What Every Pastor Should Say in the Mirror . . . Repeatedly

This morning, as I was praying and preparing to preach, I listened to a an incredibly rich and convicting sermon, "The Pastor's Charge" by C.J. Mahaney delivered at the Gospel Coalition Conference in 2009. I love listening to a variety of messages from a diverse group of speakers, so recently I subscribed to the Gospel Coalition podcast. CJ said something that is hitting me as a pastor. I'm paraphrasing, but he reminded pastors that even though they serve in a distinct, God-given role as shepherds of their flocks, they must remember that it is Jesus who is the chief shepherd, and not them. In fact, CJ said a human pastor is more sheep than he is shepherd and must remember that he must be shepherded by the Chief Shepherd, Jesus, more often than he is shepherding others. His sermon was taken from the great spiritual leadership passage in 1 Peter 5. It...

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Friday Five – Tom Nelson

A few years ago, Steve Harvey, my uncle, handed me a manuscript for a book written by his pastor, Tom Nelson ofChrist Community Church of Olathe, Kansas. The book is titled, Ekklessia. Uncle Steve serves on the board of CCC and is passionate about what God is doing in and through the church in the Kansas City area.

I immediately began to read this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. At the time, I was prepping for a series on the key doctrines of the church and so Ekklesia was a perfect textbook for a message on the purpose of the church. I have often referred back to it, as I have found it perhaps a most through work on ecclesiology.

Today, I have the privilege of chatting with Pastor Tom Nelson. Besides serving as Senior Pastor at Christ Community Church in Olathe, Kansas, he is a Council member with The Gospel Coalition.

Living on the Grace Side of Abortion

This Sunday our church, along with many around the country, is celebrating Sanctity of Life Sunday. We stand and mourn the over 51 million children who have been killed innocently. 51 million is a big number, equal to 40 times the total American war deaths, from the Revolutionary War until the present. Take New York and California and wipe out their populations. Take 1/5th of the current U.S. Population.

That gives you an idea of the innocents killed. So we mourn. We’re prolife, not because it’s a conservative issue or a Republican issue. Truthfully, some of my political positions put me in the conservative camp and some put me in the liberal camp and I don’t mind that at all.

But to be pro-life is to be biblical, because God is the author and creator of life. It is an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty over all things. To fight for the unborn is to do our job as Christians fight against injustice.

So we mourn and we fight. But, the church, more than any other institution in society is uniquely poised to win this war, because the church lives, not on the sin side, with 51 million dead, but on the grace side, where the blood of Calvary’s cross empowers us to provide hope to the unwed mothers who face difficult choices.

Friday Five Interview: Sean McDowell

Today it’s an honor to interview Sean McDowell, a guy I have admired for some time. He’s the son of Josh McDowell, whose life and ministry has inspired thousands of seekers to come to faith in Christ. Sean is an educator, a thoughtful writer, and a speaker. Sean is a reknowned apologist, having written several books on Christian worldview. His latest is Is God Just a Human Invention? He is a popular conference speaker, Sean has spoken for organizations including Focus on the Family,Campus Crusade for ChristYouth SpecialtiesFellow of Christian Athletesand the Association of Christian Schools International.

Sean is head of the Bible Department at Capistrano Valley Christian Schools, where he teaches the courses on Philosophy, Theology, and Apologetics. Sean received the “Educator of the Year” for San Juan Capistrano, California in 2008. His apologetics training was awarded Exemplary Status by the Association of Christian Schools International.

Today, Sean was kind enough to stop by for The Friday Five: