Archive for Scripture

Roll Away the Stone- Removing Barriers to Belief

By : March 30, 2017

Jesus came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. Jesus said: “Roll away the stone.” John 11.40 As odd as it sounds, recent statistics consistently show that many people who don’t go to church or describe themselves as religiously unaffiliated, nevertheless still profess a belief in God and […]

The Ministry Values of Jesus- On Location at Saddleback’s Global PEACE Conference

By : May 14, 2016

I’m posting this week from California at Saddleback Church’s Global PEACE Conference. I’m here with Brian Crook, our Director of Missions at Nativity. It’s been an inspiring and thought-provoking experience. Pastor Rick Warren had the vision of bringing together pastors from countries around the world to share ideas and learn from one another how to […]

5 Reasons I Preach in Message Series

By : May 8, 2016

This past week, our “Message Team” met for an all day off-site to finalize our plans for our message series for the upcoming year. The message team consists of 7 people on staff who meet each week to help develop and evaluate my weekend messages. A few times a year we take extra time to […]

Groundbreaking Part 2: Prayer for a Chapel

By : April 18, 2016

One of the casualties of our new construction will be our old chapel. It sits on what will eventually be our new lobby. The chapel is in no way architecturally distinguished—its only artistic distinction being the stained glass windows—which will be preserved and reused elsewhere. Mostly the chapel was used for quiet prayer and daily […]

4 Ways to Build an “Acts” Culture in Your Church

By : April 9, 2016

Our latest message series at Nativity for the Easter season, called “Groundbreaking,” has got me thinking a lot about what the Early Church did and looked like. This message, by the way, is all about how Jesus’ resurrection changed the face of history, and how deeply that resonated with the Apostles and the first Christ […]

3 Keys to Planning an Effective Message Series

By : March 4, 2016

This past week, our team of staff who plan our message series’ (what we call the “Message Oval”) set aside a day to draw up a rough sketch of the topics and themes of what I will be preaching about in the upcoming year. Yes, I did say year. We make it a point to […]

Lent 2016

By : February 12, 2016

“I will suffer and be killed, and then I will be raised.” Luke 9.22 Reading this Gospel passage I always wonder what the original disciples must have felt when they heard these words spoken by Jesus. His message is suffering and death and then a strange promise they did not understand. Furthermore, he tells his disciples, if you […]

Make Christmas Eve Matter: Four Strategies for a More Effective Experience

By : December 17, 2015

Despite what you may have heard, Christmas still matters to most people, including the unchurched. The reasons many people come to church on Christmas Eve may be nothing more than to please a family member or sing carols. But it’s the church’s job to transform that experience and use it as an opportunity for evangelization. […]

John the Baptist- Agent of Change

By : December 9, 2015

We’re already moving into the third week of Advent, and I’d like to take a quick opportunity to reflect on some pretty amazing passage about John the Baptist taken from our Advent readings. They say: A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every […]

4 Biblical Lessons for Today’s Leaders

By : July 10, 2015

The Bible is full of the stories of some of the greatest saints and sinners in history. But based on this assessment, we often assume that these characters are either too good or too bad to teach us any really concrete life lessons. This summer, our parish has been surveying “imperfect” characters from the Bible […]