church

How the Church can shine during COVID-19

March 25, 2020 // 27 Comments

Last Sunday in New Zealand, we set a record for the lowest church attendance in living memory. Next Sunday will smash that record because we have just begun a four week lockdown. No one is going anywhere. In an attempt to curtail the spread of COVID-19, many governments are banning public gatherings. Churches, [...]

Should we close the church for the coronavirus?

February 8, 2020 // 15 Comments

“Please don’t come to Mongolia.” I have been asked to visit many countries, but Mongolia’s the only place I’ve been asked to avoid. In 2003 I was heading to Ulaanbaatar for a church conference. I was packed, I had my visa, but at the last minute the organizers asked me to stay home. Why? Because I was [...]

Good news for small churches

August 16, 2019 // 10 Comments

Jesus said the Philadelphians were doing well, “because you have a little power, have kept my word, and have not denied my name” (Rev. 3:8b). What does it mean to have little power? A church with little power is a small or weak church. The Philadelphians weren’t anything special. They lacked the [...]

The accepting church

August 1, 2019 // 24 Comments

Freedom is found in knowing that God loves and accepts you. When you know beyond all doubt that you are your Daddy’s delight, you will be free from the need to please others. The pressure to perform will lift and the unholy expectations of men will seem ridiculous. My Father is pleased with me. I don’t have [...]

Who are the pillars in the church?

March 21, 2019 // 29 Comments

As a young man, I was told I was a pillar in the church. It made me feel good to hear the pastor say this, and I could hardly disagree. Of course I was a pillar. I was a good boy. I didn’t drink or smoke or do burnouts in the church car park. I arrived early on Sundays to put out chairs and I stayed back to [...]

Bullying in the Church

June 1, 2017 // 93 Comments

As a parent of four, I regularly encounter bullying. No, my kids aren’t getting abused at school. But we often receive messages from educators informing us of the symptoms and types of bullying. We have become a vigilent and well informed. society. We no longer tolerate bullying at school or the workplace. But [...]

What Makes a Church a Family?

February 9, 2017 // 73 Comments

The gospel of grace has exploded over the past few years. Ten years ago you probably hadn’t heard of Joseph Prince, Andrew Wommack, or Escape to Reality. But today many people are preaching grace, writing about grace, singing about grace, and walking in grace. There are countless sermons, books, and videos on [...]

8 Signs that a church doesn’t get grace

July 7, 2016 // 135 Comments

A while ago I listed eight signs of hyper-grace churches. A hyper-grace church is one that is so focused on Jesus that it begins to look like Jesus, talk like Jesus, and smell like Jesus. To highlight a positive it helps to accentuate the negative. So how do we get it wrong? What are the signs that a church is [...]

Laodicea, Part 3: Who’s Wretched and Poor? (Rev 3:17)

May 18, 2010 // 17 Comments

UPDATE: This is an old article. An updated and expanded commentary on this passage can be found in Paul’s book Letters from Jesus. The Laodicean church was one of the most messed up churches in the Bible. So I guess it should be no surprise that today it remains one of the most preached about churches. We can [...]