Month: February 2018

Plenty of the ‘Nones’ Actually Head Back to Church

Americans who identify as agnostic or “nothing in particular” are four times more likely to change their religious affiliation than Protestants or Catholics. In his book Changing Faith, sociologist Darren E. Sherkhat contends that Americans shift their religious identifications more often than any others in the Western world. As a researcher focused on religion and Read More

To Defend Mideast Christians, Can Advocates Critique Islam?

Diaspora leaders in America disagree on how to improve religious freedom back home. What’s the best way for Middle Eastern Christians in America to help fellow believers back home? A single misspelled email address inadvertently revealed the breadth of this dilemma for activists in the diaspora. The mishap sparked a spat this summer between two Read More

What Evangelicals Can Learn from George Lindbeck

Here’s why one of the leaders of postliberalism believed conservative Protestants would carry the torch. George Lindbeck, longtime professor of historical theology at Yale Divinity School, passed away on January 8. In evangelical circles he is best known as the author of The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age (Westminster Press, Read More

Getting Small Churches on Mission (Part 1)

Small church pastors should view their congregations as an elite force. As the people of a missionary God, we are entrusted to participate in the world the same way he does—by committing to be his ambassadors (see John 20:21; 2 Cor. 5:20). “Missional” describes the perspective to see people as God does and to engage Read More

Should Churches Handle Sexual Abuse Allegations Internally?

The Andy Savage case should lead us to question the way many churches are handling the issue. Many observers were troubled when Andy Savage, a pastor at Highpoint Church in Memphis, received a standing ovation from his congregation for his admission of a “sexual incident” with a 17-year-old high-school student when he was a youth Read More

Puerto Rico: 3,000 Churches Damaged, Fewer Christians Left to Rebuild

Attendance drops as 400,000 island residents move to the mainland. The evangelical church in Puerto Rico won’t be the same after Hurricane Maria. Even congregations that have resumed their regular gatherings after repairing buildings and regaining power are still missing a major part of church life: some of their members. An estimated 400,000 of the Read More

Reflections on the Megachurch

Making and growing disciples is more important than butts in seats. This article originally appeared in Outreach Magazine. As former head of LifeWay Research, I did the statistical research for the Outreach 100 Fastest-Growing and Largest Churches lists for a number of years and always noticed two things: First, God was doing amazing things through Read More

God’s Letter to Us

How evangelicals read Scripture. It nearly goes without saying that evangelicals have a special relationship with the Bible. It’s not the same as their personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but it can sometimes come close. For one thing, when we talk about “the Word,” it is sometimes hard to tell if we’re talking about the Read More

Evangelism, Meet Soul Care

Why we need to love ourselves to effectively love our neighbor and share the gospel. Sitting in a bookstore, engrossed in a book on Christian leadership, I barely noticed the man sitting across from me reading. I thought very little of him until I was repeatedly interrupted by a sense of the Holy Spirit stirring Read More

Six Ways to Support and Challenge Those Who Leave Church

How churchgoers can journey with their “done” brothers and sisters. I met recently with an old friend of mine. We’d gone to church together two decades ago and formed a relationship in the trenches of nursery duty and Vacation Bible School. After running through the menu of family and mutual friend updates, I asked her Read More

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