The Church: We Are The Priesthood

The Greek philosopher Epictetus once said, “Know first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.” Epictetus offers a pearl of wisdom for us who profess the Christian faith, who seek to follow Jesus Christ and live under the kingdom reign of God. We must first understand our identity, what it means to be Christian […]

Finished: The Irony of the Cross

​“It is finished.” They’re the last three words of Jesus before he takes his final dying breath on the cross. I’ve read them before, as I’m sure many of you have too, which creates a challenge in reading John’s account of Jesus’s passion.  ​Familiarity breeds complacency, so we’re told. And so it becomes easy to read […]

Church Renewal is Christian Renewal

Church renewal is always Christian renewal.             That should be rather obvious but I’m not sure if it is. Having served in ministry as a pastor for the last fifteen years, I’ve heard and engaged in many conversations about church renewal. Numerous books, articles, blogs and podcasts have been published, with many of them addressing the […]

Preaching and Politics: Give to God, Give to Caesar

Don’t talk about politics and religion. Just don’t! That’s the wise policy if you want to avoid conflict in the break room, not turn the family reunion into a family feud, and so forth. After all, both politics and religion can become so divisive that it seems best just to leave them alone. Well, I’m […]

Mourning With Those Who Mourn

“God just needed another angel,” said more than a few people after learning that our son had died. “No, he doesn’t,” my wife and I would silently scream. “God, doesn’t need any more angels!” That was fourteen years ago. My wife and I began keeping a list of things people would say, always with good […]

Acts 2 and Pentecost: Our Story, Our Way

Following the Christian calendar, we are approaching May 15th. That’s Pentecost Sunday, which marks that historical day many years ago when something strange happened. That day was surprising not just because the people present anticipated the exact events of that day unfolding as they did. No, that day is also surprising because of the events […]

Reconciliation: Gospel Living in a Racially Divided and Politically Polarized Culture

Several years ago I was talking with a church about serving with them as a minister. During a congregational question and answer session, one elderly man raised his hand and asked what seemed like a controversial question. “Liberal or conservative,” he asked. Without showing any disgust on my face, I didn’t like the question because […]

Change Requires Grace

In some ways, change is a dirty word among some churches. The mere mention of change jolts some church members so much that extra Lipitor is needed. Yet change is necessary and will happen, whether we are aware of it or even whether we agree with it. Some may disagree that change is necessary but […]

Story Tellers: Reading and Performing Scripture

Throughout the month of October Wineskins is exploring the future of the Churches of Christ, particularly the more progressive expressions of this fellowship. Rather than knowing just what we are against or have rejected, we need to know what we are for. My hope is that what we are for is the mission of God […]

I Still Believe in the Church

“Because I wanted to tell people about Jesus so that they can follow him too!” That was the primary reason why fifteen years ago I began pursuing a life that would eventually lead me into congregational ministry as a preacher. There were people who encouraged me along the way, including my wife, and I have […]