4 Purposes of Illustrations in Faith Conversations

Most of us can regurgitate Christianese taught in church, but what is not always easy is engaging in deeper, spiritual conversations.

Sometimes we tend to listen just long enough to find a point in the conversation where we can interject with our own ideas. But conversation with our children, family, & friends requires attentive listening, as well as thought-filled answers. Read more

Thoughts on “Autopsy of a Deceased Church”

I recently finished an interesting resource called “Autopsy of a Deceased Church,” where author Thom S. Rainer utilizes his many years of experience in church ministry as a pastor and consultant to write about common trends in declining churches.

Rainer divides his book into two parts: (1) The Autopsy and (2) Is There Hope for the Dying Church?

The first part begins with an introduction and then devotes the following chapters to 10 symptoms of a declining church: (1) slow erosion, (2) the past is the hero, (3) the church refused to look like the community, (4) the budget moved inwardly, (5) the great commission becomes the great omission, (6) the preference driven church, (7) pastoral tenure decreases, (8) the church rarely prayed together, (9) the church had no clear purpose, and (10) the church obsessed over facilities.

The second part focuses on what to do if your church shows symptoms of decline.

Larry Moyer, Founder and CEO of EvanTell and a regular reader of books on spiritual topics, sat down to share some of his reflections with me on Rainer’s recent book.

Who could benefit the most from reading “Autopsy of a Deceased Church?”
New pastors who want to know the pitfalls that often face the local church as well as seasoned pastors who sense something is wrong but not sure what. Read more

Halloween: The Best Day of the Year for Evangelism

ajThe following guest post is adapted with permission from previous content written by my friend AJ Rinaldi. He currently serves as Ministry Director at EvanTell and is a graduate of Belmont University and Dallas Theological Seminary. AJ has served in church ministry as leader of several small groups, as well as teaching children, youth, and young adults.  

The average person probably doesn’t know very much about the origins of Halloween. Most people probably don’t even care anymore. However, as our society has become more and more callous to images of horror and demonic forces, many of the conservative Christian population has decided to “take a stand” and hold “alternatives” to Halloween; or simply ignore and dismiss it altogether.

It is understandable when believers are uncomfortable with the idea of participating in Halloween festivities. Sincerely, I would never want to push a brother or sister in Christ against their convictions (ref. Rom. 14, 1 Cor. 8).

Yet, while I do empathize and respect when Christians have a conviction about the holiday, my caution is to be careful not to put limits on God. Read more

The Old Testament and Evangelism

carenet_2014Sep04_0044 Last month, I spoke to a group of attendees at Care Net’s National conference about the upcoming release of The Evangelism Study Bible and my vision for the ESB to be an equipping tool for the workers in their pregnancy resource centers.

As I closed my talk, I brought up the importance of the Old Testament in evangelism. Here is an excerpt from what I said: Read more