Viewpoint: The Marriage Moment

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege to speak at two wonderful gatherings in Washington, D.C. While I was there, each morning after my time with God and moments of study, I ran through our National Mall. There is nothing like running through this impactful city. Everywhere you go are reminders of our history and […]

From the Editor: Encouraging One Another

Encouragement is such a powerful influence on a person’s motivation. It takes about 10 positives to neutralize one negative, but we live in a world full of negativity. That translates into an even greater need to encourage one another. In the book of Hebrews, the Jewish people who had professed faith in Christ experienced consequences […]

Pastor to Pastor: Experiencing ‘Life Transference’

Two words often used by professor and then president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Paige Patterson, were “life transference.” He used the expression to describe the importance of the classroom setting. The axiom depicts the difference in classroom versus online or satellite education. How true! Being present with great men of God — being able […]

Hope for the Hurting Pastor

The American church is suffering, and pastors are hurting with them. If the statistics are true, 70-90 percent of churches in North America are either plateaued or declining. Many churches close their doors each year; others struggle to keep the church afloat. The typical congregation is graying, and with that comes a greater demand for […]

Viewpoint: Why Sabbaticals Matter

Pastor, you need rest. You were built to rest. God uses healthy pastors to build healthy churches. That’s why you and your church’s partnership in working through a sabbatical ministry plan may be one of the most important decisions you make about the future health of your church. As a pastor for more than 25 […]

Viewpoint: Forgotten Former Seminarians

“Don’t be a ‘dropout.’” As a young aspiring minister-in-training, I remember hearing this caution frequently — and annoyingly — as I packed my belongings and headed to seminary. “Many seminarians are not even in full-time ministry anymore after 10 years,” I was warned. “Don’t be like them.” For me, the warning functioned almost as a […]

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, […]