• Enablers of the Exodus

    Enablers of the Exodus

    In any dysfunctional relationship, there are several roles that are enacted: the Perp, the Victim(s), and the Enabler(s). Since ministry is a relational theatre, it should come as no surprise that for every dysfunctional situation that can be encountered, there are inevitably enablers supporting the dysfunctional system. In linking the Loyal Liar syndrome to worship […]

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  • Toward a framework for a “Christian” Worldview

    Toward a framework for a “Christian” Worldview

    Three key ideas inspire my motives for writing this post. First – I recently read a series of posts asking the question, “Is there a ‘the Christian Worldview” by Roger Olson. You can read the first in the series here (then follow Olson’s links to the rest) if you want to enjoy them. Second – Three […]

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  • How to Develop, Foster, & Maintain a Leadership Team

    How to Develop, Foster, & Maintain a Leadership Team

    Over the past eight years I’ve taken a number of different approaches to having a leadership/ministry/staff team. In this post I want to share a few of the things that I’ve learned over the years from my experience, both positive and negative, and the resources that I’ve learned from. When I first started pastoring, I walked into […]

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  • Is Missional the New Attractional?

    Is Missional the New Attractional?

    There has been a lot of emphasis placed on the concept of being “missional” in recent years.  (Yes, I think that sentence might qualify as an understatement of Godzilla-like proportions.) And beyond the concept of simply being missional, there has been a growing emphasis on being part of a “missional community”. Now, I’m someone who […]

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  • Vineyard Theology Doesn’t Mix with Dispensationalism

    Vineyard Theology Doesn’t Mix with Dispensationalism

    Is the kingdom of God coming? Has it already come? Is it the church? Is it in heaven? Many questions still abound in regards to the nature of the kingdom of God and I’ve argued that I think it’s important for those of us in the Vineyard to have a robustly informed understanding of our theological […]

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  • It All Started in a Garden…

    It All Started in a Garden…

    It all started in a Garden, and it’s going to end in a garden. In between, we have the story of us- humanity, sometimes brilliant, sometimes utterly foolish, sometimes capable of the ultimate sacrifice for others, sometimes perpetrating unimaginable cruelty and evil on innocents. Aldous Huxley wrote after WWII, “Cruelty and compassion come with the […]

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  • On the Road Between Ephesus and Thyatira: An Alternative Model to Ken Wilson’s in ALTMC, Part 3

    On the Road Between Ephesus and Thyatira: An Alternative Model to Ken Wilson’s in ALTMC, Part 3

    So, let’s review.  On one end of the spectrum, we have an otherwise healthy church who, in their rejection of sin (which probably included some porneia), have become unloving.  Somewhere in the middle, we have a community who are under persecution, even to the point of being martyred, but Jesus even corrects them for allowing […]

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  • “Pastor, pace yourself… or you will learn the hard way.”

    “Pastor, pace yourself… or you will learn the hard way.”

    Able recently wrote about 21 things people might not know about pastors and their families. Reading the list made me deeply concerned for pastors that experience many of those feelings. Unfortunately, many of the pastors I know struggle with those feelings on a semi-regular basis. When I first read the list, I actually wanted to […]

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Biblical, theological, & practical reflections from the trenches.

Biblical Studies

So You Want to Preach Like the Apostles…

So You Want to Preach Like the Apostles…

Recently I had a conversation with a young and newly minted pastor who was asking me some questions about preaching. We spent some time talking about different homiletic principles and I recall that one of the last things that she said was, “I want to preach like the apostles.” Despite the fact that some of […]

On the Road Between Ephesus and Thyatira: An Alternative Model to Ken Wilson’s in ALTMC, Part 3

On the Road Between Ephesus and Thyatira: An Alternative Model to Ken Wilson’s in ALTMC, Part 3

So, let’s review.  On one end of the spectrum, we have an otherwise healthy church who, in their rejection of sin (which probably included some porneia), have become unloving.  Somewhere in the middle, we have a community who are under persecution, even to the point of being martyred, but Jesus even corrects them for allowing […]

The Whole Bible is About God Establishing His Kingdom

The Whole Bible is About God Establishing His Kingdom

N. T. Wright dropping some knowledge on fools: “… the point about God’s authority is that the whole Bible is about God establishing his kingdom on earth as in heaven, completing (in other words) the project begun but aborted in Genesis 1– 3. This is the big story that we must learn how to tell. […]

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Theological Studies

Enablers of the Exodus

Enablers of the Exodus

In any dysfunctional relationship, there are several roles that are enacted: the Perp, the Victim(s), and the Enabler(s). Since ministry is a relational theatre, it should come as no surprise that for every dysfunctional situation that can be encountered, there are inevitably enablers supporting the dysfunctional system. In linking the Loyal Liar syndrome to worship […]

Toward a framework for a “Christian” Worldview

Toward a framework for a “Christian” Worldview

Three key ideas inspire my motives for writing this post. First – I recently read a series of posts asking the question, “Is there a ‘the Christian Worldview” by Roger Olson. You can read the first in the series here (then follow Olson’s links to the rest) if you want to enjoy them. Second – Three […]

It All Started in a Garden…

It All Started in a Garden…

It all started in a Garden, and it’s going to end in a garden. In between, we have the story of us- humanity, sometimes brilliant, sometimes utterly foolish, sometimes capable of the ultimate sacrifice for others, sometimes perpetrating unimaginable cruelty and evil on innocents. Aldous Huxley wrote after WWII, “Cruelty and compassion come with the […]

Reviews

<em>Elders in the Life of the Church</em>, by Phil Newton & Matt Schmucker

Elders in the Life of the Church, by Phil Newton & Matt Schmucker

I think a case could be made that the Bible offers a variety of options regarding church polity. However, I personally find the plurality of pastors model the best option for the local church (see my top 5 books on the subject). In fact, if you take a look at my list of top five books […]

The Enigmatic, Inescapable and Loud Truth of Violence & Peace

The Enigmatic, Inescapable and Loud Truth of Violence & Peace

In my mind violence (both defensive and offensive) must always come before peace and because of this, change is rarely harmonious. This is unfortunate and sad but true. The cross is not simply an act of violence nor is it simply an act of non-violence.  I think we see broken and perverted shadows of the […]

The Problem with Numbers

The Problem with Numbers

I get really nervous when people start throwing around numbers. “Our attendance was 602 last Sunday!” “We baptized 17 people tonight!” “We have had 296 conversions this weekend!” “We just opened our sixth campus!” American evangelicals often appeal to numbers as the measurement of success. Sure, numbers can be one of the ingredients of success; […]

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Practical Theology

Organic vs. Institutional Church: Could there be a Happy Medium?

Organic vs. Institutional Church: Could there be a Happy Medium?

Yep, I’ve been reading up some on the organic church movement as well as perusing that ever dependable source of indisputable facts on the internet – the Blogsphere & Facebook! Truth be told, there is a lot that really attracts me about more organic church forms: flatter leadership models, taking the Lord’s Supper seriously as […]

How to Develop, Foster, & Maintain a Leadership Team

How to Develop, Foster, & Maintain a Leadership Team

Over the past eight years I’ve taken a number of different approaches to having a leadership/ministry/staff team. In this post I want to share a few of the things that I’ve learned over the years from my experience, both positive and negative, and the resources that I’ve learned from. When I first started pastoring, I walked into […]

Reflecting on the Midwest North Vineyard Regional Conference…

Reflecting on the Midwest North Vineyard Regional Conference…

I’ve been in Burnsville, a suburb of Minneapolis, since late Tuesday night in order to participate in the Midwest North Region’s Summer Family Fest. It’s basically a way for the Vineyard family to gather together to worship, learn, experience, and serve. I’ve written about a few of our gatherings in the past (here, here, here, […]

General

Some Things I’ve Learned About Spiritual Disciplines Over The Years: Fasting

Some Things I’ve Learned About Spiritual Disciplines Over The Years: Fasting

Welcome to week 5: Fasting – the final installment in our series on Spiritual Disciplines. Years ago, I used to like to do the three-day, juice only fast, every once in a while. But now I have developed a more regular discipline of fasting? I’ll just be honest: I fast once a week, every Tuesday, to be specific. I […]

“A God to call Father” – A Father’s Day Reflection

“A God to call Father” – A Father’s Day Reflection

Have you ever heard someone refer to God as “The Man Upstairs,” or perhaps more piously, “The Lord?” Certainly, the Bible is full of titles and descriptions of God, which are appropriate to use when we refer to Him. But there is one sense in which God reveals himself which truly shows the depth of […]

Interview with Kevin Scott…

Interview with Kevin Scott…

A few months ago I posted a review of Kevin Scott’s absolutely fantastic book ReCreatable (review here). Kevin was kind enough to answer a few questions for us and I want to again encourage you to pick up his book! It’s excellent. ************************************ Luke: Kevin, thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions! If you wouldn’t mind, […]