Perhaps you, like me, have noticed that many people are more willing to come to church at Christmastime than at any other time. Sometimes it’s because they will come to see a friend or family member acting or singing in a Christmas program. Sometimes it’s because if they feel they should at least go to church for Christmas. Sometimes it’s because their heart is more tender to Christ in this season when we celebrate His birth.
Whatever the reason, I’m thankful they come and have the opportunity to hear the gospel. And I see three takeaways from this observation: (more…)
We don’t have formal commitment contracts for staff at Lancaster Baptist Church. I’ve always felt like I wanted the people who serve on our staff to be here because they want to be, not because they signed a commitment to be.
That said, before someone comes on staff, we do have conversations about intent. If someone is joining our pastoral staff or leading a team, I would prefer that their intention at least is to stay long enough that I can invest in and train them and that they can become a real asset to our church family.
Just over eighteen years ago, Tim Christoson and I had this kind of a conversation. At the time, he was in his last year of Bible college, engaged to Nicole, and looking to serve as an assistant pastor. When I interviewed him, I could see that he had a heart for the Lord and a desire to be used of God. I asked him if he were to come to Lancaster Baptist Church, if he would commit to stay at least ten years. (more…)
Do you ever wonder how a nation that carved the words of Scripture into its stone monuments and inscribed “In God We Trust” on its currency could come to the place where the Bible is openly scorned and its truth is disregarded?
Although there have been concerning trends in our nation for years, it seemed to me that the Supreme Court decision this past summer granting same-sex marriage as a constitutional right brought this rejection of God to the level of an official national position.
Just decades ago, we saw the resurgence of what some called the “moral majority” in America, but today, Christians who believe the Bible can only be described as a “moral minority.”
How did we get here as a nation? Is there hope for a national turning back to God? And more importantly, what can Christians do today to make a difference for Christ? (more…)
One of the great blessings of being part of a local church that is reaching people with the gospel is the combined efforts that result in fruit. One plants, one waters, and God gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6). It is, of course, a joy to be part of any of those stages, knowing that all make a difference.
And yet, there is a correlating danger to this blessing—that we would get caught up in being part of a group that is seeing fruit, without investing personal effort or caring to see personal fruit.
It’s exciting to be part of what others are doing, but I believe God is pleased when we pray with old time preacher and missionary, John Hyde, “God, give me souls, else I die!” It glorifies God when we bear fruit that remains (John 15:8, 16). (more…)