucial moments. The agenda for this event is simple: seek after God through prayer, worship, and the Word to start 2015. Listen below as Luke and I talk about ministry to young people, and I give some advice to 20-somethings.
As a faithful reader of this blog, I hope you will consider helping someone under your influence get to our beautiful church in downtown Chicago from January 1-3, 2015, to seek after and be changed by God. As a thanks for reading, use the code:VCGROUP at registration by Dec 5 for $50 off the regular registration price.