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.
What do you do with Santa? Micah and Josh talk through the issues pastors face with the non-biblical extras that come along with the holidays. 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 [...]
My Kid’s Minister, Jenny Smith, has created an excellent online Family Advent Calendar. Christmas is a busy season for families, which is why I like this simple tool. The purpose is to give your family intentional times to discuss Jesus. It’s easy to use. Just click on the star that corresponds to each date and follow the instructions. Each day includes Scripture to read together, discussion questions, an online activity, and a prayer prompt for your family. The devotional should Read more [...]
On Wednesday December 13th our church will send several small teams to visit with widows and widowers, especially those who are homebound and cannot gather regularly with our church. We call the effort “Christmas Chats.” The idea is simple: Bring them a gift and sit in their homes and talk. Frankly, not as many people will show up to do this ministry as on other Wednesdays. I get it—going to an older person’s home feels strange, particularly if you don’t know them. For those Read more [...]
Author Daniel Im joins EST to discuss discipleship in the established church and the impacts small changes can have on the church's overall discipleship strategy. 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 [...]
Preaching is a grind I welcome every week. Expositing God’s Word is one of the toughest but most rewarding aspects of being a pastor. You can’t treat preaching like a sprint, rushing to get a response on Sundays. It’s more like a marathon, a paced lope in which long strides are made over time. Illustrations are not the most important part of a sermon. The meat is the exposition of the text—always. The illustrations add spice and flavor. Nobody wants to eat just spices for dinner. Read more [...]
A couple of years ago, I wrote a similar post. But I believe these words bear repeating. It’s important to express thankfulness more than once. Everyone needs to hear the words “I love you.” I tell my wife and my children all the time. The phrase is more than trite acknowledgment. It’s consistent assurance I will stick to my covenantal commitment in the relationship. Churches are no different. They need to hear “I love you” from their pastors regularly. Here are ten things Read more [...]
I’m preaching verse-by-verse through the book of Galatians. This sermon covers Galatians 4:21-31. There are two ways to approach God: His promise or our work. One leads to freedom, and the other leads to slavery. The result of the God’s promise is not our comfort; rather it’s the freedom through salvation only Christ can give.