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Stay awake: The value of keeping alert

Many of us can’t focus for 5 minutes. The technological resources available to us opportune new pursuits without end. We can go in 1,000 directions and nowhere at the same time. This is a spiritual danger. The Bright Shiny Object fabricates a tale of fulfillment but lures us from reality.

5 essential resources for sermon illustrations and why they’re important

Preaching is a grind I welcome every week. Expositing God’s Word is one of the toughest but most rewarding aspects of being a pastor. You can’t treat preaching like a sprint, rushing to get a response on Sundays. It’s more like a marathon, a paced lope in which long strides are made over time.

7 signs of spiritual neuropathy

Some years ago, I was diagnosed with neuropathy—in my case, a strange combination of tingling and numbness in my feet. Though the doctors never discovered the cause, I still think about that diagnosis when I find myself in a similar spiritual malaise of both needle-like tingling and numbness at the same time.

5 ways pastors create a prayer culture 

Most of us agree with John Maxwell’s well-known adage, “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” By that definition, the pastor’s leadership influences the ministry of the local church. This is particularly true in building a culture of prayer. Your culture determines your future, so it cannot be left to chance. 

Be willing to try

“We’ve never done it that way… but I’m willing to try it.” This was the response of one of our church’s worship team leaders after I shared a plan to return from the pandemic that would stretch our all-volunteer team to the limits.

3 prayer lessons from the life of Jesus

There are about 20 biblical examples of Jesus praying. Here are 3 that serve as lessons for our prayer lives.

5 steps for starting new groups

Split. Divide. Birth. None of those words are recommended when it comes to asking an existing group to start a new one, because each one is associated with pain of some kind.

Where Gen Z gets it right and what we should learn from them

I’ve recently taken on the role of teaching a cultural theology and biblical worldview class for high school juniors at a private school in my new hometown. Surprisingly, I’ve found that I’m learning just as much from them during our discussions, whether in class sessions or through our private conversations. 

How to develop a two-room strategy for prayer

A large number of Americans are optimistic about personal change. We make resolutions and set goals even though we are generally terrible at keeping them.

How gambling preys on the longings of the heart

It is estimated that Americans lost $161 billion to all forms of gambling in 2018, with $306 million of that going to online gambling. While this amount is for all types of gambling, the fastest growing kind of gambling is online. Online gambling has been increasing each year, and the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated that gain. As brick-and-mortar gambling sites saw a decrease in activity, online gambling venues took up the slack.