All posts tagged: church

Little rules that keep churches little


Rule #1: No Coffee in the Sanctuary There are different reasons why churches come up with this kind of rule. Maybe they are concern that the carpet or seats will get ruined by spilled coffee. Maybe it’s the false notion that eating or drinking in God’s house is irreverent. Maybe it’s the excuse that it is distracting to see others drink a cup of coffee in the house of God. Whatever the reason, in my opinion – it is completely ridiculous. Would you feel the same if I brought a bottle of water into the sanctuary? Would you really be distracted if I took a sip of water from my water battle? I don’t really think so. I am sure some of these folks mean well. They don’t want spills, distractions, irreverence etc…  Like the 89-year-old woman in my congregation who consistently asks visitors and church members to take their coffee out of the sanctuary. Unfortunately, well-meaning people always act out of a misinformed, zeal without knowledge, religious spirit with no basis in the gospel. Quite …

We Win in the End


Since the rise of ISIS, the world has witnessed a diabolical, murderous persecution of Christian. The response of many to this great wickedness have been very encouraging. Many have began: Movements of prayer for victims Missionary outreach toward the broken Mercy ministries to the persecuted Interestingly, some Christians have picked up arms to fight this great evil. I personally don’t like that style. But it is happening. World leaders and religious leaders have all condemned the merciless killings and barbaric beheadings of our Christian brothers. Everybody wants this to stop. I certainly do. Unfortunately, too many Christians are acting like this is the end of the world, end of the Church. They’ve become so afraid of ISIS. But there is nothing ISIS does that can hinder the glory of God from manifesting in the face of Jesus. The thing about The Church that many cannot comprehend is this. Let me borrow from Labi Siffre: The higher you build barriers – the taller the Church becomes The farther you take our rights away – the faster …

My Beautiful Tension


Every Sunday morning before I take the pulpit to speak, I wrestle with what I am about to deliver: Is this of God? Is this what the Spirit wants me to share today? Have I study enough, prepared enough? Many mornings I am led to preach something other than I prepared. Other times I walk to the pulpit, heart pounding, not knowing what I am going to say. I would love to say I am spot on every time, but that wouldn’t be true. I miss him sometimes – but when I do hear Him and obey Him, it’s glorious. Every afternoon I take sometime to reflect upon the message preached. I celebrate what God did during service. I praise him for the response of His people to His word. Sometimes I second guess what I shared, even though, I know He was in my preparation. Did I miss God? Was I obedient to His voice? I thank God for testimonies heard I weep sometimes – especially when I don’t see Him move Than again …

More than Conquerors


I had the privilege of being a part of a missionary work in the West African nation of Ivory Coast, correctly know known as – La Cote D’Ivoire between 1990 and 1994. By the time I signed on, they had planted about 6 or more Churches around Abidjan – capital city. Those days were special: knocking on doors, walking the neighborhoods, holding All Night Prayer meetings and community gathering for fasting and praying. Revival was happening all around us – young and old coming to know Jesus and being filled with the Holy Ghost. These are some of the best days of my life and ministry. The people we ministered to were just like me. They were refugees, displaced, cut off from family, scattered in this foreign land and living among people with a strange tongue. They were often abuse, and un-welcomed and mocked in the public square. You would think their pain and sorrow would define them, break them and leave them in dispair. You would think their loneliness, loss and inability to return …

From Southwest with Love


I would like to first of all ask you to kindly take some time at end of this post, to share your pleasant or not so pleasant experiences – church hunting or just visiting for the first time. As a pastor, I don’t get the chance to visit other churches. Simply because I have to attend and lead mine every Sunday. But from time to time, when I’m away church traveling, I put it on the top of my list. It is at this time that I feel how uncomfortable it is for people looking for a new church or just visiting one. To say the least, my last two visits were really bad. I was in Nashville,  Tennessee visiting a church and almost felt invisible. It wasn’t that people weren’t talking among themselves,  it seemed like they were too focused on who they knew. I stood alone for about 15 minutes just next to the pastor who briefly looked at me, than turned away and continue talking with this group of five guys. After …

7 Wins for your Ccommunity


Dear Church Family, It is good to come to you today through the love and grace of Jesus our Lord. Allow me to share a few words about what I believe God is doing and wants to do at TAG this fall. The Lord has shown me at least 5 Areas in wish He wants to prosper us this fall I am calling this the 5 Wins of Fall. The church that prays together wins The church that suffers together wins The Church the forgives one another wins The Church that serves together wins The Church that Dreams together wins The church the unites wins The Church loves God and His people believer and unbelievers wins. As your pastor, it is my duty to not only call the Church to action, but to lead the way, through example. So I want to Repent and ask your forgiveness in areas I have failed to show good example and leadership. I want to personally ask for your forgiveness if I have hurt or grieve you in any …

15 Prayers to encourage unity in the Body of Christ


My teenage daughter was at youth camp last week. They had the young and dynamic preacher named Isaiah Saldivar as the speaker every evening. It was really good. At the end of the week when I arrived to pick her up, they were doing a Q&A session and a few people were sharing. A young man got up and began to share about how frustrating it is for him when it comes to denominational differences. He is from a Nazarene church, but is cool with coming to a camp at an Assembly of God Church. I applaud him for speaking his mind about the frustrations too many young people face when it comes to this subject.  His willingness to seek God with friends from other denominations is a good step toward creating a friendly attitude to denominational differences. Having said that, I think too many Christians are mistaking to think that denominational differences are of the devil. I believe that there are denominational differences today because people naturally choose to align themselves with groups that hold or espouse their …

Bitter Free


How do you react to grumbling and criticisms? Do you react in the same negative spirit? Do you feel the need for revenge and payback? I personally think it is a test of character when others slander and are judgmental of us. Character is not only how we act but how we react to people who hurt us – especially those we call brothers and sisters in Christ. I have been in situations in my life and ministry when I literally felt my heart descend into a dark and bitter place because of how others treated me. But The Lord has taught me and has given me tools to keep me from bitterness. I tweeted about this sometime ago: “I will not sin against God by ceasing to pray for you." 1 Sam. 12:23. Give me thick skin and a soft heart toward mean spirited church folk — Walter Bright (@WaltBright) May 9, 2014 So what’s up with this verse? How can this verse help deal with the hurt and pain that come from the people we  love and gladly serve. In …