Shortly after I became a Christian, I invited a gay friend of mine to youth group. To my surprise, he seemed interested. He asked about the location and starting time and I promised to meet him at the door when he arrived. Then he asked an odd question, “Will they make me sit in the … Continue reading The Circle of Judgment – How the Church Keeps Outsiders Out
This feels like a good week to give a personal update to those who are interested. First, a quick summary of the adventure that started six months ago. God revealed to Rachel and me that it was time to think about starting a family. The way he wants us to start a family is by adopting children. So … Continue reading A Personal Update
Mark stormed into our office. He was breathing heavily and smelled like alcohol. “What’s the problem, Mark?” Jeff asked. “You call the housing authority and tell them to forget it,” Mark replied in anger. “I’m tired of being on the streets. Tired of waiting. If they’re going to be this way about it, I don’t … Continue reading Why Friendship Matters
I met Derek years ago when he came to Midtown Cafe with his older brother, Tim. When I learned he was Tim’s brother, I expected the worst. Tim is an unapologetic drug addict who will lie and steal with no remorse. The last thing I wanted in my life was another Tim to have to … Continue reading When They Don’t Come Back
I first met Gene when he wandered into the Midtown Cafe asking for spiritual guidance. With some help from volunteers and local pastors, Gene learned the gospel, placed his faith in Jesus, and got baptized. He was on fire for Jesus and wanted everyone to know his story. Sometimes he stood up in the middle … Continue reading How We Love With Prayer
I’ve been struggling to produce a blog every week. I used to sit down and hammer out a month’s worth of material, but lately I’ve written each post a day or two in advance. Some weeks I’ve written two or three rough drafts and scrapped them after realizing my half-hearted, half-baked opinions aren’t interesting. There’s … Continue reading What is Leadership?
The mission of God makes me angry. Every time I read a book by a missional author or sit down and chat with a missionary, I get angry. I’m really excited at first, but the lingering emotion is almost always anger. Let me explain. I know a family who spent three years living in a … Continue reading Why I Get Angry
Simon Sinek says that, in order to motivate people to act, we have to start with the why. We can tirelessly explain exactly what we want a person to do, and that might work temporarily. But if we really want to call someone to action, that person must be motivated by deep rooted belief rather … Continue reading Why Minister to the Poor?
While I was at work the other day, I pulled out a giant flip chart, grabbed a Sharpie, and started writing down questions. A smart guy once said, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.” In a neighborhood like mine, defining reality involves asking a lot of questions. I wrote things like … Continue reading What Is Church?
I’ve had one of those weeks where God has shown me something and I have to do something about it. A friend of mine recommended the book The Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson, an older book about spiritual warfare. It’s not silly or over the top. It doesn’t encourage exorcisms or power encounters. Instead, the … Continue reading Are We Wrestling With Flesh and Blood?