Why (and How) I Started Preaching Shorter Sermons

What would I tell the young man who surrendered to the preaching ministry almost twenty years ago? I would insist, in addition to studying the Scriptures (i.e. theology, scriptural interpretation), that he become a student of (1) how people learn and (2) how to communicate effectively to them. Sadly, many pastors have ignored non-theological disciplines,... Continue Reading →

The Bible is NOT the Warm-up Act

How many sermons open with a speed reading of the Bible? The pastor stands before the congregation not fully prepared, still trying to collect his thoughts and hoping to create a last-minute opening, and begins painfully reading the sacred text. His dry and monotone voice coupled with both his (obvious) disinterest in the text and... Continue Reading →

Pastoring & Personal Finances

The following article is in response to a series of questions that I've received from young pastors and/or men training for pastoral ministry. This article is part of series of blogs wherein I attempt to provide an overview of the advice that I've given to younger pastors and seminarians. Pastoring & Personal Finances   It is... Continue Reading →

Why I’m A Baptist

My beliefs are Baptist, but my identity is in Christ. Please don't confuse these two distinctions. My identity is not, nor will it ever be, found in a denomination. People and organizations eventually alter their beliefs and practices, but Christ never changes (cf. Heb. 13:8). I'm not a Baptist by birth, which is, in and... Continue Reading →

Church Growth?

Church Growth vs. Community Engagement As a young seminarian, I was captivated by the Church Growth Movement. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was divided into several schools when I entered in 2005. The "missions" school, which was named in honor of Billy Graham, was officially known as the school of "Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth."... Continue Reading →

Who has INFLUENCED you?

Is it possible to be influenced by people that you've never met? Of course, it is; however, you must recognize the limits of this influence. First, you've not been influenced by the person as much as you have been by his or her story and ideas. Don't get me wrong here, I realize that the... Continue Reading →

Affirming Deacons to Servant Ministry

Although this post does not cover (in-depth) the biblical qualifications for the diaconate, the corresponding public vows provide some insight into the character and quality of the men who have been called to serve the church. In future posts, I will address the qualifications, selection, and training of deacons. This post, however, focuses on the... Continue Reading →

The Apostle to Islam: Samuel Zwemer

In the history of Christian missions to the Muslim world only one man has been recognized with the honorary title, “the Apostle to Islam”.[1] Samuel Marinus Zwemer (1867-1952), a man whose name was synonymous with missions in Arabia, has seemingly been forgotten in the twenty-first century. According to Warren Larson, former director of the Samuel Zwemer... Continue Reading →

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