People Unlike Ourselves

In my weekly Friday Five interview for Leadership Journal, I had the privilege of chatting with Trillia Newbell, a prolific writer and author. One of the subjects she frequently writes about is race and the Church. I asked her how pastors and church leaders can promote racial diversity: Pastors and church leaders can begin by relating—whether through hospitality or guest speakers—to those unlike themselves. This will send a message to their congregations. People are watching to see what their leaders are doing, and though we can and should pursue others regardless of what our leadership does, the truth is we watch, learn, and emulate them. So if the pursuit of diversity is important to a leader or pastor, they need to actively pursue it themselves. They’ll be amazed by the effect on their church environment. via You can read the rest of the interview here:...

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5 Reflections on My First Year of Seminary

Even though I've been in ministry for several years, writing, pastoring, preaching, I made the decision last year to apply at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. By some miracle of divine providence, I got in and by another miracle of divine providence, I finished a year. Because I'm doing this while I'm pastoring and writing, it will likely take me five years to complete my degree. So what do I think after a year of seminary? Here are five reflections: 1) To attend seminary is a privilege. One of the frequent prayers we make in our formation group is this, "Dear God, thank you for the rich privilege to study at such a good seminary." Most pastors and ministry workers around the world are not afforded the rich theological resources available to Americans. There's a lot of complaining going on in the Church today about seminary, lot's of questions about higher education, etc. But...

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Finding Joy In a Fallen World

I've been deeply convicted lately, about my own writing and interaction on social media. I enjoy keeping up with current events, politics, and movements in the Church. I like writing in reaction to news stories, helping people think biblically about what is going on in the world. I'd like to think I do a fair job at doing this, but I know that because I see "through a glass darkly" even at my best, my view of the world is tainted by sin. It's a good thing to help people size up the world biblically, but if we're not careful (and by we, I mean me), people can assume that the Christian faith is all about cynicism, negativity, and opposition. I recently read, afresh, Philippians 4:8: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if...

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Truth Matters, But So Does Our Attitude

Today I had the chance to interview one of my favorite pastors and authors, Joshua Harris. I'm a couple of years younger than Josh, so his books on dating I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl really helped me adopt a more Christ-centered view of dating and marriage when I was in high-school and in college. I've been reading his books and listening to his messages online ever since. His latest book is Humble Orthodoxy. I first heard him give this message the Gospel Coalition in Chicago in 2011. It really resonated with me. I had the chance, in this interview, to ask him what this term means. He explained: It’s a simple idea, really. Truth matters, but so does our attitude. It’s vital that we be committed to orthodox Christian belief, but we also need to defend and share this truth with compassion and humility towards others. I want to remind believers that...

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