A Pastor's Toolbox

There are many critical and essential aspects to being a church. Most basically, properly administering the ordinances/sacraments of baptism and communion, and having at least one biblically qualified teaching elder/pastor/planter dedicated to faithfully expositing the Word of God and shepherding new members. But this post isn't about those essentials. Today I'm going to be talking about one of the challenges most planters and church plant teams face when starting a new church: the toolbox.

When I say toolbox, I'm talking about things like software, hardware and practical methods for leading a service (and preparing for one) and working with people. When I started working through these issues and researching practical ways to leverage modern day tools available to me to save time and money, which most new churches are very limited on, I realized there isn't any simple one-stop-shop that fits everyone. This isn't going to be a comparison of similar products but rath…

Church Planting in a Small Town

A new focus It's been over two years this month since my last post. I've been busy and focused on many other things. But I miss it. I miss writing. It is so time consuming but also so rewarding. It helps focus my thoughts, reflect on what's going on in my life, and as I've been told by a few... some people enjoy reading my articles! But the other reason I feel I drifted away from writing is one of reasons people also drift away from reading. My blog didn't have a particular purpose or focus other than simply writing what was on my mind at the time. Starting today I've decided to change that. For reasons that will become clearer shortly (hopefully), going forward I have decided to focus my writing on a specific topic. Small town church planting. I plan on it being more informative than instructive. And I hope that it can serve in some small capacity to bring encouragement and insight to other church planters and pastors out there who are laboring through the ar…

Your Kingdom Come

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Worship. “Our Father who is in heaven,”
Reverence. “hallowed be your name.”
Desire. “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Dependence. “Give us this day our daily bread,”
Forgiveness. “and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
Deliverance. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

To Pray "Your Kingdom Come"This part of the Lord's Prayer is a prayer of the missionary heart. While we look at this area of the Bible today, I’m going to position it in two ways. One, that we pray this prayer and understand it’s implications in a very personal way. And two, as a forward-looking, hope-finding, promise-keeping, world-redeeming, finalization of all things the Lord has planned to accomplish. We want to pray this prayer with both a personal and global perspective.

Seek first the kingdom In Matthew 6:33 we read, “But seek first the kingdom of God …

Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage

On June 26, 2015, the United States became the 21st and most populous country to legalize so called “same-sex marriage”, as it ruled on Obergefell v. Hodges. Following this ruling were many celebrations. You can’t use the web today without seeing peoples profile pictures overlaid in rainbow colors, pride flags being waved on the streets, and photo ops being taken in front of and inside public buildings. Everybody is talking about it. On the other side you have arguments breaking out, store owners making the news for banning gay people from their businesses, and the usual violent responses that we see during highly publicized controversial public debates.

The homosexual agenda For the past few decades societies have been pushing the homosexual agenda both in the United States and abroad. The gay rights movement began around 1970. But before we start thinking that this is an exclusive historic event in our nation's history, we have to remember another tragedy took place in the early…

I have no greater joy...

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." - 3 John 1:4 Redeemed. A life for Christ. On October 12th, 2014, I baptized our first child, Audrey, at church. Audrey is seven years old. For each of those seven years Cathy and I have been laboring day and night to show her Christ. For seven years through tantrums, lies, greed, and other ways that the sin that ruled her life (though masked by an adorable and deceptively soft exterior) revealed itself, we have not just taught much but have also learned much about the total depravity of man. It is with great joy today that I can witness the working of the Holy Spirit in Audrey's life. It is a great peace in my soul to know that Audrey will be with us for eternity.

Being in the world but not of it With Audrey we were new parents. Being new parents we made numerous common mistakes and probably invented new ones along the way... Thank God for his grace. Through the course of our learning and gro…

We Fight

"True Christianity is a fight" - J.C. RyleThe distractions of life In a world where we can video chat with friends across the globe from the comfort of our backyards, find and purchase a new weed eater in a couple clicks and have it delivered the next day from across the country,  instantly and effortlessly start reading nearly any book (or even have it read to you), or sit back with a cold drink after a long day at work, it is a typical day to have our lives overwhelmed by everyday distractions. We have a limitless supply of information, an abundance of resources, but only hours in a day.

We are being deceived It is important to remember to turn off the noise (including music, TV, and the kids) and find a quiet place to spend time with our Lord daily.
"Be still, and know that I am God." - Ps. 46:10a God is our refuge and strength. We often try to fight through the battles of life with our own strength, which will always ultimately result in our failure.  Worst yet…

Be Careful What You Pray For

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” My oh my, the depth of His Truth, the continuous challenge of growth, and the purpose He desires to show us!

Over the last few months we’ve been contemplating what seemed like a worthwhile opportunity to expand our backyard into an additional two lots, by purchasing a foreclosure next door. Oddly, this is during a time that we’ve been actively and passionately ridding ourselves of needless possessions and wasted spending, in an effort to invest more in the active and ever-present spiritual war that is going on in this world! My rationalization was that it was for a good cause, our family, our children, and enjoyment. Of course we want everything for our children. But the fight against the comforts and luxuries and other desires of this world are never-ending! It is a fight worth fighting!

Our purpose, our reason for existence, our “plan” that is so quickly missed in many lives... We are created for God…