Celebrating Advent

New to Advent? Here are a few ways to learn about this season and make it special. Light the candles. During Advent, we light candles - one for each of the four Sundays and one for Christmas Day. The four Sunday candles each represent a theme of the season. Traditional themes include hope (purple), peace … Continue reading Celebrating Advent

Nurturing a Discipling Culture

About eight years into my work as a youth minister, I was asked two questions that have stuck with me for more than two decades. The first was this: Do the students in my ministry know that I love God? As I pondered this question, I was confident that my love for God was evident, … Continue reading Nurturing a Discipling Culture

Reading the Bible Is Not Enough Part 4: Living the Gospel

“…making good sense of the Bible and applying that sense wisely to our lives is a hard thing to do.”[1] Bigger than the Church Consider this familiar story.[2] A congregation recognizes its neighborhood has changed dramatically. The leadership sense something has shifted and they want to reach out to the new realities of their context. … Continue reading Reading the Bible Is Not Enough Part 4: Living the Gospel

Reading the Bible Is Not Enough Part 3: Doing Theology

“…making good sense of the Bible and applying that sense wisely to our lives is a hard thing to do.”[1] Everyone Does Theology Theology is a word most people reserve for academics, those who study and teach about God as a profession. However, have you ever thought about who God is, considered God’s will, wondered … Continue reading Reading the Bible Is Not Enough Part 3: Doing Theology

Reading the Bible Is Not Enough Part 2: Knowing the Bible

“…making good sense of the Bible and applying that sense wisely to our lives is a hard thing to do.”[1] The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy In recent years, there has been a common lament among Christian leaders and educators about the demise of biblical literacy among Christians. More in more at Christian universities, college freshmen … Continue reading Reading the Bible Is Not Enough Part 2: Knowing the Bible

Reading the Bible is Not Enough Part 1: Three Tasks We Bring to Bible Reading

This series of posts come from a Bible class series I taught in January 2018. However, the ideas of the three tasks first came togehter as a teaching strategy to move people from reading scripture to doing something about it. Read the rest of the series: Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. Reading the Bible … Continue reading Reading the Bible is Not Enough Part 1: Three Tasks We Bring to Bible Reading

How to have healthy conversations about hard topics in your church.

Conversations are a cornerstone for social interaction and communication. In the context of a church family on a Sunday morning, conversations are how we learn about and share the events of our lives as we greet one another. We talk about the weather, the game, the weekend, and our children. We make small talk as … Continue reading How to have healthy conversations about hard topics in your church.