Viewpoint: Takeaways from Pew’s Religious Landscape Survey

Christianity is not dying, as I’ve often said; nominal Christianity is. Pew Research Center released a report May 12 drawing a variety of headlines — everything from “Christianity faces sharp decline as Americans are becoming even less affiliated with religion” to “Pew: Evangelicals Stay Strong as Christianity Crumbles in America.” So what are we supposed […]

Comic Belief: Nifty at Fifty

It finally happened. I got my invitation to join AARP (the American Association of the Really Pooped, or something like that). It’s the autumn of life, and everything seems to be heading south. My hair now comes out of my ears instead of the top of my head. There appears to be more sand in […]

The Graying of America and What It Means

Robert Browning wrote a poem — actually, something more like a philosophical text — from the perspective of a 12th-century person, Rabbi Ben Ezra (also the title of the poem). He begins, “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made; Our times […]

Outside the Walls: God is less concerned with age than obedience

“I feel like I’m 18 years old, but when I look in the mirror it tells me something different.” I laughed as 82-year-old Mr. Bickley gave a little wink and walked slowly away. There was something in his eye that told me he was telling the truth. Age is relative. I was a college senior, […]

Wholly Healthy: Pass the Salt, Please

One of my favorite physician sayings is “Don’t just do something, stand there!” That means that it’s better to do nothing than to do something that doesn’t help. As I move through my career, I find myself agreeing. I am endlessly amazed at the number of things we do for no good reason and that […]

When Boomer Pastors Retire, What Next?

On Jan. 1, 2011, the first baby boomer turned 65. In fact, on that day, 10,000 of them turned 65. And that pace of aging will continue until 2030, when every boomer is 65 or older. The implications for churches are staggering. This generation is not of the mindset of previous aging generations. According to […]

Pastor, where do you find encouragement?

In a world where the majority of churches across the Southern Baptist Convention are plateaued or declining, where even faithful church members’ attendance is spotty, where congregations bog down in debates about things that don’t matter (like the carpet color for the fellowship hall), and where a Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest/ESPN culture often trumps mission, it is easy […]

Pastor to Pastor: The Importance of ‘Being There’

I do not know why his mother named him for the designation of the era before Christ, but that was his name: B.C. He was old, but not that old. Exactly why I loved B.C. so much may be a bit mysterious. Perhaps it was his squinty eyes and a gentle, infectious smile. It certainly […]

Letter: Remote Outposts Need Funding, Too

Yet again during this season for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, I find myself disappointed with the North American Mission Board due to their continued policy of defunding Southern Baptist missionaries who live and work in rural or remote areas. Such is the case with South Carolina native David George, who is the director of […]

Letter: Support Hunger Relief

Twenty thousand children will die today from hunger and preventable diseases. We Baptists give less than one penny a week per person to the Southern Baptist Global Hunger Relief Fund, our way of showing God’s love to starving people. If our child or grandchild was one of those destined to die today, how much would […]