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…)
Our church began supporting Bryan and Cheri as missionaries in Africa many years ago, and I was always encouraged to read their reports. Their letters were full of stories of people saved, churches planted, training national pastors and workers, and pioneering new villages with the gospel.
When the Stensaases would return to the States for furlough, Bryan and I enjoyed great fellowship, and he was always eager to tell about what God was doing in Uganda.
Unbeknownst to me, Bryan began developing neuropathy in his feet several years ago. This is a painful disease for anyone, but for a missionary who is constantly hiking jungle trails, it’s severely limiting. (more…)
A well-turned phrase can condense profound truth into a memorable statement. For this reason, I like quotes in general.
Some of my favorite quotes, however, are statements from missionaries of yester-year who are still remembered for their dedication and surrender to the Lord. In fact, it is their testimony that makes their quotes so weighty. They didn’t just talk about surrender, sacrifice, and eternal investments; they lived it.
Below are fifteen of my favorite missionary quotes. They are convicting, helpful, and encouraging to me. I hope they are to you as well. (And if you’ve never read the biographies of these missionaries, I’d encourage you to do so.) (more…)