Who will you invest in?

When it comes to leading the church, making disciples, and ushering in God’s kingdom, we often wonder where to take the first step.

While thinking through my own ministry experience, I came to a conclusion. It’s not a new one. In fact, it’s been taught over and over again in my ministry career by a variety of voices. It’s a simple question that I have come to believe is the root of leadership, and yet it’s one we often don’t think to ask often enough:

Who will you disciple?

Read More

It’s a Beautiful Thing

I was recently asked in a class to share something I am passionate about. 

As students shared their responses, my thoughts wandered through a couple different responses.

I wanted to talk about my love for nature, kayaking, hiking, and just sitting outside watching the sun rise/set.

But I also wanted to talk about technology. I just got the iphone6. I love it. I also love the Macbook Air I’m writing on. I love my Jambox, iPad, Roku, High-speed Internet, and everything I can do when they work together.

Read More

Jacob’s Ladder - Who Needs It?

The essence of prayer walks is meeting God in unlikely places.

While reading Mark Batterson’s book “Draw the Circle: A 40 Day Prayer Challenge,” I was struck with a verse he quoted from the book of Genesis. In it, Jacob proclaims:

“Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”

As I thought about the significance of prayer walks that my church is embarking on, and the call to take our faith and prayers into the ordinary places of life, this phrase hit me like a ton of bricks.

I had to explore more, so I found the passage in Genesis 28:10-22, read it, and opened up my commentaries to learn more.

 Jacob was on a journey, and slept along a solitary road for the night. While sleeping, he dreams.

 This dream is the somewhat famous story Jacob’s ladder—the story angels go up and down. Well, that’s how the afro-spiritual describes it anyways. More than angels, they were really messenger-priests, and more than a ladder, it was likely steep steps or a ramp—something similar to other ancient near east temples. Like this one from an Ur civilization:


Read More

I saw this photo and was reminded of the post “The Church Isn’t Dying.”

I saw this photo and was reminded of the post “The Church Isn’t Dying.”

The Church Isn’t Dying


Churches are dying, but the Church isn’t.

It would be like saying humanity is dying because thousands of people die every day.

Sadly we lose loved ones often. And it breaks my heart every time I counsel someone who loses someone close to them. Death is a destructive force.

Yet just because thousands of people die every day (about 150,000 to be exact), does that mean that humanity is dying?

150,000 people die, but more than twice as many are born every day.

But what if this wasn’t the case? What if 150,000 people died every day, but  new people were never born?

Read More

All Scripture is God-breathed


This is the bedrock of evangelicalism, and yet what does it mean exactly?

For example, in one of Paul’s letters, he says, “To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord)…” How can this be God’s Word when it clearly states in “God’s Word” that it’s not God speaking?

This got me thinking on the nature of scripture. This is a heated debate in this day and age, and I am nervous to even address publicly. In fact, it’s nothing new that division in the church is often related to how we read and understand scripture.

All the same, I cannot help but reflect on the single most important verse in our canon related to the nature of scripture and it’s authority. It’s a familiar one. Paul, in a letter, says to Timothy:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

For the sake of argument, let’s say this applies to the Old and New Testament (even though it was written before the New Testament was completed).

What does it mean for scripture of be God-breathed?

Here are some popular interpretations:

Read More

What if Something is Missing?

I’ve been reading Andy Crouch’s book, Culture Making, and I am struck by a section on how he talks about changing culture. He says you can’t do it by imitating it, criticizing or critiquing it, or consuming it. You change culture by creating it. You make something new to replace something else.

But here’s the problem with creating culture:

The philosopher Albert Borgmann has observed, human cultures have the strange yet fortunate property of always being full. No culture experiences itself as thin or incomplete… Consequently, cultural change will only happen when something new displaces, to some extent, existing culture in a very tangible way.* 

You see, cultures always feel they are full. They always think they have it all together. They always assume they have everything they need to be happy.

Read More

"Persecuted" the Movie, and why I’m not going to go and see it

I recently saw an ad on my Facebook wall that made me just a little frustrated. I’ll get to that in a second, first some background. 

According to persecution.org, there is a wide range of persecution in the world:

In some instances, that suffering can be as horrifying as the execution of Christians for their faith. In others, that suffering can be the loss of a job for representing Christ in the workplace. Both are forms of persecution that exist in the modern, and both must be addressed.

In that same article, they listed 7 countries where Christians suffer the most.

America is not on that list.

Yet, for some reason, many Christians today feel persecuted in America.  In fact, some will even argue that this article is a form of “persecution” against American Christians. (In a world where Christians are killed for their faith, I don’t pay much attention to claims that a blog post by a no-name pastor is actual persecution against the church.)

So here’s the ad that frustrated me: 


When I saw this Facebook ad, I clicked on it to see whether it would be about actual persecution happening in the world, or whether it was just feeding into the American persecution complex.

Read More

Why Mike Slaughter is Legit

I recently took a class with Mike Slaughter, the lead pastor at Ginghamsburg UMC. He’s basically a rockstar United Methodist, which means you either love him or you hate him. I wasn’t sure which I would feel. I have to admit, spending a week at Ginghamsburg challenged me in a lot of ways and inspired me in a lot of other ways.  I have never met so many passionate, humble, caring people—many of whom serve with no pay. And it takes a special leader to create an environment of this kind of service. I could write an entire paper on what I learned from that class, but that brings me to my real point: why Mike Slaughter is legit.

I actually did write a paper for the class, and I included in the paper a long list of strategic action steps for the following the year. They were a variety of ministry-related objectives. I had 8 of them in total.

Then I got my paper back from Mike Slaughter (which I got an A on, by the way). But one of the comments that stood out the most was the 9th action step he added to my list. And that’s why he is legit.

Don’t let ministry be your mistress.


Hope Remains: A Poem

As my wife and I have spent the last couple evenings packing, we’ve been running into all kinds of interesting things. For example, I recently found this poem. I wrote it a number of years ago, and yet it’s message rings ever true.

Read More