Church Revitalization: Turning the Church Inside Out

Do you ever feel like the world has been turned upside down? From our culture’s rejection of authority to generational, political and racial divisions, it seems that instead of striving for the American Dream, our society is living an American Nightmare. Unfortunately, this not only describes modern culture but the Christian church as well. Today, […]

President’s Perspective: More Than a Business Meeting

Editor’s note: On Nov. 13 and 14, watch the proceedings of the South Carolina Baptist Convention annual meeting live at Anyone who says he loves Baptist convention business meetings is either being paid to be there or is being disingenuous (or else he also enjoys root canals). I have been serving as a pastor in […]

Outside the Walls: The Key to Revitalization

“We are willing to do whatever it takes to turn our church around.” The desperation in her voice drew me into the conversation. Her church was on a rapid decline with only a few dozen people attending, and she did not want to see it die.  So I said, “Would you be willing to change […]

Editor’s Word: Challenges for the Church

Some evangelical senior statesmen are offering dire predictions for the future of the church if drastic and powerful changes are not soon made. The evangelical church at large, and the Southern Baptist Convention in particular, are losing ground. Culture wars have taken their toll on the faithful, and an increasing post-truth mindset makes sharing the […]

Wholly Healthy: Marijuana’s Dangerous Side Effects

A recent Gallup survey revealed that about 13 percent of Americans smoke marijuana regularly. In 2013, the estimates were roughly 7 percent. I’m not a statistician, so I can’t really speak to how well this reflects the entire country, but from what I see in my work I’d agree that marijuana use is rising.  Marijuana use […]

Suicide, Depression and Pastors: One Way Church Members Can Help

The suicide death of a young pastor is being felt throughout the world. Andrew Stoecklein, lead pastor of Inland Hills Church in California, left behind his wife, Kayla, and three young sons. I am the father of three sons. I cannot look at a photo of the young family without getting tears in my eyes. […]

Guest Viewpoint: Loving Your Pastor’s Family

Sometimes those who are most vital to a pastor’s ministry — his family — can be forgotten. Yet, they are the ones most often ministering to the minister.  As a pastor’s wife, I pray for my husband like no other. I encourage him when he needs to be built up and challenge him when he […]

Comic Belief: The Blame Game

It started with the first family. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent. And of course the serpent didn’t have a leg to stand on. The problem, of course, was not the apple in the tree; it was the pair on the ground. Our family played the blame game. Our firstborn, Angela, was an only child […]

Wholly Healthy: Flu Season Is Already Here

Cold and flu season is again upon us. I’ve already started seeing patients with pneumonia. I have colleagues who are seeing influenza — and I’m writing this in August. So I have some tips for managing the upcoming season.  — First (and I’ve written about this before), eat less and exercise more. When you are […]

Editor’s Word: Pastor Appreciation — An Opportunity to Begin a Habit

William James, one of the key leaders in the development of psychology in America, once said, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” To appreciate is to realize the value, quality or magnitude of something or someone.  October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and while every day should be a day […]