COVID-19 has changed the way we can “do church” for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean pastors, leaders, and people can’t stay connected.
As church leaders, we are facing an unexpected challenge. With the outbreak of a global pandemic, life in the church as we know it—along with the rest of society—is on hold. While the world copes with the new normal (at least for the time being), many of us pastors are left to ponder what this means for our ministries.
I had the opportunity to speak at the 2019 Shepherds 360 Conference on Communicating Truth (Oct 21-23, 2019), and my lesson was on how the ordinances either confirm or else undermine our preaching. Here are some of the highlights from the message I presented. (The full sermon can be viewed here)
I had the chance last week to speak at the Shepherds 360 Church Leaders Conference in Cary, NC to a group of pastors and church leaders on three unchanging truths for a "post-truth" world. Here are some of the highlights from that talk:
Confusion abounds over one of the most important themes in all of Scripture—Israel. Israel may refer to the current political state, the historic land and people of biblical history and prophecy, or even Abraham’s descendants through Jacob whose name was changed to Israel and whose descendants became the Jewish people.
The increasing acceptance of egalitarian/feminist theology among evangelical scholars and especially the younger generation is more serious than it might appear. There are three issues that deeply concern me.
Tipping Point (noun): the critical point in a situation, process, or system beyond which a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place.
“What is truth?”
Pilate asked Jesus this critical question, but unfortunately did not wait for an answer. We read that after Pilate asked, he then left the room and went back outside (John 18:38).
We wish Pilate had waited for Jesus to reply, but even so we have a good idea of what Jesus might have answered. He quite possibly would have simply reiterated what He told the disciples, “I am the way, the truth and the life. . .”
I am convinced that too many evangelical churches in the United States are overly fixated on bigness, excitement, and individualistic improvement, and that we don’t often realize it because we can often achieve a kind of success focusing on those things that give the impression we are on the right track.
Where do you draw the charismatic line?
This question would have been easy to answer 30 years ago. People were largely conservative, or charismatic. It wasn't a perfect Christian world, but at least there was some clarity.
Nowadays, there is a growing obsession with the mystical and a lust for signs and wonders in nearly every corner of evangelicalism. Some people are quite confused or just uninformed, while others teach things that have biblical foundation. The mist of confusion continues to permeate the church and the next generation of young Christians are heading for an even foggier future. Terms surrounding this topic abound as people seek to explain their nuanced views on signs and wonders. Some call themselves “open but cautious” when it comes to all the hype, while others call themselves Reformed Charismatics, who hold to Reformed soteriology but fly the coop on other doctrinal positions. Meanwhile, millions of Charismatic Catholics are merging into the waters of mainstream evangelicalism. What’s more? Who would have thought the day would come when we would have Charismatic Calvinists?