Viewpoint: Why I Stopped Going to Movies

Guess what question this film critic of 30 years was asked the day after the Academy Awards: “What’d ya think of the Oscars?” Well, for the first time since John Wayne won a golden statuette for “True Grit,” I didn’t watch the Oscars. Sadly, after three decades reviewing movies I simply dread entering the local […]

Guest Viewpoint: Search Committees and the Challenges They Face

I’ve worked with a number of pastor and staff search teams as they vet possible candidates for their open positions. These folks typically are God-seeking believers who want nothing but God’s will to be done. Churches and their search committees face an array of challenges. Among them: 1. Making wise choices for committee members. Just […]

Baptists: Reporting on the SBC

Right before the Southern Baptist Convention met in Orlando in 1994, the little paper I edited ran an investigative piece about a far-reaching policy at one of our SBC entities. It was an embarrassment to the entity’s president and he responded by calling our state convention’s executive director and asking in a loud voice, “Can’t […]

Viewpoint: Cooperative Program — Comprehensive, Enduring, Accountable

This happens more often than you think: Members of a Sunday School class decide to circumvent their offerings that would normally go through the church’s systematic giving budget in order to give to a worthy cause or need. Maybe there has been an appeal for some particular project or independent missionary or humanitarian need — […]

Behind the Desk and In Front of the World

It’s important to honor our administrative professionals She’s often the first person to represent your church when guests call or stop by. She (or he) works hard to assist your church’s leaders and members. She may be volunteer, part-time or full-time. Your church may have one or many. A good administrative assistant significantly impacts your […]

Viewpoint: Drive-by Praying

Think about how much time you and your family spend in the car. Then think about how you use that time. Whatever you typically do, I challenge you to use your time to pray as you drive — even to pray aloud as a family as you go. Think about how many places and people […]

Guest Viewpoint: Traveling the Bivocational Road

By Mary Jenkins I believe “bivocational minister” is a relatively new term to many people in our denomination. My husband, Charles, has tried to trace its origin and has had little luck. However, we know the concept would relate to the apostles who lived and worked with the people while serving Jesus. During college and […]

Guest Viewpoint: Do Christian parents flirt with the idol of sports?

As I walked into the middle school auditorium for a recent school event, another mom asked how I was doing. I told her our family was grateful to be able to breathe again after finally finishing soccer season. “Our family never breathes,” she said, and proceeded to describe how travel soccer overlaps with travel lacrosse all […]

Reaching the Unreached … with a Frisbee

This missions account by pastor Brent Mitchell* was told to Robert Jackson, a family practice physician in Chesnee and a member of Boiling Springs First Baptist Church. My two companions and I were on a ferry heading for an isolated island off the coast of Indonesia when a suspicious dark-skinned man approached us. Surprisingly, he asked […]

Salvation: God’s Joyful Search for Lost Things

There is no chapter in the Bible like Luke 15. Even without this poignantly unique passage, we know Jesus cares about lost things. He ate with sinners, He healed the broken, and He exceedingly preferred the company of the outcasts. Yet His passion for these things is most dramatically explained in three parables of Luke […]