Local Churches and a Bad Rap

If you spend a fair amount of time reading books and articles on the state of the local, evangelical church, you might come away with some pretty negative perceptions. Pastors who read a lot of this kind of stuff can also come away with the sense that if they are not trying to accomplish a... Continue Reading →

The Necessary Local Church

Karl Vaters has written a wonderful, almost poetic, reflection on the resilient power of small churches.   I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about the importance of what are called “mediating institutions” in our culture, and what he says rings true.   A mediating institution is a social organization that stands between... Continue Reading →

A Bold Witness

Recently we learned about a crackdown in China in which more than 100 members and leaders of a church in Chengdu were detained. The pastor, Wang Yi, and his wife were charged with incitement to subvert the state and face real prison time.   As it happens, Pastor Wang Yi prepared for this, and he... Continue Reading →

Back-to-School Bash? A Reflection on Pastoring

Recently our staff wrestled with a philosophical shift. Like many churches our size, we have spent a lot of time and effort putting on events. Like calendar clockwork, we scheduled events for Easter, Mother’s Day, VBS, Fourth of July, Back-to-School, and the holiday season.   After over a decade of doing that (something most church... Continue Reading →

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