when people leave the church you lead

When People Leave the Church We Lead: a 5-Part Coping Strategy

What are we to do with our emotions when people leave the church we lead?

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How Can a Flawed Sinner be an Effective Leader?

How Can a Flawed Sinner Be an Effective Leader?

How can a flawed sinner be an effective leader? Psalm 32 shows us.

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pastors criticism and the cross

Pastors, Imagine Facing Criticism in View of the Cross

Table of Contents 1. Facing the Inevitable2. My Typical Reaction to Criticism3. The Message of the Cross4. Embracing the Grain5. Grace Flows Downhill 1. Facing the InevitableI have a special love for young pastors. So idealistic. Oh, how I remember those unicorn and butterfly days of long ago.  Those were my days as an assistant pastor. […]

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the mot important thing

The Most Important Thing

Quick Navigation INTRODUCTIONTHE MOST IMPORTANT THING: 3 Things1. IT IS A GIFT TO RECEIVE (vv. 1-2)Faith is central.Reminders are crucial.Ongoing faith is pivotal.Application:  It is the same way with standing firm in the gospel.2.  IT IS A TRUTH TO BELIEVE (vv. 3-8)It is a truth predicted in the Scriptures.It is a truth verified in history.Application: […]

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How to Resolve Marriage Conflict

Table of Contents Marriage Will Not Fix the ProblemMarriage Needs Ongoing MaintenanceThe Human ConditionThe Two Options for Ending a WarThe Critical QuestionA Lesson from the Master’sThe Way of ReconciliationUnclogging the SinkApply the Principle   1. Suspect yourself2. Take a Look in the Bucket3. Change the Oil4. Let Defensiveness be a Red Flag5. Read It TogetherResolving Conflict […]

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For Pastors Who Struggle to Believe that Their Ministry is Making a Difference

Quick Content Navigation 1. The Impact We Crave2. A Moment of Sanity3. A New Metaphor4. No Little Places, No Little Pastors5. The Pastor’s Primary Work6. Your Next Step 1. The Impact We CraveHello, fellow pastor.  Do you ever struggle to believe that your ministry is making any difference? I do. Does your emotional fullness meter ebb and […]

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what role should speaking in tongues play in the christian life

What Role Should Speaking in Tongues Play in the Christian Life?

Quick Links to Message Notes INTRODUCTION1. THE PRIORITY OF PROPHECY (14:1-5)Three primary benefitsAn important distinctionHelpful definitionsApplication2. THE VALUE OF TONGUES (14:6-25) As a public sign (Acts 2)As a personal gift (1 Corinthians 14)For private prayer (personal edification)Not to be used in gathered worship 3. THE NECESSITY OF ORDER (14:26-40)Order in the use of giftsOrder for expressing questions, […]

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4 Essentials for Your Broken World Survival Pack

Last Sunday night I received a call at 1:30 a.m. It was my son, Schaeffer. Those are never “good news” calls.  A little back story.  It was the last night of his spring break. He and some friends were enjoying a late night slice of pie at the City Cafe’ in Downtown Chattanooga. His Jeep had been […]

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4 Stops on the Road to Loving Like Jesus

Last week, we covered most of chapter 12, where Paul addressed was how the church is like a body, or a team, with many parts working together to achieve a common purpose. Each part has a gift to use — a grace gift given by the Holy Spirit that enable each believer to play his or […]

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It Takes a Team: 4 Foundational Truths About Spiritual Gifts

Quick Navigation Introduction1) The Holy Spirit, as the Source of All Spiritual Life, Endows Each Believer with a Spiritual Gift.2) There is a Vast Diversity of Gifts Among Believers.3) Just like Parts of the Human Body Function Interdependently, Spiritual Gifts Function Interdependently (for the accomplishment of a common purpose).4) Each Gift is Necessary, Valuable, and […]

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A Goalie’s Sacrifice: When Authority is Responsibility and Submission is Grace

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGEBefore you listen to the audio message or read this post, I want to make it explicit that there is absolutely no room whatsoever to excuse any form of marital abuse (emotional, physical, financial, verbal, etc.).  In a day when domestic violence and abuse is at epidemic levels, we need to let abused women […]

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4 Talking Points for Discussing Sex with Your Kids

My older two kids probably will tell you that I blew this conversation. There are several factors that contributed to my lack of paternal initiative to have this conversation. One, I was scared. Two, I was scared. Three, I was scared.  Maybe you will find my struggle encouraging, knowing that you are not alone. When the day […]

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3 Lessons Every Role Model Needs to Learn

Have you ever seen yourself as a model? Not a magazine model but a role model.Fathers know they are role models.Mothers, too, and grandparents. Teachers and coaches have a sense of their influence in the lives of their students and players.What we discover in our passage is that every Christian is a role model in how […]

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5 Essential Truths for Getting Love Right

Before I officiate a wedding ceremony, I require the engaged couple to participate with me in a series of pre-marriage counseling sessions. In the very first session, there is one question that I always ask. It is the foundational question everyone must ask and understand before getting married. “What is love?” What a softball, right? Wrong. I have never […]

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How to Forgive: 4 Things to Know About Burying the Hatchet

The concept of burying the hatchet is a helpful image of of forgiveness.  I can imagine an Indian chief and a Colonel in the U.S. Cavalry meeting upon a hill on the southern plains. The Indian wielding his tomahawk and the officer, his pistol.  Both parties represent warring factions that have been inflicting wounds upon the other […]

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How to Take Communion with Three Simple Words

At Creekstone Church, we celebrate communion (or the Lord’s Supper) on the second Sunday of each month.We call the sacrament communion because the eating and drinking of physical elements (bread and juice) provides a context in which we are able to personally as well as communally commune with Jesus in such a way that our […]

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The Grace of Adoption

We must not leave our gospel introduction before we see how union with Jesus by faith is not merely a legal issue. We are not merely given a new status as fully forgiven, perfectly righteous humans.We are engrafted into a new relationship with God as adopted sons and daughters. The gospel is not merely about […]

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God’s Work For Us Versus In Us

In the grade exchange, Jesus does the work and we get the credit. He studies; we succeed. This is called justifying grace, where God works for us. However, there is another kind of grace that takes place when God begins to work in us. This is called sanctifying grace, where God indwells his people in […]

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The Gospel is Not a Second Chance nor a Clean Slate

After we have made the grade exchange through repentance and faith, what now? This is where true Christianity often gets derailed. If you have ever heard anyone say that in salvation God “gives you a clean slate” or “a second chance” then you know what I am talking about. When we experience the grade exchange, God […]

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The 70 Million Dollar Word

Good interpretation matters. In 1980, 18-year-old Willie Ramirez was admitted to a Florida hospital in a comatose state. His friends and family attempted to describe his condition to the paramedics and doctors who treated him, but Willie’s family didn’t speak English.  They spoke Spanish and told the hospital staff with great urgency that Willie was intoxicado. The […]

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