Why Pastors Don’t Preach on Work

I’ve always been amazed at how rarely pastors preach on the subject of work.

My church is unusual. My pastor makes it point to do so.

But I know my church is the exception not the rule.

Why do pastors preach so rarely, if at all, on the subject of work?

After all, their church members will almost certainly spend more time working than they will ever spend at church, in small groups, or ministering to others combined. Work is the primary reason we obtain an education, and it is something we will do until we retire and often into retirement. It is what we do the majority of our waking hours. And yet, when is the last time you heard a sermon on what God expects from you at work, or why your work matters, or what it means to be a Christian employee or employer?

I’m speculating here to a certain extent because I have not seen any studies on the issue, but I suspect there are four principal reasons pastors choose to ignore the subject of work from the pulpit: Continue reading “Why Pastors Don’t Preach on Work”

The Need Starbucks Meets…Sort of

StarbucksI think I’ve figured out the lure of Starbucks.

By way of full disclosure I should probably mention I am sitting in a Starbucks as I write this, waiting for the wife to finish shopping.

The people at this Starbucks are acting like people I’ve seen at other Starbucks: they are sitting at their tables with their book and computers, reading and working, but not talking to anyone around them.

These people, I’ve concluded, are not here because of the coffee. There is probably better coffee at other places. I believe many go to Starbucks for a different reason. They go because “It is not good for man to be alone.” Gen. 2:18.

Many people go to Starbucks so they don’t have to be alone. They go for a type of community. They don’t want to talk to other people around them. They are not there to make friends or build relationships. They just want to be around other people. So many go that they have made an unbelievably successful franchise out of the ostensibly mundane business of selling a cup of coffee. There is definitely something more Starbucks is providing. Continue reading “The Need Starbucks Meets…Sort of”

3 Traits Your Pastor Wants You To Have

pulpitI’ve had the unusual opportunity to have done church from both sides of the pulpit.

A few years ago, our church was left without a pastor and I became responsible for the preaching every Sunday and leading the church.

It was an incredible experience, which I do not care to repeat but will never regret either. I learned why churches grow and why they fail.

I learned that the success of a church has a lot less to do with a pastor’s so-called “anointing” than his leadership.

I learned to see churches from a pastor’s perspective, a perspective I now realize far too few churchgoers understand.

There was an ad in the 1990s where Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, watches Deion Sanders make a spectacular play and Jones turns to the camera and says, “Hot dang! If I had 11 men like that I could rule the world!”

If your pastor is a leader and has a vision for the church, he’s wishing he had a church full of Deion Sanders. Here’s three traits he is looking for in you: Continue reading “3 Traits Your Pastor Wants You To Have”

If You Want A Diverse Church

“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

The words are those of Martin Luther King, Jr. from his “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on August 28, 1963 in Washington D.C.

Today we celebrate Dr. King’s life and his contribution to our nation. His vision, courage and non-negotiable principle of non-violence made him one of the most important change-agents in American history.

Dr. King’s means and his ends were righteous and consistent with those of the kingdom of God. It is right that we honor him today.

At the same time, it’s hard to ignore that Sunday is still the most segregated day of the week. Put another way: most churches don’t look like the kingdom of God. Continue reading “If You Want A Diverse Church”

Ephesians 1 (Part III)

View from Arcadiane to The Great Theatre, Ephesus

As I explained in Part I of this series, when the Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he probably believed it was the last time he would ever communicate with them.

He had much to tell them, but there were two things that were foundational. In Part II I mentioned that the first thing Paul wanted the Ephesian Christians to understand was their identity in Christ.

Paul told them they were chosen, adopted sons of God, redeemed and forgiven. It was essential the Ephesian Christians understood their identity because without that understanding they could not understand their destiny.

Their destiny, Paul said, was an inheritance in an administration whose purpose was the “summing up of all things in Christ….” (v. 9-12). Continue reading “Ephesians 1 (Part III)”