Toward Complementarian Clarity

Part of an on-going debate among some


10 Questions I Wonder If Churches Ever Ask . . .

~ Chuck Lawless

I’m just thinking aloud here today as I wonder if many churches in North America ever ask these questions:

  1. Why have we not done anything about years of decline? I don’t understand why nobody speaks up about this problem. Too many churches sleep themselves into death.
  2. Are we reaching any non-believers? Even growing churches—including young church plants—often fail to ask this question. Transfer growth, though, will never reach the world.
  3. If we weren’t here, would our community miss our church? The only way to answer this question is to ask the community if they even know you exist. You might be surprised by their answer.

The rest is at:

Preach like Hebrews

by Austin Duncan

The book of Hebrews is the only letter in the Bible that contains an inspired sermon, and as such pastors should model their sermons after Hebrews more than the styles of communication popular today.

Hebrews is certainly a written letter that contains the content of the author’s sermon. The point of the sermon was to express the pastor’s concern for the congregation’s perseverance. If you open your Bible to Hebrews, the first thing you notice is that it doesn’t begin like any of Paul’s letters or like anything else in New Testament literature. It’s different. It has a stunning start. “The Spirit expressly says…” The opening statement is confessional in character and compels attention. It engages in auditor or reader immediately. The preacher has a sense of urgency. He wants to compel his congregation to perseverance.

He moves from there to the issue of the superiority of Christ. The author writes to warn against drifting and to encourage steadfastness in his recipients. He does this by urging, warning and proving that Jesus is “better” than all that came before. 

This should be our model as well. The ancient, inspired, anonymous preacher provides a paradigm for preaching that transcends his audience and time period and instructs us as communicators in the modern age. This dazzling portrait of Christ ought to motivate an expositor today to ensure that their sermon is fixed and focused on the Son of God, and his glory.

Its not just that Hebrews is fixed on the glory of Christ, but the preacher uses every rhetorical tool in the toolbox to paint a beautiful picture of Christ. Too much of modern preaching is some kind of half-baked, ill-conceived, conversational, off the cuff, shoot-from-the-hip sort of approach, but that’s not the preaching in the Book of Hebrews.


Gurus vs shepherds


The Hidden Reason Churches Nail Worship

~Sam S. Rainer

It’s you. You’re the reason—hidden in plain sight. I’m writing to you, lead pastor. The hidden reason churches nail worship is because the lead pastor leads out in worship.

Most churches will only worship to the level of the lead pastor. If you’re the stoic stander, then your church will be full of Sunday morning totems. If you raise your hands, then people in the church will follow your lead. When lead pastors immerse themselves in worship, churches do the same.

Stop blaming your worship pastor for the lack of energy. Stop complaining about the musicianship. Stop thinking, If only we could change the music style. Just worship. Dig into it. Sing loudly to the glory of God.

Stand in the front of the worship space and let it out. Lift your arms in surrender. Spontaneously kneel at the altar in passionate prayer. Step into the pulpit short of breath from singing.

You lead with evangelism. You lead with vision. You lead with theology. You lead with shepherding. You lead with prayer. You also lead with worship. Lead pastor, if you’re not worshiping well, if your soul is not poured out weekly, why would you expect the same of your church?

Evangelistic churches have evangelistic lead pastors.

Prayerful churches have prayerful lead pastors.

Passionate churches have passionate lead pastors.

Theologically sound churches have theologically sound lead pastors.

Joyful churches have joyful lead pastors.

Why would worship be any different?

The hidden reason churches nail worship is you.

You’re the visible prompt. People are watching how you worship. They are observing what you do. They are learning from you during the music as much as during the sermon.

Are you in it? Your job isn’t to wait through the other elements of the service for your time to preach. The lead pastor is also the lead worshiper. You must teach by example. Put your notes down and lift your voice. The best preparation for your soul is to join the congregational singing of the saints.

If you’re only preparing sermons and not preparing for worship, then you’re fulfilling just half your responsibility on Sunday mornings—if that.

The hidden reason churches nail worship is right there in plain sight.

It’s you.

Comment at:

38 Signs You Are a Godly Leader

~ Dodd

Last week I wrote a post titled 38 Results of Being an Evil LeaderThe content for this post was taken from specific passages from Proverbs chapters 10–12. As a following up, the following are 38 Signs You Are a Godly Leader taken from the same set of verses. As you read this list, remember none of this happens without brokenness, humility, a life of surrender to Christ, a love of prayer and a passion for reading God’s Word, the Bible. Proverbs 10 with supporting verses

  1. Godly Leaders Are Life-Giving – 16 “The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin.”
  2. Godly Leaders Speak Great Value Into the Lives of Others – 20 “The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the heart of the wicked is of little worth.”
  3. The Words of Godly Leaders Are Satisfying – 21 “The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense.”
  4. Godly Leaders’ Desires Are Granted – 24 “What the wicked dreads will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be granted.”

Lessons From the Radical Leadership of Jesus

Lessons From the Radical Leadership of Jesus

Leading people in the name of Jesus is complex, demanding great wisdom and discernment. I have dedicated my adult life to the study of leadership. I have written books on leadership, read innumerable books on the topic, and attended more than my share of leadership conferences.

But for the last 18 months, I have been meditating on the leadership of Jesus in Matthew’s gospel. It has shaken me. The Holy Spirit has challenged me to honestly look at the Western church model of leadership that lives in me more than I care to admit (i.e., bigger, better, more, faster), and invited me to drink more deeply of Jesus’ life and leadership.

I have summarized my learnings into five lessons for your reflection and prayer:

  1. Jesus rejected the powerful ministries presented by Satan—the sensational, the spectacular and the speedy. Jesus chose the low road of suffering and the cross. He did not storm Israel by messianic force. He refused to flaunt his power or knowledge to “show people” who is the Lord. Instead he knocked quietly at Israel’s door—little by little. In fact, Jesus deplored religion that did show business, preferring to do his work quietly, inconspicuously and in a measured fashion—unlike the false Messiahs of his day. He often withdrew or commanded people to silence, seeking to be hidden and not looking to be well-known. Lord, grant me grace to reject the temptations of going fast and big.
  2. Jesus purposefully chose a path of humility. Jesus chose to be born in a manger and to live in obscurity in Nazareth (i.e., no-wheresville). His first miracle was a miracle of humility as he joined us in the human race in the deep waters of repentance at the hand of John the Baptist. In fact, the center of his ministry took place in the backwoods of Galilee (“the sticks”) and not strategically in Jerusalem. Lord, help me choose humility today.