Category Archives: Discipleship

4 Things I Learned at Dinner with Church Leaders from Denmark

Here’s what I learned from evangelicals bearing witness to the gospel in a country that is much further down the road of secularization than the United States.

Also posted in Christianity, Church Issues, Future of the Church, Missions / Evangelism | | 5 Comments

The Potential and Peril of Creating Your Own Curriculum

The Sunday School or small group meeting in your church holds both extraordinary potential or peril. Used well, the potential for discipleship is incalculable. Used poorly, the perils can lead to disaster.

I see too many churches using that hour poorly rather than well. The grace of God covers a multitude of our failures (thankfully), but this doesn’t mean we should shrug off our responsibilities in this area. I fear that many pastors are (1) unaware of what is going on in a church’s small group ministry and (2) unwilling to offer solid, biblical resources to the leaders of these groups.

This shouldn’t be the case. In North America, we have more good Bible study resources available than ever before, and we have more reason than ever to consider carefully the kind of teaching that takes place in groups. Most pastors would see the surrender of their preaching time to just anyone with a message as an abdication of responsibility. Why, then, would we direct our people to small groups where the leader may or may not open the Bible, may or may not have a solid doctrinal foundation, or may not even be qualified or fully equipped to teach?

When Paul laid down the responsibilities of an overseer, he included this qualification: “holding to the faithful message as taught, so that he will be able both to encourage with sound teaching and to refute those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9). Often, pastors are more concerned about encouraging believers with sound teaching …

Also posted in Church Issues, Education, Sunday School & Small Groups | | 1 Comment

Discipleship in the Age of Richard Dawkins, Lady Gaga, and Amazon.com

Discipleship must go beyond the rearrangement of one’s interior life and lead to an understanding of what it means to follow Jesus with wisdom in a particular time and place.

Also posted in Conferences | | 2 Comments

Revisiting 5 Evangelical Trends in This Decade: 2011-2020

At the beginning of this decade, I predicted several trends in evangelicalism. How are they playing out right now?

Also posted in Church Issues, Future of the Church | | 13 Comments

John R. Sampey and a Legacy of Christ-Centered Bible Study

In 1914, some were complaining that Sunday School lessons lacked a “redemptive” focus. Here’s what John Sampey proposed.

Also posted in Baptists, Christian Living, Church Issues, Discipleship - LifeWay, Seminary, Southern Baptist Convention | | Leave a comment

4 Ways a Christian Leader Should Know “What Time It Is”

Christian leadership is never timeless. Instead, it is a timely application of God-given wisdom regarding specific decisions that must be made in particular moments in time.

Also posted in Christianity, Church Issues, Future of the Church | | Leave a comment

What Happens When You Judge the Church “Now” By the Kingdom’s “Not Yet”

We shouldn’t be surprised that the local churches we belong to are communities where we see vibrant manifestations of God’s power and perplexing messiness at the same time.

Also posted in Christian Living, Christianity, Church Issues, Future of the Church, Theology | | 1 Comment

Discipleship in the “Age of Authenticity”

How should the church witness to the gospel in an age of self-expression and resisting conformity to anything outside yourself?

Also posted in Christian Living, Christianity, Church Issues, Future of the Church, Missions / Evangelism | | 9 Comments

Recovering the Role of “Imitation” in Discipleship Today

A holistic view of discipleship means that spiritual direction is not merely delivered; it is displayed.

Also posted in Book Reviews | | 6 Comments

Is It Arrogant To Tell Other Christians To Imitate Your Example?

The command to “follow me as I follow Christ” is not a statement of arrogance, but the natural outworking of the Spirit of God in the life of a church.

Also posted in Christianity, Church Issues | | 3 Comments