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  Merry Christmas from the Rainer clan! I don’t blog much about my family, but I want to brag about them for Christmas. They deserve it, even if my wife will never see these words since she checks out my posts once every couple of years. My family loves (really!) ministry, especially through the local church. Shepherding my family and my church are intertwined. Some might advocate separating the two, but it’s impossible, since my household is part of the local church. When I leave Read more [...]   I’m in the middle of a three-week Christmas series, The Beginning, the Birth, and the Baby. The text is Matthew 1:18-25. The birth of Jesus reveals two surprises about God coming to us: Humility and vulnerability The virgin birth is essential to the miracle of grace. Why is the virgin birth essential to our faith? Three implications: The miracle of grace is not painless. The miracle of grace requires our Read more [...]
    How do established church pastors encourage and prioritize Biblical engagement in the lives of their people? This episode is brought to you by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and LifeWay Pastors. Subscribe: iTunes ● Google Play Follow us on Twitter: @estchurch, @jowiki, @micahfries, and @samrainer.   Read more [...]
  Christmas Eve is the most likely time an unchurched person will walk into your worship space. It’s a huge opportunity. My fear is some churches go through the motions since Christmas Eve is the peak of busy season and volunteers are short in supply. Your Christmas Eve service is worth the effort. Families are often together during this time. That uncle who refuses to go to church will often capitulate and go to a Christmas Eve service, since the rest of the family is going together. Read more [...]



I started a new three-week Christmas series, The Beginning, the Birth, and the Baby. This sermon is the first in the series. The text is John 1:1-18. Jesus is the beginning, so you can take Him at His Word. Jesus is both the goal and the guide to your relationship with God. The end of your search for meaning is found in the beginning.